3 Million Nitrile Gloves!

This is what 400,000 gloves looks like. It’s 4 skids and weighs almost 3,000 pounds!

This is the first shipment of our 3 million glove order to help US workers stay safe.  We are so excited and proud to help our front-line and government workers with their PPE needs!

Buy PPE online or request a quote at mfsupply.com


Buyer’s Guide to KN95 Respirator Masks: 7 Things to know

KN95 GB2626-2006

Today we introduce our newest product, the KN95 Respirator Mask to the Chinese standard GB2626-2006. Introduced in the US market in response to the Corona virus pandemic and approved for use under the CDC’s EAU, the KN95 is currently being used for protection against Covid-19.

1. What is a KN95 respirator mask?

Regulated by the Chinese government (CE), a KN95 respirator mask is a type of Filtering Facepiece Respirator (FFR).  Similar in function to the USA N95s, KN95s have a minimum of 95% filtration and a maximum 8% leakage to the inside and are made to the GB2626-2006 standard.

2. Who uses KN95 respirator masks?

Mainly used in construction, agriculture, and by healthcare professionals against airborne particles, infectious agents and viruses, KN95s prevent the wearer from inhaling aerosols (dust, smoke, mist) as well as vapors or gases (disinfectants, anesthetic gases, droplets) that are health hazards. KN95s are currently used for protection against the coronavirus.

Interesting fact: Prior to Covid-19, there were ample USA N95s available in the marketplace and KN95s and other country’s FFPs were not widely available in the US.

3. What is the difference between the N95, the KN95 and other FFPs?

N95s, KN95s & other FFPs are all respirator masks that are subject to various regulatory standards around the world. Respirators certified to these standards are expected to have similar performance. There are slight differences in their specifications, like a variation in the maximum pressure the masks must be able to withstand as a person inhales and exhales. Here are the global standards by country:

  • N95 (United States NIOSH-42CFR84)
  • FFP2 (Europe EN 149-2001)
  • KN95 (China GB2626-2006)
  • P2 (Australia/New Zealand AS/NZA 1716:2012)
  • Korea 1st class (Korea KMOEL – 2017-64)
  • DS (Japan JMHLW-Notification 214, 2018)

4. What is the Emergency Authorization Use (EAU) for respirator masks, including KN95 (China GB2626-2006)?

On March 24, 2020, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for importing non-NIOSH approved N95 equivalent respirators from Australia, Brazil, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Mexico who have similar standards to NIOSH. On April 3, 2020, in response to continued respirator shortages, the FDA approved the EAU for Chinese KN95s. KN95s are almost identical in performance to N95 masks. The CDC lists KN95 masks as a suitable alternative when N95s are not available. The FDA says KN95 masks are eligible for authorization if they meet certain criteria, including documentation that they are authentic.

5. Are KN95 and other respirator masks reusable?

Although KN95 respirator masks are meant for single use, the CDC offers guidance on reuse and cleaning of FFPs here: Recommended Guidance for Extended Use and Limited Reuse of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare – cdc.gov

6. How do I know my mask is authentic & not counterfit?

Make sure to purchase any Personal Protective Equipment from a reliable supplier who has experience supplying certified and compliant parts.  A reliable supplier will be able to provide you with authentic CE & FDA certifications and should be able to show you how to check that the manufacturer is registered with the FDA. Upon request, a supplier should provide you with a certificate of conformance stating the product has been checked and conforms to the KN95 GB2626-206 standard.

7. What is the price range of the KN95 respirator mask?

KN95s have a wide price range based on quantity, availability and level of certification available. Today, demand far outweighs current supply of FFPs. Beyond the economics of supply & demand, the factors that go into the price of a KN95 include material costs, labor, transporation, duties & tariffs. China is the main manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment, and since the Covid-19 outbreak, flights from China to the US are limited, inflating the freight costs. In addition, the special nonwoven filtering fabric used in KN95s has also become an in demand commodity. All these factors have led to increased costs. Over time, as supply meets demands, and flights fly more frequently, we expect prices to decrease.

Stay tuned for our next blog, where we discuss our expanded PPE offering, including gloves, hand sanitizer, 3 Ply masks and other PPE.

We Invite You To Request a Quote, Download a Guide or a Line Card Today!

  1. Full ecommerce enabled website with technical manual available 24/7
  2. Same day drop ship from factory for thousands of items.
  3. Functional Equivalents to expensive brand name fasteners save money and reduce long lead times.
  4. Creatively solve problems including hard to find parts and long lead times
  5. WBE/WOSB Woman Owned Certified Small Business.
Request A Quote

Please forward you comments to robin@mfsupply.com


“Heli-coils” vs. “Keenserts”: 3 differences you must know-Part 1 of 2

Today we will compare 2 popular fastener products that are used to repair damaged threads or strengthen a weaker parent material like aluminum: Helical Wire Inserts and Key-locking Inserts.  Both are commonly used in precision manufacturing and aerospace applications.

What are the main uses of these threaded inserts?

Both “Heli-coil” or Helical wire inserts and “Keensert” or Key-locking inserts fall under the “Threaded Insert” category of fasteners. A threaded insert, also known as a threaded bushing, is a fastener element that is inserted into an object to add a threaded hole. They may be used to repair a stripped threaded hole, provide a durable threaded hole in a soft material, place a thread on a material too thin to accept it, mold or cast threads into a work piece thereby eliminating a machining operation, or simplify changeover from unified to metric threads or vice versa. Although Helical Wire inserts and Key-locking externally threaded inserts are used in similar ways, there are 3 main distinctions that we detail below. But first, let’s take a closer look at each of these fasteners:

What is a Helical Insert Wire Insert? (aka Heli-coil)

Helical wire inserts are precision-formed continuous wire coils that provide permanent, wear-resistant threads which exceed the strength of the parent material. Often underestimated, the popular misconception is that Helical wire inserts are intended solely for thread repair, when, in fact, they have other significant uses.  Not to be confused with other types of threaded inserts or rivnuts, Helical wire inserts resemble springs and are sometimes referred to as “Screw Thread Inserts (STI)” ,“Helicals” or by the popular brand “Heli-Coil” which is a registered trademark of Emhart® Teknologies, Inc.

Three typical applications for using Helical wire inserts are 1) to repair damaged threads in parts that would otherwise have to be scrapped; 2) to strengthen threads against failures due to stripping, seizing or corrosion; 3) to convert threads between inch and metric sizes.

What is a Key-locking insert? (aka Keensert or Keysert)

The Key-locking threaded insert is a solid bushing style insert that is threaded on both the inside and the outside and has wedges or “keys” attached to the top of the insert. These externally threaded inserts are used to distribute loads and repair or strengthen threads against failures due to stripping, seizing or corrosion. Key-locking inserts are commonly used in high torque and high temperature situations, and in applications where fasteners may be repeatedly removed and reassembled. Key-locking inserts are often referred to as Keenserts® and Keyserts, which are registered trademarks for the most popular brand names for this part. (Keensert® is a registered trademark of Huck Patents, Inc. & Keysert® is a registered trademark of Alcoa Fastening Systems).

Typical applications are transmission housings, electronic equipment and suspension units. Key-locking inserts are commonly found in aerospace assemblies.

How do they work?

Helical wire inserts work because the diamond shaped helically formed wire coil screws into a threaded hole to form a mating internal thread for a screw or stud.  

Key-locking inserts are threaded into a pre-tapped hole, and then the keys are hammered into grooves through the threads, permanently locking the insert in place. Their “keys”, which are driven down into the tapped threads, provide a mechanical lock against rotation, especially when the mating stud or bolt will be removed frequently.

What materials, sizes and styles are available?

Keenserts

Key-locking inserts come in four main styles: Miniature, Thin Wall, Heavy Duty Wall (general purpose) and Extra Heavy Duty.

  • Miniature Key-locking inserts are used in electronic and aerospace applications where size and strength are critical. These inserts may be installed in sheet material as thin as 1/16″.
  • Thinwall inserts have smaller external threads than standard heavy-duty inserts and are ideal for tight spaces where less pull-out strength is acceptable.
  • Heavy Duty inserts have a thick, heavy-duty thread wall, suitable for most applications.
  • Extra-heavy duty inserts are used in oversized and overly worn holes.

Key-locking inserts can be internally self-locking or non-locking (the standard is non-locking and is sufficient for the most common applications).

Inserts with the internal self-locking feature are designed to securely lock a bolt when it is entered into the insert only a few turns. Even after repeated installations and removals of the bolt, the lock maintains sufficient locking torque to prevent the bolt from vibrating out.

Common Materials available include Carbon steel, Stainless Steel, Alloy 4140 and A286.

Internal Diameters available: American/Inch #2-56   to   1 ½-6 ” and Metric M2 to M24

Helical wire inserts

Helical wire inserts come in 2 main styles: tanged and tangless (currently, MF Supply spcializes in the tanged style).

The original and widely used tang style has a prong at one end to facilitate installation. The newer tangless style has no prongs to break off, retrieve, or lose. Tangless inserts are commonly used in electronic applications where loose tangs are might cause damage.

Helical wire inserts can be free-running or locking.

Free running is the most common style used for thread repair. The “free” diameter of the insert is larger than the installed diameter and this configuration generates balanced pressure distribution between the coils and threads.

Locking style inserts are recommended for applications that require constant torque, or are subject to stress or vibration. The locking style features a crimped turn that acts as a locking mechanism that grips the bolt or screw to prevent loosening from vibration, eliminating the need for lock wiring, lock-nuts, lockwashers, pellets/patches or other thread locking devices.

Common Materials available include Stainless Steel, Phosphorous Bronze, Inconel X-750 and Nitronic 60 and 90.

Internal Diameters available: American/Inch #2-56   to   1 ½-6” and and Metric M2   to   M24.  Standard inserts lengths measure from 1x to 3x the diameter. Note: larger sizes may be available by special order.

Why use a Key-locking insert vs. a Helical wire insert?

There are three main differences between Key-locking inserts and Helical wire inserts:

1) Strength: Key-locking inserts are stronger than Helical wire inserts

2) Ease of installation: Key-locking inserts are easier to install than Helical wire inserts

3) Price: Key-locking inserts are more expensive than Helical wire inserts!

So here is some direction on how to select the correct threaded insert for your application:  In heavy wear, high vibration and high heat situations where saving space is not a concern and hole depth is limited, Key-locking inserts are the best bet.

When reducing costs and minimizing space are priorities, Helical wire inserts are the way to go. They are particularly useful for creating permanent strong threads in softer materials such as aluminum, titanium and magnesium alloys, and are best suited to lower heat and lower torque environments.

Stay tuned for our next blog, where we discuss, brands and mil-spec options, how to order and installation options.

We Invite You To Request a Quote, Download a Guide or a Line Card Today!

  1. Full ecommerce enabled website with technical manual available 24/7
  2. Same day drop ship from factory for thousands of items.
  3. Functional Equivalentsto expensive brand name fasteners save money and reduce long lead times.
  4. Creatively solve problems including hard to find parts and long lead times
  5. WBE/WOSB Woman Owned Certified Small Business.
Request A Quote

Please forward you comments to robin@mfsupply.com


Buyer’s Guide to Self-Clinching Fasteners 2019

SelfClinchNuts_Multiple

MF Supply continues to expand our offering of products available for purchase online. We are thrilled to offer Self-clinching fasteners available from stock that can be purchased on our website or by email, phone or fax. We are an authorized distributor for Captive Fasteners, a US based manufacturer since 1974, with a factory right here in our NJ backyard!

What are Self-clinching fasteners?

Self-clinching fasteners are generally classified as part of the electronic hardware or precision engineered fastener family and are not governed by IFI, ANSI or ASME standards. A self-clinching fastener, also known as press-fit or clinch style captive fastener, is a part that when pressed into a drilled, punched or machined hole, provides an economical method of joining sheet metal panel applications and is well-suited for use in printed circuit boards.

Self-clinching fasteners are used in many industries; both commercial and aerospace.

Self-clinching Fasteners available at MF Supply

MF Supply offers the full catalog of Captive branded fasteners & PEM® equivalents in inch & metric sizes. We have the following parts available for purchase online, in stock and ready to ship from our national distribution centers:

Additional Series available include, but are not limited to, floating, self-locking, blind-hole, flush, and broaching fasteners.

Steel_Standoff_Prod

How do they work? 

Self-clinching fasteners work by displacing the host material around the mounting hole, causing it to cold flow into a specially designed annular recess. Knurls, serrated rings or ribs on the fastener hold them firmly in place. Self-clinching fasteners become an integral permanent part of the panel or frame and eliminate problems associated with loose hardware. Installation requires access to both sides of the panel and self-clinching fasteners may be installed using any parallel acting squeezing force.

What are the advantages of Self-Clinching fasteners?

Self-clinching fasteners provide strong thread in very thin material & offer high push out and torque out resistance. They take less space and require fewer assembly operations than caged or anchor nuts. They can be installed during fabrication or during final assembly and work well in applications when loose hardware wouldn’t be accessible.

Some of the key advantages include:

  • No special hole preparation, such as chamfering and deburring is required.
  • Low installed costs, fewer parts to handle, fewer assembly steps and less assembly time.
  • No retapping necessary after application.

Reverse side of metal sheet remains flush – no swaged rim protrusion.

What are the differences between branded fasteners like PEM & Captive and generic Self-clinching fasteners?

SelfClinchStudSelf-clinching hardware is frequently referred to by the OEM brand name PEM®. Captive Fastener is a USA based manufacturer and offers functional equivalents to PEM® branded self-clinching fasteners.  In addition to PEM® & Captive, there are a variety of manufacturers of self-clinching fasteners available in the marketplace including the major national catalog brands. Functional alternatives will be equivalent in form fit and function and offer similar performance.

To see if using alternative brands or functional equivalents will work for your business, refer to our handy guide.

We have also included a cross reference lookup table for PEM® product types vs. Captive product series below.

What information for I need for ordering? 

The easiest way to order is by manufacturer part number. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to specify fastener type & style, thread diameter & pitch, fastener length, material and plating. For example: a 10-32 X 3/8 Flush Head Self-Clinching Stud Steel Zinc plated can also be ordered as a PEM® FH-032-6, (or a PEM® FH-032-6-ZI as sometimes PEM® calls out the plating) or a Captive CH1032-6.  This part is also offered by a national catalog brand under part number 93580A166.

Additional Series available include, but are not limited to, floating, self-locking, blind-hole, flush, and broaching fasteners.

We Invite You To Request a Quote, Download a Guide or a Line Card Today!

  1. Full ecommerce enabled website with technical manual available 24/7
  2. Same day drop ship from factory for thousands of items.
  3. Functional Equivalents to expensive brand name fasteners save money and reduce long lead times.
  4. Creatively solve problems including hard to find parts and long lead times
  5. WBE/WOSB Woman Owned Certified Small Business.

What the heck is Mil-spec DFARS? 2019

phillipsflat100degreemachine-new

MS24693C

Welcome to our ongoing “What the heck is that” series, where we discuss some of the unique fasteners and electronic hardware that precision manufacturers use in the design and assembly of their products.  If you sell to the military either directly or indirectly, then you are probably aware of today’s topic: “DFARS” and “Mil-spec fasteners”.

What does Mil-spec mean anyway?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of DFARS, let’s discuss what makes a “Mil-spec” fastener.   Mil-spec is the informal name for the military standard the U.S. Department of Defense uses in the production of military equipment. Mil-spec fasteners are usually designated by an AN, MS, NAS or NASM prefix followed by a part number.  Each of these prefixes is an abbreviation: NAS stands for National Aerospace Standard and MS stands for Military Standard. For example, the MS24693C pictured above is a fastener produced according to military standards.

Mil-spec fasteners look a lot like their civilian cousins, but, these little guys are made to a specific standard that defines in detail, the screw’s attributes, including: dimensions, tensile strength, hardness, threads, drive type, material qualities and plating, just to name a few.  Mil-spec fasteners are even traceable by lot to designated manufacturers.  The government maintains a list of factories and suppliers who are qualified to manufacture and distribute Mil-spec fasteners.  These suppliers have met all the government’s requirements and pass the highest quality control standards. This designation is called the Qualified Suppliers List for Manufacturer’s [QSLM].

Who uses Mil-spec Fasteners?

Mil-spec fasteners are used by anyone manufacturing or servicing military equipment.  Often, the bill of materials calls for specific Mil-spec grade fasteners in accordance with a part number, drawing or procurement requirement.  Some of the most common uses of Mil-spec fasteners include aerospace and naval vessels.

Now, tell me about DFARS…

Almost a decade ago, the term “DFARS Compliant Material” came to the forefront for companies supplying parts and services to the government. The original Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause 252.225-7014 specified “A Preference for Domestic Specialty Metals.”  What that means in our world is that for fasteners to be DFARS compliant, the metal used to fabricate them must be melted or manufactured in the United States or a qualifying country.

The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement declares the following:

  • Provides specific acquisition regulations that must be followed in the procurement process for goods and services for the Department of Defense and its contactors.
  • FAR 252.225-7014 specifies “A Preference for Domestic Specialty Metals” in the manufacturing of fasteners.  Berry Act, Buy American.
  • The Specialty metals must be melted and manufactured in the United States or a “Qualifying country.”

What is a Qualifying Country?

Qualifying country” means a country with a reciprocal defense procurement memorandum of understanding or international agreement with the United States in which both countries agree to remove barriers to purchases of supplies produced in the other country or services performed by sources of the other country, and the memorandum or agreement complies, where applicable, with the requirements of section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2776) and with 10 U.S.C. 2457.

Qualifying countries include the following 27: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

To keep up to date with DFARs requirements, visit

www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfars/html/current/225_0.htm

What is a Specialty Metal?

Title 48 – Federal Acquisition Regulations System, 252.225-7014 Preference for domestic specialty metals.

SPECIALTY METAL DEFINITION

(1) STEEL

(I) WHERE THE MAXIMUM ALLOY CONTENT EXCEEDS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING LIMITS:  MANGANESE, 1.65 PERCENT; SILICON, 0.60 PERCENT; OR COPPER, 0.60 PERCENT; OR

(II) WHICH CONTAINS MORE THAN 0.25 PERCENT OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS: ALUMINUM, CHROMIUM, COBALT, COLUMBIUM, MOLYBDENUM, NICKEL, TITANIUM, TUNGSTEN, OR VANADIUM;

(2) METAL ALLOYS CONSISTING OF NICKEL, IRON-NICKEL, AND COBALT BASE ALLOYS CONTAINING A TOTAL OF OTHER ALLOYING METALS (EXCEPT IRON) IN EXCESS OF TEN PERCENT;

(3) TITANIUM AND TITANIUM ALLOYS; OR

(4) ZIRCONIUM AND ZIRCONIUM BASE ALLOYS.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-1996-title48-vol3/xml/CFR-1996-title48-vol3-sec252-225-7014.xml

Specialty Metals Include:

  • Stainless steel
  • High alloy steel like Grade-BD
  • Cobalt Chrome Alloys or Grade 5 Chromium steel with high chromium content
  • Nickel Alloys
  • Titanium

Aluminum, Carbon Steel & Copper Alloys are not specialty metals and cannot be DFARS.

What is the difference between Domestic & DFARS?

This is a great question!  There are 3 main factors used to determine the country where a fastener is made and how they are classified.  1) The origin of the metal 2) the country of melt and 3) the country of manufacture.

DFARs only related to specialty metals, and the country of melt & manufacture.  Check with your customer before making any assumptions about what “domestic” means to them.  100% Domestic (metal origin, melt & manufacture) is becoming harder and harder to find. Many products are not available off the shelf and are “made to order” if DFARS or domestic is needed. This will involve a lead time and may have a minimum lot charge.

Lessons Learned: Considerations when purchasing MS24693C or other Mil-spec DFARs fasteners

  • Always ask for “full certifications”.  This includes part name, part description, date of manufacture, lot number, chemical composition of material, and treatment of material including plating or passivation.
  • At point of purchase, make sure the screws are DFARS.  If you do not specifically ask for DFARS-compliant screws, you might receive screws that don’t meet the DFARS requirements, in which case, they won’t meet military standards.  We’ve learned this the hard way so hopefully you don’t have to!

2019 Buyer’s Guide to Mil-Spec Fasteners

7 things you need to know

If you sell to the military either directly or indirectly, then you are probably familiar with Mil-spec fasteners. But, what exactly are they and what should you know before buying them? We’d like to help you out with this Seven point buyer’s guide.

  1. What does Mil-spec mean anyway?

Mil-spec or MIL-STD, is the informal name for the military standard the U.S. Department of Defense uses in the production of military equipment. Critical fasteners and components used in the production, repair and maintenance of this equipment are classified as “Mil-spec” fasteners. These parts are usually designated by an AN, MS, NAS or NASM prefix followed by a part number (i.e. MS24693C-4). Each of these prefixes is an abbreviation as follows:

  • AN: Army-Navy AeronauticalMS24693C
  • MS: Military Standard
  • NAS: National Aerospace Standard
  • NASM: Metric measurements of an NAS part

 

  1. What’s the difference between Mil-spec and commercial fasteners?

Mil-spec fasteners look a lot like their civilian cousins, but these little guys are made to a specific standard that defines in detail, the screw’s attributes, including: dimensions, tensile strength, hardness, threads, drive type, material qualities and plating, just to name a few. Mil-spec fasteners are even traceable by lot to designated manufacturers. Since Mil-Spec fasteners are often used in aerospace applications and aircraft, they are subject to extreme stress, pressure and force and require workmanship that is different than industrial & commercial fasteners.

The government maintains a list of factories that are qualified to manufacture and distribute Mil-spec fasteners. These suppliers have met all the government’s requirements and pass the highest quality control standards. This designation is called Qualified Suppliers List for Manufacturer’s [QSLM]. Commercial fasteners are not held to such specific and exacting standards.

  1. Who uses Mil-Spec Fasteners?

Mil-spec fasteners are used by anyone manufacturing or servicing military equipment. How do you know if your project requires Mil-spec parts? Often, the bill of materials (BOM) calls for specific Mil-spec grade fasteners in accordance with a part number, drawing, NIIN or NSN or procurement requirement. Some of the most common uses of Mil-spec fasteners include aerospace and naval vessels.

  1. Do Mil-Spec fasteners have different features and standards than commercial fasteners?

Mil-spec parts are manufactured and tested to strict military standards ensure performance and reliability. In general, commercial fasteners will not have the same exacting quality standards. Let’s look at a specific example and compare the Mil-Spec MS24693-C4, which is a 4-40 x 3/8 Phillips Flat 100 degree Machine screws in 300 series stainless steel, to its commercial cousin.

Features of the MS24693C-4:

  • ­  Manufactured in an QLSM approved factory
  • ­  Made/melted in the USA or other DFARs* approved country
  • ­  Materials to procurement spec FF-S-92, SAE AIR 4127
  • ­  Cleaned, descaled, passivated to AMS-QQ-P-35; AMS 2700
  • ­  Dimensions, tensile, hardness, threads, recess, head marking to AN, MS, NAS, NASM standard
  • ­   Magnetic permeability to test specs ASTM A342
  • ­  Quality Assurance to procurement spec FF-S-92 MIL-STD 1312
  • ­  Inspection system requirements per Mil-I-45208
  • ­  Full lot traceability, manufacturer’s certification and chemical and physical certification
  • ­  Available in diameters from #0 through 1/4 inch in coarse and fine thread and various lengths

Features of a 4-40 x 3/8 Commercial Phillips Flat 100 degree Machine screws in 18-8 series stainless steel:

  • ­ Manufactured per ASME B18.6.3-2002
  • ­ Thread dimensions to ASME B1.1

As you can see, the Mil-spec version is held to a higher and more exacting level of quality and testing than the commercial version. As such, the Mil-spec parts are cleaned and passivated, and tested for magnetic permeability, whereas the commercial parts are not.

  1. What level of certification is required?

Generally, a Certificate of Conformance (COC) or a record affirming a fastener has met the requirements of the relevant specification, contract or regulation is sufficient for Mil-Spec fasteners. Full certifications, which include the part name, part description, date of manufacture, lot number, chemical composition of material, and treatment of material including plating or passivation, and material test reports, are often available for a fee. It is critical to ask for the level of certification (COC, full material certs, passivation certs, etc) in advance in order to have the most efficient buying experience.

  1. Are there other factors to consider when procuring Mil-spec fasteners?

Great question! Almost a decade ago, the term “DFARS Compliant Material” came to the forefront for companies supplying parts and services to the government. The original Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause 252.225-7014 specified “A Preference for Domestic Specialty Metals.” What that means in our world is that for fasteners to be DFARS compliant, the metal used to fabricate them must be melted or manufactured in the United States or a qualifying country.

Qualifying countries include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Important Note: DFARS only pertains to fasteners made from “specialty metals” including: stainless steel, high alloy steel like Grade-BD, or Grade 5 Chromium steel with high chromium content.

To keep up to date with DFARs requirements, visit www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfarspgi/current/index.html

  1. Where can I find a list of Mil-spec fasteners and specs?

The Defense Logistics agency is a great resource. They maintain a comprehensive database of specifications and drawings. They also maintain a catalog of hardware that includes NIINs and NSNs that sometimes called out in a bill of materials. Check out the following links for more comprehensive information regarding hardware:

http://www.dla.mil/TroopSupport/IndustrialHardware/  – to view catalogs of mil-spec parts and specs by category

http://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsSearch.aspx   – To look up a specific part

http://www.mfsupply.com/mil-spec-fasteners-s/1823.htm – To see MF Supply’s Mil-Spec fastener stock

http://www.mfsupply.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/MFSUPPLY_MILITARY.pdf – To download MF Supply’s Mil-spec line card

For more detailed information about Mil-Spec parts, to request a Mil-Spec Line Card or to send an RFQvisit our website. And if you don’t see what you need listed, as always, ask us. “Finding the right screw for you” is our tag line after all!

Contact me at robin@mfsupply.com with your questions, comments or helpful hints!


Knurled Thumb Screws Buyer’s Guide

6 Things to Know When Buying Knurled Thumb Screws

 

  1. What is a Knurled Thumb Screw? 

Knurled Thumb Screws are generally classified as part of the electronic hardware or precision fastener family and are not governed by IFI, ANSI or ASME standards. They are solid one piece screws with a cylindrically shaped oversized knurled head, a fully threaded shank construction and a blunt machine screw style end. They are used in applications where periodic manual adjustment is required and finger pressure can supply sufficient tightening torque.

Knurled Thumb Screw

Knurled Thumb Screw with Washer Face

  1. What materials and sizes are available?

Knurled Thumb Screws are readily available off the shelf in type 18-8/303 stainless steel and Aluminum. Some manufacturers stock knurled thumb screws in brass or other materials. Parts are typically supplied without any coating or finish.

Standard stock sizes for the thread diameter are Inch from 4-40 to 1/4-20 with standard lengths up 1” depending upon the manufacturer.

316 stainless steel, alloy and other exotic materials, and special diameters and lengths are available in certain sizes and/or for special order and usually involve a lead time.

  1. What information do I need for ordering?

The easiest way to order is by manufacturer part number. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to specify thread diameter, thread length, head style and material. For example: 6-32 x 3/8″ Knurled Thumb Screws with a Washer Face in Stainless Steel 18-8 is a popular Thumb screw.

Typical head styles are a modified fillister with a flat top where the head diameter is about twice the head height and does not need to be specified. Low head fillisters are available in certain sizes.

  1. What are some of the popular Fastener Brands with Functional Equivalents?

Popular OEM fastener brands include: Amatom, Cambion, Concord, Globe, HH Smith, Keystone, Lyn-tron, Misumi, Pic Design, RAF, and WM Berg. A comprehensive selection of Knurled Thumb Screws is also offered by McMaster-Carr, MSC Industrial and Grainger.

One surefire way to save money and shorten delivery time is to cross the OEM brand part on your bill of materials to a functional equivalent.

Let’s take the above example of a 6-32 x 3/8″ Knurled Thumb Screws with a Washer Face in Stainless Steel 18-8 is a popular Thumb screw.

This part is offered by the Five brands (yes Five!!) listed below under the following part numbers:

  • Grainger 2KB93
  • Lyn-tron SS7603
  • RAF 7103-SS-0
  • Mcmaster-Carr 99607A116
  • Unicorp THS1004-M07-F16

Each manufacturer has a different price point, but the general physical and chemical dimensions make them functional equivalents or Brand alternatives.

  1. Helpful Hints about Categories of Thumb Screws

There are 2 distinct Thumb Screws categories:

1) Knurled Thumb screws, which are covered here, are part of the precision screw family. They are made 2 ways: Washer face/flared collar or plain/shoulderless. They are typically stocked in aluminum and stainless steel. Other options such as narrow, high profile, slotted may also be available in certain sizes.

2) Type A and Type B Spade style thumb screws are part of the Industrial fastener family per ASME B18.6.8, along with Wing screws. Spade style thumb screws may be available in steel and in diameters up to 1/2”.

  1. What level of certification is required?

Generally, a Certificate of Conformance or a COC is sufficient for your customer. Full certification with material certs and test reports are often available for USA-made and Mil-Spec parts for a fee.

Knurled Thumb Screws at MF Supply

We offer:

  • The full range of commercial and Mil-Spec parts, including parts that are DFARS and RoHS compliant.
  • Brand names and generic equivalents.
  • Custom made parts per print in non-standard and exotic materials and finishes.
  • Inch and metric sizes.

For more detailed information about Knurled Thumb Screws, visit our website. And if you don’t see it listed, as always, ask us. “Finding the right screw for you” is our tag line after all!

For more than 40 years, MF Supply has helped American manufacturers streamline operations, saving them time and money with our sourcing expertise and unique supply chain strategies. We are a WBE/WOSB certified stocking distributor of fasteners and electronic components.

We work with the best established factories in the United States and DFARS-certified countries, and stock a huge inventory including all major brands and equivalents. MF Supply provides solutions including: same-day drop ship direct from the factory; custom sizes, materials and plating options; and DFARS parts with full paperwork and Certificates of Conformance.

We creatively solve common problems including hard-to-find parts and long lead times. Our sourcing and reworking expertise includes fast turnaround for modification of existing parts, hard to find standards and specials, special threads, non-standard diameters and lengths, exotic materials, special platings and short runs. We provide functional equivalents to expensive brand name fasteners and help our customers save money while reducing lead times.


Meet MF Supply President Robin Lieberman – WIFI@Work

Check out Women In The Fastener Industry’s interview with MF Supply President Robin Lieberman!

April 30, 2019

 

How did you start in The Fastener Industry?

Before becoming the President of MF Supply in 2009, my background was in Operations and Marketing.  I ran call centers in the catalog and travel industries for years.  But, I wanted to own my own business and be my own boss.  So, I bought MF Supply through a business broker, although I knew nothing about the industry at all. Actually, I knew less than nothing :). Tom, the former owner stayed on for 3 years and taught me everything!

Now, as the President of MF Supply, I live my tag line daily.  Our motto is “MF Supply, the right screw for you”, and it’s true!  My amazing staff runs the day to day, yet we are small and I touch all aspects of the business, including sales, marketing, quoting, order entry, purchasing, deliveries, pickup, strategy and much more.

What is one accomplishment in your present job are you most proud of?  

Two come to mind.   First, MF Supply survived the financial meltdown that occured right as I bought the business.  Those were scary times!  Although I took no salary for almost a year, and took on a lot of debt, my team and I survived, and were able to turn the business around.  In 2018 we are on course to triple our 2009 revenue.

Second, we converted the business operating and inventory management system from a paper based, dusty old cardex system (think Dewey decimal index cards with fastener history hand written on them),  into a systematized digital ERP based organization. We converted almost 10,000 skus from paper to PC. At the beginning we were creating part numbers in real time. But, boy, did it pay off in the long run!

What is one favorite thing about your job? 

Every single day I am challenged, usually several times.  I am always sourcing new products and suppliers, learning a new technical data point, or learning about a new company.  Just today I sent 10 RFQs to 7 new factories for a customized Mil-Spec part I have never sourced or sold.  Fingers crossed we get the order.  It’s so fun!

What is one thing we might not know about you that you would like the Fastener Industry to know? 

Hmm, I have lots of secrets, but one thing that people seem surprised to find out is that I was class clown in high school.  Just don’t ask me what year I graduated!

 

https://www.fastenerwomen.com/single-post/2019/04/30/Meet-Robyn-Lieberman—WIFIWork


New Inch & Mil-Spec Precision Shoulder Screws

MF Supply is happy to announce that in addition to our Metric Precision Shoulder Screw line, we are now offering Inch and Mil-Spec Precision Shoulder Screws, including MS51575 & MS51576. These new products are available for RFQ directly from mfsupply.com!

As your source for functional equivalents to expensive brand name fasteners, we know how to save you money and reduce long lead times commonly found with brand name fasteners.

Here is an example of a functional equivalent in action:

The following screw, available for RFQ at mfsupply.com, has a generic description as follows:
3/16” shoulder diameter x 1” long x 8-32 thread in SS18-8 (300 Series) with a hex-socket drive. Below we list seven OEM brands (yes, seven!) including their part numbers, and one Mil-Spec part number that are all functional equivalents:

    • Grainger 6JY20
    • Lyn-tron SS7431-00
    • McMaster-Carr 94035A208
    • MSC Industrial 67313726
    • Pic Design 4423
    • RAF 6931-SS
    • WM Berg PZ-14-3
    • MS51576-14

Visit our cross reference chart and plug in your part number to see if a functional equivalent is available. Popular precision shoulder screw brands include: Amatom, Cambion, Concord, Globe, HH Smith, Keystone, Lyn-tron, Misumi, Pic Design, RAF, Unicorp and WM Berg. A comprehensive selection of Precision Shoulder Screws is also offered by McMaster-Carr (tight tolerance series), MSC, and Grainger.

We encourage you to check out our Precision Shoulder Screw Buyer’s Guide on our blog where we share “Five things you need to know” to have the most efficient shopping and buying experience.

Send us your part number
to see if we can cross to a functional equivalent,
shorten lead times & save you money!

Request A Quote

Five Reasons to buy from MF Supply

  1. Huge inventory including 18-8, 303, 316, 416, A2, A4 stainless in Inch & Metric, including major brands and functional equivalents
  2. Domestic parts with full paperwork and Certificate of Conformanceavailable
  3. Custom Sizes, Materials and Plating options available
  4. Creatively solve problems including hard to find parts and long lead times
  5. WBE/WOSB Woman Owned Certified Small Business

Brand Equivalent Case Study: Achieving faster delivery & lower costs using functional equivalents

October 9, 2018

Here at MF Supply we spend a lot of time sourcing hard to find, back-ordered or out of stock OEM hardware brands for our customers. Much like brand-name pharmaceuticals such as Tylenol and Advil are available generically (as acetaminophen and ibuprofen), some brand name fasteners are also available as “generics,” “crosses,” “alternatives” or “functional equivalents.”  In the world of fasteners, a functional equivalent fastener is a part that is the same as the brand-name product in form, fit and function, including material and plating specifications.  Using equivalents and alternatives to OEM brand names can be a smart way to reduce long lead times and/or cut expenses.

Check out this Case Study where an OEM brand was substituted with a functional equivalent, reducing costs by 59% and shaving lead time by over 20 weeks.  This time and money savings gave the manufacturer an advantage over their competition, which helped them win the job.

Smart Manufacturers use equivalents to shorten delivery times and win business

ISSUE

A Tier 3 aerospace manufacturer of subassemblies is bidding on a job for a large international Aircraft OEM where the bill of materials calls for 172 pieces of a 1/4-28 x 1/2-20 Floating Key-Locking Insert in A286 stainless steel with a Fairchild/Alcoa Keensert® part number KNKDL428JT.  As the part is in nonstock status at Alcoa, the delivery time is 28-29 weeks (yes that is half of one year which can be standard for aerospace related and mil-spec parts).  Here is the dilemma – based on this delivery schedule, the manufacturer cannot meet their prospective client’s two month delivery requirement.

SUGGESTED SOLUTION

MF Supply gets a print of the part and is able to cross it to an exact functional equivalent for an alternative brand we distribute.  Our factory can manufacturer and deliver the part in 4-5 weeks at 1/2 the cost of the OEM brand fastener.  The alternative parts will be manufactured with full lot traceability and manufacturer’s test reports, a certificate of conformance and a DFARS statement.  The client (Aircraft OEM) approves the substitution and awards the manufacturer the business based on their ability to make the 2 month delivery requirement.  A Purchase Order for the Floating Key-Locking Insert is issued to MF Supply.  As promised, within 5 weeks, the complete 172 inserts, with full paperwork, are delivered to the manufacturer.  The subassemblies are produced and delivered to the end client on time and underbudget.

TIME SAVINGS

-MF Supply functional equivalent fasteners shorten delivery time from 28-29 weeks to 5 weeks.

COST SAVINGS

-KNKDL428JT price = $200 each.  Total cost $34,400.
-MF equivalent price = $82.00 each. Total cost $14,104.
-Savings=$20,296!

SUMMARY / BENEFIT

-Cost savings of $20,296 or 59% (not a typo!).
– Tier 3 aerospace manufacturer wins bid and is awarded job.
-Work is completed on time.
-Job is more profitable due to cost savings realized on inserts.
-Job has been a repeater and a money maker for Tier 3 aerospace manufacturer.

In summary, if your bill of materials calls for an OEM brand fastener or component, find out if you must have the brand name product.  In cases where a generic or equivalent alternative part will work, there might be an opportunity to save money and shorten delivery time.

How can I determine if I must use the brand name or if I can cross to a generic part?

Before you shop, check the bill of materials to see if it specifically calls out a particular brand name along with the part number. If no specific manufacturer’s name is listed, then you can typically use a  generic alternative or equivalent product?.  For more complete info, check out our July 27 blog for your 4 point checklist on determining if functional equivalents will work for your business.

For more information about MF Supply contact:

Robin Lieberman, President
robin@mfsupply.com
973-777-5411