Challenge Europe updated fastenings and fixings brochure

An updated core description of the Challenge Europe portfolio is available free as a download from our website at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/brochure. This document covers the Challenge Europe focus on threaded fasteners and associated accessories.

The quick reference brochure is expected to be handy for designers and installation engineers who need capability in both standard and custom components across the spread of industry from machinery to building, from office to foreshore environments.

Rivets, pins and miscellaneous related products are covered that align with the needs of manufacturing industry and installation contractors at large.

Challenge Europe fulfill the fastener sourcing and supply chain requirements of the manufacturing cycle

It is our philosophy that we can reduce manufacturing component costs and cycle times by supporting all phases of the manufacturing process, from concept through design/development to mainline production. Kevin Moorcroft explains that we achieve this “by involvement in advising the various benefits and pitfalls of specific fasteners at an early stage so that the design engineers can best decide the path to follow. We then carry through with standard samples, custom prototypes and final production specification items, on a customer specific delivery plan – usually to an industry standard such as Kanban, Lineside Supply, JIT or Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI).”

Our primary objective is to understand and satisfy the needs of customers. To this end, the assurance of quality is a recognised fundamental governing all work conducted within the company. Procedures are clearly defined, properly documented and closely monitored to ensure full integration with the overall company policy and its certification to BS EN ISO 9001:2015.

By controlling existing tooling in an on-going relationship, we are able to audit and maintain appropriate levels of inventory, including a full logistical history for each item. Managing quality control in this way we can take responsibility for the inspection, monitoring and acceptance/rejection of components.

Once into the manufacturing cycle as a full production item, the team here at Challenge Europe contribute to on-going product improvement by suggesting and supplying components of alternative materials which can reduce component costs and shorten assembly times.

As concept consultants the team advise on optimal re-design-for-production (DFP) values, while also providing advice on the handling of components, kits and sub-assemblies.

An important part of the whole service package is the provision of specials and custom items which can be readily integrated, along with provision of standard fasteners. This capability is ideal for small quantities and “fiddly” components which can often deflect a design team from their main goal.

Contact us to discuss your manufacturing needs.

Special and custom fastener parts from Challenge Europe now available

Here at Challenge Europe we specialise in small volume manufacturing projects – custom special jobs that are a problem for bigger manufacturers, where it is not cost-effective to program large and expensive automated equipment. This enables us to optimise performance across a customer manufacturing operation with standard products from stock including many specialist fastener items.

However, when standard stock fastenings are not suitable we can offer a custom solution from our own manufacturing facility. This capability is ideal for small quantities and extends to partnering arrangements with fabricators and finishers so that we can cover a wide range of components from specialist threaded fasteners to sheet metal or cast fixings. Our experienced team couple in-house machining with a global sourcing and supply infrastructure, and in-depth expertise of the manufacturing cycle gained from over 30 years in the engineering arena.

This capability enables us to produce components from alternative materials at short notice and to incorporate them into packaged sub-assemblies. In this way customers gain a complete service of high-quality and low-cost on standard mass-produced items and on small quantity specialist components.

Typically this includes: Instrument Carrying Handles, Chrome Handles, Clamp Screws and Stud Rivet Nut Assembly. In addition we offer cut to length studding, vented screws, spacers and general modification work to standard fasteners e.g. shortening to non-standard lengths & cross drilling to take split cotter pins.

Custom specialist machine parts are produced in most metals and sometimes plastics – non-standard items are specials to customer drawings or non-standard sizes to international standards, e.g. an intermediate diameter or length.

Typical related items include instrument carrying handles in standard or custom dimensions for transport of instruments or use on cases, trollies etc., available in black or chrome.

Speak to the team here.

Threaded fasteners need ancillaries - now available from Challenge Europe

Here at Challenge Europe we find that wherever threaded fasteners are used then various ancillary products are often needed. For example, protection of the nut end of a bolt or screw with a plastic dome cap – or protection of the internal hex socket head from filling with dirt by use of a protective cap insert. Both come from sales partner Korrex, who also provide insulating bushes which offer protection from electrolytic corrosion between combinations of differing metals.

Perhaps more generally known are standard rubber and PVC grommets for associated sealing and protection of cables or pipes – along with plastic blanking plugs and screw caps for sealing round or square tubes and holes. Then to tidy it all up when properly screwed together, nylon cable ties are the ultimate – and ubiquitous – fastening ancillary.

Standard and custom specialist washers from Challenge Europe

Here at Challenge Europe, as long-time specialist suppliers to UK manufacturing industry, we are well aware that every application is different – many production needs can be met from our extensive range of standard types but often a custom variant is required.

As our M.D. Kevin Moorcroft explains “we carry a full range of flat, shakeproof, mudguard, copper grip and terminal cup washers, as well as crinkle, sealing, Belleville, cup, spring washers and “O” rings. All of these can be produced to custom specification to suit the needs of UK assemblers. Where vibration and sealing are specific problems then we also offer the Dubo retaining ring and toothed collar ring systems.”

The Dubo ring system is often used in preventing leakages from transformer oil reservoirs ranging to more demanding roles within the power generating industry and elsewhere such as machine tools and hydraulic systems. Complementing the retaining ring is the Dubo toothed collar ring which is intended for use in combination with high quality steel nuts (8.8), making it possible to admit any desired bolt tension. The deformation of the Dubo ring causes the locking and tightening effect according to the dubo principle.

Challenge Europe Rivets make assembly quicker and cheaper

We have a great range of rivets that offer a quick, simple, reliable and low cost ex-stock way to join sections of material – either similar – metal to metal, or dissimilar – metal to plastic. Blind rivets are stocked in depth by our expert team here at Challenge Europe where we aim to partner manufacturers through the design/development/production cycle with standard or custom specifications.

Many rivets are available with a choice of head forms from the standard dome head to large, extra-large and countersunk. A full range of setting tooling is available, including simple handtools for smaller volume work, and sophisticated hydropneumatic equipment to meet intensive production line working. For example, Blind Rivet Nuts which offer the facility to provide an internal thread to the work piece and are set in a similar way to that of a blind rivet. Rivet nuts are available in a comprehensive range of body and head types with material options of steel, stainless steel and aluminium. They provide advantages of being able to be easily set in thin material, but have the same properties as a tapped thread in fuller thickness material.

Blind rivets are offered in a range of fixings designed to allow the riveting operation to be conducted from one side of the workpiece. Variable in type, according to the application, some typical examples are listed below:

  • Open End – Provides strong, low cost fastenings ideal for a wide range of applications within the general engineering industry. Available in aluminium, steel, stainless steel, monel and copper alloy.
  • Closed (Sealed) End – Specifically designed to provide a waterproof seal after the rivet has been set. Available in aluminium, steel, stainless steel, monel and copper alloy.
  • Multigrip – Designed to clamp a wide range of material thicknesses as well as having excellent filling characteristics where hole form proves inconsistent. Additional benefit of allowing reduced rivet inventory. Traditionally available in aluminium, but steel and stainless steel versions have been recently introduced.
  • Structural – Designed to provide high tensile and shear strengths for more demanding applications. Available in steel and aluminium.
  • Grooved – Used in conjunction with fibrous materials (e.g. wood) where upon setting the body of the rivet expands and the grooves bite into the material. Available in aluminium.
  • Load Spreading – Suitable for soft or brittle materials where upon setting the rivet body folds back into segments preventing produce damage. Available in aluminium.
  • Peel – Similar to the Load Spreading rivet in design and application, excepting that the rivet body splits open into a ‘petal’ arrangement upon setting. Available in aluminium.

Contact us for your rivet requirements

Ex-stock from the Challenge Europe warehouse we offer an extensive selection of the humble threaded nut – as it is frequently the optimal solution where a screw or bolt is required. Not only do traditional nuts provide a simple and inexpensive alternative to a pre-tapped thread, but self-locking versions perform a function often not readily achieved with a tapped hole. Where once a full or half nut was used as a “jam nut”, today Challenge Europe provide a wide selection of specialist nuts, including the popular nyloc nut, plus the combi nut with integral washer for load spreading/anti-vibration purposes which saves fiddly assembly, loss of washer etc. Its related design of barb nut incorporates a serrated washer for enhanced vibration resistance and to cut into painted surfaces in order to establish earthing continuity where required.

We are therefore delighted to offer nuts to locate into various substrates, e.g. for embedding into plastic or grp mouldings. Also square nuts which slide into channels formed in aluminium extrusions as used in machine guarding frames or in steel channels for roofing/cladding applications.

Engineering assembly or building installer - Challenge Europe has the bolts and studding for the job

Here at Challenge Europe we are pleased to stock a full range of flange bolts/screws which are quicker to use in many production environments than discrete bolt/washer assemblies – saving time and loss of components, plus making assembly operations much more convenient for engineers whatever their role, saving costs and enhancing quality. Flange bolts/screws offer load spreading – those with serrated flanges also add a useful degree of anti-vibration performance.

Threaded fasteners such as flange bolts and studding/engineers studs are generally well understood products but still benefit from expert independent guidance from our experienced team. Studding, for example, has such a plethora of possible applications, its versatility makes it adaptable in solving many on-site installation problems from stand-off pillars to hanging ceilings, extending floor anchors or for chemical fixings – such as epoxy embedding in fragile substrates.

Call us to discuss your bolt/screw/studding application.

Challenge Europe socket screws and bolts form finer fastenings

Socket screws and bolts form the higher end of threaded fastening methodology in manufacturing industry today and are freely available in high grades of materials such as 12.9 steel from Challenge Europe. Their circular head design and internal hex drive makes them particularly suitable for use in products with counter bored holes providing a flush or sub-flush assembly. They are also suitable for the automated assembly environment.

Challenge Europe stock holding also encompasses closely related button head or dome head socket screws which feature a lower profile with smooth finish. This design gives more clearance in moving machinery whilst being less vulnerable to interference, either to clothing or passing equipment – for example when used as floor fixings, where they greatly reduce trip hazards.

Related to socket screws and bolts is the socket head shoulder screw with its own plain shank which has a precision ground surface for exact location of components. Sometimes described as a “dowel with a thread” the socket head shoulder screw is often used in tooling applications as it has a lower clearance requirement enabling positive location with a precise fit. The ground surface can often double as a bearing surface in low stress applications.

Screws from Challenge Europe with confidence and support

Screws from Challenge Europe come in an extensive range of general and niche ex-stock products, each with its own special features. Especially they come with the strong background support of the Challenge Europe team so useful to customers seeking just a bit more than simply placing an order without the benefit of guidance and support.

For example, stainless steel machine screws and self-tapping/thread-forming screws often need special care in selection. Not so much perhaps conventional steel chipboard screws, but help is often needed at the more specialised and professionally used end of the range such as SPAX & HECOFIX screws with their special thread forms, which enables them to cut into timber without a pilot hole.

Typical problems the team are called on to sort out include self-tappers (for steel) being used with plastic components without realising that there is a designed-for-plastic range. Normal (for steel) self-tappers can bind in the hole and snap off or split the component, leading to scrappage in production and perhaps serious problems when attempting an onsite installation.

Conventional hex headed bolts & setscrews are available ex-stock in 3 grades of steel, similarly with socket head cap screws. Many products are also available in A2(304) and A4(316) grades of stainless steel. Challenge Europe personnel can advise on hole sizes, clearances, torque, head types, thread forms and suitable substrates.

Contact us here

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