Socket Head Screws from Challenge Europe

As part of our ex-stock production supply we are pleased to offer five types of socket screws from stock to support the engineering/assembly industries.

Socket head cap screws, socket shoulder screws, socket button head screws, socket countersunk screws and socket setscrews are all in common usage by virtue of their ease of use in the production environment and for their very clean aesthetic appearance.

The great strength of these screws makes them popular in specialist tooling, engineering assemblies, hydraulic systems, vehicle production, furniture and other high quality technical equipment.

Contact us to discuss how we can offer you a stock supply service.

Challenge Europe service packages

Here at Challenge Europe are delighted to offer a fastener sourcing and supply chain service to manufacturing design and production engineers and consider that taken overall such a service package may well be the most important component in that process.

We can all recognise that the specification of a fastener will be governed by a number of possibly conflicting factors. At the concept/design stage, the designer will consider the functionality of the components, environmental issues, life-cycle expectancy, how the assembly is to be held together and whether there is a need to disassemble it amongst other concerns. For the sake of simplicity and cost the first consideration is to see if standard fasteners can be used and check the current availability with suppliers.

Whilst International Standards will provide comprehensive information on things like fastener diameters, lengths, materials etc., we should not assume that the entire range listed in a particular Standard will be available from stock as standard product range – so even “standard” fasteners may require specialist sourcing and supply arrangements.

Consideration of standards is of course vital and can be difficult without guidance from an experienced team – the following are common examples:

  • International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) – ISO Metric Threads
  • Deutches Institut für Normung (DIN) – ISO Metric Threads
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI) – Unified National and Metric Threads
  • British Standards Institution (BSI) – ISO Metric, Unified National and British Threads

Reference to these international standards will provide detailed specifications for thread tolerances and other information on the geometry of fastener threads while considerations of other configuration requirements can be integrated in the final design.

Drive types will need to be considered where quantity, speed, torque requirements and cost can be defining factors, differentiating between slotted, Phillips, Pozi and Torx to name a few well-known variants.

The team at Challenge Europe can offer guidance on material selection based on cost, product strength characteristics, environmental and corrosion-resistance requirements, re application of the fastened joint. They will of course include steel; stainless steel – Austenitic, Ferritic or Martensitic; plus, brass, bronze, aluminium, copper and plastics of many sorts.

The actual manufacturing processes, heat treatments or annealing processes involved in the production of a suitable fastener will very likely have a profound influence on the quality and longevity of the final assembly and so form part of consideration in the service package.

Once the sourcing is confirmed then our team can address supply chain issues such as stocking, importing, batch sizes, delivery, e.g. using JIT, Lineside supply, VMI, Kanban or other protocols. Contact us to discuss your fastener supply service needs.

Custom Nuts - Challenge Europe provide the solution

Our custom nuts meet many widely varying needs in materials such as steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminium, plastic or exotics like titanium. There are many different styles on the market today. Amongst the commonest are the Full Nut, the Lock Nut (sometimes referred to as a Half-Nut or Thin Nut) and the Nylon Insert Self-Locking Nut.

Special shapes include curved combi-washers/collars to fit tubing etc., or castellated designs of varying pitch to allow for indexed adjustment. Options are almost endless, and the final choice is heavily dependent upon the service expectations required.

Essentially conceived as any piece of metal (or plastic) with a thread in it intended to be fixed to a component, special nuts can have C wrench slots, pin wrench holes, may be double-ended or welded (projection weld nut) to a foot plate or bracket. All metal self-locking nuts are available where higher temperatures are likely to be experienced. These include Aerotight, Philidas, Stover, Binx, Cleveloc and many others, all providing anti-vibration loosening characteristics.

Security (anti-vandal) nuts available include Kinmar, both permanent and removable, Tufnuts, Scroll Nuts and the ever-popular Shear Nut. Flange Nuts, both plain and serrated flange, fill another gap where load spreading is required without the need of a washer, while the serrated flange version also provides a degree of resistance to loosening under vibration. The Combi-Nut design is another configuration that provides load spreading where a washer is trapped into the nut but is free to rotate. Versions fitted with an external toothed shakeproof washer can also offer an element of resistance to vibration loosening.

The team here at Challenge Europe are experienced in fabrication of custom nuts in-house or with trusted subcontractors against a program of supply chain demand for industrial manufacturing. Combined with a range of materials and finishes you pretty much have a nut for every occasion, meeting the demands across industries as diverse as lighting, electronics, general equipment, refuse processing, machine tools, conveyors and automated/specialist vehicles.

Contact us to discuss your custom nut requirement.

Custom fasteners - a speciality from Challenge Europe from screws and bolts to formed and threaded rods

From some of the simplest and most commonly available fasteners such as the humble machine screw to the more specialised and often heavily customised bolt Challenge Europe can help in all formats. Threaded fasteners are perhaps uniquely adaptable since designs can readily be adjusted to suit many diverse applications requiring non-standard lengths, intermediate diameters as well as alternatives to the generally available materials of steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminium and nylon.

These alternate materials include titanium, copper, phosphor bronze, duplex and super duplex stainless steels. Threaded fasteners with special heads may be needed such as bar type (T form) to locate in slots, or bolts for special purposes, e.g. welded to a foot plate or spiked for use in materials processing machinery such as drums where replacement is often required.

A common form of specialist bolt is the U bolt or hook where the extended bolt can be formed in such a way as to create a completely different item of custom dimensions. Further refinement is then possible with varying surface treatments such as zinc and clear, chemi black or anodising.

It is truly remarkable how versatile the humble screw has become and how readily suppliers like Challenge Europe can create that special solution.

Challenge Europe supply chain management

Manufacturing philosophies are subject to change and fashion, but here we find that the one constant is the need for trust between suppliers and manufacturing customer. For more detail see here – or read on for an overview.

Indeed, it can be seen that this “hand-in-glove” relationship may often become so close that it is difficult to discern where the boundaries lie – who orders, who determines stock levels, who even carries or funds the stock, who establishes the final specification, who a particular operative actually works for. In such an intimate relationship, egos are subjugated to efficiency, quality and flexibility in the process which can involve:

  • Secondary assembly, kit collation, lineside supply and other protocols.
  • Supplier managed stock – ordinary, delivery to site.
  • Combined supply of:
  • Standard fasteners, special fasteners
  • Custom fasteners
  • Specialist components, assemblies and finished components
  • Production kit
  • Delivery to site on schedule

With the supplier acting as a stock/supply node that can bring together the outsourcing and supply of components for their small to medium SME customers in the manufacturing industry. Such an intimate relationship builds a supply chain management package as a trusted part of a system, improving efficiency, raising quality, reducing costs. Taking the worry out of day-to-day supply issues.

Stocking & Delivery:

Sourcing and the supply chain in a manufacturing cycle – key factors fall under the headings of Stock Inventory control, Site management, Production system integration.

Quality & Service:

By understanding and satisfying the needs of a customer a contractor can recognise that the assurance of quality is a fundamental factor governing all work conducted within the supply chain relationship model under the considerations of:

  • In house approval
  • ISO9000 systems
  • Quality products, suppliers
  • Hi-tech applications
  • Sophisticated materials
  • Specialist processes
  • High volumes, low fault tolerances

Thus, partnerships in engineering, product enhancement, component supply and assembly, stocking and delivery, costs and pricing, in-house investment and sourcing/supply infrastructure support the manufacturing process through service elements comprising ex-stock, VMI, JIT, Kanban, Linefeed etc., technical support, trade counter, fast response capacity, sub-assembly processes, supply administration, sourcing consultancy and national/international logistics management.

Challenge Europe custom components

Product Enhancement:

Successful manufacturing relationships contribute to on-going product improvement by suggesting and supplying components of alternative materials which can reduce component counts and shortening assembly times.

As concept consultants an excellent supplier can advise on optimal design-for-production (DFP) values at the product concept stage and provide pre-production advice on the handling of components, kits and sub-assemblies. This allows processes and component stocks to be tailored for the production line by negotiating component supply, implementing assembly planning/ methodology, design of kit specifications, component grouping and packaging to meet specific production needs. In addition, subcontractors can carry out physical assembly/packaging operating to ISO9001 accredited quality systems to international standards and a corporate vendor approval process.

See here for more detail or Contact us to discuss your manufacturing component needs.

Challenge Europe - construction floor anchors - types and usage

We are pleased to announce that our warehouse stocks a number of basic types of construction floor anchor including the Shield Anchor and the Throughbolt designs, both of which work on a similar principle of an expanding sleeve for fixing into concrete flooring. They are also known as wedge anchor bolts and are available in carbon steel, zinc plated and hot dipped galvanised, also in stainless steel.

Of the two, Throughbolts are often preferred because they may be used where the hole has to be drilled after the steel flange has been positioned, while Shield Anchors need to be installed before the flange is positioned.

Generically other styles of construction floor anchors, such as Sleeve Anchors and Drop-in Anchors, are also available designed for use in materials like concrete that do not take a thread and are resistant to screws or nails.  These devices generally utilise a system for casting in place or for post fix (like throughbolts or shield anchors) by using an expanding wedge design, whereas embedded floor anchors (often referred to as Rag bolts) use a specially formed end for casting in place or for post fix using a 2-part resin injection system.

Custom special threaded fasteners – a “stock” service at Challenge Europe

The team here at Challenge Europe recognise that manufacturing today is very much a partnership operation, based on mutual respect and trust, succeeding on the varied skills of the parties involved and the strength of their relationship, often forged over many years. Such is the case with sub-contract suppliers of specialist components and small quantities where efficiency at small scale is key to achieving desired outcomes.

Typically, a “special” can be something as simple as a modified standard item – probably ex-stock plus a second operation but difficult to fit into an established assembly process. Otherwise a designed-from first principles component requiring ground-up manufacturing in its own right but requiring special parameters, skills or equipment in its production. This may require anything from knowledge-based sourcing of base components through creation from raw stock, fabrication and assembly dependent on specific needs.

These Specials and Custom small volume manufacturing projects are frequently jobs that are a problem for bigger manufacturers, where it is not cost-effective to program large and expensive automated equipment. So, when standard fastenings are not suitable a custom solution is needed from a specialist sub-contract manufacturing facility. This capability is ideal for small quantities and extends to partnering arrangements with fabricators and finishers so that a wide range of items may be covered from specialist threaded fasteners to sheet metal or cast fixings. In-house machining is often coupled with a global sourcing and supply infrastructure and in-depth expertise of the manufacturing cycle.

This capability enables production of components from alternative materials at short notice and incorporation into packaged sub-assemblies. In this way customers gain an overall package of high-quality and low-cost for their standard mass-produced items and for small quantity specialist components.

Examples of this sort of special cover the gamut of:

  • Screws – lengths, non-standard threads, machined e.g. shoulders, holes for locking wire, tapered lead-ins, thin/shallow heads
  • Brackets and special fittings, stand-offs etc., small assemblies for manufacturing.
  • Complete assemblies, e.g. specialist light fittings, electronics fitted to housings, electrical equipment fitted to chassis.
  • Components – machinery, thread forming.
  • Manufacturing kits for lineside supply.

Find out more about our custom special threaded fasteners service.

Action Can from Challenge Europe for manufacturers and installers

As specialists in the world of industrial threaded fasteners, our team are pleased to announce stocking of the Action Can range of industrial aerosols.

Explains our M.D. Kevin Moorcroft “we deal every day with manufacturers, installers and service engineers who are in constant need of high quality consumables and we find the Action Can range meets the exacting requirements of professional engineers for anti-corrosion products and paints, cleaners, lubricants, metal working sprays, along with general workshop products.”

This Action Can range offered at the trade counter and for general order, includes lubricants, cleaning sprays, foams and many related aerosols such as copper grease, cutting fluids, car cleaner, anti-static spray, welders anti-spatter spray, brake and clutch cleaner, glass cleaner, chain lube (also food grade), freeze spray, electrical control cleaner, isopropyl alcohol cleaner, corrosion inhibitors, stainless steel cleaner and many more.

Adds Kevin “engineers find this range of 60 high quality aerosol products to be a quick and very convenient way to apply these important industrial materials on demand and to be easy to store on the production line, workbench or in a service vehicle.”

Challenge Europe address urgent need for "O" rings

The team here at Challenge Europe have found that alongside our core threaded fastener range, there is a demand for sealing “O” rings on an urgent basis – and consequently we decided to enhance stock levels to meet the need.

Common requirements for “O” rings come in Nitrile (NBR), EPDM, Viton®, Silicone, Polyurethane and Neoprene with many others also called for to suit the needs of practically every industrial sector.

Our team here can support both production line requirements and supply “O” rings as consumable items for manufacturing plant. Indeed, any application where seals for liquids and gasses are an essential requirement. We stock standard metric and imperial sizes to ensure that production lines keep moving and maintenance operations can proceed smoothly.

These “O” rings function as seals between fixed faces in static assemblies or as dynamic seals between moving components, e.g. in cylinder and piston configurations or on rotating shafts in valving equipment.

Back-up rings are also available in a range of materials and styles.

Challenge Europe offer thread locking devices, ex-stock

We are delighted to offer ex-stock thread locking solutions for general industrial assembly purposes. One of the most common and simplest solution to problems of vibration loosening of threaded fasteners is by use of a conventional locking nut or half nut.

Use of a full nut provides an easy fitment which pulls from the same stock as the main fastener. A locking half nut above the full nut leaves “head room” – indeed, where two half nuts are used, this can make a quite significant difference in cramped situations.

Full nuts are available in all metric sizes to fit screws and bolts. Commonly they are available as cold forged parts but larger sizes are often bar turned from hexagonal bar. Half nuts are available in steel, stainless steel or brass.

Ex-stock self-locking nuts are frequently a preferred solution since they reduce the number of operations and order lines. Also known as stiff nuts and sometimes prevailing torque nuts, these are available in a range of styles but they all operate in a similar way having an interference fit mechanism that provide anti-loosening characteristics. Standard reference types include nylon insert nuts, Philidas® nuts, Binx® nuts, Aerotight® nuts and Stover nuts.

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