Socket Head Cap Screw Buyer’s Guide

7 Things to Know When Buying Socket Head Cap Screws

Socket head cap screws or socket caps, have become the standard among high-strength fasteners needed to withstand the faster speeds and higher pressure of today’s machines, instruments and assemblies.

Also known as their trademarked name, “Allen” screws, these fasteners are broadly used across various applications in many industries, including: aerospace, electrical motors, hydraulic equipment, instrumentation, tooling and fixtures, machinery, military and many more. Common uses include machine parts, die fixtures and assemblies.

1. What is a Socket Head Cap Screw? 

Socket caps are externally threaded cap screws with a cylindrical head with a flat chamfered top and a hexagonal recess for internal wrenching. Hence, socket caps need less space than alternative fasteners.

Whereas nearly 90% of all commercial and industrial fasteners have a 2A fit, which offers a combination of performance, economy, and convenience, socket products generally have a 3A thread fit. 3A threads have restrictive tolerances often used where safety is a critical design consideration.

Because of their efficient design and thread fit, socket cap screws are ideal for precision assembly work with close tolerances and applications that need a well-tooled appearance.

2. What sizes are available?

Commercial socket caps, which conform to ASME B18.3, are available off the shelf in inch sizes starting as small as 0-80 diameter and are commonly available to diameter 1-1/2-6. Metric socket caps, which conform to DIN 912, are available from M1.4 – M48 diameter and are most common in coarse thread. Screw lengths and thread lengths are related to the diameter of the screws and all lengths may not be available in all materials and styles.

3. What materials and platings are available?

“Steel” socket caps off the shelf are alloy steel black oxide through heat treatment and are generally oiled. Stainless steel grades 18-8/303, A2, 316 and A4 are also commonly available. Other exotic materials such as brass, 416, A286 or special finishes may be available for special order with a lead time.

If you need an alloy steel fastener, but require greater corrosion resistance or a different look than black, consider stainless steel or zinc plating.

4. Are there special considerations when plating socket head cap screws?

We are so glad that you asked! If you are considering zinc plated socket caps, proceed with caution! Because of their tight tolerances and 3A fit, zinc plating a socket cap will often change the thread fit to a commercial nut fit. If you need a 3A fit, you must specify that on your purchase order so the factory can meet your thread fit needs when creating and plating your screws.

5. Other than size, material and plating, what other options are available?

The other main considerations when selecting socket caps are the head style and the drive type.

There are four main available head styles, and each serves a slightly different purpose.

  • Standard Head – The standard in socket head cap screws (ASTM A574, F835, DIN912)
  • Low Head – Use in parts too thin for standard height heads and where clearance is limited (DIN7984)
  • Flat Head– Countersunk heads at 82 degrees provide maximum flushness and side wall contact (ASTM F835, F879, DIN7991)
  • Button Head – For use in materials too thin to countersink (ASTM F835, F879, DIN7380)

Most socket caps come with a standard hexagonal socket drive. Other options include security pin-in-hex, pin-in-torx, or six-lobe torx versions in certain sizes and materials.

6. Are there other factors to consider?

We’ve covered the most common variables including head style, diameter and thread, length, material and plating or finish. Here are a few of the other considerations you might be faced with based on the project and the bill of materials:

  • Do you need domestic parts or will imported screws work?
  • Do you require parts that conform to a specific mil-spec number, such as MS16995, MS16996, NAS1351 and NAS1352 with their exacting tolerances and traceability, or will standard commercial parts work?
  • Does your bill of materials calls out a specific manufacturer, such as Holo-krome or Blue Devil?

7. What level of certification is required?

Generally, a Certificate of Conformance or a COC is sufficient for your customer. Full certification with material certs, DFARS certification and test reports are often available for USA-made and mil-spec parts for a fee.

Socket Head Cap Screws Available at MF Supply

MF Supply is a leading supplier of Socket Head Cap Screws in alloy and stainless steel, including the brands Holo-krome and Blue Devil. We offer functional equivalents to the most popular national brands such as Fastenal, McMaster-Carr, MSC Industrial and Grainger.

Here at MF Supply, we offer:

  • The full range of commercial and mil-spec parts, including parts that are DFARS and ROHS compliant.
  • Brand names, generic equivalents, domestic and import.
  • Custom made parts per print in non-standard and exotic materials and finishes.
  • Inch and Metric sizes.
  • Stainless steel in 18-8, 316, A286, A2 and A4 (ASTM F837, F879).
  • Mil-spec MS16995, MS16996, NAS1351 and NAS1352.

For more detailed information about socket head cap screws, visit our website. And if you don’t see it listed, as always, ask us. “Finding the right screw for you” is our tag line after all!

For more than 40 years, MF Supply has helped American manufacturers streamline operations, saving them time and money with our sourcing expertise and unique supply chain strategies. We are a WBE/WOSB certified stocking distributor of fasteners and electronic components.

We work with the best-established factories in the United States and DFARS-certified countries, and stock a huge inventory including all major brands and equivalents. MF Supply provides solutions including: same-day drop ship direct from the factory; custom sizes, materials and plating options; and DFARS parts with full paperwork and Certificates of Conformance.

We creatively solve common problems including hard-to-find parts and long lead times. Our sourcing and reworking expertise includes fast turnaround for modification of existing parts, hard to find standards and specials, special threads, non-standard diameters and lengths, exotic materials, special platings and short runs. We provide functional equivalents to expensive brand name fasteners and help our customers save money while reducing lead times.

Follow our blog at http://mfsupplyblog.wordpress.com/


Buyer’s Guide for Using Functional Equivalents to OEM Brands

5 Things to Know when Comparing Fastener Brands to Generic Alternatives

This year, we’ve discussed how the trademarked brand Keensert® is often available as a Mil-Spec or generic branded key-locking insert. We also reviewed how national brands of precision shoulder screws, such as Amatom, Concord, RAF and others are also offered by McMaster-Carr (tight tolerance series), MSC, Grainger and generically.

But how exactly do you determine which categories of fasteners cross to generic alternatives? This guide offers creative solutions including when to cross, and how to save money and reduce long lead times by using brand alternatives.

1.  What is a functional equivalent when it comes to fasteners and precision components?  

You can find hundreds of registered trademark-branded fasteners and components in the industrial marketplace. Much like brand-name pharmaceuticals such as Tylenol and Advil are available generically (as acetaminophen and ibuprofen), some brand name fasteners are also available as “generics,” “crosses,” “alternatives” or “functional equivalents.”

In the world of fasteners, a functional equivalent fastener is a part that is the same as the brand-name product in form, fit and function, including material and plating specifications.

2.  How can I determine if I must use the brand name or if I can cross to a generic part?

Before you shop, check the bill of materials to see if it specifically calls out a particular brand name along with the part number. If no specific manufacturer’s name is listed, then you can typically use a functional equivalent.

Use this handy 4 point checklist as your guide:

  • Does your bill of materials specifically call for the OEM brand-name fastener or component?
  • Can you live with the lead time or will having parts sooner improve delivery of the final product?
  • Will your supplier provide a certificate of conformance?
  • Will saving money help you be more competitive?

3.  What categories of fasteners are available as generic or functional equivalents?

Popular categories include adhesives and sealants, anchors, bits and nutsetters, cage nuts, flex type lock nuts, handles, Keenserts, knurled thumb screws, nylon insert stop nuts,  precision shoulder screws, retaining rings, rivets & blind threaded inserts, self-clinching, fasteners, spacers and standoffs, speed clips, spring nuts, weld nuts, weld studs, and woodworking screws.

4.  What brands of fasteners should I consider crossing to their generic or functional equivalent?

A sample list of brands that have generic alternatives: 

3 STAR RIVETS USA, ABBATRON®, ALCOA, AMATOM®, APEX®, ARCONIC®, ATLAS®, AVDEL®, AVK®, B. F. GOODRICH, BOLLHOFF, BUCKEYE, CAPTIVE, CELUS®, CHERRY®, CONCORD, FASTENAL, GESIPA®, GRIPCO®, GLOBE ELECTRONICS, H. H. SMITH, HUCK, INDUX, INTERFAST, KEYSTONE, LOCTITE®, LYN-TRON, MACLEAN­ESNA®, MARSON®, MCMASTER-CARR, MISUMI, MSC INDUSTRIAL, PEM®, PIC DESIGN®, POP®, POWERS®, QUICKSCREWS, RAF, RED HEAD®, ROTOR CLIP®, SHEREX, SIMPSON, SOUTHCO®, SPS TECHNOLOGIES, TINNERMAN®, U. S. ANCHOR. VIP, W. M. BERG, W. W. GRAINGER, WALDES TRUARC®.

5.  What are the advantages of using functional equivalents?

Brand names are great, and when they are in stock, available and required by your customer, then you can buy them with confidence in their quality. However, one surefire way to save money and shorten delivery time is to cross the OEM brand part on your bill of materials to a functional equivalent.

Brands and Functional Equivalents at MF Supply

Supplying a full range of fastener products and services, MF Supply is an authorized distributor of Amatom/Carey, Captive (Pem equivalent), Chrislynn Inserts, Concord, EZ-Lok, Lok-mor, Lyn-tron, Microplastics, Shear-loc, S&M Retaining Rings, and Unicorp, as well as a distribution partner for many others. We have an expertise in dowel pins, inserts and Keenserts and domestic and Mil-Spec products.

We provide functional equivalents to expensive brand name fasteners and help our customers save money while reducing long lead times. Check out our recent case study where a functional equivalent was substituted for an OEM brand, reducing costs by 37% and shaving lead time. This time and money savings gave the manufacturer an advantage over their competition, which helped them win the job.

For more detailed information about brands we commonly cross, visit our website. And if you don’t see it listed, as always, ask us. “Finding the right screw for you” is our tag line after all!

MF Supply is a WBE/WOSB certified stocking distributor of precision fasteners and electronic components, specializing in precision hardware including precision shoulder screws. For more than 40 years, we have been supplying manufacturers in the electronics, industrial, commercial, aerospace and military markets with the full range of fastener products and services.


Precision Shoulder Screws Buyer’s Guide

5 Things to Know When Buying Precision Shoulder Screws

 

Just as Dowel Pins and Retaining Rings are used to locate or hold parts together within a precision assembly or a fixture, so are Precision Shoulder Screws. Yet shoulder screws are far more versatile. When installed, the unthreaded shoulder acts as a shaft for rotating items such as bearings and bushings, precision spacing, machinery support, and motion guiding. The exacting tolerance of Precision Shoulder Screws makes them ideal for use with other precision components. They are broadly used across various applications in many industries, including: aerospace, electrical motors, hydraulic equipment, instrumentation, tooling and fixtures, machinery, military and many more.

Our goal is to make the buying process easier. This guide offers creative solutions to help you save money and reduce long lead times by educating you on your options, including how to use brand alternatives.

  1. What is a Precision Shoulder Screw? 

Precision Shoulder Screws are generally classified as part of the electronic hardware family. They resemble socket cap screws with an enlarged, unthreaded cylindrical shoulder under the head, and are used to hold parts together within a precision assembly.  Sometimes referred to as “tight tolerance” shoulder screws, they are not governed by any official ANSI or ASME standard.

Precision shoulder screws are composed of three main parts: the head, the shoulder and the thread.

  1. What materials and sizes are available?

Precision Shoulder Screws are readily available off the shelf in type 18-8/303 stainless steel and 416 stainless steel.

Standard stock sizes for the shoulder diameter are Inch from 1/8 to 1/2 and Metric from M4 to M12. The thread class is 2A and the tolerance on the shoulder diameter varies from +.000/-.001 to -.0005 to -.0015 depending upon the manufacturer. Now that’s precise!

316 stainless steel, alloy and other exotic materials, and special diameters and lengths are available in certain sizes and/or for special order and usually involve a lead time.

  1. What information do I need for ordering?

The easiest way to order is by manufacturer part number. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to specify shoulder diameter, shoulder length, thread size, material and drive type; for example: 3/16” shoulder diameter x 1” long x 8-32 thread in SS18-8 with a hex-socket drive.

Precision shoulder screws are available in hex socket and slotted drives. Philips, torx and star drives may be available in certain sizes as well.

Typical head styles are a modified fillister with a flat top where the head diameter is about twice the head height and does not need to be specified. Low head fillisters are available in certain sizes.

  1. Are there other factors to consider?

YES! One surefire way to save money and shorten delivery time is to cross the OEM brand part on your bill of materials to a functional equivalent.

Popular brands include: Amatom, Cambion, Concord, Globe, HH Smith, Keystone, Lyn-tron, Misumi, Pic Design, RAF, and WM Berg. A comprehensive selection of Precision Shoulder Screws is also offered by McMaster-Carr (tight tolerance series), MSC, and Grainger.

Let’s take the above example of a 3/16” shoulder diameter x 1” long x 8-32 thread in SS18-8 (300 Series) with a hex-socket drive.  This part is offered by the seven brands (yes, seven!) listed below under the following part numbers:

  • Grainger 6JY20
  • Lyn-tron SS7431-00
  • McMaster-Carr 94035A208
  • MSC Industrial 67313726
  • Pic Design 4423
  • RAF 6931-SS
  • WM Berg PZ-14-3

You can also find Precision Shoulder Screws under their Mil-Spec numbers, which include MS51575 and MS51576 and are DFARS compliant with full paperwork. The above part is equivalent to a Mil-Spec MS51576-14.

  1. What level of certification is required?

Generally, a Certificate of Conformance or a COC is sufficient for your customer. Full certification with material certs and test reports are often available for USA-made and Mil-Spec parts for a fee.

Precision Shoulder Screws at MF Supply

We offer:

  • The full range of commercial and Mil-Spec parts, including parts that are DFARS and ROHS compliant.
  • Brand names and generic equivalents.
  • Custom made parts per print in non-standard and exotic materials and finishes.
  • Inch and metric sizes.

For more detailed information about Precision Shoulder Screws, visit our website. And if you don’t see it listed, as always, ask us. “Finding the right screw for you” is our tag line after all!

For more than 40 years, MF Supply has helped American manufacturers streamline operations, saving them time and money with our sourcing expertise and unique supply chain strategies. We are a WBE/WOSB certified stocking distributor of fasteners and electronic components.

We work with the best-established factories in the United States and DFARS-certified countries, and stock a huge inventory including all major brands and equivalents. MF Supply provides solutions including: same-day drop ship direct from the factory; custom sizes, materials and plating options; and DFARS parts with full paperwork and Certificates of Conformance. 

We creatively solve common problems including hard-to-find parts and long lead times. Our sourcing and reworking expertise includes fast turnaround for modification of existing parts, hard to find standards and specials, special threads, non-standard diameters and lengths, exotic materials, special platings and short runs. We provide functional equivalents to expensive brand name fasteners and help our customers save money while reducing lead times.

Follow our blog at http://mfsupplyblog.wordpress.com/


Dowel Pin Buyer’s Guide

dowel pin

 8 Things to Know When Buying Dowel Pins

If you are a manufacturer working with complex assemblies or fixtures, then you’re likely very familiar with precision dowel pins. Commonly used as a hinge, shaft or pivot to locate or hold assembled parts together, dowel pins can withstand frequent insertion and removal without distortion. They are broadly used across various applications in many industries, including: aerospace, electrical motors, hydraulic equipment, instrumentation, tooling and fixtures, machinery, military and many more.

Our goal is to help simplify the buying process for this sometimes complex and confusing category of fasteners.

1. What is a precision dowel pin? 

Dowel pins are solid, headless cylindrical shaped straight metal pins with a centerless ground finish. Manufactured to precise fractional diameters and lengths, dowel pins come in a variety of sizes, styles, designs and materials. This variability can cause confusion among buyers, engineers and end-users alike.

2. What materials and platings are available?

Precision dowel pins are available off the shelf in alloy steel (typically hardened) and stainless steel grades 18-8/303, 316 and 416 (typically hardened). Other exotic materials or special finishes are available for special order with a lead time.

3. What sizes are available?

Standard sizes include inch from 1/16″ to 1″ diameter, and metric from M1 to M20 diameter. Length options vary by diameter. Other diameters and special lengths are available for special order and usually involve a lead time.

4. When ordering, do I need to specify the dowel pin tolerance or call out attributes such as standard, undersized or oversized fit? 

Precision dowel pins often show up under their MIL-SPEC numbers, MS16555, MS16556 and Mil-P-21143. Metric dowel pins might show up under the following DINs and ISO numbers: DIN 7, DIN 6325, and ISO 2338 and 8734. Dowel pins might also show up under a manufacturer part number such as Pic, WM Berg, Unbrako or Holo-Krome. If you are ordering by MIL-SPEC, manufacturer’s part number or DIN, then the general attributes including tolerance and style are known. Here are a few of the other options that will help you order the correct pin:

The most common standard inch or imperial sized precision dowel pin is made to the ASME ANSI B18.8.2 spec and has a diameter tolerance of -0.00 / +0.0002 and length tolerance of +/-0.010. For example, a ¼” (0.25) diameter standard dowel pin will have a diameter between 0.2500–0.2502″.

The standard metric tolerance is related to the DIN. Both DIN 7 and DIN 6325 have a standard m6 diameter tolerance of +0.012mm / +0.004mm and a length tolerance related to the specific pin length.

Undersized series dowel pins are used for inconsistent holes. They have a basic diameter 0.0002″ under the nominal diameter. For example, a ¼” (0.25) diameter undersized dowel pin will have a diameter between 0.2500–0.2498″. The Mil-P-21143/2- falls into the undersized category.

Important note:  All pin options may not be available in all sizes and materials.

Finally, the Oversized series of dowel pins are usually used to fit into worn holes and are generally used in the aftermarket for repairs. These pins are only available off the shelf in steel in a small range of sizes.

5. Can I specify if I need radius or chamfer on the pin ends?

The pin style will depend upon the spec and the material. Precision dowel pins may come with either a double chamfer or a radius on one end and a chamfer on the other end. Specific style requirements are available for special order and usually involve a lead time.

6. What information do I need for ordering?

The easiest way to order is by either the manufacturer or MIL-SPEC part number. To order by description, you need the diameter, length and material and if applicable, and any special tolerance, plating or style requirements.

7. Do I need to buy special installation tools?

Just remember, no hammers! When installing dowel pins, never drive the pin into the hole with force. Always press it in for best results. And production favors pins since they require no extra fastening hardware for insertion, no secondary operations, and no mating parts. This ease-of-use adds up to speedier production, which makes everyone in the food chain happy!

8. What level of certification is required?

Generally, a Certificate of Conformance or a COC is sufficient for your customer. Full certification with material certs and test reports are often available for USA made and MIL-SPEC parts for a fee.

Dowel Pins at MF Supply

We offer:

  • The full range of commercial and MIL-SPEC parts, including parts that are USA made, DFARS and ROHS compliant.
  • Brand names and generic equivalents.
  • Custom-made parts per print in non-standard sizes and exotic materials and finishes.
  • Inch and metric sizes including ASME ANSI B18.8.2, DIN 7, DIN 6325, and ISO 2338 and 8734
  • Metric Precision Dowel pins including Press-Fit A, B and Slip-Fit C series and all MD series pins in 416 and 303 Stainless Steel.

For more than 40 years, MF Supply has helped American manufacturers streamline operations, saving them time and money with our sourcing expertise and unique supply chain strategies. We are a WBE/WOSB certified stocking distributor of fasteners and electronic components.

We work with the best-established factories in the United States and DFARS-certified countries, and stock a huge inventory including all major brands and equivalents. MF Supply provides solutions including: same-day drop ship direct from the factory; custom sizes, materials and plating options; and DFARS parts with full paperwork and Certificates of Conformance.

We creatively solve common problems including hard-to-find parts and long lead times. Our sourcing and reworking expertise includes fast turnaround for modification of existing parts, hard to find standards and specials, special threads, non-standard diameters and lengths, exotic materials, special platings and short runs. We provide functional equivalents to expensive brand name fasteners and help our customers save money while reducing lead times.

Follow our blog at http://mfsupplyblog.wordpress.com/


Case Study: Smart Manufacturers use Brand Equivalents to Save Time and Money

Newsletter
Volume 20
March 7, 2017

In our January blog we discussed how Keylocking Inserts are often referred to by their trademarked brand name Keensert®.  The Keensert® is not alone! Did you know that many brand name OEM fastening products and components can be crossed to a generic alternative equivalent product?

Before you shop, check to see if the bill of materials specifically calls out a particular brand name. If no specific manufacturer’s name is listed, then you can typically use a functional alternative or equivalent.   Using equivalents and alternatives to OEM brand names can be a smart way to reduce long lead times and/or cut expenses.

Check out this Case Study where an OEM brand was substituted with a functional equivalent, reducing costs by 37% and shaving lead time.  This time and money savings gave the manufacturer an advantage over their competition, which helped them win the job.

Little Known Ways to Save 37% and Shorten Delivery Times
 
ISSUE
Display Manufacturer is bidding on a job where the bill of materials calls for 15,000 pieces of an 8-32 x .312 brass insert by SPIROL®. SPIROL® has 265 local stock, 5000 due in 10 days, balance in 4-5 weeks. Based on this delivery schedule, the Display Manufacturer cannot meet their prospective client’s two week delivery requirement.

SUGGESTED SOLUTION
MF Supply gets a print of the part from SPIROL® and is able to cross it to an exact functional equivalent for an alternative brand we distribute and our factory has in stock. Samples of the alternative fasteners are delivered directly to the customer within 24 hours for inspection and testing.

The alternative sample fasteners are approved for production by the Display Manufacturer within 2 days. The prospective client approves the substitution and awards the manufacturer the business.  A Purchase Order for the inserts is issued to MF Supply. Within 48 hours, the complete 15,000 inserts are available from the factory and delivered to the Display Manufacturer.

TIME SAVINGS
-MF Supply functional equivalent fasteners shorten delivery time from 4-5 weeks to 2-3 days.

COST SAVINGS
-SPIROL® Price = .11938 each. Total cost $1790.
-MF equivalent price = .075 each. Total cost $1125.

SUMMARY / BENEFIT
-Cost savings of $665 or 37%.
-Display Manufacturer wins bid and is awarded job.
-Work is completed on time.
-Job is more profitable due to cost savings realized on fasteners.
-Job has been a repeater and a money maker for Display manufacturer.

In summary, if your bill of materials calls for an OEM brand fastener or component, find out if you must have the brand name product.  In cases where a generic or equivalent alternative part will work, there might be an opportunity to save money and shorten delivery time.

For more information about MF Supply contact:

Robin Lieberman, President
robin@mfsupply.com
973-777-5411


Keensert® Buyer’s Guide

Keensert® Buyer’s Guide

5 Things You Need to Know

If you are a precision manufacturer working in high-torque and high-temperature situations, you might already be familiar with Keensert® key-locking inserts.  Common uses include thread repair applications or to provide thread durability in situations such as aerospace assemblies, electronic equipment and suspension units.

But, what exactly are they and what should you know before buying them? We’d like to help you out with this quick buyer’s guide.

  1. What is a Keensert®?

A Keensert® is a solid bushing style insert that is threaded on both the inside and the outside, and has wedges or “keys” attached at the top. They are generically called key-locking inserts, and are used to distribute loads and repair or strengthen threads against failures due to stripping, seizing or corrosion.

Although the name Keensert® is often used generically (like Band-Aid® or Kleenex®), Keensert®  is the registered trademark of Huck Patents (its close cousin, the Keysert® is a registered trademark of Alcoa Fastening Systems.).

Before you shop, check to see if the bill of materials specifically calls out Huck or Alcoa brand as the Keensert®  manufacturer. If no specific manufacturer’s name is listed, then you can typically use an alternative like Rock Solid brand, a generic equivalent or cross to a MIL-SPEC part.  This becomes important due to price and availability of the brand name parts.

  1. What materials and sizes are available?

Keenserts are available off the shelf in 303 stainless steel or carbon steel. Standard diameters are: American #6-32 to 1 ½” and Metric  M4 to M24. Other diameters (starting at 2-56 and M2) and materials (including 316 stainless steel, and alloys 4140 and A286) are available for special order and usually involve a lead time.

  1. What information do I need for ordering?

To order, you’ll need the manufacturer’s part number or the internal and external thread and material. Alternatively, key-locking inserts often show up under their MIL-SPEC numbers, which can often be crossed to commercial equivalents. Common MIL-SPEC numbers include: MS51830, MS51831, MS51832, NAS1394, NAS1395, NA0146, NA0147, NA0148, NA0149, NA150, and NA0151.

  1. Do I need to buy special installation tools?

When purchasing key-locking inserts, check with your production department to make sure you have the tools you need to properly install inserts. You can buy kits that include a tap, drill, and installation tool.

  1. What level of certification is required?

Generally, a Certificate of Conformance or a COC is sufficient. Full certification with material certs and test reports are often available for a fee.

In summary, in order to have the most efficient Keensert shopping/buying experience, be prepared with the following information before you shop:  Do you need the Alcoa or Huck brand product or can you use a generic or MIL-SPEC alternative?  Make sure to have the manufacturer’s part number, MIL-SPEC part number or the internal/external thread and material.  Do you need an installation tool? Finally, check to see if you require a standard COC or full certs.

For more information about MF Supply contact:

Robin Lieberman, President
robin@mfsupply.com
973-777-5411

 


March, April, May Newsletter 2016

Newsletter

Volume 18

May 18, 2016

March, April, May News

Greetings and Happy Spring!  Can you believe we are almost one third into 2016!  On the business front, although the March PMI® index rose to 51.8% up from 48.2% in January, the April PMI®  fell to 50.8%, and the outlook in manufacturing remains mixed.

April’s PMI®  highlights are that new orders and production is growing, employment and inventories are contracting, and supplier deliveries are faster.

In this issue, we will cover some of the amazing resources available to the manufacturing and supply chain community.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1.    SBA EMERGING LEADERS-RUTGERS CASE STUDY

2.    MANUFACTURING RESOURCE ROUNDUP

3.    WHAT THE HECK IS A CERTIFICATE OF CONFORMANCE?

4     MF SUPPLY JOINS DPA

5.    GOING LEAN?

SBA EMERGING LEADERS-RUTGERS CASE STUDY

April 27 was my final presentation from The RCG (Rutgers Business School Consulting Group).  I received a 30 page report with a few strong recommendations for growth. The RCG recommends that MF Supply expands our web site and offers ecommerce for our top products, starting yesterday.  They also projected that we will have the best ROI with email marketing rather than Social Media programs like Facebook and Twitter.

So we have begun reworking our website and you will start seeing more emails from us.  Please let us know what topics turn you on vs. what tunes you out.  Check out our newly edited  About Us section and let us know what you think.

How important is e-commerce for you and your company as a buyer and as a seller? Do you prefer to shop online or by emailing in your Purchase Orders?  And how about on the sales side?  Do your customers want to buy your products on-line?  Are your main competitors online?  All the industry experts say that industrial buyers are starting to expect their work buying experience to resemble their personal buying experience.  I am curious to know your thoughts.

Interesting note for anyone working with buyers with “Set Aside” or “Diverse” buying requirements (hint: think the government)  – the RCG hit a dead end while exploring leveraging MF Supply’s WOSB and WBE Certification as a differentiator.  Too bad – the certification process was a ton of paperwork!  If anyone out there is finding success differentiating yourself as a Small, Women, Minority, Veteran or other Disadvantaged business, I’d love to know how!

And, a big thank you to the SBA for connecting me to Rutgers and many other resources.

 

MANUFACTURERS RESOURCE ROUNDUP

NJMEP Programs – Since I last wrote, I’ve attended 2 NJMEP workshops on Lean and Six Sigma.  I highly recommend connecting with your state MEP.  We also hired experts from the NJMEP to lead the MF team through their Destination Innovation program.  Funded in part by the DOD, this program is intended to help companies in the Defense Department Supply chain grow in commercial sectors as DOD spending has decreased. They gave us tools to help define our unique value proposition and spur product innovation. One idea that came up was the concept of inventory planning for our customers.  I will be reaching out to you to gauge your interest in having MF Supply help you do inventory forecasting as a value added service.

Free Employee Training – Did you know there is free training available to your employees through state funded Workforce Development programs?  During the first 2 weeks in May, we sent Dave & Andy to Excel training at Bergen Community College in Paramus, compliments of the NJ taxpayers! Thanks everyone for helping us learn and grow! Email us to create a pivot table for you (just kidding!).  For more info about available programs in NJ, email Louisa Emirzian at lemirzian@bergen.edu.

Commerce and Industry Manufacturing Roundtable – On March 14, I participated in the CIANJ sponsored Manufacturing Roundtable at Triangle Manufacturing in Saddle River.  It’s a super cool facility that makes custom prosthetics and many other precision parts.  We learned that the State of NJ is developing workforce programs and making investments in the following industries: Advanced manufacturing, Logistics and Supply Chain.  Check out their Manufacturing Resource book for some great info.

Women in Manufacturing – A new chapter of WIM is being launched right here in New Jersey!  The first meeting was held at Sandvik Coromant on April 27th. If you know any women in manufacturing, please send them my way, I’d love to recruit them to join me and the growing NJ chapter.

Amazon in NJ – Amazon is opening 2 distribution centers right here in NJ and is planning to hire over 2000 people.  It’s not manufacturing, but it is logistics, which is a growth industry in NJ.  Very exciting!

What is Aerogistics? – Did you know that aerospace is growing and so are their logistic needs and supply chains? Hence, a new term: “Aerogistics” is coined.  Check out the amazing resources available through UPS that help inform on market trends and solutions in the aerospace logistics world.

WHAT THE HECK IS A COC?

Do you or your customers require a COC for your products?  Do you know if they are asking for a Certificate of Compliance or a Certificate of Conformance?  In April we attended Webinar training from the Fastener Training Institute which clarified some of the most common concepts when it comes to Certifications, Test Reports and Lot Traceability. Here are a few definitions for your enjoyment:

Certificate of Conformance – a record affirming a fastener has met the requirements of the relevant specification, contract or regulation.

Certificate of Compliance – a Certification of Conformance signed by an authorized party.

Material Test Report – a record signed by an authorized party, attesting the raw material is in accordance with specified requirements, including the actual results of required chemical analysis tests and examinations.

Lot – a batch of one part number, submitted for inspection at one time. The “lot” has been made from the same batch of raw material and parts have been produced together under the same conditions and heat treatment process.

MF SUPPLY JOINS DPA

As a member of the DPA Industrial family, MF Supply can now help you with more product categories and pass along fabulous savings on many more items including:

  • Industrial
  • Tools
  • Safety Equipment & Clothing
  • Packaging
  • Janitorial/Sanitorial

Please email me at sales@mfsupply.com to request a full catalog. We’re eager to see if we can help save you time and money by becoming a single source for more of your industrial needs.

GOING LEAN REVISITED

So far this year I have attended informational training in the disciplines of Six Sigma, Lean Operations and Production and Inventory Management planning.  We are determining which area has the best ROI – for ourselves and our customers and are interested in your feedback.

Are the members of your team certified in any of these areas?  Have you gotten value from your continuing education and are you using it to make improvements in your company? I’d love to hear from you regarding this topic.

Regards,

Robin Lieberman

President

robin@mfsupply.com

 

 


Newsletter – January / February 2016

 

Newsletter
Volume 18
February 12, 2016
January / February News
Greetings and Happy February!  We started 2016 fast out of the gate and are ramping up for a strong Q1, despite a PMI index of 48.2%, reports of contraction in the manufacturing sector and the volatility that sometimes occurs during election years.  I hope you are experiencing growth!
Today, I am continuing our discussion on thought leadership within the American Manufacturing community. Additionally, I am glad to get back to our “What the Heck Is that” roots and put the spotlight on one of our best-selling products, the Socket Head Cap Screw.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
1.    SBA EMERGING LEADERS
2.    WHAT THE HECK IS A SOCKET HEAD CAP SCREW?
3.    MANUFACTURING ROUNDTABLE AND THE NJMEP
4.    MF SUPPLY JOINS DPA
5.    GOING LEAN?
Since graduating on October 27, I have been introduced to many amazing resources.  One exciting development I wanted to share with you is that MF Supply was selected as a case study class for Rutgers Business School. What does that mean, you ask?  Well, between now and April 20th, a group of smart and creative Rutgers MBA candidates are analyzing MF Supply and our marketplace. They will use BIG DATA and other tools, and present recommendations including an ROI on where we should focus our energies to grow. One of their initial thoughts was that MF Supply should be targeting companies with Set-Aside needs or Diverse buying initiatives.  If you hadn’t heard, MF Supply is a WBE and WOSB certified business, which means if your customer has Set Aside needs, we should be talking!  I am so excited for this project and am thankful to the SBA for connecting me to Rutgers and other resources.
If you are curious to know more about the SBA-EL program (in NJ or your state), or think you or someone you know might benefit from participating, please check out these two articles about the program inNJBIZ and American Entrepreneurship Today to find out more. To apply, please email Dominick.Belfiore@sba.gov and tell him I sent you!

 
Socket Head Cap Screws or socket caps, which are sometimes referred to by their trademarked name “Allen” screws, have become the standard among high strength fasteners needed to withstand the faster speeds and higher pressure of today’s machines, instruments and assemblies.  They are externally threaded, with a cylindrical head with a flat chamfered top, and a hexagonal recess for internal wrenching.
Who uses Socket Head Cap Screws?
Because of their cylindrical shaped heads and internal wrenching installation method, socket cap screws need less space than alternative fasteners.  This makes socket caps ideal for precision assembly work with close tolerances and applications that need a well tooled appearance.
Common uses include machine parts, die fixtures and assemblies.
Why use a Socket Cap vs a Hex Head Cap Screw?  
We don’t want to play favorites, but here are a few advantages of using socket caps:
Size matters– The smaller socket head enables driving where there is not sufficient space for wrenches or sockets. In addition, Socket caps are available off the shelf starting as small as 0-80 diameter and are commonly available to diameter 1-1/2-6.  Hex Head Cap screws start at 1/4-20 diameter.
Strength – Alloy Steel Socket Caps, though not measured in grades, provide greater tensile strength than equivalent size Grade 5 or Grade 8 steel Hex Head Cap screws.  i.e. 1/4-20 Socket cap=180k psi min, 1/4-20 Hex Head Grade 5 =120k psi min,  1/4-20 Hex Head Grade 8 =150k psi min.
Torque  – The 6 flat surfaces within the recess allow for high torquing without damaging the head,  and with no side clearance restrictions or additional wrench space.
Thread fit- Socket products generally have a 3A thread fit.  3A threads have restrictive tolerances often used where safety is a critical design consideration. Hex Head Cap Screws are generally class 2A.  2A threads offer a combination of performance, economy, and convenience. Nearly 90% of all commercial and industrial fasteners have a 2A fit.
Economy –  Socket Cap heads are smaller, hence, the size of the component parts can be reduced, reducing material costs.  Smaller parts cost less to drill and tap, take less energy to drive, and weigh less than alternatives.
What options are available?
The most common variables are the head style, diameter and thread, length, material and plating or finish.  Socket caps can also be captivated, vented, patched or pelleted.  Below are some of the most common options:
 
HEAD STYLES
There are 4 main available head styles, and each serves a slightly different purpose. All commercial Socket Caps conform to ASME B18.3.
 
Standard Head  – the standard in Socket Head Cap Screws (ASTM A574, F835, DIN912)
Low Head – Use in parts too thin for standard height heads and where clearance is limited (DIN7984)
Flat Head  – Countersunk heads at 82 degrees provide maximum flushness and side wall contact  (ASTM F835, F879, DIN7991)
Button Head – For use in materials too thin to countersink (ASTM F835, F879, DIN7380)
DRIVES
The most common and readily available drive style is a hexagonal socket drive, however, Socket Caps may also be available in security pin-in-hex, pin-in-torx, or six-lobe torx versions in certain sizes and materials.
Are there other factors to consider?
Of course!  “Steel” Socket Caps off the shelf are alloy steel black oxide through heat treatment and come oiled. If you need greater corrosion resistance or a different look than black, consider stainless steel or zinc plating.
If you are considering zinc plated Socket Caps, proceed with caution! Because of their tight tolerances and 3A fit, zinc plating a Socket Cap will often change the thread fit to a commercial nut fit.  If you need a 3A fit, you must specify that on your purchase order so the factory can meet your thread fit needs when creating and plating your screws.
Beyond color and plating, there are always other factors to consider, such as: domestic or import, commercial or mil-spec, with or without sprinkles :). And remember, Socket Head Cap Screws can also show up under their most popular domestic brand names (Holo-krome) and mil-spec number (MS16995, MS16996, NAS1351 and NAS1352).    If you have any questions, please reach out and ask!
Socket Head Cap Screws available at MF Supply
Here at MF Supply, we offer:
  • The full range of commercial and mil-spec parts, including parts that are DFARS and ROHS compliant.
  • Brand names (Holo-krome), generic equivalents, domestic and import.
  • Custom made parts per print in non-standard and exotic materials and finishes.
  • Inch and Metric sizes.
  • Stainless steel in 18-8, 316, A286, A2 and A4 (ASTM F837, F879).
For more detailed information on Socket Head Cap Screws, visit us at http://www.mfsupply.com/category_s/1869.htm
MANUFACTURERS ROUNDTABLE – NJMEP
Did you ever get an invitation that piqued your interest, and show up at an event wondering if it would be worth your time?  On January 27, I said yes to an NJMEP invitation to a Manufacturers Roundtable, hosted by Bergen Community College. I am so glad I went!
Assemblyman Gary Schaer, along with 30 manufacturers, educators and other advocates discussed ways we can support manufacturing in NJ.  Many connections were made, and last week, a group of 10 of the students from Bergen’s current CNC training class visited MF Supply to learn more about the Supply chain. They were a bright, motivated and very impressive group of students.  If you are hiring, great!  I’d love to connect you to the team at Bergen Community College.
And get yourself on the NJMEP (or if you are outside of NJ, contact your state’s MEP) email list to find out about relevant events and programs that just might be a difference maker for your business.
On November 1, 2015  we were officially welcomed into the DPA Industrial family.  What does this mean for our customers?  We can now help you with more product categories and pass along fabulous savings on many more items including:
  • Industrial
  • Safety Equipment & Clothing
  • Packaging
  • Janitorial/Sanitorial
Please contact me to set up a meeting to see if we can help save you time and money by becoming a single source for more of your industrial needs.
GOING LEAN
Since our core values include striving for achievement, self improvement and growth, we are exploring Lean certification. Is being Lean one of your initiatives? Check out this inspirational video about how Lean processes lead to immediate improvements in a NYC foodbank.   Enjoy the video by clicking here!
Regards,
Robin Lieberman
President
P.S. We are closed on February 15 in observance of President’s Day. Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy long weekend and Valentine’s Day from the entire team here at MF Supply.

November 2015 Newsletter

Newsletter

Volume 17

November 17, 2015

NOVEMBER NEWS

It’s been a few months since our last update, but I am back and ready to finish the year strong!  With less than 45 days left before we welcome in 2016, we have a lot to do and many exciting updates to share.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

  1. SBA EMERGING LEADERS
  2. NJ MARKETSHIFT
  3. AWMI – NUCOR STEEL MILL TOUR
  4. RECAP OF MFG DAY
  5. MF SUPPLY JOINS DPA
  6. COMIC RELIEF

In our last issue, I discussed some of MF Supply’s current initiatives, including 1) Building upon our business relationships;  2) Growing our business through referrals & alliance partners and 3) Thought leadership and helping the American manufacturing community grow.

Today, I am reaching out regarding initiative #3.

 SBA EMERGING LEADERS

On October 27, along with 17 other NJ business leaders, I graduated from the NJ SBA Emerging Leaders class of 2015.  Woo hoo!  What a great accomplishment.  I learned so much, including how to read and use financial statements and ratios, the difference between a prime and a subcontractor, ways to market to each and much much more!  If you are interested, I am happy to share my 3 year growth plan and program highlights with you.

If you are curious to know more about the program or think you or someone you know might benefit from participating, please check out these two articles about the program in NJBIZ and  American Entrepreneurship Today to find out more.

MARKETSHIFT NJ

Are you part of the Aerospace & Defense Industry supply chain?  If so, I recommend you get to know the NJMarketShift program.  If you haven’t heard, NJIT was awarded a $5.67M (not a typo!!) grant to create MarketShift. Under the leadership of the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), they will use the money to change the face of the New Jersey Aerospace & Defense (A&D) industry.  How, you ask?  By helping members to:

  1. Build new alliances
  2. Find new customers
  3. Create new products
  4. Explore new markets

Since I was curious to see the program in action, on September 17, I attended the MarketShift NE NJ Design Forum at Sandvik Coromant in Fairlawn.  Along with a group of about 50 attendees, I was introduced to MarketShift Intelligence, a database being developed to help fulfill NJ MarketShift’s mission.  The application mines the New Jersey A&D supplier network for intelligence tailored to answer specific questions and drive action regarding potential alternative customers, partners, suppliers, markets, and technologies.

My key take away from this event was that the team at MarketShift is creatively looking to help the A&D Supply chain grow and there are many ways they can help. The Sandvik event  was just one of the ways MarketShift delivers on its goal to increase the strength of NJ’s A&D economy in the global marketplace.  So exciting!

If I’ve piqued your interest, let me know.  I can hook you up with the right people to talk to.  And by the way, Sandvik Coromant is an amazing company with extensive training and knowledge resources for manufacturers. Check out the training offered at their Fairlawn location.

I’d also love to hear from you if you have attended any of the Sandvik trainings.

 AWMI – NUCOR STEEL MILL TOUR

Have you ever thought about how steel bar is made?  On September 10, I visited my first steel mill (Nucor), along with 22 associates from the AWMI (The Association of Women in Metal – yes, it’s a real group).  What an eye-opening experience!  Nucor, a family of 200 facilities, is the largest manufacturer of steel products in North America. So awesome! GM Doyle Hopper talked with us about Nucor way (safety first!) and Nucor’s position in the global steel market.

The highlight for me was the tour of Nucor’s Wallingford, CT plant where they manufacture up to 300,000 tons of wire rod and rebar and 85,000 tons of wire and structural mesh a year. Wowser!  I watched in fascination as superhot glowing metal traveled along a conveyor system beneath and then next to us, changing its size and shape as it went.

If you would like to find out more about AWMI (which is 40% men by the way!), please contact Marianne Steiner @ marianne@steinerind.com.

RECAP OF MANUFACTURING DAY

Did you participate in National Manufacturing Day on October 2nd?  Here in New Jersey, 400+ attendees gathered at The Palace in Somerset, NJ for the annual Made in New Jersey event.

The celebration is designed to expand knowledge about and improve the general public’s perception of manufacturing careers and the industry’s value to the economy.  Get the full recap and meet the winners, presented on the NJMEP website.  Manufacturing is 8% of NJs GDP after all!

 MF SUPPLY JOINS DPA

On November 1, 2015 we were officially welcomed into the DPA Industrial family.  What does this mean for our customers?  We can now help you with more product categories and pass along fabulous savings on many more items including:

  • Industrial
  • Safety Equipment & Clothing
  • Packaging
  • Janitorial

Please contact me to set up a meeting to see if we can help save you time and money by becoming a single source for more of your industrial needs.

COMIC RELIEF

I’d like to close this Newsletter with some comic relief.  Enjoy the video by clicking here!

 

Regards,

Robin Lieberman

President

robin@mfsupply.com

P.S.  We are closed on November 26-27 in observance of Thanksgiving.  Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday from the entire team here at MF Supply.

 


August 2015 Newsletter

Newsletter

Volume 15

August 25, 2015

 

August News

 

We hope this email finds you well and business is booming!  I’m writing to thank you for your business, update you on what’s happening here at MF Supply and ask for your feedback.

We’ve been busy!  Recently, MF Supply renewed both our Woman Owned Business Certification [WBE] and our status as federal supplier [Cage Code 58QG4].  So exciting!  In April, I was selected to the SBA Emerging Leaders class of 2015.  In June, I spoke about Pay per Click advertising at the NJTMA conference, and in September, I am scheduled to speak at training at Festo Didactic in Eatontown, NJ.

OUR THREE CURRENT INITIATIVES

As part of our growth plan, I am currently working on three initiatives: 1) Building upon our business relationships with existing loyal clients like you; 2) Growing our business through referrals from clients and referral partners; and 3) Thought leadership and helping the American manufacturing community grow.  Today, I am reaching out regarding initiative #1.

Recently, I was interviewing a great client for one of my SBA-EL projects.  After over 20 years of business together, he was not 100% familiar with the full scope of MF Supply’s capabilities.  One of the questions I asked him was, “Does our marketing material encourage you to make a purchase?” His response was, “I don’t think I am familiar with your marketing material.”  SHAME ON US!  That is the lead in to the next section of this newsletter.

HELP US HELP YOU

Take a moment and think about two questions:

1) Are you familiar with all the products we can help you with and all the problems we can solve for you?

2) Do you have a wish list or feedback regarding other products or services where we might add value?

 

We continually expand our product line, and have recently added Spring Plungers, EZ-Lok inserts, Keenserts, Military and Domestic Dowel Pins, a full line of Mil-spec DFAR products with full certifications, Retaining and much more!    As a reminder, below is a list of some of the things we do to save you time and money, and to make the buying process easier:

  • McMaster-Carr, Grainger, MSC, Newark Electronics, Fastenal – We can help you save on stainless steel, metric, inserts, dowel pins, retaining rings, loctite alternatives and more!
  • Alternatives to expensive brand name fasteners – we can help you save thousands of dollars on alternatives to Concord, RAF, Southco, PEM, Heli-coil, Loctite and many others!
  • Sourcing hard to find parts quickly – Let us do the hard work for you and save you precious time.
  • Custom manufacturing/Short lead times needed – Send us your prints and let us show you what we can do, fast, right here in the USA.
  • Domestic and Mil-spec – Try us for your domestic, DFARS and military needs. We are tremendously excellent at Stainless Steel, Keenserts, Helical Inserts and Dowel Pins!
  • Industrial Rubber products- Including hoses, hose clamps, gaskets, o-rings and more.
  • Our Brands-  Amatom/Carey, Captive (Pem), Chrislynn Inserts,Concord, EZ-Lok, Lyn-tron, Microplastics, Shear-loc, S&M Retaining Rings, Unicorp and we are a supply chain partner to many others!

EASY WAYS WE CAN HELP YOU IMMEDIATELY

Please send us samples, prints and competitor’s or manufacturer’s part numbers to quote. We look forward to the opportunity to knock your socks off by helping you with both existing and new products and services.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

MF Supply is a distributor of Vibra-Tite  threadlocking products, one of the world’s market leaders in anaerobics, cyanoacrylates, epoxies and ultra-violet technologies.Vibra-Tite materials can be compared to other name brand products like Loctite, but at a COST SAVING OF UP TO 40%.  Send us your Loctite RFQs so you can do a comparison.

COMIC RELIEF

I’d like to close this Newsletter with some comic relief.  Enjoy the video by clicking here!

Regards,

 

Robin Lieberman

President

robin@mfsupply.com

P.S.  If you would like to chat about the SBA-Emerging Leaders class and learn more about some of the amazing books  (Duct Tape Marketing) and resources (the UCEDC) I’ve accessed through the class – shoot me an email.  I love to share! –