Eliminate Fasteners, Secondary Operations

My previous blog post addressed how forming tools can help productivity and efficiency in today’s tight labor market. All standard processes deserve a look to find opportunities for improvement. Eliminating expensive additional hardware is one way to do this, while another is eliminating a secondary operation. Could a forming tool possibly do both? Frequently the answer is yes. One such example typical in many fabrication operations is the need to join two pieces of material.

Traditionally, fabricators assemble parts by forming a flange, installing self-cinching hardware and bolting the pieces together. While this has admittedly worked practically forever, it involves a secondary forming operation to create the flange and purchase and install fasteners. Mate has several forming applications that can help you. Today, we’ll look at two of them.

We’ll start with the screw pocket lance and form tool. This application eliminates the need for both the formed flange and the hardware. Instead, the tool creates a form in the edge of the sheet designed to receive the screw thread directly. Then, both components fastened together securely. Available in most tooling styles, the screw pocket lance and form application is for use in all materials ranging from 0.030 (0,70mm) to 0.078 (2,0mm) thickness.

The second application is SnapLock™, which allows fabricators to join parts without fasteners, even if they are of different materials or thicknesses. It eliminates expensive secondary operations like spot welding, riveting or fastening. Instead, snapLock creates a self-locking, spring-loaded tab that snaps securely into a pre-punched hole. The small button provides a positive mechanical lock when engaged with the hole in the receiving tab. Although SnapLock is for use up to a maximum of .0625(1,50mm) material thickness, design variations are available for thicker materials.

Besides joining parts, our customers have used SnapLock in various creative ways, such as parts locators, using it with pre-painted materials to avoid surface marring and shelf locators for metal furniture.

Both SnapLock and the screw pocket lance and form tool are Mate solutions that help streamline your processes and eliminate costly secondary operations. We’ll look at similar Mate applications in future blog posts. Mate’s fabrication specialists can help evaluate your operations and find more ways to maximize your punch press.

Download the Screw Pocket Lance and Form and SnapLock Solution Bulletins.

See how SnapLock is formed by viewing an animation and video on Mate’s YouTube channel

Blog Author

John Galich

John Galich is Marketing Manager at Mate Precision Technologies.