When a little bolt becomes a big problem for a screen printer manufacturer

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If you have been following this recent series of articles, you’ll find that many of them have the same common denominator – customer satisfaction or rather – lack of it. That is the ultimate soft spot, the most vulnerable of all Achilles’ heels for every manufacturer of pretty much anything (including us, yes). Whether you make shoes or robots or – adhesives – you ultimately want your customers to be happy with your product and:

  1. Come back for more – sure, we all live on revenue
  2. Speak of you in superlatives if ever they do mention you, because – reputation is priceless!

Screen priner manufacturer

Which is why we all equally dread anything ever going wrong with our products once they are put to use. And for one of our eastern European customers manufacturing screen printers, that’s exactly what happened because of – you’re guessing by now, I’m sure – some bolts that kept coming loose.

The way that these large scale printers work exposes the bolts to a lot of vibration, causing side to side movement of the bolts, which the gap between the threads easily allowed. As most of us know, printing process is a rather hot business, too so there is plenty of thermal expansions and contractions that certainly do not help keep the assembly stable. In such conditions, it takes very few cycles before the bolts start loosening.

Applying medium strength threadlocker Loctite 243 in the production of the printers, quickly put a stop to all that. The manufacturer avoided any further customer complaints, while their customers from that point on enjoyed an increased production efficiency.

No more quality issues due to loose screws for robots manufacturer

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When you manufacture something as high tech as robots, you certainly don’t want such a plain little thing as a simple bolt to become a big problem. Occasionally it does happen, though and it did happen to one of our European customers. Fasteners were frequently getting loose on their robots after they were put in service, causing leaks on hydraulic fittings and flange assemblies. And anyone who’s ever worked with hydraulics knows very well that you do not want your hydraulic liquids to be leaking all over the place.

Robots manufacturer

While for the users of the robots in question this was a maintenance issue causing frequent unexpected downtime and losses in productivity, for the manufacturer of the robots it was both, the cost issue, reflected through warranty repairs, but more importantly, a reputation issue and an issue of urgently having to restore the customers’ trust in their product.

Industrial robots, from engineering point of view, are highly dynamic assemblies. Movement is their main purpose, while they put things into place and build in components of various items they are programmed to build. With that much movement, it’s completely unrealistic to expect the threaded fasteners to stay in place without securing them in any way.

Luckily, adding a simple step in the production of applying medium strength threadlocker Loctite 243 to the crucial bolts, all the mentioned issues were completely eliminated, and the trusted robotic helpers were brought back to their usual level of reliability. At the same time both sides achieved savings: on one side savings on maintenance costs and downtime, and on the other on warranty repairs and reputation.

Threadlocking and blind holes

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That is certainly one of the most common questions we get – whether liquid threadlocker can be applied in the case of blind holes. And the answer is: yes. There is no reason why the method would not work on blind holes same as it does everywhere else. Of course, there are certain steps to be observed.

Both parts should be cleaned with Loctite SF 7070 and a bit of time allowed for it to evaporate. It’s recommendable to use the activator for blind holes. Now, the product is called Loctite SF 7649 and in some parts of the world you’ll find it called a “primer” and packed in a bottle with a brush on cap, while in the other parts we’ll call it an activator and you’ll find it in a spray pack. It’s the same product and both versions are applicable, no worries.

After applying the activator / primer, you select your Loctite threadlocker based on the same principles as you always would – which level of strength do you need and how often do you plan to be dismantling the assembly being the main guidelines. Apply the product on both – male and female threads and tighten the bolt. Nothing more to it.

Eliminated quality issues and customer warranty claims for coupling manufacturer

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Couplings producer

A coupling is by its very definition a piece of equipment that is supposed to keep other pieces of equipment together. So, when parts of couplings start coming apart – you really have a problem. A problem that one of our customers experienced first-hand when failure of bolts on the couplings they produced started causing equipment failure and downtime for their customers.

A problem that has a very direct impact on your profits (through warranty related repairs) and – even more importantly – on the trust of your customers, the value of which is immeasurable.

The problem was swiftly resolved by implementing Loctite 243 into manufacturing process and thus efficiently securing the bolts in place against any vibration they may be subjected to once the coupling is put into service.

If you haven’t tried liquid threadlocker so far, you can now request a sample of Loctite 243 and give it a try. On the other hand, in case you’re not ready to sample yet and would like to learn more about threadlocking, keep an eye out for a webinar on this topic, or simply contact us directly and we’ll be happy to talk about your specific requirements.

How to ensure Threaded Fastener reliability on industrial pumps

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Pump breakdowns have a significant negative impact on cost and productivity. Many of these breakdowns are the result of simple, needless failures, such as the loss of clamp load between two assemblies caused by a loose fastener. Proactive maintenance can reduce the risk of such breakdowns and increase pump reliability and longevity.

There are a few most common issues that occur, related to threaded fasteners:

Threaded fasteners in industrial pumps

gap between threads

Pumps typically operate in severe service environments, with plenty of vibration and thermal fluctuations. Even if the bolts are secured with some type of mechanical locking device, there is still a large enough gap present between the bolt and nut threads to allow for side to side movement under vibration which ultimately leads to loosening in as few as 50 to 100 cycles. Additionally, the gap will allow the moisture to get in, which will inevitably lead to corrosion.

By applying only a few drops of Loctite 243, this critical gap can be eliminated, and with it all the consequences it usually causes.

If you haven’t tried liquid threadlocker so far, you can now request a sample of Loctite 243 and give it a try. On the other hand, in case you’re not ready to sample yet and would like to learn more about threadlocking, keep an eye out for a webinar on this topic, or simply contact us directly and we’ll be happy to talk about your specific requirements.

How to ensure Threaded Fastener reliability in an industrial gearbox

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Industrial gearboxes play an important role in processing and manufacturing facilities. For plant professionals, the ultimate goal is to maximize machinery output, reliability and efficiency. That’s why a gearbox failure can be a costly setback to overall plant operations. Proactive maintenance will minimize expensive downtime, enhance reliability and dramatically cut costs.

There are some common challenges related to threaded fasteners in a gearbox:

Threaded fasteners in industrial gearbox

Vibrations, thermal fluctuations and tough operating conditions are some of the main apparent causes behind these challenges. While you normally cannot really change the operating conditions of your gearbox, you can certainly make sure to lock your bolts in the way that will prevent the said conditions having any major effect on them.

The space between the engaged threads between bolts and nuts has only 15% metal to metal contact. The remaining 85% air gap allows for:

  • Vibration to cause side-to-side motion leading to self-loosening
  • Differential expansion and contraction of substrates due to service temperature changes
  • Corrosive environment to attack the metal fasteners

By using a medium strength liquid threadlocker Loctite 243, that fills all the gap between the engaging threads and solidifies to unitize them, you prevent side to side movement that causes loosening as well as block access to moisture which causes corrosion.

If you haven’t tried liquid threadlocker so far, you can now request a sample of Loctite 243 and give it a try. On the other hand, in case you’re not ready to sample yet and would like to learn more about threadlocking, keep an eye out for a webinar on this topic, or simply contact us directly and we’ll be happy to talk about your specific requirements.

No more warranty claims for electric motors manufacturer

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When loose screws are causing downtime in your production and issues in your own maintenance processes, it’s certainly neither wanted nor pleasant. But when they cause warranty claims for the goods you’ve manufactured – then it’s downright embarrassing!

Costs of covering those warranty claims are certainly not negligible, but the damage caused to the brand value and customer trust is often immeasurable.

No more warranty claims_electric motor

And for the electric motors manufacturer in Asia it was a nightmare come true. Loosening of fasteners (although spring washers were used to lock them in place) on housing end bells was continuously leading to damage of the motors, after they have already been put in service, mainly caused by the vibration of the cooling fan.

Searching for a solution, it was quickly realised that a threadlocking method will have to be used which addresses the question of the gap between the fastener threads, if the same problem was to be avoided in the future. As it was a very standard threadlocking application, Loctite 243 worked perfectly on it, and just a few drops on every fastener prevented further warranty claims and helped restore the brand reputation.

In case you’d like to learn more about threadlocking on electric motors specifically, keep an eye out for a webinar on this topic, or simply contact us directly and we’ll be happy to talk about your specific requirements.

How to ensure Threaded Fastener reliability in electric motor

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Electric motors are the primary driving equipment in any plant and extremely critical to ensure uninterrupted productivity. However, the high vibration, thermal cycling and expected long service life can be challenging for these critical components.

There are a few very common challenges related to, for example, threaded fasteners on an electric motor.

Threaded fasteners in electric motor

The root causes of these failures are in their essence quite simple: vibration, torque and thermal fluctuations and corrosion. And all these failures can really be traced back to one thing – the gap remaining between the threads of the bolt and nut. Usually you don’t even think about how much metal to metal contact is there really between a nut and a bolt. And the fact that it’s only 15%, will shock most people. The remaining 85% is just gap. And this gap allows for a few unwanted things:

  • Vibration to cause side-to-side motion leading to self-loosening
  • Differential expansion and contraction of substrates due to service temperature changes
  • Corrosive environment to attack the metal fasteners

Conventional locking methods like lock washers, while providing some level of maintained torque for a period of time, do not close this gap and prove ineffective in locking and sealing threaded assemblies. A liquid threadlocker, on the other hand, addresses this issue exactly.

On a typical electric motor, you’ll likely need two products: Loctite 222, for small diameter and long engagement length bolts, like the motor through bolts, and Loctite 243 for all other bolts.

As a result, what these two products do for you is the following:

Threaded fasteners in electric motor_2

In case you’d like to learn more about threadlocking on electric motors specifically, keep an eye out for a webinar on this topic, or simply contact us directly and we’ll be happy to talk about your specific requirements.

Why is Loctite Threadlocker better than the ribbed flanged bolt

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Ribbed flanged bolts are among the more expensive of the bolts range. One of their main purposes is to eliminate the human error factor – someone potentially forgetting to include the toothed washer into the assembly – by already building it into the bolt’s head. The ribbed bottom of the bolt’s head bites into the surface and that way secures additional clamp load.

There are, of course, downsides to that. First of all, such a bolt needs a flange of sufficient size to work. Over time, it will ease into the surface, loosing clamp load, while potentially damaging the flange surface. The gap between the threads of the nut and bolt will remain unaddressed throughout and be the main enabler for micromovements and vibrational loosening, as well as corrosion due to moisture that can easily get to the threads.

With a liquid threadlocker, such as one of the Loctite products, the gap which is the root cause of all the bolt failures, is effectively eliminated and sealed.

Loctite Threadlockers pick’n’mix

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Using a liquid threadlocker will certainly simplify things in terms of types and sizes and quantity of different locking devices you need to keep on stock. And in roughly 80% of the cases a standard Loctite 243 will be all you need. However, there are certain specific applications, where you need to look into other available grades. And no worries, it’s still not going to be a hundred products to navigate through, comparing complex details. No, we are talking about a rather comprehensive range of four products that are likely to fit your requirements, whether your business is in heavy industrial equipment or delicate electronic components.

The main thing is to determine the needed strength level, the frequency of dismantling for maintenance and whether or not you might need to apply your threadlocker on already assembled pieces.

On the picture below, you can see the available products with the main technical characteristics to look into when selecting the one that’s right for you. The selection is rather straight forward and, as already mentioned, in big majority of the cases Loctite 243 does the trick, but it’s definitely recommended you look into our recommendation online or contact our technical customer service if you have any concerns.

Loctite threadlockers pick n mix