When you intend to use a large number of fasteners such as aluminum hex tap bolts and Monel 500 hex lag bolts, you will definitely be interested in ways of making sure that they are used prudently. Most people try to micromanage in order to achieve this. This is usually done by physically inspecting how […]

manufacturing plant fastener usage
When you intend to use a large number of fasteners such as aluminum hex tap bolts and Monel 500 hex lag bolts, you will definitely be interested in ways of making sure that they are used prudently. Most people try to micromanage in order to achieve this.
This is usually done by physically inspecting how each employee uses the fasteners, and then querying the ones who don’t use them in an expected pattern. However, using this method to audit the use of fasteners is not only time consuming, but it also creates a feeling of mistrust in your staff members.

Rather than doing the above, you should consider other approaches to monitor the use of the fasteners. Some of these include:
Defining how much work each individual will do, and then assigning a specific number of fasteners
One way to do this would be to figure out how much work a particular employee will do, and then assigning them a number of fasteners that will help them complete their work. For instance, if you run an engine assembly plant and it turns out that each engine will need around 100 bolts and nuts to be put together, you can specify how many engines an individual should work on in a day, and then assign them a number of fasteners that will help them achieve this workload. This way, if they end up misusing the fasteners, they will be required to get more fasteners from the store, in which process they will need to account for the wasted fasteners. This is an excellent way of limiting the wastage of fasteners, since it makes each employee accountable individually.

 
Taking note of average fastener use
If your manufacturing plant runs at a constant rate, you can also take note of the number of fasteners used during a specified time frame, such as a month or a week. If you notice a spike in the use of the fasteners, you can use this as a signal to intervene to find out why they are being used in larger numbers all of a sudden.
Use batch identification
The other way to handle it is to do batch identification. Each time you order the fasteners from the supplier, you can insist on having them having a unique batch number. This way, if it turns out that a particular batch has low quality fasteners that keep breaking, you can easily examine all the rest of the fasteners in that batch, and then use this to carry out further investigations and to even consult the manufacturer.
In summary, if you are in charge of managing any manufacturing plant floor, you should always take note of the fact that there is a lot you can do to keep an eye on the use of fasteners in the facility. The above are just some of the common techniques used to audit the use of the fasteners, and to identify any processes that might lead to wastage of the fasteners as early as possible.

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone
President

Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.

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