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A leading automobile manufacturer had undertaken a major campaign to reduce the manufacturing cost of a steering shaft assembly. One of his first cost reduction steps was to replace the two machine screws attaching the electrical system contact activator to the steering shaft column with two M6 x 18mm TAPTITE® screws. This eliminated a bothersome drilling and tapping operation. His next undertaking was a re-design to eliminate the threaded stud that protruded from the steering shaft. The steering wheel is then secured to the stud with a lock washer and nut. His studies showed that the manufacturing cost of the steering shaft would be significantly reduced were the threaded stud replaced by 10mm diameter screw, driven into a hole in the end of the shaft. As he was already using TRILOBULAR™ TAPTITE® screws to secure the contact activator to the shaft, he naturally considered a TRILOBULAR™ screw to attach the steering wheel itself.
We recommended an M10 x 20mm DUO-TAPTITE® CORFLEX®-‘I’ screw. The DUO-TAPTITE® design was used to give the best ratio between driving torque, seating torque and developed clamp load. The stabilizing threads at the tip of the DUO-TAPTITE® screw would greatly simplify the robotic assembly of this unit, planned for the near future. CORFLEX®-‘I’ metallurgy and heat treating were selected to give the greatest resistance to failure due to impact or thermal loads.
Of course, the superb resistance of the DUO-TAPTITE® screw to vibrational and torsional loosening eliminated the need of any lock washer or chemical locking compounds. Here, as so often before, the singular characteristics of the TRILOBULAR™ family of fasteners yielded a considerable savings in manufacturing costs through greater ease of assembly.