If you are looking to increase productivity in any application or industry, the best place to start is to examine total cost of ownership of fasteners in use. By reducing the unseen costs (which can represent up to 85% of the total in place cost) a dramatic cost savings will occur during the entire life of the product model.
When it comes to fasteners, the simplest way to begin saving money immediately is through rationalization. To start, examine the parts and how common they are. When looking at the parts as a whole, it is important to identify what parts can be eliminated or substituted with parts that are already being used without jeopardizing the integrity of the assembly. By taking parts out of the system, money can be saved on the bottom line. Less parts translate to less chance of parts becoming intermingled or obsolete plus, if increased quantities are ordered with fewer fastener types being used, it can increase buying power from manufacturers due to the increased volume.
The first thing to look at is typically the different lengths of fasteners being used. Often there can be like fasteners of different lengths being used that are within as little as 1/8” difference of each other. Often when there are multiple fasteners being used that are close in length, some lengths could be eliminated and replaced with the same length fasteners as the other ones in order to eliminate one type of fastener being used. Head type is another factor to consider when moving through the rationalization process. If the application allows the same head style to be used throughout, time, labor and money can be saved. For example, if the application uses three different head types that require three sets of tools labor and time increase to change out those tools to use each fastener.
Surface treatments are also an important factor to keep in mind during the rationalization process. There are so many types of plating’s and coatings that can be used for one job. For example, if the application uses zinc plated parts and stainless steel plated parts, it may be possible to just use stainless steel. Stainless steel performs very well in most applications. Material strength is another possibility. Sometimes strong is not better. A better choice may be a more ductile part of medium strength.
Rationalization is a process that can result in significant savings moving forward. Changing out washers, surface coatings or head styles is usually a fairly easy change that can have a really profound effect on the total cost of ownership of fasteners used in applications.
TO learn more about rationalization and total cost of ownership, contact us at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.Rationalization and Total Cost of Ownership by Bossard