Blog

A World In Motion

11/01/2019

We are excited about the addition of gas springs (also known as gas struts, gas pistons, pneumatic springs, or gas shocks) and dampers to the EFC product line.  For controlling motion Gas Springs are essential components in the automotive industry and a wide variety of industrial applications.

Lift Gas Springs.  Most commonly found on the hatch back of a car or SUV. A gas spring functions in a compressed position.  By compressing the rod into the tube, the nitrogen gas within the tube is also being compressed. As the space within the tube is reduced, the gas pressure to rises, which leads to the storing of energy. Once actuated, the gas spring then assist with the movement of an object, such as lifting the hatch back door for a car.

Dampers. Dampers are designed to control speed & motion determined by the quantity of hydraulic oil within the tube. Dampening can be set in either extension, compression, or both directions.  A damper is commonly used in applications where a cover opens down ward and controlled motion is required.

Tension/Traction Gas Spring. A Tension gas springs works in an opposite manner as a lift gas spring, it functions in extension.  The operator “pulls” the rod from the tube, as the rod is “pulled” the nitrogen is compressed causing the gas pressure to increase, storing the energy. Once released the energy reacts compressing the rod back into the tube.

Common Applications:

Transportation

  • Bus and Truck
  • Marine
  • Aerospace
  • Emergency Vehicles
  • Recreational Vehicles

Off Highway

  • Farm Equipment
  • Riding Mower
  • Construction Equipment

Electronic

  • Bank Machine
  • Computer
  • Copiers and Commercial Printer

Consumer

  • Tool Box
  • Tanning Bed
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Dumpster

 

For any installation situation – door, lid, cover, etc., let us work with you to provide just the right control and motion with competitive pricing for gas springs.

 

Swing Couplings from EFC Provide Increased Safety and Ease of Use While Saving Energy and Money!

09/12/2019

EFC provides safe and high quality swing couplings for hydraulic, pneumatic, vacuum, gas, chemical fluid and water applications. The swing
couplings are manufactured with the latest technologies to provide production methods that achieve efficiency, increase plant safety, improve productivity and save costs for industrial connections.  Check out some benefits below:

  • Increased safety. Safety features allow for safe connections and disconnection without pressure, kickback, or fear of hose whip typically experienced in standard coupling use.  Pressure is always automatically off during the coupling process. These safety features have made the swing coupling a favorite of assembly workers, manufacturing engineers and plant safety committees.
  • Easy to use. Designed to replace most standard couplings. Quick connection and disconnection are simple without line pressure or air loss in the system. The coupling swings easily into a locked position, letting the user know that the coupling has been completely connected or disconnected.
  • Saves energy and money. Check valves used in standard couplings restrict airflow resulting in pressure drop and increased compressor energy consumption. When using compressed air operated equipment in conjunction with swing couplings, the result will always be a method of operation which is more efficient with low energy and consumption, making it very economical.

Compressed air is the typical manufacturer’s most important utility. Pneumatic tools and controls, air cylinders for machine actuation, product cleansing and blow-offs each use compressed air. Without a consistent supply of quality compressed air, a manufacturing process can stop functioning.

Even small leaks can lead to big losses and can also cause serious accidents. It has been shown that in the case of compressed air, leaking couplings account for an energy loss of 8-15%. If water or oil are leaking, there are obvious signs, however, compressed air is not so obvious unless it’s too loud or blowing the skin off your face. It can leak forever and not directly affect anything but cost!

 

EFC Implements Outbound Autocapture Portal Prototype

08/28/2019

EFC International Autocapture Debut

Photo from the debut of the Autocapture Portal. Pictured is EFC President Matt Dudenhoeffer shaking hands with EFC Intern, Cameron, who developed the device.

The recently implemented “Autocapture Portal” operating in the St. Louis warehouse is a great example of EFC Redefining The World Of Distribution. The project was imagined by members of the IT and warehouse departments due to difficulties moving pictures into SAP for documenting export shipments. College intern and son of an EFC employee, Cameron, performed the majority of developing the program through fabrication of the device, programming, coding, circuitry, assembly, installation, testing, and validation. The Autocapture project will lead to improvements in warehouse automation.

This project and the portal itself will lead to improvement in warehouse automation. It solves issues by providing efficiency and improved flow of information flow to several departments. How? As a pallet is passed through the Autocapture Portal, the pallet tag is detected, and triggers the device to take photos of the pallet from 7 different angles and even a photo of the loaded truck! Each set of photos is uploaded in SAP and attached to the respective delivery.

Solutions Realized:

  • Consistent, reliable image capture of completed order condition of outbound pallets
  • Proof of heat treated stamp for customs clearance on export deliveries
  • Photo matching the carrier and pick up time with the pallet/delivery capture information
  • Confirming the status of each delivery in SAP, including automatically posting goods
  • Time savings for warehouse staff
  • Quick reference access to shipment documentation for sales, logistics, quality, etc.

EFC: Redefining The World Of Distribution!

EFC’s Autocapture circuit board proudly features the company logo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EFC International Cage Nuts – The Smarter Alternative To Tapped Holes

07/08/2019efc cage nut

A process as simple as assembling panels can rapidly become a source of  additional costs if not handled smartly. A Raymond’s (Tinnerman) speed grip cage nuts have been making the method smarter for several decades and are available from EFC International.

Cage nuts provide the assembly ease of a spring steel fastener with the robust joint of a cold-headed nut. These self-retaining threaded nuts can be assembled without tools in blind locations and don’t require any special operations.

The easier the better  – This is true from both a logistical point of view and a financial one. By simplifying assembly as well as by cutting tools out of the equation, they have a direct impact on Total Cost of Ownership: significant savings are made on assembly time, logistics or even tool purchasing.

Contact us for samples and quotes.

 

 

It’s Show Time! 

05/02/2019

Many people ask when budgeting and planning, “Is it worth it?”  Are tradeshows still relevant in this digital age?  Tradeshows are a key event, opportunities to network, assess competition, meet existing and potential suppliers and view the latest market trends.  They offer a great arena to showcase new products, raise brand awareness and create buzz.  It’s unlikely you’ll meet anyone at the show that you wouldn’t meet from the office and you don’t miss work, however you do miss the conversations at the show and they could be the deal maker (or the deal breaker, but let’s not go there)!

Most products can be displayed adequately on-line but being able to test and see the products in person seems to be ideal scenario.

Event organizers have made a focused effort to incorporate social media and it creates buzz before, during and after the show. Ideally social media brings people to our booth and grows our own social media.  This most likely wouldn’t have happened without the trade show and it lets me reach out personally for an email address assuring them I’m not a robot.

EFC recently exhibited at NASCC – Steel Conference in St. Louis.  EFC’s booth highlighted the Sherex Large Rivet Nuts. The Sherex rivet nuts were developed for applications where critical joint performance and high tensile loads are required.  Check them out on our website here, which brings me to another compelling reason to exhibit.  We gained valuable referrals from the numerous people we met.  There is a community and often attendees will network with you even if they have no need for your product/service.

Next up on the show circuit for EFC is Fastener Fair USA in Detroit May 22-23.  We will be giving away a Traxxas Ford Mustang!  Stop by Booth #514 and see the latest innovative fasteners while you register for the car.  We look forward to seeing our customers, friends, and suppliers at the show!

Fastener Tech follows the fair the first week of June at Donald E Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont.  This event is hosted by Fastener Technology International and Midwest Fastener Association.  EFC is a proud sponsor of the event.  It represents another great opportunity for us to meet and share knowledge with customers, colleagues and suppliers.   We won’t have a car to give away, but come see us anyway!

 

Embossed vs. Slotted Worm-Drive Hose Clamps – Perfect for the Marine Industry!

03/19/2019

 

 

 

 

 

EFC offers in stock Swedish Style Worm Drive Clamps. These clamps have an embossed band versus the slotted band of the traditionally manufactured hose clamps.

The slotted band will extrude the hose through the slots when tightened on the hose.  This cheese grater effect not only damages the hose material, it also hinders the clamp from smoothly riding over the hose when tightened.  The interlocking of the hose with the band slots creates a reactive torque moment that needs to be overcome with a higher installation torque. In addition, the small contact surface between the screw thread and the band slots generates high friction, therefore even LESS torque is converted into band tension.  The trapezoidal shape of the embossed band allows for more contact with the screw threads, therefore MORE torque is converted into band tension.

efc-clamp-embossed-vs-slotted

Embossed band worm-drive hose clamps have roll-formed band edges that minimize damage of the hose material as well as the risk of injury to the installer.

The housing of this worm gear clamp is manufactured from a tube in one piece that secures

high breaking torques and reliability. The solid band with a smooth inside as well as the rounded edges, protect the hose against damages and ensure a perfect sealing. Band width 9.7 and 11.7 mm.

Get a clamp that is far superior to slotted clamps at a competitive price!  Call us about our REALLY BIG SALE on these clamps!  Your business will gain financially and gain peace of mind avoiding warranty claims due to hose system failures.

In stock sizes on sale range from clamping range of 8-14mm (5/16” – 9/16”) up to 150-180mm (5 1/2:”  7”).

Show your customers a commitment to quality and purchase the best clamp on the market. 

 

EFC International Will Help You Choose the Right Clamp!

01/24/2019

Worm Gear: Inexpensive and lightly constructed clamp for general purpose automotive and industrial applications. Generally used in applications such as air and fuel lines.  They work fine while you are ironing out details of your system.  Hi-Torque is the strongest worm-gear clamp and features all stainless steel construction; an inner liner is also available. https://www.efc-intl.com/products/efc-clamps/worm-gear-clamps.htm

T-Bolt: Performance-engineered for long-term durability and a wide variety of applications.  The standard hose clamp used on intake hoses throughout the industry.  Very high holding power.  A wider band provides for superior system stability.  Thicker metal in the band means higher strength and longer life.  The only disadvantage is a narrow range – you must have the correct size in order for it to work properly. Fully lined. Medium cost. https://www.efc-intl.com/products/efc-clamps/t-bolt-clamps.htm

Constant Torque:  A breakthrough in clamping technology.  A Belleville spring mechanism automatically increases or decreases the clamp diameter due to changes in operational or environmental temperatures to eliminate “cold flow” leaks.  Widely used in air-to-air after cooler systems.  Wide range and fully lined.  Automotive, Heavy Duty and Industrial applications.  Complex construction means higher cost. https://www.efc-intl.com/products/efc-clamps/constant-tension-clamps.htm

Spring-Loaded:  A constant tension clamp with a spring designed for a variety of automotive, industrial, and marine applications.  Maintains uniform and constant tension for fluctuation on hoses.  Largely super-ceded by newer constant torque technologies but still widely used.  There is a narrower range compared to constant-torque and less capability to handle rapid pressure spikes and slowly losing tension in the spring over time.  Fix tension easily by adjusting the clamp periodically. Their ability to compensate for the expansion and contraction of hoses and fittings due to temperature is about the same as constant-torque.  Most are floating-bridge type using a trunnion-style bridge, which keeps the clamp aligned during tightening and tightens more evenly around the entire diameter of the hose.  Available with standard and heavy duty springs.  Medium-high cost. https://www.efc-intl.com/products/efc-clamps/t-bolt-clamps.htm

V-Band: Provide fast, secure high-strength coupling to connect flanged joints.  V-Band clamps enable industries to meet exact requirements in Aero-space, industrial, automotive, heavy duty and marine.  Typical V-Band applications are turbocharger connections, Diaphragm pumps, ducting, air, and exhaust, pool/spa filters and pumps, food processing/dairy equipment.

Marine Grade:  EFC has stock on clamps perfectly suited for the marine and irrigation industries with high-grade materials in 316 stainless to combat corrosion from saltwater.  Features:  1-piece tubular housing (nonwelded) for maximum strength, smooth I.D. reduces hose damage and maximizes conversion of torque to clamping force, rolled edges protect hose from abrasion, and available in 10 mm and 12 mm bandwidths.    https://www.efc-intl.com/products/efc-clamps/worm-gear-clamps/clamps-worm-gear-marine-embossed-german-multi-range-9-12mm-wide-all-316ss.htm

 

Still not sure which clamp to use, EFC’s clamp experts will help you get the right clamp for the job with a simple phone call!

 

Lightweighting

01/07/2019

“Lightweighting” has certainly been a buzz word the past few years for anything on wheels! In 2018 GM unwrapped the 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500. Through extensive use of mixed materials, the new truck weighs less than the outgoing model—up to 450 pounds less for some versions. “The weight savings comes from extensive use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing processes throughout the next-gen truck,” says Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer of full-size trucks at GM. “This allowed us to use the right material for the application and optimize every component for mass, durability, safety and functionality to meet our customers’ needs.”

“I don’t know of any OEM that isn’t targeting at least one weight class reduction on new models that they’re developing. Over the next two decades, we expect to see incremental improvements in weight reduction on every new vehicle and every new component. This is a never-ending battle and every component is being challenged.” – Stated by Alan Taub who previously worked in R&D at Ford, GM and GE and now of Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT).

Fastening and assembly in lightweight materials creates many challenges. In steel, we can weld, pierce, clinch, bolt and more. In composite materials we must develop unique methods of fastening that do not require high forces and temperatures. The BBA blind rivet nut allows flexibility with unique strength and corrosion resistance in composites and metals. BCT® (Bulge Control Technology) allows the rivet nut to install quickly, clamp into material without any radial expansion in the hole, and control the collapse to ensure there is no damage to material.

Producing BCT® rivet nuts from aluminum for use in aluminum and magnesium, weight is reduced dramatically. In areas using advanced high strength steel, when welding is not currently advisable and self-piercing fasteners are not hard enough to join materials properly, the BBA Ultra Series Rivet nuts can reach Torque level adequate to break a Grade 12.9 bolt with torque. Using high strength steel materials, the cold forming process yields a very strong fastener, but allows proper installation with conventional rivet nut tools.

The BCT fastener has the same grip range capability of up to three standard rivet nuts. BCT rivet nuts can be placed near to the edge of the sheet without fear of inducing a crack in the sheet.  Available in hexagon body for the ultimate in joint performance.

BCT can be installed in areas with limited rear side clearance. An M6 rivet nut needs only 8mm of rear side clearance prior to installation and only 5mm after installation –perfect for use in thinner versions of sandwich materials, avoiding the need for a through hole.

EFC will work with you to overcome challenges, find alternatives and develop processes to reduce weight.

 

O Fastener Tree, O Fastener Tree

12/20/2018

Our employees were asked to put together some festive ornaments using the same fastening solutions we supply. The end result was astounding!

Please keep EFC International in mind for any project you may have in your workshop. You never know what our elves will come up with. :)

efc-intl-ornament-greetings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On behalf of EFC International, we wish you and yours a Happy Holiday Season.

 

Shake, Rattle & Roll!

12/11/2018

Do You Have Joint Challenges – vibration, loosening, heat, etc.?  ITW Shakeproof developed the BosScrew™ to meet the challenge.  The unique thread form works directly with the creeping aspect of plastic to interlock with the boss. The BosScrew utilizes standard head diameters and has the highest drive-to-strip ratio in the industry.  This is the maximum performance fastener for most plastic applications.

Advantages/Features:

  • Reduce parts in an assembly – no more inserts
  • Permits the design of shorter bosses – save material
  • No spring components needed in the jointBosScrew™
  • Savings in service issues due to fasteners

BosScrew Success:

  • Automotive – center consoles, seat tracks, fascia bracket, door zone, grab handle
  • Small Engine – carburetor stud
  • Heavy Truck – air deflector
  • Construction – weatherstrip to door
  • Lawn Mower – handle assembly, clutch assembly
  • Furniture – church chairs

And we’ve got them in stock. Leave Shake, Rattle & Roll to Bill Haley and his Comets!

 

 

Do You Need to Bundle Your Bungled Application?

11/26/2018

EFC is a stocking master distributor for HellermannTytonmanufacturer of solutions that help customers manage wire, cable and components.  EFC carries a wide range of products and will assist you in finding the perfect solution to fit your application.  For bundling & securing products, electrical installation, identification, network connectivity, routing, protection and insulation check us out.

What are you trying to do – Bundle, Secure, Bundle & Secure or Separate Bundles?  If you ask, what’s the difference?  Here you go:

 

Bundle – wires, tubes, etc. together – NOT connecting a bundle to a surface.  Do you have a heavy-duty application? Heavier than 120 lbs.

bundle

 

Secure – primarily mounts (you will need a secondary part for bundling).  In addition, products that connect two parts like hoses.

secure-fasteners

 

Bundle & Secure – to an edge, to an existing hole, to a stud, or with something else like a screw, bolt or nail.

bundle-secure-fasteners

 

Separate Bundles – in some cases, they also mount to a surface.  Do you want to separate bundles with a range of sizes or fixed size?

separate-bundles-fasteners

 

https://www.efc-intl.com/products/efc-electrical.htm

 

 

International Fastener Expo (IFE) 2018

10/31/2018

Congratulations to Brian Rzepka of Valley Fastener Group, winner of EFC’s booth give-away, Xbox One!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth to register to win at IFE (International Fastener Expo).

A hot topic at the show and, of course, industry wide was what to expect in 2019 on U.S. Tariffs and Trade Policy. The new regulations have added more projects on desks for learning how to navigate through the lists, logistics, and strategize on how to manage price increases.  Some networking within the industry and taking advantage of workshops, webinars or conferences will, I hope, ease the burden.

We will see everyone next year a little earlier in September at IFE.

International Fastener Expo (IFE) Logo

 

GIE Expo 2018

10/01/2018

gie-expo-giveaways

EFC International will be exhibiting again at the GIE Expo (Green Industry & Equipment Expo) in Louisville October 17-19, Booth 10018 in the OEM Supplier Pavilion. This is the largest show for the industry and includes outdoor demonstration areas. Exhibitors at the show include Briggs & Stratton, The Toro Company, Caterpillar, Echo, John Deere Company, Kohler, Stihl, Kubota, Makita, and hundreds more.

Products highlighted in the EFC booth will include HellermanTyton’s Ratchet P clamp, an innovative wire bundling solution for heavy equipment manufacturers who want to reduce costs without compromising performance. It features an adjustable ratchet clamp mechanism; it comes in four sizes, four mounting configurations and two metal base materials. Cut the time required for wire harness and cable installation!

Oetiker Irrigation Service Kit with clamps and jaw pincers are perfect for clamping in a variety of diameters.  The clamps are made of stainless steel to resist scaling and corrosion for at least 1000 hours of salt spray.  We will be giving away two of these kits so stop by and register to win!  Oetiker high-tech hose and tubing connections used throughout the industry ensure a leak-proof, durable hose connection.

Also on display, StockCap, handgrips, vinyl, rubber and plastic plugs and caps for product protection. Whether you need a standard tube end cap or a custom part designed to your specifications, EFC will work with you to find the solution that works.

ARaymond designs and manufactures fasteners for the green industry.  Clips, supports and hooks enable growers to simplify, maximize yields and minimize labor costs.  ARaymond offers a range of biodegradable (who knew?!) fastening solutions in addition to its plastics range.

Heyco introduced this year UL recognized thermoplastic rubber grommets for mounting hole diameter ranges of .375” to 2.000”.   Convert raw-edged holes to smooth, neat, insulated holes.  You have the ability to insulate and mechanically protect cable, tubing, hose, rope, rods, and shafts.  Diameters fit panel thicknesses from .03” to .13”.  The temperature range is -40ºF to 221ºF.

Sherex introduced a line of M10 full hex structural rivet nuts perfect for high performance, high strength fastening solutions and needed for this industry.  The OEM they worked with was having challenges with weld nuts in the frame assembly.  They had to mask and unmask the weld nut threads before and after the powder coast process. These extra steps caused delays in the manufacturing process. Using the new M10 rivet nuts with the Sherex FLEX-18 installation tool, reduced production time by 20 minutes per frame assembly. Talk to us at the show about more cost saving solutions.

Recently introduced to the show are UTVs (Utility Task Vehicles).  As a premier provider to the automotive and truck industry, EFC is a natural solution and go-to source for fastening UTVs – including wire routing, clamps, panel fasteners, handles, knobs, specialty screws, and connectors. If you’re wondering what the difference is between a UTV and an ATV as I was, here you go — ATVs are all terrain vehicles and smaller than a UTV and they’re recreational.  UTVs also called side by sides are off-road vehicles that can seat 2-4 and designed for rougher terrain, hauling – a.k.a. work!

And one more exciting give-away – as if the Oetiker Irrigation Clamp Kits weren’t enough, we have a remote control excavator to give away.  It’s the envy of the guys in the office and now on their Christmas list.

See you in Louisville at GIE Expo!

 

Clamps, Clamps, and More Clamps!

09/05/2018

The most popular types of clamps for hose/tube, wire routing and affixing.

Regardless of your application – hose/tube, wire routing or affixing – there are numerous types of clamps to fit your application solution.  Many of these types of clamps appear in EFC’s on-line engineering guide (Encyclopedia of Engineered Components), specifically in our clamp “book” found here.  The most popular clamp types include constant tension, crimp style, cushion/routing, worm-gear, T-bolt and V-band.

Constant Tension clamps come in various styles (CTB band, screw-drive w/ spring element or belleville washers, or with traditional springs).  Constant Tension clamps enable spring-action to ensure a “constant tension” to prevent hose leaks due to pressure changes or thermocycling.

Crimp Style clamps include ear clamps that require an “ear” to be pinched to install.  Advantages include ease of installation, tamper proof design, concentrated seal compression and are ideal for hard-to-seal applications like molded plastics and automotive applications.

Cushion and Routing clamps include metal “P clamps”, with or without a cushion, for affixing hose, tubes, pipes, cables or wire bundles.  The clamps are affixed typically by using a bolt.  Other types of routing clamps include both metal and plastic clamps of varying styles and designs for affixing or routing cables and wire bundles.

Worm-gear clamps are extremely popular as they can be removed or adjusted after installation and typically just require a screw-driver to install them.  They come in varying styles for numerous application solutions.  Worm-gear clamps can accommodate a range of diameters, which is a major benefit.

T-Bolt clamps are often used for heavy duty / high strength applications.

V-band clamps provide a secure connection and positive sealing for “coupling” together flanged joints.  Available for high torque and with quick latch options.  These clamps are often used in heavy-duty diesel engine exhaust and turbochargers.

For more information, or to explore any of these types of clamps (and others), please visit the clamp section of our website here.

 

ARaymond Hose and Tube Clips

08/13/2018

Electrical systems – fastening and assembly solutions.  EFC’s strong partnership with experts in electrical systems like ARaymond, allows our customers access to plastic and metal fastener solutions designed specifically for electrical systems.

araymond-hose-tube-clips

EFC offers robust cable and tube fasteners providing improved security, performance and retention.  Modular swivel clips feature male and female parts in combination to create tailor-made fasteners.  The added swivel function means that the clips are compatible with multidirectional mountings, parallel cables and multiple routing.  A wide range of cable and tube holders made to fix one or more wires to a panel covering all common diameters and a wide range of panel thickness with different anchoring systems like studs, holes or panel clips.  Mix and match to create your ideal solution.

Corrugated hose clips are designed for placement around corrugated tubes of wiring assemblies to prevent fasteners from moving along wiring bundles.  We also offer low profile clips designed for space saving and mounting clips that can be easily opened for temporary access/removal and closed again to secure the conduit.  Engine or exhaust applications– – we also offer metal clips manufactured for high temperature performance requirements.

Contact EFC to optimize your production line’s efficiency with ARaymond’s robust, vibration-free fastening solutions!

 

 

EFC Receives ISO 9001:2015 Certification

07/27/2018

Steve Gaddy, Quality Control Manager for EFC, is pleased to announce we completed our transition and are ISO 9001:2015 certified!  All USA based offices and warehouses came through without a single finding – a great testament to the entire EFC Team.  At EFC the absolute highest level of quality is our only level of quality.  EFC employee’s dedication and our partnerships with peerless manufacturers, including but not limited to, A Raymond, ITW, Sherex, Heyco, Atlas, Oetiker, Stanley, AVK, Universal, Semblex, and Norma assures customers of the highest quality in both service and products.

World-Class, Premier, Expert, Best, Unprecedented, First-Class, Elite  – the use of these words mean nothing unless the customer experience has been associated with it.  There are levels of service at everyone’s place of business and if you’re selling the same product,  the level of service, quality, and accommodation will only make the difference.

“The way you control your inventory, (SAP and Barcoding) and the way you monitor your processes, (Metrics Data) are second to none….the reason you (EFC) are where you are today.”

EFC International’s Quality Certification document can be found here for download/viewing.