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There are various kinds of fasteners available for application in numerous industries and they differ in dimension, durability, robustness, pull-out strength, shear-capacity, corrosion-resistance and many other factors that go into manufacturing a certain type of fastener for particular equipment. Speaking of which, the aviation industry utilizes parts that meet the safety standards recommended by the relevant body, and in order to fit those parts firmly to tolerate a huge amount of stress, the fasteners such as aircraft nuts and bolts play the vital role.

The fasteners normally used in most of the industries are the unrated cheaper ones, while there are certain special types of nuts and bolts built specifically to meet the strict guidelines while manufacturing an aircraft. The total cost of production can go high, given the requirement of assembling a large structure, which is pressure tolerant and has load-bearing characteristics. This calls for a need to have a suitable manufacturing practice that can significantly cut down the costs and boost the overall profit.
Although nuts and bolts sound very undersized to the ears, the quantity in which they are required can cause a considerable increment in the inventory cost.  This can be negated by establishing practical methods within the unit, to allow proper utilization of the resources. Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is one such program which helps to control productions cost right from the parts of engine to the nuts and alloy steel bolts. It eliminates the chance of misuse by applying lean techniques to the entire production process.

How VMI works

purchase aircraft nuts at better prices
VMI covers the entire area of manufacturing process to reduce disruption in supply chain by keeping a check on all levels of production, right from the raw materials to the finished product, making sure there is no wastage of resources. It maintains the fluidity between the manufacturer and the supplier, in which the former enjoys the benefits of cost saving at each level of assembling.

Applying VMI on controlling the expenditure on nuts and bolts

Given the lean practices followed by the VMI program, you can save big on aircraft aluminum nuts and bolts by reducing the holding or operational cost and thereby increasing the throughput rate. There are soft costs associated with consumable items stored in the unit, which can amount to as much as 75% increase of the cost price.  VMI plans that eliminate such an upsurge are as follows:

  • Look for suppliers that provide kitting services to group all the related nuts and bolts needed for a specific part. This eliminates time consumption and extra cost on labor employed for picking the fasteners for a certain assemblage.
  • Reduce the holding costs to a significant extent by opting for timely delivery of nuts and bolts. If you stock consumable items for a long period of time, it keeps adding up to the soft cost. Hence, it’s advisable to have them in-house, when required for the assembling process.
  • Huge cost on stocking a large amount of aircraft nuts and bolts can be minimized by letting the supplier keep the ownership till the time the parts are used for assembling.

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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