Fasteners help Tyco cut enclosure design time and cost

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

Dean Palmer finds out how the innovative use of fasteners has helped a manufacturer of electronic control cabinets slash design times and cost

A manufacturer of racks, cabinets and enclosures has cut design time and costs through clever use of fasteners on its bespoke optical fibre racks and fibre management enclosures for telecommunications customers.

The Tyco Electronics/Comacc site in Braintree, Essex has a continual product development programme, which includes the innovative use of fasteners to implement design changes to enable its equipment to be made faster, more easily and at lower cost.

Matt Craig, designer at Tyco explained how the design and purchasing departments at the company are constantly seeking new products that will make every job more efficient and effective for Tyco and its customers: "That includes fasteners, since the majority of products we produce are based around the use of sheet metalwork."

Doncaster-based company Northern Precision has been supplying Tyco with a range of self-clinch nuts that are used in 90% of applications. The firm also provides a range of special purpose fastening solutions in turned and cold formed components. Craig explained: "In addition to non-standard stand-offs and low profile knurled head fasteners, fasteners that are traditionally associated with PCB board manufacture are increasingly being used by Tyco for other purposes and to good effect.

"In one case, a moulded plastic clip has been successfully replaced with a PCB snap-top - simply updating the drawing by showing the use of a stud instead of a hole has not only resulted in a more efficient and lower cost manufacturing process through reduced assembly time, but it has also meant we have eliminated a stock item," he added.

Another example he cited was Northern Precision supply of non-standard M3 stand-offs, turned from aluminium rod, in lengths of 30mm and 38mm, which have in some applications eliminated four separate assembly operations. "Of course, the savings we make improve our efficiency and save us money in terms of assembly and product costs," concluded Craig.

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