Design News, February 2013

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• Challenge: Protect captive panel screws from corrosion. A rule of thumb is that, for applications where parts will be exposed to corrosive elements, design engineers should ensure that all captive panel screw components are manufactured from 300 Series stainless steel to protect them from corrosion. while allowing it to spin freely in the host metal sheet. The fasteners provide a reliable means of attachment without the use of a retainer or washer, which contributes to lower manufacturing costs. They can be supplied with an unthreaded neck for axial float or with a jacking feature or spring for self-retracting. These fasteners are appropriate for close centerline-to-edge applications. The landscape of captive panel screw solutions continues to be cultivated with ongoing innovations and variations. With all the choices and options — whether for captive panel screws or for any other type of fastening hardware — design engineers can always benefit by enlisting a supplier's input and support in the early stages of the design process. This will help keep engineers current in meeting any application challenge and contribute to optimized marriages between applications and fasteners. DN • Challenge: How to choose from multiple cap designs. Among various cap designs — whether for self-clinching, flaring, or floating fastener mounting styles — metal versions with large knurled heads promote easier hand operation. Smooth metal caps without knurls are more appropriate for limited manual access. Metal caps with optional DuraBlack finish, also applied to the screw component, resist scratches and enhance cosmetics in an assembly. As an alternative to metal caps, polycarbonate/ABS blend versions have been developed to advance mainLillyAnna Penn is global products manager for assembled and tenance, functional, and/or branding requirements. The new PEM core products for PennEngineering. plastic caps can be specified in black, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, or metallic as standard, or custom colors For More Information: can be supplied. These colors offer the ability to designate PennEngineering: service access levels for equipment, color-reference operating and/or maintenance instructions, or conform to end-use aesthetic requirements, among other possibilities. In addition to these typical design challenges, engineers must also consider the costs of different Designed to keep working through fastener designs. Some applicawash downs, immersion in water tions may require a low-cost panel and in dusty environments, the fastener design. If this is the case, Vert-X 13 is only 13 mm in design engineers have several diameter. That makes it easy to fit options. almost any application. For example, while the vast Key specs include: majority of panel fasteners with • Linearty ± 0.3 % captive screws have been engi• Resolution 12 or 14 bits neered as spring-loaded assemblies, • Sealed to IP 68 patented types without springs have • Output options: voltage, been introduced that offer relatively PWM, SPI, SSI and Incremental lower-cost design solutions. As a lower-cost alternative to multi-component fastener assemblies, a patented spinning clinch bolt with one-piece captive screw For complete Vert-X 13 information visit can provide a practical solution. These fasteners for metal panels benefit from controlled clinching action during installation, which Novotechnik U.S., Inc. • Telephone: 508-485-2244 • Email: captivates the screw permanently Design News | february 2013 | www.d esign n –49–

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