How Custom Fasteners are Made

When companies in industries from agriculture to shipping need standard fasteners, they have plenty of options for purchasing them. But when a special part is needed, only a company that focuses on delivering custom fasteners will ensure a quick turnaround and superior product. At Chicago Nut & Bolt, custom work is what we do, and our custom fasteners can be made to any specifications in a timely manner that has impressed our clients for 20 years.

Despite the complex parts we have been able to produce during the past two decades, our process is simple. It begins when a client sends a blueprint for a part, which might be anything from a custom screw for a century-old bridge to a 6-ft. bolt for a crane. Based on the blueprint and specifications for features like a particular grade of steel or type of plating, we typically provide a quote within 24 hours. That’s our goal, and it’s an industry-leading turnaround.

Once we send the quote and it becomes an order, we coordinate with the manufacturers handling the multiple aspects of production that go into developing a custom order. Next, we continue to the vital step of quality control. During this testing phase, our experts check 30, 60 or even more dimensions, verifying them within a tolerance range. Only after all quality measures have been approved do we package the order. Along with the parts, we send certification that all material grade and strength properties have been met. Everything needed is shipped to the customer, but we also offer warehousing. That means, our customers have the option of making large orders and asking for their certified parts as needed.

There is a lot that goes into making custom fasteners, but because we have been doing precisely that for 20 years, we have a tested, step-by-step process that enables us to offer the quickest turnaround in the market.

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A Custom Fastener for the Mining Industry Shines Like Gold

Crafting just the right piece of hardware can sometimes feel like creating a piece of jewelry. And when custom bolts and nuts are needed to secure heavy equipment, absolute precision is necessary. A recent custom fastener we developed for hydraulic mining equipment both met the exacting tolerances of the blueprint and sparkled like a golden pendant thanks to its distinctive plating.

The client came to Chicago Nut & Bolt with an order to produce 2,500 custom pieces with several special features. First, the fastener had to be crafted from high-alloy hardened steel, which would provide considerable strength and resistance to corrosion. Because the mining equipment would be exposed to wet conditions, including ocean water, this high level of preservation was key. Second, the custom fasteners needed to feature internal and external threads so that they could be screwed both inside and out. Basically, it was a special nut and bolt combined in one piece.

Based on the client’s exacting blueprints, we began the process of filling this custom order by utilizing CNC machinery. Thanks to this advanced technology, the raw steel could be cut in a precise manner with a computer-controlled metal lathe. The CNC machine also added the interior and exterior threads to this special fastener. Next, the pieces were heat treated and finally plated, which created the gold sheen that makes the fasteners look like a modern piece of industrial-style jewelry. At each step in the process, our team performed a stringent quality inspection.

Finally, the 2,500 special fasteners were packaged to the customer’s specs and shipped. From blueprint to delivery, the process took about four weeks, although we have been known to create custom nuts and bolts as fast as overnight or within a few hours. That’s because our main capability is creating one-of-a-kind nuts and bolts in quantities from one to 1 million. Not every custom fastener we manufacture will look like a piece of jewelry, but every piece will always be just the right fit.

Chicago Nut & Bolt manufacturers custom large size fasteners, including bolts, nuts and screws per blue print. With over 20 years in the custom fastener business, Chicago Nut & Bolt supplies quantities from one to 1 million pieces and can also warehouse orders.

 

Choosing the Right Fastener Supplier for Rapid Prototyping

You’ve just had a new design approved to move on to the next stage – prototyping. That’s good news, right?

The only issue? Your first iteration is due in a short amount of time and you don’t know where to source the pieces from.

Choosing the Right Supplier

Finding the right supplier can be difficult under normal circumstances, let alone when you’re on a time crunch. If you’ve never had to source products before, the first things to keep in mind are your physical product needs, budget, the scale of your project, reliability of the supplier, and time constraints.

Once you have all of these factors figured out, you can either look for suppliers that meet your criteria, or put out a Request for Proposals. Once you have received a handful of bids, consider which ones will best meet your requirements. If you have some contenders that can’t meet your deadline or require a minimum product order that’s above what you need, put those to the side and focus on the others.

What to Look for in a Fastener Supplier

Since special fasteners are present in just about every product imaginable, there’s a good chance you’ll need at least a few in your prototype to hold everything together.

When choosing a fastener supplier for a rapid prototyping project, look for companies that stock blanks in a wide variety of styles and sizes. These can be customized depending on your needs.

You should also look for manufacturers and/or distributors that not only carry a large inventory of options, but additionally have the ability to design customized fasteners just in case your project ends up needing something more precise.

How We Support Rapid Prototyping

At Chicago Nut & Bolt, our fastener prototypes take your specifications for geometry, joint design, and structure into account to come up with the right configuration for your prototypes. Our specialists can even take a look at your application demands and physical requirements to help determine the right material for your project.

Request a quote for your project to see how we can help you.

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Unique Projects That Call for Custom Fasteners

Custom Fasteners are a vital component of any major construction project. But some projects require more customized fastener options than others due to environmental concerns or weight requirements. We’ve worked on a number of unique projects that required custom fasteners, and have rounded up a few of our favorites.

Otherworldly Applications

Chicago Nut & Bolt has worked on a few projects with applications beyond Earth (while still remaining firmly planted on the ground). The Bioshere 2 in Arizona is a massive 3.15-acre self-contained ecosystem. The goal is to replicate a biosphere on another planet to test the possibilities and realities of space colonization. This was a major undertaking, with construction beginning in 1987 and finishing in 1991. Unfortunately, efforts to replicate food growth and production on a planet like Mars were unsuccessful – but this is valuable knowledge when considering what methods will work on a foreign landscape. By performing trial and error here on Earth, we’re setting up eventual colonists with a better understanding of what to look out for and design around.

In addition to helping build the largest closed ecosystem, we’ve also supplied custom fasteners for the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. At 1,001 feet across, this is the largest single-aperture telescope ever built. The radio telescope is used for radio astronomy, aeronomy, and radar astronomy. The massive focusing dish of the telescope gives Arecibo the largest electromagnetic-wave-gathering capacity on Earth.

Regional Landmarks

While we have supported many lesser-known projects with far reaching applications, we’ve also supplied custom fasteners for more well-known structures. Perhaps the most widely recognized project is the Golden Gate Bridge, which we regularly supply fasteners for during refurbishing and maintenance.

We’ve also provided fasteners for a more local landmark – the “Son of Beast” record-breaking wooden roller coaster in Mason, Ohio. It’s the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world, topping out at 78 mph and 218 feet tall. It’s also the only looping wooden roller coaster.

We’re always interested in seeing how our custom fasteners are used once they leave the factory floor. With customers in such diverse industries, it’s an exciting challenge coming up with solutions that meet strict specifications. If you need specialized fasteners for a project, let us know your requirements and we can work with you to find the best solution. You can request a quote online or call us at 888-529-8600 to discuss your needs.

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How Radically A High-Speed Train System Would Improve Travel In The US

Business Insider has broadcasted a video showing just how radically a high-speed train would revolutionize our traveling systems.  Hyperloop is in the making and has some great projects ahead to making this high-speed train a reality.

According to this video, the US railroad network is composed of about 140,000 miles of tracks. Many passengers travel by train at only 50 mph.  The top speed of the fastest train, AMTRACK, is on average anywhere between 80-90 MPH.

 

A new vision for high-speed trains would connect to all the U.S major cities of a 170,000  mile network.  Here is how it would be mapped out.

What’s the Difference between Us and Them?

More choices. It’s that simple. At Chicago Nut & Bolt we specialize in custom made fasteners to meet any specification and application.

Many of our competitors may say they are a custom manufacturer but when you look closely at their products and capabilities, they are 90-95% off the shelf. That might be fine for some applications. But, for truly custom made nuts, bolts and screws the best choice is to work with a company that has the capabilities to produce exactly what you need.

How can we be 100% custom and provide quick turnaround times? It’s because we have a massive inventory of blanks and a plant staffed with experienced machinists. Every imaginable head style of fastener is stocked and the blanks can be modified according to exact specifications. We will provide extra-large or extra-long sizes, drill holes, fit an extra thread, add a special body diameter, or create a special pattern across the flats.

Custom bolts are available in a wide range of materials and many different bolt styles such as square, round, hexagonal, countersunk, flanged, socket, and 12-point. We can add any type of protective and anti-corrosion coatings and treatment. No other company has the same capabilities as we do.

If you want more precision, more accuracy, more style, and more choices, the company to partner with is Chicago Nut & Bolt. We’re all custom! Contact us today to learn more.

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Chicago Nut & Bolt Debuts New Website

This spring, Chicago Nut & Bolt is launching an updated website to better serve our customers. The new look offers enhanced navigation, additional information, and enhanced technical specifications.

Within the capabilities and services sections we provide you with detailed information including images and case studies where applicable. When choosing a manufacturing partner we feel it is important to give you as much information as you’ll need to help you explore all available options. Providing this information at your fingertips gives you the tools to make informed decisions about how we can meet the needs of your application.

The new site also features interesting projects where we have supplied custom fasteners as well as testimonials from customers who have been extremely satisfied with the parts and service they’ve received from Chicago Nut & Bolt.

The website features a new design but the nuts and bolt of our company remain the same–high-quality fasteners customers have come to rely on. If you need standard or custom nuts, bolts, and screws for any type of industrial application, please contact us today!

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Safe Summer Travel – and the Components that Make it Possible

For many Americans, travel is a huge part of their summer plans. Spending the season on the open waters, cruising while enjoying the weather and scenery, is a favorite pastime. And while boarding these vessels and perfecting their tan, most people aren’t thinking about the components that go into shipbuilding. The same is true for the trains that bring countless American families to their destinations throughout the season.

For the ship and railroad builders, however, every component is critical, and of utmost priority is safety. Take fasteners, for instance. They’re small but crucial parts of these large modes of transportation, and safely getting from point A to point B depends on their quality.

Did you know that forensics have concluded that it might have been faulty fasteners that ultimately sunk the Titanic? While a lot of time has passed since that fateful voyage, what hasn’t changed is the importance of fasteners, and the need for quality construction and design.

At Chicago Nut & Bolt, we manufacture custom fasteners—inclusive of custom nuts, bolts, and screws—for a wide variety of industries and applications, including the ships and trains that bring people to and from their summer vacations.

We meet all specific requirements and sizes and make blanks in every imaginable head style—all the while making quality our number one priority.

As an ISO-certified, Fastener Quality Act-compliant company, using the most sophisticated testing and certification procedures, safety is always ensured, and the quality is always uncompromised.

The last thing travelers should have to worry about is the safety of their transportation; when companies choose to use our fasteners, it’s something no one has to worry about.

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West Coast Port Disruptions Are Causing Unprecedented Delays: Chicago Nut and Bolt Can Help

In 2002, when the ‘West Coast’ ports went through a 10 day long lockdown, the Us economy suffered a blow of almost a billion dollars a day and the resulting backlog took a year to clear out.

The ports on the west coast of the country, especially Long Beach and Seattle-Tacoma are points of contact with the influx of imported goods from East Asian markets. Everything from the meat and poultry industry to fruit exporters and consumer electronics depends upon components that are shipped in and distributed from these ports. Anything is short of smooth and effortless co-ordination at these terminals results in delays that are magnified down the supply chain.

WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Starting late 2014, because of brewing discontent and a lack of clear communication between terminal authorities and the labor union, the congestion at these ports has escalated to touch epic proportions. What is a three-week long delay is now anywhere between six to seven weeks, leaving manufacturing lines depleted of raw material and the production potential of the nation on a leash.

WHAT IS THE REASON?
The hypothesis is murky at best with an ongoing ‘blame’ game. The terminal authorities claim that the port workers are intentionally reducing their productivity to fan an already volatile situation into a complete lockdown. The port laborers who are dissatisfied with poor working conditions and the lack of formal contracts are pointing in the direction of the management stating that out of 1000 employees who report for work, only 200 are mobilized and allowed to engage in actively moving the imported goods to ease the congestion issue.

It is impossible conclusively to vouch the verity of a particular perspective, but the resulting delays are forcing factories to pay for airfreight and make do with limited supply of raw materials. In extreme cases, contracts have been voided because of deadline violations.

HOW CAN CHICAGO NUT AND BOLT?
In the midst of this chaos, Chicago Nut and Bolt can facilitate the delivery of ‘contingency’ consignments of up to 5000 pieces to help companies that rely on nuts and bolts to keep production lines moving.

If your imported raw materials are stuck in transit and your inventory is running dangerously low, we can fill in the gap with high-quality pieces crafted to ensure robustness and compliance to industry standards.

To know more about our fastener products and operational services, visit http://www.cnb-inc.com/index.html or write to us at inquiries@cnb-inc.com.

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Then US Manufacturing Story: What to Expect in 2015

2015 is all set to be a landmark year in the history of US manufacturing. The trend of sustainable growth as shown by 2014 is a presage of a potential boom in the sector. A long-awaited positive turn after the recent economic slump of the recession!

As per the discussions and opinions of leading analysts, 2015 will set the course for the engine of manufacturing to traverse. The Boston Consulting Group’s analysis has revealed the fact that the default choice of offshoring – China will no longer be able to hold on to its favored position. The mandate to provide minimum wage increases of 15 to 20 percentage points every year has reduced the cost benefit of manufacturing in China to 55% in 2014 and will further push it down to a dismal 39% in 2015. It is not hard to envision the disappearing allure of opening manufacturing units on foreign soil for every conceivable product irrespective of the demand in these offshore markets.

However, labor is not the only cost associated with manufacturing. Transportation, the cost of raw materials and obviously the cost of electric power all contribute heavily to determining the location of the factory. According to the US Energy Information Administration, crude oil production is all geared to touch a record high of 9.3 million b/d in 2015. Thus, the dwindling advantage of cheap labor can no longer offset the high cost of transportation across the seas. Under such circumstances, the abundance of fuel within the country is bound to sway decisions in favor of re-shoring.

Alternative energy production is also becoming more affordable and reliable. By 2040 15% of the global energy consumption will be attributed to alternatives and the US is right at the forefront of this trend promising inexpensive and readily available electricity to power manufacturing ventures.

The Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is also optimistic. It is sitting steady at 54.8 at the end of November, and this indicates a rise in the volume of bulk orders and sales to foreign markets.

The US manufacturing sector has always been the main impetus behind the growth of the nation. It drives two-thirds of all R&D efforts, and its workers are twice as productive as others enjoying higher wages and a better lifestyle. (*National Association of Manufacturers)

Considering major indicators – 2015 is shaping up to be the time to celebrate the return to glory of US manufacturing and will herald prosperity if all external factors co-operate.