Why do some fasteners cost so much more than others? This is a question many purchasing professionals and engineers struggle to understand. Many factors contribute to the cost of a fastener.
Fasteners which conform to a standard and are readily available will always come with a lower price tag. Any slight change that deviates from the standard, whether it’s thread length, a special finish, or a slightly different dimension will require costly modifications or parts that need to be made special to order. This can easily double or triple your part cost.
Volume is another key factor to better pricing. Generally, there are three prices for a part depending on if they are considered low, medium or high volume. In general for screws from M5 – M12 (1/4″ – 1/2″) high volume is greater than 250,000 pieces, low volume is under 1000 pieces and medium volume is in between. Many manufacturers also have MOQs or minimum order quantities for non-standard parts which are based on weight. It is not uncommon to see MOQs of 2,000 pounds on special fasteners.
Fastener finish, or the plating or coating of the fastener, is often what forces us to purchase non-standard fasteners. Most standard, off-the-shelf fasteners will come with commercial zinc plating, which may be fine for interior applications which never see moisture. However, if your application requires more corrosion resistance, then the finish becomes a key factor and you are no longer buying standard fasteners. Many specialty finishes exist to meet the customer’s needs, but without high volume requirements, they can be quite costly.
For more information on the fastener cost drivers, contact us at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.