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Benefits of Low Force Seals

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Now more than ever consumers are demanding vehicles that are ecologically friendly, as well as fuel efficient, so they can save more at the pump. To meet this demand, automotive engineers are faced with the task of designing capable engines to fit these new requirements. Often, that means making the engines on all vehicles, from small compact cars to large trucks, smaller and lighter.

To reduce engine weight and size, the components must be tightly condensed together, giving the engine parts little wiggle room. The necessary ports and passages used to deliver oil and all the other mandatory engine operations must be carefully integrated into the remaining available space, resulting in thin port walls.

The Challenge of Thin Port Walls

Engine Block BossThin port walls are quickly becoming more common, but they aren’t built to withstand the usual methods of older style plugs, such as cup plugs or threaded screws. These older plug styles can vary greatly in their results, causing a larger fluctuation in process performance—and with thin port walls and tightly packed engine components, even a small discrepancy during the installation process can cause a disaster.

The process must be precise and accurate every time to prevent damage or leakage, as many times ports are in a dangerous proximity to bearings or moving parts. Engineers have consequently been relying on low stress expander seals to attain reliable, precision sealing.

Benefits of Low Force Seals

Low Force SealsLow force seals, such as SFC KOENIG EXPANDER® plugs, cause less damage to the port wall and components, having minimal effect on even the most complex engine geometries. All the advantages of low force seals are listed here below:

  • Less negative effects on engine components
  • Prevent cracking of base
  • Avoid expansion of port into nearby components
  • Reduce the risk of leaks and wear
  • Less effect on overall system performance
  • Comes with its own installation equipment to ensure needed precision; gives the installer more control

Unlike cup plugs, threaded plugs and the like, low force seals provide leak-proof security and work well when dealing with extremely sensitive applications. Their reliability is even more critical when dealing with ports located deep within the maze of a tightly packed engine. Due to the little to no margin-for-error in engines with thin port walls, the strict tolerances and reliable installation methods of low force seals are essential to the successful performance of these modern machines.

For more information about SFC KOENIG EXPANDER® plugs and their other products, contact us at

August 31, 2018
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A Complete Guide to Fastener Strategy – Part 4

Fastener Strategy Part 4

Another consideration when building a fastener strategy is drive styles, especially in smaller screws with internal recess drives. If no fastener strategy is enforced, many customers may have several different styles in their bill of materials, creating a proliferation of similar parts. Some of the more common drive styles are shown below:



  • A slotted head style is not recommended for use in high volume or automated assembly. Sometimes this drive is still the best option for access panels that need to be serviced in the field using simple, readily available tools.


  • This is a common drive for most head styles and okay for higher volume assembly. One disadvantage is that the tapered side walls of the drive require significant down force during tightening or removal to prevent the tool from slipping and damaging the drive. Once the drive is damaged, it can be hard to remove.


  • Similar to Phillips, a Pozidriv head style has vertical side walls in the drive which have less tendency to “cam-out” when installing or removing. This drive typically extends tool life in high volume assembly but does require a Pozidriv driver bit which can be confused for a Phillips drive bit. Pozidriv heads can be identified by the four tick marks around the cross (see above). Driver bits are marked with a “pz” while Phillips are marked with a “ph”. 

Torx, Torx Plus or Hexalobular

  • These drives have been around for several years and are more readily available in metric than inch hardware. Torx and hexalobular are very similar and use the same driver, while Torx Plus has slightly different geometry and offers longer tooling life in high volume assembly. Torx driver bits are marked with “T” while Torx plus are marked with “IP”.


  • This is an internal hex drive which uses a hex key, sometimes also referred to as an Allen key. It is often used in larger diameter bolts which have limited space for a standard socket as a driver. In smaller screws, the internal hex may become damaged as tooling wears, which can make them difficult to remove.

For more information on the availability of these drive styles, and which one best fits your needs, check out or contact us directly at

Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

August 24, 2018
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A Complete Guide to Fastener Strategy – Part 3

Fastener Strategy Part 3

Another key component to a fastening strategy is managing or eliminating high risk fasteners. What are high risk fasteners? High risk fasteners are those which are subject to delayed failure, also known as hydrogen embrittlement (HE).

High-Risk Parts

For a part to be considered high risk, it must have three overlapping elements:

  1. A hardness (core or case) in excess of Rockwell C 38
  2. Subjected to processing, which induces hydrogen gas, such as electroplating or acid cleaning
  3. Assembled in a manner which sustains high tensile or bending stress

Common high-risk fasteners are listed below:

  • Electroplated
    • Property class 12.9 screws
    • Alloy steel grade socket head cap screws
    • Case hardened thread rolling screws
    • Retaining rings
    • Spring pins & clips
    • Conical washers – by themselves or assembled to screws of any grade/class (SEMs screws)

Any of the above listed fasteners can be managed by selecting a finish other than electroplating which does not induce hydrogen along with using mechanical cleaning methods.

For more information on high risk fasteners, check out or contact us directly at

Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

August 17, 2018
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A Complete Guide to Fastener Strategy – Part 2

Fastener Strategy Part 2

As mentioned in part one of this series, many manufacturers treat fasteners as an afterthought, but having a clearly defined fastener strategy can offer many benefits in the long term.

Another key point to consider when building a fastener strategy is joint criticality.

Joint Criticality

Looking at each joint and asking yourself, “What happens if this joint comes loose or fails completely?” is a good way to help guide your strategy. Your levels of response may look something like this:

  • Level 1 – Product may cease to function, but can be easily repaired by consumer – generally not a warranty claim
  • Level 2 – Product may fail but warranty claim is unlikely
  • Level 3 – Product may fail and warranty claim is likely
  • Level 4 – Product may fail and injure consumer

Levels 3 and 4 should help guide your strategy in friction control, locking features, and method of assembly. These joints should use controlled tightening methods and tools along with finishes having specific friction ranges engineered into them. If you are unable to incorporate the five times the diameter clamping range into the joint, locking features may also need to be incorporated to help keep things from loosening.

Warranty issues may be worth investigating when building a fastener strategy as well. If loosening or corrosion problems are prevalent, changes to the strategy may help address these claims in the future.

For help with critical joints, or warranty claims, check us out at or contact us directly at

Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

August 10, 2018
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A Complete Guide to Fastener Strategy – Part 1

Fastener Strategy Part 1

For many manufacturers, fasteners are somewhat of an afterthought, but having a clearly defined fastener strategy can offer many long-term benefits.

A few key points to consider when building a fastener strategy are as follows:

Metric or Inch System

Many manufacturers in the United States still primarily use inch fasteners for obvious reasons, but if there are any plans to expand into foreign markets, metric fasteners will be a preferred choice. It may seem like a scary proposition to switch, but the right fastener supplier can help!

Finish Requirements

Understanding the life cycle of your product, the environment it will be operating in, and which fastener finishes will satisfy your needs is important. Selecting specific finishes and building them into your strategy can also help prevent part proliferation. It’s also important to understand regulations that may be associated with certain finishes, such as RoHS and REACH. Even if your industry is not bound by these regulations, they may still affect the product you are getting whether you know it or not. If you have been using what you think is the same zinc electroplating for ten years, it’s almost certain that you are getting a different finish now than was being applied originally. You should be aware of things such as reduced corrosion protection resulting from material handling, and different coefficients of friction which could require different assembly torques.

Property Class or Grade

If your bill of materials contains multiple fasteners of the same size and configuration, but with a different grade/property class, you may want to consider consolidating to one part that will work for all strength requirements.

Keep a lookout for future blogs on this topic, and as always, check us out at or contact us directly at to see how we can help you build your fastener strategy.

Doug Jones
Applications Engineer

August 03, 2018
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6 Ways to Save on Your C-Parts Management Costs

6 Ways to save on C-parts management costs

When prioritizing the necessary components of your end product, C-parts such as screws, washers and nuts often take the backseat. While it’s true these small pieces may not be the most noteworthy aspect of your product, there’s no question they are a vital part of the machine you are selling.

However, acquiring C-parts—even small consumer articles—is often a very costly business. This leads to high process costs in relation to the purchase costs. So how do you save money on secondary parts while maintaining excellent end product quality?

That’s where our free e-book comes in.

How Our E-Book Can Help

In this e-book, you will find 6 proven ways to help you reach up to 70% cost savings on your C-parts management. With the book as your guide, you will learn the importance of several factors that affect C-parts cost and useful tips on how to recognize these issues so you can find a better long-term solution.

This book will help you identify potential problems early on, allowing you to pinpoint a management area that needs work and fix it accordingly, saving you money in the long run. You’ll learn the benefits of outsourcing C-parts management and avoiding over-production, which can cost you time as well as money. Our e-book helps you understand the value of minimizing your movements for better efficiency, as well as how to focus on time management and process analysis to make sure you are on the right track.

Experience in the industry has shown that cost savings of up to 70% can be achieved in the areas of logistics of C-parts management. This has a lasting effect on the total cost of the end product. Success stories from Bossard’s customers are the true proof of saving immense costs on your C-parts management.

For more information, check out or contact us at

July 27, 2018
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Use ecosyn®-plast Fasteners to Improve Your Lighting Industry Application

Using ecosyn-plast in the Lighting Industry

When it comes to working with thermoplastics, ecosyn®-plast is the go-to thread-forming screw. Many lighting industry components are made of thermoplastic materials that must be assembled, which is where this type of screw comes in.

ecosyn®-plast is useful when dealing with thermoplastics due to its ability to be threaded directly into plastic, thereby removing additional components or inserts. This allows you to eliminate potential quality issues, such as deformation, which occur when threading into plastic with inappropriate threads.

Compared with tapping screws, which are used solely for metals, thread-forming screws like ecosyn®-plast have specifically designed threads for use in thermoplastic applications. These types of screws provide improved material flow and thread load-bearing depth, as well as lower drive torque, higher stripping torque, less risk of cracking, and self-locking capabilities. In contrast, the use of tapping screws in non-metals can increase the risk of cracking and lead to improper thread configuration, causing stress fractures in the plastic.

Another ecosyn®-plast advantage for use in thermoplastics is its optimized thread geometry for low-stress generation in joints. This type of screw is also a Bossard catalog part, meaning it is readily available and easy to acquire. It comes in various head styles and available materials to cover a wide assortment of projects.

When to switch from tapping screws to ecosyn®-plast

Certain projects may benefit from converting to ecosyn®-plast from tapping screws. Below is a list of conversion scenarios our customers have encountered in the past. In these situations, Bossard was able to immediately arrange samples, convert to appropriate thread-forming materials, and rectify the issue at hand:

  1. Customer manufactured various lighting equipment, signaling devices, and switch gears.
  2. Customer used imperial sized self-tapping screws for sheet metal to assemble plastic components.
  3. Customer was experiencing base material distortion.

Inappropriate fastener selection, as highlighted in the above scenarios, can result in issues such as cracking, which can in turn lead to costly product recalls. Selecting a suitable thread-forming screw at the start of your project eliminates potential rework issues and reduces hassle by ensuring your product is assembled correctly the first time.

For more information, check out or contact our engineering department at

July 20, 2018
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All About Threaded Inserts in the Lighting Industry

Threaded inserts in the lighting industry

Threaded inserts have many valuable uses, especially when it comes to the lighting industry. This type of fastener element creates precise, durable internal threads that are able to withstand higher axial and radial loads compared with self-tapping screws.

There are several factors that will influence the performance of threaded inserts. If you decide to use them and which type to use will depend on the installation method, the material you are using, and what kind of insert support you are looking for.

FASTEKS® makes steel or stainless steel threaded inserts guaranteed to create precise, durable internal threads in workpieces made of light metal alloy and other materials with low shear resistance. They are self-tapping, simple to install and come in six different types, depending on your needs and what kind of project you are working on.

Threaded Inserts Types and Uses

The list below highlights each type and what kind of projects each one is best used for:

  1. The TRISERT®, made out of brass, has a regular head and is used for thermoplastic materials. It has a larger contact surface and can be used in drilled or molded holes. It also has a higher torque and axial forces.
  2. The TRISERT-3®, made out of steel, has a reduced head and is used for light metal and plastics. It can be used in drilled or molded holes. It offers faster installation due to a greater helix angle of the thread flanks, and has corrosion resistance of up to 720 hours to red rust.
  3. The FOAMSERT®, made out of brass, can be either double ended for bidirectional purposes, or have a reduced head. This insert was designed especially for expanded material and wood, and it can be used in drilled or molded holes.
  4. The MULTISERT®, made of brass, is un-headed and particularly suitable for thermoplastic materials. It has a special plain location spigot and has three installation options: press-fitting, ultrasonic insertion or heat insertion.
  5. The MICROBARB®, made out of brass, is particularly suitable for thermoplastics and thin section materials. It’s used especially for applications in electronics and can be installed via press-fitting, ultrasonic insertion or heat insertion.
  6. The HiMOULD®, made of brass, has an open or closed ended design and is used for thermoplastic and thermoset plastics. It is very thin-walled, particularly suitable for applications with low wall thickness. This insert is designed for molded-in applications featuring precise locating pins that ensure proper shut off to prevent plastic flow into the threads compromising integrity.

For more information, check out or contact our engineering department at

July 13, 2018
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Why You Should Optimize Your Last Mile Management

Optimize Your Last Mile Management

When reviewing supply chain management, it’s often discouraging that the last leg of the supply chain, moving materials from central storage locations to the work cells, is often the least efficient part of the shipping process. That’s why we’ve developed Last Mile Management—a simple solution for internal logistics.

Last Mile fully supports the milk run / water spider employee by efficiently carrying out their material flow in a time-saving manner for maximum productivity and less hassle. This method allows your business to benefit from intuitive and paperless instructions for setup and replenishment, shorter paths and full transparency.

Last Mile Benefits

Our replenishment process has been optimized by experts to create a seamless and cost-effective method of transportation.

Last Mile gives you real-time consumption data for each individual work cell and optimizes material flow and reduction of movements in internal logistics. We utilize semi- and fully-automated digital technologies to determine shorter order and delivery times; this ensures a highly reliable and efficient process. The Last Mile method also provides flexibility in reconfigurations.

Notable Features

Last Mile consists of several essential features that all come together to make the system run smoothly. This management method utilizes electronic demand requests, a mobile app for a paperless process, integration of all articles, as well as configurable work cells and customizable route definition for your convenience.

How it Works

Using a semi- or fully-automated system, a demand request is triggered at the work cell. The request is then transmitted online to the Bossard software ARIMS, where it is automatically added to the digital picking list. This digital list ensures the needed materials can be efficiently picked at the supermarket, pre-assembly, warehouse, etc. Finally, the milk run / water spider receives a route plan to replenish the work cells. Last Mile guarantees the final route plan is path-optimized, paperless, reliable and time-saving.

Optimize your Last Mile Management with Bossard’s results-driven process for a smoother, more resourceful shipping procedure that saves your business both time and money. For more information, check out or contact us at

July 06, 2018
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2 Solutions for Fastening in Lightweight Applications

2 Solutions for Fastening in Lightweight Applications

In 2018, original equipment manufacturers want to create the most innovative and unique products, all while making sure they are as lightweight as possible. Whether its vehicles or electronics, they are all becoming less bulky and less heavy.

To produce these lightweight products, manufacturers are using different materials than what might have been used just a few years ago. Composites like carbon fiber and fiber glass are the new normal when it comes to materials. Metals like aluminum and magnesium are also becoming more popular. But assembling these products can prove to be challenging.

Fortunately, Bossard has a variety of solutions for how design engineers can use fasteners safely and effectively in these relatively new materials. Here are two of our most popular fasteners for these applications.


bigHead is one of the best options for fastening when using composite materials. They consist of a standard fixing welded onto a head. These unique fasteners can be secured via adhesives or by embedding directly into the material. They can be used with carbon fiber, steel, stainless, and more materials.


ecosyn-BCT is not your typical rivet nut. What makes these blind rivet nuts different from others is that they are designed with strategically placed holes around the body of the nut where the rivet nut body will begin to collapse, controlling where the bulge happens. Hence, BCT – bulge control technology. ecosyn-BCT is also great for aluminum, stainless steel, and other lightweight materials

There are four main types of ecosyn-BCT: bulge control, micro, high strength, and multigrip.

For more information about fastening with lightweight materials, contact us at

June 29, 2018
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