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Case Studies

Don’t Scrap that Part! A Shaving Rework May Solve the Problem

Problem: A unique aspect of cold forming is that the raw material may not always flow quite the way you want it to. A fellow manufacturer called Pearson Fastener when it experienced this type of issue. Instead of scrapping the product, they asked if Pearson could perform a rework operation with our shaving equipment. The manufacturer had 50,000 pieces of a ½ x 1.88 hex head cap screw blank in which the material flared up on the end of the part. This caused the parts to roll thread improperly and become out of tolerance from a length perspective.

Solution: Using specialized shaving equipment, Pearson shaved a chamfer and cleaned up the flare. We also cleaned the end of the parts which brought them into length tolerance and provided a great transition area to roll the threads on the parts. For a very small rework cost, the manufacturer was able to salvage parts, avoid additional scrap and remanufacturing costs, and still meet its customer commitment on time. This example shows why it’s worth considering Pearson’s shaving capability to see if reworking a part is a viable option.


Less Stress for Distributors with Complex Parts and Rapid Timelines

Problem: A national distributor was launching a custom carriage bolt for a key customer’s new product line. The M12 x 70mm specialized carriage bolt had a unique 11mm square shoulder that transitioned into a 20mm collar, then into a round 27 mm head. These numbers of upsets are difficult to achieve, but became even more complex as all of these features had to be filled out extremely well. The vendor chosen to produce the part notified the distributor that it could not form this part successfully as it was crashing tools. Parts were due to launch with the distributor’s customer in two weeks.

Solution: The distributor contacted Pearson Fastener. Pearson reviewed, developed a tooling design and manufactured tools to successfully form the part on the same type of header used by the previous vendor. After successfully forming the part, we expedited it through remaining secondary operations, including an outside heat treat and plating process. We shipped this part in time to prevent the distributor from missing the product launch to its key customer. As impressive as this is on its own, Pearson has successfully completed this type of scenario several times for many customers while maintaining minimal disruption to other customer commitments. We consistently achieve this because of our:

  • Flat organization that allows rapid decision making.
  • Efficient, rapid process that cuts lead times in engineering and product development.
  • In-house tooling, experience and knowledge to tool up complex jobs quickly and correctly the first time.
  • Skilled operators who can handle highly complex jobs.
  • Vendor partnerships that facilitate quick turnarounds.

With this structure in place, Pearson is a low-risk, strong supplier partner you can rely on. We’re ready to help reduce distributors’ stress during parts launches with key customers.


Marine Manufacturer Saves 40% on Hex Head Bolt from Pearson

Problem: Trimmed hex flange head bolts have many advantages. But they are costly and difficult to produce for reasons including:

  1. Tooling pressure that occurs from trimming the hex during the cold forming process.
  2. The resulting material loss, which can be especially costly when stainless steel is used.

Solution: Pearson Fastener can produce a formed hex bolt that offers many of the benefits of a trimmed hex, but at a much lower cost. With our unique manufacturing equipment, Pearson can cost-effectively cold form a hex head with filled-out corners to achieve similar engagement as a trimmed hex. For one marine customer, Pearson was able to reduce the cost of an M6 x 12mm hex flange head bolt with stainless material by 40% while still providing the benefits of a trimmed hex.


Caster Manufacturer Reshores Parts while Saving Costs

Problem: A leader in the caster industry needed to localize a key product from Asia while keeping total cost in line with offshore pricing. This ½ – 13 x 1.50 part with a 1.0 collar was currently being screw machined.

Solution: Pearson Fastener converted this part to utilize the cold forming process. Cold forming can produce parts of this size at 100 pieces per minute versus 5 parts per minute using machining. The cost-effectiveness of this process allowed Pearson Fastener to be piece price-competitive with Asia. In addition to cost savings, this customer also improved the working capital on the part by not having to hold as much inventory, as Pearson can deliver smaller quantities. Along with these benefits, Pearson helped the manufacturer meet its customer’s requirement of localizing product while saving costs.


Pearson’s In-House Capabilities Reduce Lead Times for Marine Manufacturers

Problem: Short lead times are often a challenge for marine manufacturers that need specialized stainless steel components for marine vessels and equipment. The parts need to be corrosion resistant to withstand extremely harsh marine environments, while meeting strict quality requirements for marine use.

Solution: Pearson Fastener’s in-house design and tooling capabilities help shorten tooling lead times and thus the total lead time for new and existing specialty parts. Using multi-die cold forming, we produce custom double-end studs, fully threaded studs, cap screws, formed hex bolts and rivets in size ranges from M6 to M14. Our local sub-supplier network also helps reduce lead times for heat treating and plating, along with a passivation process to enhance corrosion resistance qualities. These capabilities have allowed Pearson to produce parts with an average delivery lead time of 22 days – a stand-out in the industry.


Stainless Steel Purchasing Strategy Allows Lower Volume Runs for Marine Parts

Problem: A marine craft OEM needed a parts supplier that could produce stainless steel components in a wide variety of volumes without driving up cost and lead times. The volume requirements ranged from 1,000 to 500,000 piece EAU.

Solution: With in-house tooling and strategic stainless steel purchasing, Pearson buys a standard size of material which we can tool up to produce several different diameters of parts. This leverages our purchasing power for stainless steel and provides the capability to stock stainless steel in house. This lowers costs, shortens total lead time and allows us to produce lower volume parts for marine manufacturers.


Pearson Achieves Special Quality Requirements for Tier 1 Automotive Customer

Problem: A manufacturer consulted Pearson Fastener about a part needing a Level 3 PPAP with special quality requirements dictated from a Tier 1 automotive end customer. Our customer wanted to confirm we had the quality and documentation capabilities to adhere to this requirement. This part also had to be delivered within four weeks to meet their end customers’ needs.

The requirement was to perform individual gage R&R studies on two known critical dimensions on the print. The end automotive customer wanted reassurance that our ISO 9001-2008 certified quality system was robust enough to handle this work. Failure to do so on a timely basis would have put the order in jeopardy.

Pearson Fastener had to provide three main capabilities:

  1. An operation that can produce quality product that is repeatable from part to part, thereby achieving desired PPM.
  2. Gaging that verifies this repeatability that is in itself repeatable at 10 times greater than production.
  3. The ability to document and prove that we have the gage R&R capabilities and can record and produce results in understandable software for customer approval.

Solution Pearson exceeded expectations by performing all three phases flawlessly. Our product ran perfectly at a high quality level. Our measurements on multiple gages documented our process to be superior to AIAG [1] industry standards. Average % Contribution was well below the acceptable 10% level, and average Study Variance was far less than the acceptable 30%. Recording of this data was implemented and produced on our own automotive approved software, MiniTab17. Both the end customer and our immediate customer were completely satisfied with Pearson’s robust quality system and ability to complete the rush order.

Note: All Pearson gages used to verify production of any sort have a gage R&R study documented for review at any time.


It’s not always the equipment but the skill of the team behind it.

Problem: An industry-leading fastener distributor had sourced a M8 x 1.25 x 116 6-lobe pan head shoulder screw to one of its key suppliers. But the supplier could not produce the part and put the distributor in a jam.

Solution: After conducting a technical review and initial development, Pearson Fastener successfully produced the part and met or exceeded all of the customer’s expectations – by running the part on the same type of equipment used by the previous supplier. With over 159 combined years of fastener experience, Pearson has superior expertise to solve unique problems.


Process Conversion to Cold Forming Saves Cost, Strengthens Parts

Problem: A nationally known fastener distributor was serving a North American industry leader in the railroad signal system market. The supplier needed to reduce cost on a family of screw-machined, medium carbon and stainless steel T head bolts.

Solution: Pearson Fastener was able to convert these parts to be fully cold formed, which saved significant cost while yielding a stronger part than machining. Pearson formed the parts at 80 parts per minute – drastically faster than 4 parts per minute produced in the machining process.


Consistent Responsiveness Cuts Lead Times

Problem: Multiple manufacturers have consulted Pearson Fastener in need of quick turnaround for product delivery. These customers serve markets in the automotive, lawn and garden and agricultural industries. Their delivery expectations range from 3 days to 4 weeks – for product that usually ranges from 4 to 12 weeks in a normal delivery cycle.

Solution: Many fastener companies can turn around one part quickly, but Pearson has proven that we can do this consistently. For example:

  • In one instance, Pearson designed, tooled, produced and shipped good product in 2 days.
  • In another instance, Pearson designed, tooled, produced and shipped product in a week vs. the typical lead time of 8 weeks.
  • An automotive part typically had a 12-week lead time. In just 4 weeks, Pearson was able to design, tool and manufacture it with multiple internal and external processes and produce a Level 3 PPAP along will full gage R & R documents.

How do we do it? One reason is Pearson’s efficient/rapid process that cut lead times in all areas of manufacturing and office operations. We take a Six Sigma approach to comprehensively reduce lead times throughout the product’s cycle. The result: Pearson reduces cost, decreases lead times and improves quality for our customers.


Staying Ahead of the Quality Curve – ISO 2015

Pearson has been strategically enhancing its capabilities to ensure uncompromising quality in cold formed fastener products, especially over the past year. With a Six Sigma approach to quality, we continue to intensify our systems as we strive to deliver zero quality defects. ISO standards dictate all ISO certified suppliers must be recertified to the new 9001-2015 standard by 2018. Pearson is out front in aggressively targeting certification to this new standard in early 2017. These are some highlights of our quality program that are helping us stand out among fastener suppliers and provide top quality for our customers:

  • We are ISO 9001-2008 certified and work closely with our sub suppliers, all of whom are ISO certified.
  • Capability to provide full Level 3 PPAP documentation. Includes use of Pact7, Datalyzer and Minitab 17 software for automotive approved data.
  • Our tensile testing capabilities set us apart in the industry.
  • A Six Sigma Green Belt leads our Quality team.
  • KPI tracking system and quick-response system for corrective actions.
  • We have cage code designation as a government contractor to support our military troops. Registered with tier 1 government suppliers GDLS (General Dynamics Land Systems) and OSHKOSH Defense.

Pearson Shaving Capabilities Reduce Part Breakage, Improve Efficiency

Problem: Metal parts with small diameters can break easily if they require deep grooves, depending on the process used. Another challenge is machining parts with multiple features (grooves, points and others) without driving up processing time and cost.

Solution: Customers rely on Pearson for our numerous manufacturing capabilities, but many customers find our shaving services especially valuable. Pearson has a unique combination of technical skills along with shavers equipped with variable speed drives. This lets us shave small-diameter parts that have deep grooves, without part breakage. We can also shave parts with multiple features. Pearson has shaved parts with 5 features in one pass on a single part from stainless steel.


Quick Turnaround for Shaving is a Pearson Specialty

Problem: The need for quick turnaround seems more the norm than an occasional expectation when it comes to secondary parts processing. Pearson Fastener understands that making up time during secondary operations helps customers meet requirements for their end customers. One Pearson customer recently needed parts in half the normal lead time of 8 weeks to meet an unforeseen build-out schedule.

Solution: Pearson Fastener delivered completed parts in just 3 weeks to help fulfill this requirement due to our shaving operation’s quick turnaround. We have set up our shaving process to deliver industry-leading production turnaround times. Pearson’s process centers on:

  • Making shaving tooling in house.
  • Having multiple machines available to increase production output.
  • Technical expertise – Our staff have over 20 years’ experience running shaving equipment, requiring minimal or no learning curve on new jobs, and can develop the proper fixturing for efficient processing.
  • Proper Advance Technical and Quality review during the quotation stage, which ensures upfront work is completed before even receiving an order.

Rust-Resistant Fasteners for Marine Applications – Without Coatings

Problem: Marine manufacturers are always looking to maximize the rust resistance of their fasteners without adding costly coatings.

Solution: Pearson Fastener has developed supply chain systems that allow us to improve fastener rust resistance without adding coatings. Through this supply chain, Pearson has produced many parts that have performed up to 1,000 hours in a salt spray chamber before rusting, without having a coating on them. Pearson accomplishes this by:

  • Working with a domestic stainless steel supplier that produces its own raw material. This minimizes raw material imperfections which can lead to early surface rust.
  • Partnering with a local world-class metal finishing company that performs a passivation process to maximize corrosion resistance on stainless steel non-plated parts.

Shoulder Rivets: Case Study

Problem: A custom vintage furniture manufacturer used standard round head rivets as decorative rivets for its desks, tables and media consoles. The company had to machine them to various lengths, adding non-value time and cost to the custom building process. This did not allow for customized head sizes that would add to the desired unique look.

Solution: Pearson Fastener developed and manufactured custom rivets that helped the customer eliminate additional processing of the standard rivet. This also reduced production cost and increased manufacturing output. Pearson’s solution allowed customization of the rivets to the proper width and height, giving the furniture the industrial vintage look and character that the customer is famous for worldwide.


Custom Engineered Bolts: Case Study

Problem: A leading stamping supplier was producing a stamping shell to hold safety-critical components for the automotive industry. In 4 weeks, it needed an M6 weld bolt to mate its stamping to a vehicle interface. An automotive supplier audit also had to be passed to meet the prototype time line and assure their customer they were working with a high-quality fastener supplier. These objectives all had to be met during a holiday time frame.

Solution: Pearson designed, manufactured and successfully conducted PPAP for the bolt within the time frame, largely because of our in-house tooling design and manufacturing capabilities. We condensed our internal lead time to one week and worked with our heat-treating and patch suppliers to meet the schedule as well. Pearson passed the audit with no major findings.

Later, during the stamping supplier’s prototype builds, they recognized a design issue on the stamping which caused the bolt to be off- center. This design issue would cause assembly issues for their customer. The stamper contacted Pearson Fastener which developed a shoulder on the part to ensure proper centering of the bolt into the stamping, eliminating potential assembly issues.


Threaded Studs: Case Study

Problem: Short lead times are often a challenge for marine manufacturers that need specialized stainless steel components for marine vessels and equipment. The parts need to be corrosion resistant to withstand extremely harsh marine environments, while meeting strict quality requirements for marine use.

Solution: Pearson Fastener’s in-house design and tooling capabilities help shorten tooling lead times and thus the total lead time for new and existing specialty parts. Using multi-die cold forming, we produce custom double-end studs, fully threaded studs, cap screws, formed hex bolts and rivets in size ranges from M6 to M14. Our local sub-supplier network also helps reduce lead times for heat treating and plating, along with a passivation process to enhance corrosion resistance qualities. These capabilities have allowed Pearson to produce parts with an average delivery lead time of 22 days – a stand-out in the industry.


Specialty Pins: Case Study

Problem: A Japanese distributor needed a North American supplier to produce an M5 stainless steel knurled pin with an automotive coating. The supplier would have to produce this pin while meeting quality standards and passing a quality audit of a Tier 1 Japanese automotive supplier. Other key requirements included producing the parts from a Japanese equivalent stainless steel, and producing a specialized knurl to meet technical requirements for a gasoline flap application for an industry-leading Japanese auto manufacturer.

Solution: Experienced in producing thousands of pieces from stainless steel per month, Pearson Fastener worked with its stainless supplier to develop a stainless steel raw material to meet the Japanese equivalent. Pearson also developed a manufacturing process for a headless pin to ensure the specialized knurl could be produced in a high-volume production environment. Pearson enhanced its quality and manufacturing procedures to pass the in-depth automotive audit.