AMF Capability Highlight: Hardware Installation for Precision Fabrication

October 12, 2023

When we talk about hardware installation at AMF, we’re primarily referring to the use of specialized presses to insert PEM nuts, standoffs, and similar types of hardware into sheet metal parts. 

Our hardware department also manages our assembly jobs as well, because assembly often follows hardware installation. However, hardware installation is distinguished by the use of our Haeger presses, while assembly is all-encompassing and includes other methods, such as using hand power tools and/or a rivet gun.

At AMF, we pride ourselves on quality service. Hardware installation is no exception. Our Texas sheet metal fabrication shop has an experienced team, top-of-the-line equipment, and proper quality control measures for hardware installation—the essentials for delivering an end product that exceeds customer expectations.

The Nuts and Bolts of Hardware Installation

Materials commonly requiring hardware installation include aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. The type of hardware used varies depending on the metal involved. For example, stainless steel requires a special kind of hardware with teeth harder than the stainless steel itself so that the hardware stays in place.

Our shop has extensive hardware installation capabilities, enabling us to handle diverse customer requests.

Our hardware installation equipment

In our precision fabrication shop, we use Haeger 824 hardware insertion machines. Haeger designs these presses to insert hardware efficiently, either manually or through automatic feeding systems, into pre-cut holes in the sheet metal.

Our adaptable software and state-of-the-art presses empower our experienced fabricators to meet customer requests quickly and reliably.

Quality Assurance in Precision Fabrication

Despite being considered an entry-level task in many shops, hardware installation has one of the highest potentials for error due to its complex requirements and variety of moving parts. In the hands of an amateur, setbacks can occur at the very end of the process, extending lead times and frustrating customers.

That doesn’t happen at AMF. 

The average tenure in our hardware department is 18 years, and mistakes are few and far between in our team members’ capable hands. Our experienced hardware department serves as an extension of our quality control team, catching issues like poor plating or powder coating before parts move on to the next stage.

Implementing checks and balances

Multiple layers of checks and balances reinforce our quality assurance throughout our manufacturing process. These protocols provide an extra layer of confidence in the end products.

When AMF takes on new projects, the first part undergoes quality inspection at each department before the operator completes the rest of the order. For recurring jobs that have already undergone this rigorous inspection, the department lead must sign off on the first part before manufacturing continues.

Using counters to ensure precision fabrication

Our assembly machines have counters that track the number of PEM nuts or similar hardware that need to be installed, along with the appropriate pressures required for each type. 

Counters are critical in ensuring quality and precision, helping to mitigate common errors like missing a hole during installation—an easy mistake when hundreds of parts are involved.

Setting out components beforehand

For assemblies, AMF workers set out the exact number of components they will use beforehand. If there’s an extra piece or a shortage by the end, workers know something went wrong and can correct the problem immediately.

This method is also useful when providing kitting services, because it allows us to verify that each package contains all the necessary components.

Our Exceptional Sheet Metal Services

Hardware installation is just one of many capabilities we pride ourselves on at AMF. Every process at our Texas sheet metal fabrication shop requires a harmonious blend of adaptable technology, experienced oversight, and meticulous planning to ensure a high level of quality and precision.

We think the world of our employees, but we also recognize that to be human is to make mistakes. By implementing foolproof systems and leveraging specialized tools, we significantly minimize the risk of human error to deliver a top-notch experience. 

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