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A range of standard and special-purpose fasteners supplied by Northern Precision are playing a small but significant role in the fortunes of Tyco Electronics, a world-leading manufacturer of electrical and electronic connection and interconnection systems with global sales in over 50 countries.   At the company’s Braintree (Essex) site, Tyco’s programme of continual product development includes the innovative use of fasteners to implement design changes to enable racks, cabinets and enclosures to be made more easily, quicker and at lower cost.   Describing that the 50-employee site focuses on the design and manufacture of bespoke optical fibre racks and enclosures for telecommunications customers worldwide, to complement Tyco’s global success in the aerospace, automotive, computing and consumer goods industries, designer Matt Craig explains how the design and purchasing departments are constantly seeking new products that will make every job more efficient and effective – for both Tyco and its customers.   “That includes fasteners,” he says, “since every product we produce is based around the use of sheet metalwork. We’ve been working with Northern Precision and specifying their fasteners for some time. All our sheet metalwork is outsourced and since we specify the types/sizes of fasteners that must be used, Northern Precision are obviously satisfying those needs on a regular basis.”   Reliable delivery and cost-effectiveness are key factors that enable Northern Precision to consistently supply Tyco’s sheet metalworking sub-contractor with a range of standard products – including a wide variety of self- clinch nuts that are used in 90 per cent of applications.   At its Doncaster site, BS EN ISO 9001:2000-accredited Northern Precision Ltd ( maintains 5,000 in-stock standard line items covering most applications and materials; rivet bushes, sheet nuts, self-clinching, high-strength and broaching fasteners, weld nuts and studs, cage nuts and blind rivets, included.   But Matt Craig’s quest to improve the manufacturing process has also meant that he has capitalised on Northern Precision’s adeptness at providing special-purpose fastening solutions in turned and cold-formed components.   “In addition to non-standard standoffs and low profile knurled head fasteners, fasteners traditionally associated with PCB board manufacture are increasingly being used by us for other purposes and to good effect,” he continues.   “In one case, a moulded plastic clip has been successfully replaced with a PCB snap-top – simply updating the drawing by showing the use of a stud instead of a hole has not only resulted in a more efficient and lower cost manufacturing process through reduced assembly time, but it has also meant we have eliminated a stock item.   “Because we endeavour to offer customers a quick response, our aim is to simplify and improve the manufacturing process, and reduce line items in the bargain.”   Another example concerns Northern Precision’s supply of non-standard M3 stand-offs (turned from aluminium rod) in lengths of 30 mm and 38 mm, which have in some applications eliminated four separate assembly operations.   “Of course, every saving we make improves our efficiency and saves us money in terms of assembly and product costs,” Matt Craig concludes. “It is difficult to quantify how much we do save, but it is clear that our partnership with Northern Precision is a profitable one.” Issued April 2005 on behalf of: Northern Precision Ltd, Unit 3 Durham Lane, Armthorpe, Doncaster DN3 3FE Tel: 01302 836010 Fax: 01302 836012 Web site: Contact: Mr. Steve Smith, Director of Sales & Marketing Editorial enquiries: Read other news from 2005
Specialist Fasteners for Sheet Metal
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