French fastener company Clufix (clufix.com/gb) has developed what it calls a “third-generation assembly process fastener,” a pre-assembled blind rivet bolt consisting of a screw and a nut that combines crimping and screwing in one step. The company estimates the Leankeasy fastener cuts assembly costs by an average of 35%.
Third generation? Éric Massebeuf, director of Clufix, explains, “The first generation of products comprised just basic nuts and bolts. The second generation—which emerged in the 1920s, became more widely used after 1945, and is still here today—has involved engineered fasteners (self-clinching nuts, cage nuts, blind rivet nuts, weld nuts, threaded insert) preparing the metal sheet support by setting a threaded component, but still using nuts and bolts separately. The third generation has now arrived with the launch of Leankeasy.”
Clufix plans to start selling Leankeasy fasteners to U.S. auto-makers and suppliers by 2015.