Wednesday, 29 April 2015

How the Swagebolt works


Swagebolt consist of two parts: a pin, and a collar. The bolt is inserted into one side of the joint material and the collar is placed over the bolt from the other side of the joint material. Access to both sides of the joint is required. A Swagefast installation tool is used to swage the collar materials into the grooves of the bolt providing a permanent and vibration resistant fastening.

Key Benefits:

  • Permanent, mechanically locked fastener
  • Installation process automatically provides fastener values
  • No torque or re-torque required
  • Unlike conventional nuts and bolts, they will not work loose, even during extreme vibration
  • Rapid installation with Quick and easy visual inspection
  • Excellent gap closure capability
  • Can be installed onto angled surfaces (5° maximum)
  • Tamper proof

How Swagebolts Work

Clamp Force or Pre–Load: In the initial stages of the installation process, the tool engages and pulls on the pintail. The joint is pulled together before the conical shaped cavity of the nose assembly is forced down the collar. This progressively locks (swages) it into the grooves of the harder pin. The pin and swaged collar combine to form the installed fastener.
The squeezing action reduces the diameter of the collar, increasing its length. This in turn stretches the pin, generating a clamp force over the joint.
Shear strength of Swagebolts vary according to the material strength and minimal diameter of the fastener. By increasing the diameter or the grade of material, the shear strength of the fastener can be increased.
The tensile strength of Swagebolt is dependent on the shear resistance of the collar material and the number of grooves it fills.


  1. Pin placed into prepared hole - Collar placed over pin
  2. Tool is placed over the fastener pintail and activated 
    • Pin head pulled against material
    • Anvil pushes collar against joint
    • Initial clamp generated
  3. Tool swages collar, increasing clamp
  4. Pintail breaks, installation complete

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

How Blind rivets work

How Blind Rivets Work

The standard blind break-mandrel rivet consists of two components, a rivet body and mandrel. The rivet is first placed into an installation tool and is then inserted into the application. Activating the tool pulls the rivet's mandrel, drawing the mandrel head into the blind-end of the rivet body. This action forms an upset head on the rivet body and securely clamps the application materials together. Finally, the mandrel reaches its predetermined break-load, with the spent portion of the mandrel breaking away and being removed from the set rivet. Fast, easy-to use blind rivets offer speed of assembly, consistent mechanical performance and excellent installed appearance, making blind riveting a reliable and economical assembly method.

Dome HeadRivet Head Styles

Dome Head
The Dome Head blind rivet is the most widely available and commonly used head style. The dome head flange offers good bearing surface and is suitable for many applications. Dome Head rivets are available in all materials.
Large Flange
Large Flange
The Large Flange blind rivet offers a larger bearing surface than the Dome Head and is suited for joining compressible or brittle materials to structural members, e.g. wood/steel, plastic/steel. Large Flange rivets are available by special order.
Countersunk Head
Countersunk Head - 120°
The Countersunk Head blind rivet is used in applications requiring a flush surface. Countersunk rivets are available by special order.

Strength Requirements
The joint strength required will determine the diameter and spacing of the  blind rivet.

Material Thickness 
Each blind rivet is engineered for a specific range of material thickness for which it will be effective. This range of material or work thickness is the blind rivet's "grip range."

Hole Size
Proper hole size is important to ensure the integrity of the fastened joint. The recommended hole size and tolerances are shown in the technical data charts. Oversized holes can cause problems in blind riveted joints. A solution is to select a blind rivet that creates and oversized upset head .

Friday, 24 April 2015

What to remember when choosing your Swagefast fastening system

Note the following when choosing your Swagefast Fastening system:

-The material of the fastener or its coating should be compatible with the application material;
-The fastener diameter is determined by the shear and tensile strength required;
-The fastener length is determined by the total material thickness that required fastening. Order by diameter required and total material thickness that requires fastening;
-It is recommended that a standard collar is used where the holes on the application does not exceed the maximum hole sizing specifications;
-It is recommended that a flanged (CF) collar is used where the holes on the application are worn or sizing exceeds the maximum hole sizing specification;
-Fastener heads are determined by clearance requirements;

Swagefast Installation Equipment

Swagefast installation equipment/Tooling systems work with the fastener to pull to pull and clamp the application together with ease and safety in mind. an installation equipment system comprises of a nose assembly, Hose Set and Power Rig Unit. The Power rig drives the tool and the Nose Assembly provides the installation link between the Fastener and the Tool. Installation Tools and Nose Assemblies are designed to install specific fastener types and diameters. the choice of the installation equipment system is determined by the fastener type, diameter, application and intended usage.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Brian Molefe suggests a transition across to prepaid electricity systems for all

Molefe signals plans for getting tough with non-paying Eskom customers 

Acting Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has suggested that all companies and households should be transitioned across to prepaid electricity systems, adding that he will propose that those municipalities not paying Eskom be bypassed. “The whole of South Africa should move to prepaid electricity. Even corporates should be on the prepaid system,” Molefe told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises. “It will improve our financial position immensely, instead of having to borrow money on the capital markets, which is making our balance sheet worse, as well as our ratings.” Executives at Eskom have revealed R25-billion in municipal debt – and rising. Some municipalities were not handing over the money due to Eskom, with Soweto alone owing R8-billion to the power utility. “If we could have prepaid the R25-billion, that would be part of our working capital.” Molefe told a media briefing after the Parliamentary hearing. “We cannot afford to be a source of funding to municipalities at the expense of the national grid. 

It’s not sustainable and the whole country has to deal with localised problems,” Molefe said. He said there had been suggestions of shutting down the electricity of municipalities who didn’t pay up, but that this was not a solution, as it was unfair to those residents who did pay, and was not viable in a developing country. “It would be better if we bypassed municipalities rather than switching off households. We should start with municipalities that are in arrears. We should instead provide electricity directly to the residents on a prepaid basis. He said bypassing municipalities would stop the increase in debt and free up cash flow. In future, he said this could lead to lower tariff increases. The acting CEO, who has been seconded from Transnet to try to sort out Eskom’s woes, told MPs that he was determined to get Eskom back on a sound financial footing. Molefe said R240-billion still needed to be funded through revenue and borrowing. Eskom was expecting money from National Treasury in June. “We need to raise R240-billion from those sources. That doesn't mean though that we are bankrupt. We need to resolve how to get the R240 billion. We need to look at the balance between increased tariffs and debt. The question is: ‘Can we allow the gearing of Eskom to deteriorate. Do we increase tariffs or burden it further with debt?” He said Eskom would be "okay from a cash flow point of view” until July this year. 

Eskom is expecting money from National Treasury in June. Molefe said he would do all he could to get Eskom’s credit rating back again. “We will go to the ratings agency and find out what we need to do. We will pursue every single one of those tasks they ask us, very diligently until we get that credit rating back.” Members of the executive and Molefe said they were considering how to intensify the efficiency programme without further borrowing. Eskom’s executive team was also looking at ways of streamlining, including negotiating with labour to sell off Eskom’s R7-billion home loan book, which was not a core business. The power utility is also trying to stop illegal connections and crack down on ‘ghost vendors’ of prepaid electricity. The acting CEO said it was vital to reduce the country’s need for coal and rely more on other forms of energy in future, particularly because of damage to the environment.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Transnet's Brian Molefe announced as the new Acting CEO

Eskom announces new Acting CEO

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown announced that Transnet's Brian Molefe had been seconded as acting CEO of Eskom, with immediate effect. Brown said the appointment formed part of government efforts to stabilise the Eskom leadership, following the suspension of four senior executives, including CEO Tshediso Matona. More Insight Presidency won't entertain Eskom 'gossip' Expanding Eastern Cape port moves to corner regional transshipment market Speaking at Megawatt Park on Friday, Brown indicated that, although the suspensions of Matona and the other executives were due to be lifted in less than three months, she wanted Molefe to remain at Eskom for at least a year to oversee a turnaround process, as he had done at both Transnet and the Public Investment Corporation. Three candidates had been identified to replace Molefe at Transnet and the appointment of an acting CEO of the freight logistics utility should be made known in the coming week.

Eskom interim CEO Zethembe Khoza would resume his role as a non-executive director on the power utility's board. Sharing a platform with Brown at the briefing, Molefe said his first priority would be to assess what could be done to minimise the ongoing load-shedding. Eskom was implementing stage two load-shedding at the time of the announcement, having vacillated between stage one and three throughout the week, beginning Sunday, April 11. The immediate focus would be on improving the efficiency of the coal fleet, the poor performance of which was largely to blame for the fact that Eskom was unable to keep the lights on. Unplanned outages had risen precipitously since 2010, with average plant availability falling to the low 70% level from well over 80% five years ago. In the medium-term, Molefe would focus on introducing alternative energy sources into South Africa's coal-heavy mix, while still optimising South Africa's extensive coal resources, with the country said to have a 200-year resource in the ground. Asked whether he was prepared to take up the position on a permanent basis, Molefe said: "We will deal with the matter when the time is right." Brown stressed that she had no intention of "unfairly discriminating" against Matona, who was only appointed to the position in late 2014. 

But she needed the skills and experience that Molefe possessed immediately. "I need that support now," she said, reporting that Molefe's secondment had been canvassed and endorsed by President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Eskom and Transnet boards. She also did not discount Molefe and Matona working together for a period. "I would like [Molefe], for the full year, to actually work in turning around Eskom. And if that means with Mr. Matona beyond three months time, we will find another title for him." Transnet chairperson Linda Mabaso confirmed that the board had been consulted and described Molefe’s appointment as part of a strategy "to address what is currently inarguably the country’s biggest challenge". Brown also announced that the terms of reference of the so-called "deep dive" probe of Eskom's finances, maintenance protocols, diesel costs and coal supply and costs had been finalised by the board. The four executives were suspended in mid-March in order for the investigation to proceed on an "unfettered" basis. The delay in finalising the terms of reference had arisen as a result of former chairperson Zola Tsotsi, who resigned on March 31, having sought to draft the terms alone. He had also not followed correct procedure in appointing Nick Linnell to oversee the investigation. Subsequent to Tsotsi's resignation, the board had agree to the terms and had sought to meet Brown's stipulation that the probe be conducted by a firm that had international experience and was fully independent of Eskom. Following a short-listing process, global law firm Dentons had been appointed to lead the inquiry.

 Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

Quality is more important than price

Dangers and implications of using cheaper fastening systems

Sometime ago, construction worker Calvin, 51, was working high in the steel skeleton of a new General Motors assembly plant, tightening bolts with a torque wrench. Suddenly one of the bolts sheared,he was thrown off balance, plummeted 65 feet to his death. According to a congressional report, the bolt was defective, one of a batch imported from Mexico or Spain and had failed far below its presumed strength. "For a $1 bolt a man lost his life," says whistle-blower Tommy. "Isn't a man's life worth more than a dollar?" 

To the owner of a mom-and-pop Houston company that sells bolts, screws and other industrial fasteners, Davis' death was a preventable accident and further evidence that America is coming apart at the seams. "Integrity has crumbled," says Grant. "So now we're in a very dangerous situation." Since 1985, Grant has worked furiously to alert Americans to the threat of a new kind of disaster. Every year the U.S. uses more than 7 billion fasteners, in products from baby buggies to space shuttles. But in recent years, says Grant, inferior foreign fasteners, primarily Japanese, have flooded the market. "Cranes are falling and killing people," he says. "Wheels are coming off 18-wheelers and killing people. Bridges are coming apart." 

At first Grant was viewed by politicians and industry leaders as a small time crank. But this summer, after an 18-month investigation, a congressional subcommittee chaired by Michigan Democrat John D. Dingell produced evidence that made Grant look like a prophet. "The millions, perhaps billions of substandard fasteners make it a wonder we haven't yet had a major catastrophe," says Dingell. "Tommy Grant was instrumental in bringing this whole problem to the fore." 

Grant, a native Texan who started his nut-and-bolt supply business in 1978, became aware of the problem of substandard fasteners during the early '80s, when dissatisfied customers complained some Japanese bolts and screws were "junk." He soon learned that U.S. manufacturing standards were not legally enforceable and that foreign suppliers were taking advantage of the situation to market inferior fasteners, underpricing their American competitors by 30 percent. He was shocked to discover, after expensive laboratory tests, that perhaps 30 percent of the fasteners in his own warehouse were dangerously defective. 

Faced with huge losses if he refused to buy or sell any more of the bad bolts and screws, Grant thought of turning a blind eye to the problem. But he could not forget the advice of his late father, Jack, who had worked as a purchasing agent for a Corpus Christi chemical refinery. "He told me quality was more important than price," says Grant, "because without quality you might get a man killed." 

Grant moved quickly to purge his inventory, then stirred a furor among thousands of other suppliers by going public with his safety concerns. "A lot of distributors were going along just to get along," he says. "But I remembered my dad, and I just couldn't do it." 

In 1985 Grant began buttonholing congressmen and regulatory agency officials with evidence that Japanese manufacturers were saturating the U.S. market with counterfeit fasteners they did not sell in their own country. Impressed by Grant's persistence, Congressman Dingell called for a full-scale investigation that has produced a series of alarming conclusions: 

•More than 30 million counterfeit fasteners in military warehouses will have to be discarded; 

•1,200 of the Army's M-60 tanks had to be taken out of service for several months so that bogus bolts could be replaced; 

•substandard fasteners may have been used in aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and Trident missiles; 

•bad fasteners have shown up in space shuttle equipment, and six NASA suppliers have been found to have inadequate quality c

•over a three-year period, 61 aviation accidents, mostly involving small planes, resulted from fastener failures; 

•Peterbilt Trucks of Newark, Calif., recalled a fleet of freight vehicles when defective imported fasteners were found to cause steering mechanism failures; 

•defective fasteners have been discovered in a new $150 million post office building in Los Angeles, the United Airlines Terminal at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and a highway bridge in Lake Charles, La.; 

•32,000 out of 67,000 bolts used in a nuclear power plant in Knoxville, Tenn., were defective. 

As a key figure in the congressional investigation, Grant is encouraged that Reynolds Fasteners of Houston has already been assessed a $1 million dollar fine for smuggling defective fasteners from Japan and that other distributors are expected to be punished soon for knowingly selling mislabeled merchandise. Substandard fasteners are still pouring into the country but will be outlawed next year if a bill proposed by Representative Dingell is enacted. Still, Grant's efforts to make America safer have taken a personal toll. A decade ago his company had seven employees; now it is down to a staff of three, including Grant's wife, Ann, who helps out with the business. 

Married 14 years ago, with two children each from previous marriages, the Grants now live alone in a modest tract house a few miles from their office. With Tommy off crusading much of the time, business isn't exactly booming. But the Grants say the satisfaction of having a clean conscience is compensation enough. "I want to see honor and integrity come back into business," says Tommy. "I want to see the day come back when a man can do a deal with a handshake." 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Dangers and implications of short cuts in safety checks

I’m running behind schedule. Nothing bad will happen to me. I won’t be up there long. Everybody does it this way.

Thoughts like these might run through a worker’s head before he or she decides to take a safety shortcut. No matter the rationalization for the behavior, not following proper procedures can have disastrous results – hence the phrase, “shortcuts cut life short.” Even workers who have been on the job long enough to know better may cut corners.

But why?

“Most of the time, the shortcut is because somebody has the perception that they’re in a hurry for something,” said Timothy C. Healey, director of safety at the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. in Hartford, CT. “What’s interesting to me is what’s driving them to feel that they need to be in a hurry.”

He offered several possible explanations – a personal priority on working fast, job insecurity, the proverbial “time is money” attitude, too few workers to complete the task, or changes in the organization or job roles. Whatever the reason, when the need to work fast outranks the need to work safe, mishaps can occur.

Some employees may be tempted to take safety shortcuts in work scenarios involving the following seven areas.
Hazard recognition
Employees often use checklists to assess hazards in the workplace before beginning a task. This simple step can help prevent incidents – that is, if each hazard is given its due level of attention.

Healey cautioned that, out of complacency or a rush to accomplish tasks, workers may run through a checklist without actually stopping to evaluate each item on the list.

“The hand and eye are checking off the little box on the checklist, but the brain is not engaged in the function,” he said.

At the same time, overreliance on checklists can cause workers to miss something important.

“Checklists are not foolproof,” Healey said. “Checklists can serve as an excellent guide, but [they] may not have a little checkbox for every possible variation that could lead to some sort of a safety issue.”
In a warehouse, it is not uncommon for workers to climb onto shelves or racks to reach an object rather than use a portable safety ladder, according to Roger Bryant, manager of safety and Department of Transportation compliance at Water Products Inc. in Owasso, OK.

Bryant reminds workers that the effort to save a few seconds could lead to an injury – even paralysis – if they fall. Additionally, using a ladder improperly can be just as dangerous as not using one at all.

Connie J. Telfeyan, risk/safety manager at Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska, cited a case of a maintenance worker using a ladder to install computer cabling in the ceiling. The worker’s shift was almost over, so he quickly set up the ladder and climbed to the highest rung.

As he reached the top – which he should not have been working from – the ladder collapsed and he fell 8 feet to the floor.

“When setting up the ladder, he did not make sure the ladder was locked open,” Telfeyan said in an email to Safety+Health. “In fact, it was not even fully open, so when he neared the top of the ladder with more weight on one side than the other, the ladder actually twisted before collapsing.”

The worker was fortunate to not break any bones, but he was knocked unconscious and suffered a mild concussion.
Pre-trip inspections are important because they help detect problems before a vehicle goes out on the road. In addition to compromising safety, neglecting to check brakes, tires and other vehicle equipment can result in lost productivity.

“We’ve had to transfer a completely loaded trailer before because we couldn’t get lights working,” Bryant said. Of course, if the worker had performed the inspection before loading the trailer, as protocol dictates, the issue could have been resolved before the last minute.

The thought process is, “‘Oh well, everything will be fine. I’m in a hurry and I need to get it loaded rather than take that little bit of time to make sure everything is OK,”’ Bryant said. “Then you put the driver at risk.”

David Novak, safety leader at Cedar Rapids, IA-based Worley Warehousing, encounters problems with forklift operators not looking before backing up.

“We’re running into some minor scrapes, things like that. We just find that people are looking ahead and they just want to back up a couple inches and sometimes, all of a sudden, they scrape a pole,” he said.

The company teaches operators to look left, look right, look behind and look all around before backing up. Novak also addresses the issue in safety meetings, posters, emails and conversations with individual workers, during which he calls out improper actions and reinforces correct behaviors.

Confined spacesCompliance with OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout Standard, which protects workers from unexpected startup of machinery, prevents approximately 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year, according to OSHA.

Despite the obvious benefit, workers still may gamble with safety by attempting to clear jams or fix machines without first stopping the machine.

Doug Dikun, a safety professional based in Carol Stream, IL, described workers performing lockout/tagout “on the fly”: Often on a production line or in a conveyer area, a worker will time the rotation or movement so he or she can dislodge an object with the machine still in motion.

The cost of an error in judgment can be severe. Telfeyan recalled an incident in which a custodian, in a rush to take his lunch break, tried to oil a machine part without turning off the machine. His hand was caught in the fan belt, and he ended up losing a finger.

“We learn [afterward] he has done the machine oiling this way many times before and ‘nothing bad happened.’” Telfeyan said.

To discourage such actions, Michael Wright, director of health, safety and environment for the Pittsburgh-based United Steelworkers, advises management to make locks available, ensure access to locking areas, and develop and communicate procedures that are safe and easy to follow.

Healey sometimes comes across workers taking shortcuts while they are checking the atmosphere of a confined space.

“They’ve been doing it for so long that perhaps some com-placency has crept in,” he said. With the mindset that “we’ve never had a problem before,” a worker may fail to monitor the atmosphere at the top, middle and bottom of the space or overlook a particular anomaly that makes this confined space entry different than previous ones.

“If you don’t follow appropriate procedures,” he warned, “you could find yourself inadvertently sending someone into a low-oxygen environment because you didn’t bother to do the checks as they’re supposed to be done.”
Personal protective equipment
At Irving, TX-based Flowserve Corp., the most common safety shortcut is failing to use gloves or using gloves that are not appropriate for the hazard, according to safety analyst Pam Jones.

As of Oct. 31, 2011, 38 percent of the company’s record-able hand injuries were attributed to glove deficiencies. Flowserve estimates that taking hand safety shortcuts “saved” workers who sustained hand injuries about 25 seconds per incident. Conversely, the consequences included numerous sutures to close wounds, an infected hand and more than 50 lost workdays, Jones said.

To counteract hand protection problems, Flowserve displays boards with a picture and description of proper gloves for each task and continues to train workers on hand protection while discouraging shortcuts.

When workers realize they have forgotten a tool or piece of safety equipment, they either can go back and get it or keep working. Dikun has seen many workers take the latter option or cut corners by “misusing a tool” instead of retrieving the right one. An example would be using a screwdriver as a pry bar or wedge.

In Novak’s experience, PPE compliance often comes down to worker attitude. “If I’ve got a negative attitude, then everything you give me … I’m going to balk at it,” he said. “‘I don’t want to wear the steel toes because they’re cold on my toes’ and ‘My glasses are fogging up.’ But if you have a positive person and they’re on board with everything, then, ‘Yep, no problem; I’ll wear it and get it done.’”
Fall protection
Shortcuts with fall protection come in many forms, such as failing to tie off, using worn equipment, using equipment improperly, and not verifying the strength of the anchorage point. Perhaps the biggest issue is overlooking the need for fall protection for a task that is not expected to take long.

“You think that you have control over your surroundings. You think that you have control over the hazards, but it takes a split second to fall,” said Thomas Kramer, president of the International Society for Fall Protection, based in Dayton, OH.

He noted that unlike safety glasses or hearing protection, workers do not typically wear harnesses in off-the-job activities. “The use of fall protection equipment isn’t as intuitive as other forms of PPE, so that’s a big issue,” he said.

Along with enforcement, safety programs should help workers understand the hazards and provide real-world scenarios of worker exposure to falls. For example, a worker wearing a harness falls but remains suspended in the air: When discussing the issue with workers, “Don’t ask the question, ‘How long do you think someone can suspend in a harness?’” Kramer said. “Ask the question, ‘How long do you want to be suspended in a harness?’”

He has found that workers say a much shorter length of time when the scenario is reframed to put their life on the line.  

Swagefast ensures their clients are well trained for safety reasons


1. Training sessions on an on going basis with qualified personnel is recommended before using Swagebolt equipment.

2. Swagebolt equipment must be maintained in a safe working condition at all times. Tools and hoses should be inspected at the beginning of each shift/day for damage or wear. Any repair should be done by a qualified repairman trained on Swagefast procedures.

3. For multiple hazards, read and understand the safety instructions before installing, operating, repairing, maintaining, changing accessories on, or working near the assembly power tool. Failure to do so can result in serious bodily injury.

4. Only qualified and trained operators should install, adjust or use the assembly power tool.

5. Do not modify this assembly power tool. This can reduce effectiveness of safety measures and increase operator risk.

6. Do not discard safety instructions; give them to the operator.

7. Do not use assembly power tool if it has been damaged.

8. Tools shall be inspected periodically to verify all ratings and markings required, and listed in the manual, are legibly marked on the tool. The employer/operator shall contact the manufacturer to obtain replacement marking labels when necessary. Refer to assembly drawing and parts list for

9. Tool is only to be used as stated in this manual. Any other use is prohibited.

10. Read MSDS Specifications before servicing the tool. MSDS specifications are available from the product manufacturer or your Swagefast representative.

11. Only genuine Swagefast parts shall be used for replacements or spares. Use of any other parts can result in tooling damage or personal injury.

12. Never remove any safety guards or pintail deflectors.

13. Never install a fastener in free air. Personal injury from fastener ejecting may occur.

14. Where applicable, always clear spent pintail out of nose assembly before installing the next fastener.

15. Check clearance between trigger and work piece to ensure there is no pinch point when tool is activated. Remote triggers are available for hydraulic tooling if pinch point is unavoidable.

16. Do not abuse tool by dropping or using it as a hammer. Never use hydraulic or air lines as a handle or to bend or pry the tool. Reasonable care of installation tools by operators is an important factor in maintaining tool efficiency, eliminating downtime, and preventing an accident which
may cause severe personal injury.

17. Never place hands between nose assembly and work piece. Keep hands clear from front of tool.

18. Tools with ejector rods should never be cycled with out nose assembly installed.

19. When two piece lock bolts are being used always make sure the collar orientation is correct. See fastener data sheet for correct positioning.

What makes Swagefast fasteners unique?

Swagefast fasteners never need to be tightened/torqued because of the annular locking groove

- High vibration stress test proved that fasteners consistently maintained 98% of their pre-load

- Visual inspection verify correct fastener installation.

- Wide grip ranges decrease fastener part numbers and inventory levels.

- Uniform clamp force is consistent.

- Long term reliable joint

- Longer fatigue life

- Vibration resistant

- Less downtime

- Tamper resistant proof

- Increase productivity

- Lower installation costs

- Consistent installation results

- Improved quality and reliability

Shy away from the old system of fastening that leaves loopholes for your fasteners to either wear out, be tampered with, has short life fatigue, reduce productivity and are extremely expensive. Contact Swagefast now  for a quote on the contact details provided above.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Bolt system resists effects of vibration for safer joint design

It is vital that joints holding sub-assemblies together remain secure. Bolts need to be easily removable during maintenance, but resist loosening effects of vibrations and dynamic loads. 

Ever since the bolt was invented it has been important to prevent self-loosening. Under static load the bolt is kept in place by frictional force under the head and in the thread. However, bolted joints exposed to dynamic loads or vibrations are likely to gradually loosen. This problem compels designers to use various kinds of bolt-securing methods.
Mentioning all known bolt-securing systems would result in a lengthy list. Even if some of the common bolt locking methods (such as serrated washers, adhesives or deformed nuts) work fairly well when the dynamic loads are lenient, only one method has proven fully reliable when conditions are extreme. If the cost of breakdown is high, maximum safety is crucial and quick and easy maintenance required, the securing system is superior. The technique utilises tension instead of friction to secure bolted joints. The wedge-locking method meeting DIN25201 outperforms any traditional method.
Make the bolt self-locking
For more than 20 years the specialist company has produced a high-quality bolt securing system, consisting of a pair of pre-assembled washers. The washers have a cam angle 'a', which is greater than the thread pitch 'b'. In addition, there are radial teeth on the opposite sides of the washers.
The washers are always installed in pairs, cam face to cam face. When the bolt or nut is tightened the teeth grip and seat the mating surfaces. The washers are locked in place, allowing movement only across the face of the cams. Any loosening attempt of the bolt/nut to rotate loose is blocked by the wedge effect of the cams.
Clamp load
When faced with a problem joint, it is not surprising that the design engineer will not have an answer when asked about the clamp load. Calculations must be based on the existing conditions and these are very vague. If all the parameters are not exact the torque calculation will be unreliable.
Examples of these parameters are: thread condition; hardness of the mating surfaces; extra friction from a 'locking' fastener; type of mating material (steel, aluminium, etc.); adhesive on the thread; oil or grease on the thread; moisture on the surfaces; type of bolt head (flanged, regular or serrated); surface coating of the bolt; new or used fastener; friction coefficient of thread, nut and bolt head.
Control over the clamp load in a bolted joint is vital. To achieve that the friction on the bolt should be low which in turn will result in a minimum of clamp load deviation.
In major automotive companies, incoming fastener batches are tested on the actual material of any specific joint to obtain the torque/clamp load ratio and its deviation. Their engineers know the clamp loads in the joints. Smaller- and medium-size companies are usually not in possession of sophisticated bolt testing laboratories.
Some of the many reasons for machine failure due to bolts coming loose or breaking are:
- In principle, the bolt is designed to hold due to its own friction in the thread and under the head. This works during static conditions but not when there are high dynamic forces. Especially transverse dynamic loads are dangerous.
- The thread pitch can be compared with a down hill slope where thread slip occurs.
- The clamping length could be too short so that any motion in the bolt will result in a severe loss of tension.
- When re-using bolts without lubrication, the friction can be very high, resulting in a very low clamp load.
- Re-using bolts initially locked with adhesives with higher friction and a very low clamp load as a result.
- Loss of clamp load due to bearing surface being too small leading to fatigue failures.
Various studies have been done in a test laboratory on torque/load ratios and vibration tests on specific joints.
During regular testing of customer's applications, it has been noticed that illogical measures have been taken with the purpose of achieving higher bolt security. It often happens that an engineer chooses a high-grade bolt for a joint that has had bolt failures with a standard 8.8 bolt.
Unfortunately, the surface treatment on high-grade bolts compared with normal electro zinc-plated may change the friction conditions which should be taken into consideration when calculating the torque figures.
In addition there is a risk of over-loading the base material of the joint. Even with a higher torque value, the clamp load may be too small due to the higher friction. The joint becomes more expensive but not safer.
Other bolt securing systems
Locking nuts: A survey of bolt securing systems will show a large number of different locking nuts, which try to hold onto the thread through increased friction. During vibration tests with transverse motions according to the Junker Principle, meeting the German standard DIN65151, there is a loss in preload of 80 to 90 per cent at a given amplitude. That means, the securing nuts do not fall off the bolt, but they do not prevent the bolt from starting to rotate and from loosing most of its preload.
Any of these nuts show more or less the same result. The pitch of the thread always makes the nut turn at a certain amplitude of transverse motions. The greater the amplitude and the shorter the clamping length, the quicker they start turning.
Tab washers, safety wire and castellated nuts: Old-fashioned securing systems such as tab washers, safety wire and castellated nuts are still widespread. These methods are very expensive and labour-intensive, plus they will not provide a firm locking since the tab, wire, or pin is of soft steel. When using tab washers there is always a risk of moving the nut/bolt during assembly, resulting in a loss of preload.
Furthermore, if the tab is not exactly parallel with any of the sides of the bolt head, it may start rotating when exposed to vibrations or dynamic loads. Even insignificant rotation of the bolt/nut may cause a significant loss of preload.
Spring washers: It is a misunderstanding that spring washers have a locking effect. Most spring washers only add a minute amount of spring action (up to 10 per cent of the capacity of a grade 8.8 bolt). If serrated, there will be an increase in friction, which may result in a locking effect which normally does not last when exposed to vibration or dynamic load.

Customer support and safety tests
Here clients can put joints from their own applications to the test. In simulations of real-life conditions torque-load ratios are measured and Junker vibration tests are performed.
In a Junker vibration test (meeting DIN65151) bolted joints are subjected to transverse movements while a load cell continuously measures the bolt tension. The Junker test is used to compare different bolted joint configurations and is a first step in selecting the best technical solution to prevent bolt loosening. The Junker test is sometimes considered a worst-case scenario and bolted joints performing well in this test normally function flawlessly in real life conditions.
There is a bolt tension during vibration testing of some common fasteners. The entire bolt tension is lost in unsecured joints while most of the tension is lost in joints secured by thread friction nuts.
Vibration tests
All vibration tests show a positive result. These washers prevent any rotation of the fastener and only a limited part of the initial bolt tension is lost due to normal settlements between the contact surfaces. Their wedge-locking function is verified by increase in tension during untightening.
These washers can be used for slotted-hole applications. The use of special (sp) washers with enlarged outer diameter in combination with a flanged bolt/nut is recommended to increase the load area as much as possible.
Normally also standard washers lock the joints but enlarged washers are more lenient to the contact surfaces 
The total stress in a bolt is called equivalent stress, which consists of tensile stress and torsion stress according to the formula.
Equivalent stress = 1 sx2 + 3 txy2
Any given bolt can only withstand its maximum yield stress. In order to maximise the tensile stress (sx) it is vital to minimise the torsion stress (txy). This will require a lubricant on the thread. The safest method is to apply thread paste or thread grease. Additional positive effects from this lubrication are that the deviation of clamp load will be reduced significantly and after a long period of time it will be a lot easier to dismantle since the lubricant will offer a corrosion resistance.
Clamp - load curves from tightening bolts during different thread friction conditions are shown.

How safety oriented are you?

Swagefast is highly Safety Oriented

Manufacturing companies have a safety policy to protect their workers from any harm within the working stations. Swagefast as the best fastening system in South Africa ensures that their workers are safe by following all the relevant safety and security measures and regulations. Swagefast fastening systems are manufactured in the warehouse where workers are given the relevant protective gear (boots, goggles, gloves) to carry out their daily duties, the warehouse has all the relevant sign-age and rules to ensure their worker’s safety. Machine safety is one of the key factors in ensuring that production is efficient. Employees are taken on training with regards to the use of the machinery they use in the warehouse. A forklift and a trolley is made available for workers to use when they carry heavy boxes, equipment and products. Safety precautions are taken and all the safety standards are met. Reliable systems that are simple to operate and maintain reduce the probability of accidents, as well as the susceptibility of the equipment to fault. In case of any injuries, there is a first aid kit allocated which is used by one employee who went for the first aid kit certification. Warehouse safety is achieved when existing risks are recognised in advance and where necessary reduced as quickly as possible. Swagefast safety systems fulfils every high standard today, not only do they ensure safety within their organization but their products also promote safety:

Mining industry fasteners
In the manufacture of equipment for the surface underground mining applications and coal preparations plants, the Swagebolt installation system provides a very high strength vibration resistant fastening solution that reduces downtime and improves safety standards by removing sheet gap and maintaining tension overtime. The Swagefast name represents advanced technology in the supply of bolts and fasteners for use in long term developments. Their products are designed to increase productivity, reduce downtime and improve safety standards in complex mining applications where structural integrity is critical. This enables their clients to minimise risk and provide overall value and efficiency in operational performance.

Solar power fasteners
Moreover Swagefast manufactures solar power fasteners, as the production of solar plants requires an innovative fastening solution that ensures high speed assembly, resistance to vibration, consistent high clamp and tamper proof joints. The Swagefast fastening system offers a highly vibration resistant joint owing to its unique design which the collar is swaged into annular locking grooves of the swagebolt, thus ensuring a permanent lock.

Railway fastening systems
The same applies with rail fastening systems, Swagefast’s rail fastening systems, including a range of standard and custom fasteners, nuts and bolts are designed with proper clamp, vibration resistance and fatigue life in mind to ensure reduced maintenance and greater track integrity in rail infrastructure applications.

Petrochemical fasteners
Through continuous pursuit of uncompromising innovation quality and refinement, Swagefast has become synonymous with economical fastening technology for the petrochemicals sector. Their product solutions have been developed to reduce risk and improve safety in corrosive and harsh environments, thereby improving performance, productivity and profitability. Their range of safety critical fasteners and components are manufactured to meet quality and performance criteria to ensure the most efficient solution for specific application within the oil, gas and petrochemical sector. The Swagefast fastening system offers high performance and corrosion resistant properties, making it ideal for use in heavy duty, high vibration applications. The shear strength of components, combined with quick and easy installations offers an ideal solution for complex systems where reliability requirements and the cost of failure and downtime are extremely high.

Transport and leisure fasteners
Swagefast focuses on improving operations and minimising downtime with superior automotive fasteners and components to meet the stringent quality demand of heavy-duty transportation applications. As a result, uncompromising quality and reliable delivery are an integral part of the way we provide the service you expect. Bus, car, trailer, caravan, truck and container manufacturer all rely on Swagefast for quality fastener solutions that are designed to prevent equipment downtime and increase productivity for long term dependable operations. Their extensive product range and a high trained sales team experienced in transportation production technology requirements and quality standards, ensures that we have the capacity to deliver the right solution for your sector’s needs.

Energy fasteners
More than two decades of experience working with developers, manufacturers and OEMs in the power generation’s sector has positioned Swagefast as the premier supplier of specialised fastening systems and speciality fasteners.  They pride themselves in offering certified product integrity for reliable structural joints and service excellence that ensures peace of mind. These fastening systems offer high performance and quick installation, making it ideal for use in power plants as well as other applications in the energy sector where reliability requirements and the cost of failure or downtime are extremely high.

Engineering and construction
Engineers and manufacturers need suppliers whom they can depend on to help them meet demands while dealing with the complex challenges of rising customer expectations, lower-cost competitors and stringent quality requirements. Swagefast™ collaborates with engineers to devise a full-service solution, incorporating our range of quality structural fasteners and fastening components that add better overall value to help achieve operational excellence. Swagebolt fasteners allow for the manufacture of highly engineered products for the toughest applications in a variety of industries, including the building and construction sectors. All of their critical fasteners and components are designed to match customer needs for the production of products that are free of rattles, less susceptible to failures and leaks, and have rigid and minimal maintenance joints.
Swagefast is all about safety and they ensure that they distribute it in different industries and sectors because they care about people’s well-being not only in their company but all over the world.