The Essential Guide to Speed Fastening Systems

Understand the benefits of using a Speed Fastening system, how to select the right Speed Fastener, and how to install them. 

Introduction

Anyone who has ever had to install rivets or blind fasteners understands how time-consuming it can be to have to load the mandrel one fastener at a time. Precision fastener installation takes attention, and it can be tedious work, especially if you are using the same type of fasteners on a large job, such as assembly work or on a production line. Fortunately, there are Speed Fastening systems to simplify the task.

As the name implies, speed fasteners are designed to provide easy and fast installation of blind fasteners. The concept is simple: Rather than manually loading the mandrel for each fastener, Speed Fastening systems have the fasteners already loaded onto a longer mandrel, so after each fastener is set, the next one is immediately ready to go. The result is a substantial savings in production time and costs.

Speed Fastening systems are ideal for applications in which the same fastener type is applied throughout the job, such as in manufacturing or assembly work. The same fasteners are stacked on the mandrel, so all you have to do is place and pull. This approach not only reduces installation time but also promotes consistency and reduces rework and inspection time.

Stanley Engineered Fastening is the leader in the market with its Avdel line of speed fasteners. Avdel engineers estimate that speed fasteners can cut installation cycle time to less than two seconds. In fact, if you are efficient, you can install as many as 60 speed fasteners per minute. This makes Speed Fastening systems efficient for small as well as large jobs. If you are installing more than 10 breakstem fasteners at once, then speed fasteners are sure to save you time and money.

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Essential Guide to Speed Fastening Systems

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Chapter 1

The Birth of Speed Fastener Systems

Speed fasteners were originally developed for airplane manufacturing in the 1930s by French engineer Jacques Chobert, the creator of the blind rivet.

Chobert originally developed the blind rivet to make manufacturing more efficient, so rivets could be installed from one side of the material and by one person rather than two. Chobert’s system called for rivets to be loaded onto a mandrel and placed in a pre-drilled hole. Once the rivet was inserted in the hole, the mandrel would pull the blind side of the rivet, drawing the two pieces of material together and forming a bulb on the blind side for a strong, lasting joint.

Chobert’s blind fasteners were revolutionary, but they still required rivets to be manually loaded and set one at a time. Breakstem rivets also required that the stem of the fasteners be broken off once each set was complete, which meant 60 percent of the fastener material was wasted and had to be collected. Chobert was determined to make his fastener system more efficient and less wasteful.

By creating a longer mandrel and using precision fasteners cut to size, Chobert created a way to install fasteners faster and without waste. Loading the longer mandrel with multiple fasteners made it possible to improve the placement cadence, making it simpler to install one rivet after another. This led to the creation of the first magazine-fed fastener system.

Today, speed fastener systems either use bowl systems that hold hundreds of fasteners to feed the riveting tool or they use prepackaged rivets arranged in preloaded paper magazines. These paper magazines slide onto the mandrel, and when you peel the paper away, the mandrel is loaded and ready to go. Speed fasteners also eliminate wasted metal and the need to pick up breakstem pieces.

Chapter 2

Bringing Efficiency to Many Applications

Having proven their value in aviation manufacturing, speed fastener systems have become widely used in a variety of applications—anywhere repetitive, precise fastener installation is required.

For example, just as speed fastener systems can be used to make airplanes, they can be used for other light metal assembly applications, such as truck trailers, rail cars, and the like.

The assembly line is one area where speed fasteners have increased efficiency. In automotive manufacturing, for example, speed fasteners dramatically speed up production. The same can be said for many types of manufacturing, from hot tub construction to boat building.

Speed fasteners also are widely used in electronic sub assembly. Specialty fasteners made from brass and aluminum are ideal for attaching circuit boards. Fasteners can be used to hold subassemblies in place, and even installed as standoff pillars for printed circuit boards (PCBs) using rivets with a threaded bore.

You also will find blind fasteners used in manufacturing lighting systems and household goods. These assemblies are likely produced using speed fastener systems.

Any application in which speed and efficiency are important will benefit from speed fastener systems. Specialty tools and mandrel types can be found for any application, and specialty rivets and fasteners are available in virtually any material, length, diameter, and finish.

Chapter 3

Selecting the Right Speed Fastener

To get the maximum benefit from any speed fastener system, you have to choose the right components for the job.

That means choosing the right combination of fasteners, mandrels, nose equipment, and tools for the job. You also want to make sure you use the correct fastener material. Fasteners are available in steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and brass, with domed, low-profile, and countersunk heads.

When selecting the right speed fastener system, you have other considerations as well. For example, does the fastener need to be removed, or is a threaded standoff pillar required? Is a high clamp or wide grip required? Do you need a wide head or controlled clamp pressure for softer materials? These are just a few criteria to consider when choosing the right speed fastener system.

Choosing Speed Fastener

 

Chapter 4

Types of Speed Fasteners

As the market leader in Speed Fastening systems, Avdel offers a variety of speed fastener types, each designed to deliver optimal performance for certain applications.

Here is a breakdown of Avdel’s nine most popular speed fasteners:

NeoSpeedNeoSpeed® - The NeoSpeed is a wide-grip fastener with a splined rivet, designed for both strength and versatility. One rivet can be used to replace several standard-grip fasteners. Available in sizes from 1/8-3/16 inches (3.2-4.8 mm), the NeoSpeed is available in aluminum alloy, steel, and stainless steel and is commonly used in automotive manufacturing, electronics, electrical equipment, and light fabrication.

BrivBriv® - The Briv is a high-shear, high-clamp fastener with a bulbed tail for softer materials that is designed to expand when set to fill the hole. The Briv is available in aluminum alloy, steel, stainless steel, and brass in diameters from 3/32-15/64inches (2.4-6 mm) with domed or countersunk heads. It is ideal for electronic components, sheet metal domestic appliances, furniture assembly, and similar applications.

ChobertChobert® - Specifically designed for soft and brittle materials, the Chobert has a controlled clamp to ensure a consistent light clamp. It is available in aluminum alloy, steel, or brass with dome, low-profile, or countersunk heads and comes in diameters ranging from 3/32-1/4 inches (2.4-6.4 mm). It is widely used in consumer appliances, to assemble injection molding components, and for electronic components.

Double Flush Chobert

Double Flush Chobert® - The Double Flush Chobert has a countersunk head and is commonly used with very thin sheet metal. It is designed to offer a flush surface on both sides of a joint. The Double Flush Chobert’s diameter is 1/8 inches (3.2 mm), and it is used in HVAC assembly, automotive applications, appliances, computer assembly, and similar applications.

GrovitGrovit® - Designed for blind hole applications, the Grovit has annular grooves and expands during installation for a solid, vibration-resistant joint. The Grovit is made of zinc-plated steel or aluminum alloy with a dome head and comes in diameters from 3/32-5/32 inches. It is ideal for use with softer materials such as wood, plastics, or fiberglass.

RivscrewRivscrew® - The Rivscrew is a removable threaded fastener made of steel, so it is quick to install and can be removed like any screw. It is typically used for applications such as aluminum die-cast boxes, heat sinks for semiconductors, PCBs and chassis assemblies, and similar applications that use plastics, nylon, polycarbonate, and soft materials. It is available in diameters from 2.8-4.8 mm.

Rivscrew PLRivscrew PL® - Designed specifically for use with soft and hard plastics, the Rivscrew PL has a special thread design to accommodate different types of plastics. It comes in diameters from 3.0-4.5 mm.

AvtronicAvtronic® - Avdel’s Avtronic speed fasteners are specifically for attaching connectors to PCBs. They feature annular grooves on the fastener body that expand during installation, and they come in brass or aluminum for connections to PCBs.

AvsertAvsert® - This fastener is a stand-off pillar for PCBs with a threaded bore, and it is made of electro-tin plated brass and aluminum alloy. The Avsert comes in 2.5 mm and 2.8 mm diameters and is typically used for DIN and other connectors, heat sinks, and similar applications.

AvlugAvlug® - The Avlug is for solderable terminal posts in PCBs. Available in diameters from 1/16-1/8 inches (1.6 mm-3.2 mm), the Avlug is made of electro-tin plated brass and comes with a dome head. These fasteners are typically used for terminal wraps and wire posts.

Chapter 5

Installation and Installation Tools

In addition to selecting the right kind of fastener, you need to choose the right installation approach, including the right tools.

You want to scale the installation system to the required task in order to optimize installation, maximize fastener performance, and promote cost-effective production.

Matching the right installation tools to the application ensures smooth, trouble-free installations. If you consider the installation equipment an integral part of the speed fastener system, you can be sure to have smoother production. Matching the right installation equipment to the job and to the fastener has a number of benefits:

  • It ensures a reliable fastener feed, which delivers higher speed.

  • You can cut assembly cycle times to one or two seconds.

  • Fast magazine reload times shorten production time even more.

  • It simplifies single-side assembly.

  • Matching the right tools to the fastener minimizes maintenance costs.

  • You can scale production to meet your needs, from low-volume batches to automated assembly lines.

There are three basic approaches to speed fastener installation. Each type of tooling is designed to accommodate different production levels and fastener volumes.

Power Tools

Ideal for low-power production (up to 250,000 per year), hand-operated power tools speed production and repairs. Avdel offers three hand-held pneumatic tool for speed fasteners:

Avdel 7350

7350 Hand-Held Pneumatic Tool - Lightweight and made of aluminum with an outer high-impact resistant nylon handle shell, the 7350 can install up to 1,500 fasteners per hour (with an average cycle time of two seconds). It has a high-capacity magazine, including a bowl-feed option to cut reloading time. It also features a long-reach barrel to get into tight places, and it can be mounted on a balancer.

Avdel 73577357 Hand-Held Pneumatic Tool - This is a lightweight, hand-operated speed fastener tool that has an average cycle time of one second to increase productivity. It is a pneumatic powered tool, making it more versatile and more powerful. The 7357 can handle the same range of fasteners and the same nose equipment as the 7530. It can also be mounted on a tool balancer for “top- down” assembly line use.

Avdel 75367536 Hand-Held Pneumatic Tool - This pistol style tool is designed to handle the entire family of Avdel speed fasteners. It even comes with a control box and air cursor for small-diameter fasteners. To reduce shock, it uses hydraulics to dampen shock during speed fastener placement, and it uses the same common parts as the 7530.

Avdel 72717271 Hand-Held Pneumatic Tool - Made of lightweight aluminum with a protective blue PVC cover boot, this is an all-pneumatic high-performance tool designed for rapid, blind-side speed fastener installation. In addition to a two-second cycle time and high-capacity magazine, the unit also features an adjustable broach load using nylon stops. This allows accurate control of tool recoil and prevents mandrel damage.” The all-pneumatic design is highly reliable, eliminating the need for servicing hydraulic fluid and seals.

Workstations

For medium-volume production from 250,000-1 million fasteners per year, Avdel offers three single-head workstations. These workstations can be adapted to almost any production process and are easy to operate with very little training, and they can handle the entire line of Avdel fasteners:

Avdel PantographPantograph Workstation - With the tool supported on an extendable arm, this workstation has a wide arm reach of more than 0.8 meters. It is designed for single-end operation and can be bench- or floor-mounted.

Fixed Arm WorkstationFixed-Arm Workstation - This workstation supports the fastener tool in place on a fixed arm and features a foot pedal control for hands-free operation. It easily aligns with the workpiece, and the height of the arm is totally adjustable.

Underbench WorkstationUnderbench Workstation - To minimize space, this unit is mounted below the workbench to create more workspace. It also features a foot pedal control and is ideal for precision assembly of smaller components, complete with an integral safety guard.

Assembly Workstations

For high-volume production (more than 1 million fasteners per year), Avdel offers multi-head workstations for faster assembly:

Mini MASMini-MAS - The Mini-MAS is a twin-head assembly station for parallel assembly. The fasteners are presented in pairs and can be used for various assembly applications. Hydraulic riveting modules make for shock-free assembly. The station is designed for seated users (a standing version is available) and activated by foot pedal for hands-free assembly.

 

Multi Head WorkstationMulti-Head Assembly Workstations - Avdel offers multi-head workstations designed for synchronous placement of multiple fasteners. The workstation can be customized to handle 2-60 fasteners simultaneously. These units include diagnostics capabilities to improve quality control and facilitate maintenance, and they can be easily incorporated into most existing production facilities.

 

Chapter 6

Get Expert Advice on Speed Fasteners

As you can see, there is a wide range of Speed Fastening options. Speed Fastening systems can save a lot of production time and lower costs, but you have to choose the right solution to receive the
maximum benefits.

Working with a specialty engineered fastener distributor can minimize risks and maximize returns on speed fasteners. Fastener experts can help you understand the differences between speed fastener solutions, helping you identify the right fasteners and the right tools to help you get the most from Speed Fastening systems today and lay a foundation for your future production requirements.

Bay Supply has a skilled team of fastener experts who can guide you through various options and make recommendations as to which Speed Fastening system is right for you. Bay Supply also offers specialty industry discounts that can help you save even more if you are in the trucking and transit, rail, agriculture, or green energy industries.

If you need help finding the right Speed Fastening solution for your operation, contact us today for a free quote. We are always happy to help.

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Essential Guide to Speed Fastening Systems