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Design & Engineering

At STR, our design and engineering processes are performed via high-quality routers, planned using 3-D modeling programs, such as Solidworks and Catia, and made possible using comprehensive supply chain management. By using industry-leading equipment and employing an accomplished team of engineers, STR has made a reputation for itself as the go-to company for creative design solutions. Additionally, no design or engineering project is complete without thorough inspection plans in place, which is why we invest in technology like the OASIS system to ensure quality in every order.

Above all else, our design and manufacturing strategies are implemented to provide Cost Reduction, Lead Time Reduction, and Improved Part Performance whenever possible. For a manufacturing partner that is always searching for ways to add value to our customers’ parts and specialty bolts, contact Superior Thread Rolling.

Design for Manufacturing for Specialty Bolts

Design for manufacturing is a capability within our manufacturing and thread rolling facility that is used to add value to our core services. While design for manufacturing is not a standalone service, it is still an important feature of our company that we encourage our customers to take advantage of, especially when it comes to projects requiring specialty bolts.

Specialty bolts are one of the most prevalent part families that our company works with. Because STR is accustomed to working specialty bolt designs, we are attuned to the redesign strategies that will benefit our customers. We offer specialty bolt redesign as part of our “design for manufacturing” services. This means, whether you require a non-standard bolt designed to improve fatigue rating, or if you are looking to reduce costs and lead times through design changes, we can propose alternative paths and designs to make your life easier.

Furthermore, we can assist with design for manufacturing even if we aren’t working directly with the company that designed it. By collaborating with suppliers of larger manufacturing companies, we make our customers look great to their customers!

How Is Design for Manufacturability Related to Cost Efficiency?

It is often more difficult to make changes to a specialty bolt or part once the manufacturing process has started. Not only does halting the manufacturing process mid-production run waste valuable time, it also increases costs when a specialty bolt design needs to be reworked and entirely re-manufactured. Because of this, designing for manufacturing is an excellent risk-reducing practice to put into effect, as it eliminates the need for these harmful changes during the production of specialty bolts.

Case Studies for Design for Manufacturing

Design for manufacturing is a highly effective practice to use when working on specialty bolt projects, but don’t just take our word for it! Check out our recent case studies involving design for manufacturing and discover just how useful this service can be.

Case Study #1: Reduced Costs and Expedited Production for a Top Commercial Aircraft Manufacturer

When a top commercial airline ordered non-standard size bolts from their partner, an aero-structures manufacturer company, they ran into trouble when their bolt supplier could not produce the unique, foot-long “T” bolts they required. Because this non-standard bolt could not be purchased from a standard fastener company, this airline was faced with long lead times and no clear end in sight. Luckily, their partnered aero-structures company reached out to STR.

Once our team got involved, our design for manufacturing skills moved our customers away from the original bolt design altogether. Instead, we helped engineer a double-ended stud that reduced the product cost to one third of the original specialty bolt price.

Furthermore, not only were costs reduced, but the new design allowed for faster production. STR expedited the manufacturing process for our customer, turning around the project in only four weeks. Since getting our client out of their jam, we have an ongoing contract with this company, because they saw firsthand the quality of our business and knew STR would be a reliable long-term investment.

Case Study #2: Reduced Cost and Reduced Waste for Leading Aircraft Manufacturer

A leading airline manufacturer designed an off-center pin part that they wanted Superior Thread Rolling to produce. The problem with this order was that, because its anti-rotation feature stuck out to one side, each pin had to be manufactured from 8in diameter round bar steel, despite the finished product only requiring a 3 inch diameter pin. Because of this, lots of raw material waste would occur, increasing costs as a result. Once again, STR stepped in to suggest that design for manufacturing practices be implemented for this specialty bolt.

Once we convinced our customer to change the part design to use two pieces of metal rather than one, the project was simple. The new design manufactured the pin from smaller diameter metal, while plate material was used for the off-center anti-rotation feature. This ultimately saved our customers $1,000 for each pin, amounting to $2,000 per aircraft, and the part redesign paid for itself incredibly quickly.

Case Study #3: Improved Performance for Helicopter Manufacturing Company

A helicopter manufacturing company utilized STR’s design for manufacturing capabilities when they discovered that their specialty bolt could not reliably pass fatigue rating. These bolts were designed for the main rotor, meaning they would endure both static and cyclical stresses during use. This bolt was unique because, to maintain balance, the helicopter manufacturing company designed the part to be hollow. The purpose of the design was to allow for the addition or subtraction of bolt weight as needed. Unfortunately, the holes in this design were the cause of the fatigue testing issues.

This project was very unusual for our team, as they noticed the specialty bolt did not fail at the thread, but instead at the bottom of the hole. Nevertheless, we created a solution for this abnormal problem by putting our design for manufacturing skills to work. By reinforcing  and redesigning the sharply cut holes to be rounded instead, STR was able to create a specialty bolt design that would pass fatigue testing with flying colors. 

Thanks to our design for manufacturing experience, our team regularly suggests solutions like these to avoid completely scrapping part designs.