You’ve spent months on your design doing careful analysis and selecting the right materials. You are finally getting close to production – but wait, you haven’t selected a fastener supplier yet. You need mostly standard fasteners, except for those few specialty print parts. It’s just fasteners; how hard can it be?
The next step is to turn over your fastener list to the buyer and have them find the cheapest hardware they can negotiate to save a few pennies on the product. After all, it doesn’t matter where they come from. All fasteners are the same, right?
This scenario may be a bit harsh, but is all too often true. If manufacturers are making standard fasteners, they should be using the same fastener standards. Unfortunately, some manufacturers take short cuts to keep costs down in this highly competitive market. Some low-cost providers may make perfectly good fasteners 90% of the time, but is 90% good enough for your design? Assembly issues, failures in the field, warranty claims costs, and poor customer satisfaction when a new widget breaks or doesn’t perform as advertised can be very expensive and time consuming.
My advice is this: know where your fasteners are coming from. Here are some questions you can ask yourself before selecting a supplier:
- Does the manufacturer have good process controls?
- Are they tracking reject rates both internally and externally?
- Are they subcontracting fastener finishes or heat treatment?
- Do the subcontractors have good process controls?
Contact us through ProvenProductivity@bossard.com and see what steps we take to ensure good quality fasteners.