Monday, 15 June 2015 00:00

Then and Now: How Automotive Manufacturing Has Evolved

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Every aspect of the automotive manufacturing industry is evolving in order to respond to a demand for lighter, smaller, stronger and more cost-efficient parts. From major mechanical components, right down to the fasteners that hold it all together, no opportunity for improvement has been overlooked. In particular, over the past few years, fastener manufacturers have made great strides in improving performance. Much of their success has been the result of new threading strategies and heat-treating processes that improve strength.

Threading Has Come a Long Way

taptite animationOne of the biggest areas of innovation when it comes to improving automotive fasteners has been in the area of threading. Any screw or bolt is designed with specific threads that dictate how much torque is needed to tighten or loosen a screw and how much force a fastener can withstand. Changing the thread can increase the strength of the fastener and create a tighter bond that will withstand vibrations, impacts and other forms of stress that any automobile goes through on a daily basis.

Even seemingly minor adjustments to threading can have a huge effect on overall performance. Fastener companies have been experimenting with the limitations of different designs and re-writing the traditional rules of threading design to create a new generation of stronger fasteners. For automotive manufacturers, this means better products. For drivers, this means safer, more reliable vehicles that will last longer and perform ever better.

Saving Time and Money with Cold Forming

Traditionally, fasteners were created through a machining process that required skilled labor and resulted in a significant amount of waste materials. The cost of excess material was passed on to the customer. Today, companies like Akko Fastener employ an innovative cold forming process that moves rather than cuts metal. This technique not only allows fasteners to be produced more rapidly, it also means less waste. Cold forming is both more time efficient and cost effective, allowing customers to enjoy higher quality products for less money.

Adding Heat to Strengthen Metals

Cold Heading Slow MotionCold Heading Process - Slow Motion Video

Advances in heat-treating have also helped create smaller yet stronger fasteners. By exposing metals to extreme heat, the chemical properties of the alloys go through a transformation at the molecular level. Under the right conditions, metal fasteners can actually be made stronger by exposing them to the right amount of heat for the right amount of time. While this method has been in use for many years, recent discoveries have made it even more effective and helped manufacturers to create stronger products through a straightforward process.

Looking to the Future

While existing fasteners have certainly held their own in the automotive world, the cars of the future will need to be lighter and stronger than ever. The bar for performance and value continues to be raised and manufacturers are racing to keep up with the demands of consumers and new technology. So far, it appears that when it comes to automotive fasteners; the designers, engineers and manufacturers have successfully answered the call. Their products are an integral part of being able to create lighter, stronger and more cost-efficient vehicles that are also safer than ever before.

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If you would like more information on our cold heading or forming process and want to know more about its benefits, feel free to contact Akko Fastener by clicking on the button on the right. Fill in a simple “Contact Us” form and one of our representatives will contact you right away..

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