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Repair services are less called for, if maintenance of any sort of equipment is done on a routine basis with a simply outlined procedural approach that keeps a check on small things such as loosening of screws and other fasteners that hold the structure firmly. Not only does it save cost on future repairs, but also ensure there is no long term damage taking place. So if you have been frequently experiencing loose screws in the recent past, you should know the actual reasons behind it!

Overloading the equipment

loose screws prevention
All sorts of equipments have a certain limitation in terms of their holding capacity. If you try to overload the machinery, there’s a fair chance that the screws will break loose due to excess pressure. The best example is a traditional weight balance. If you try to weigh something heavier than the recommended limit, the bolts and screws holding the plates will dislocate. You can imagine the same impact on more sophisticated machineries, which can cause serious injuries if not checked for loosened fasteners.
An ideal way to combat this is to use anchors. After drilling operation, gently hammer the anchors around the drilled location and tighten the brass screws into it. You can also use Monel 400 bolts to secure the screws, in case heavy objects are to be hanged.

Excess vibration

Heavy vibrations generated due to continuous operation of few machines can have a detrimental impact on the screws. In such a state, there is relative motion between the nuts and the joints, which causes the nuts to break loose and pushes the screws outwards. To avoid this, an operator should carefully scrutinize the joint areas, when the machinery is in operation. An estimation of the compressing force has to be done to ensure that the screws stay tight while the equipment is operating.


Rough usage of the equipment

Smooth functioning of equipment is predominantly dependent upon its operator.  Any kind of machine subjected to rough usage will lead to long-term problems, apart from loosened screws. In fact, loosening of fasteners can itself cause serious damages, if not checked for a long time.

Variation in regional temperature

It’s a scientific fact that metals expand in hot weather and contract in cold conditions. So if you are in a location which experiences extreme climatic conditions, you may have to either face the issue of stretched nuts and bolts, or screws that will lose their grip with time.

Poor scheduling and casual maintenance

Proper maintenance is achieved by scheduling it on frequent basis and having responsible people behind it. It’s not uncommon for operators to damage the head of the screws by stripping the top, while trying to push the screws too hard. Once you damage the top of a screw, you won’t be able to tighten it afterwards and you may have to replace them all.  Hence, it’s imperative to be assured that the employees taking care of the repairs have sound knowledge in what they are doing and what impact it can have on the system.

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone

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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