Every manufacturing company should have a quality management system (QMS). In many industries, it’s required by law. In every industry, it’s common sense—without a system in place to detect production errors, any little mistake on the line can turn into a big problem once the product leaves your facility. Whether it’s to meet critical safety needs, improve regulatory compliance, or reduce lost product, modern manufacturing companies must systemize their quality management.
While the goal is the same across the production industries, the methods vary based on the inspection needs of each specific product. For instance, products with welds may require nondestructive volumetric ultrasonic testing to ensure quality before leaving the production facility. Textiles, plastics, and even poultry may be tested by color using spectrophotometers to ensure each product meets company and industry standards. For manufacturers who rely on threaded fasteners to hold their products together, implementing torque control protocols will substantially improve their QMS.
How Torque Control Can Systemize Your Product’s Quality
Basically, torque control is math. We use math to assign standard, common values to the everyday world we perceive with our senses. This allows us to consider and alter the physical world in abstract, then implement our plans in actuality.
Specifically, torque is radial force. In manufacturing, the term is used to describe how much force is applied to the head of a screw, nut, or bolt. By measuring the amount of force applied on a common scale that has been developed using rigorous, repeated observations of the physical world, we are able to know exactly how much torque to apply for optimal holding strength.
Why is this important? Because fasteners which don’t receive the right amount of torque don’t hold well. If too much is applied, the fastener or the plates it holds together can deform, warp, or fail. If too little is applied, the fastener can work free and fall out. When this fastener is in a jet engine, a single failure can cause a critical problem. Even when these fasteners are in products without serious safety concerns, like computers, improper torque application can lead to increased product failure rates, decreased margins, poor customer satisfaction, and the potential for recalls.
So, by knowing the appropriate amount of torque to apply to each fastener in your products, it’s possible to reduce or eliminate the potential of fastener failure. This improves your quality management system by establishing a common standard that each product must meet in order to pass from the factory to delivery. Of course, in addition to knowing what the right torque is, you also need to be able to apply it.
Applying Torque Control to Improve QMS
Whether you’re tightening the tiniest screws or the largest, heaviest bolts, it’s difficult to know by touch or feel how much torque you’ve actually produced The human body simply doesn’t have a way to do this on its own. So, to apply a certain, discrete amount of torque, it’s necessary to use a tool which detects and limits the amount of torque it applies.
Torque tools come in many sizes and styles, and the right one for your operation depends on your fastening needs. Low-volume production settings often rely on hand torque tools such as adjustable screwdrivers or cam-over wrenches. For faster production environments which need small amounts of torque delivered in a precise fashion, electric screwdrivers are often the best choice. These are commonly found in electronics manufacturing, and many models prevent electrostatic discharge.
High-volume production environments can further improve their quality management systems with computerized assembly tools such as screw counters, DC control tools, and automated screwdrivers. In addition to adding another layer of control, these systems generate detailed assembly records, improving the oversight abilities of quality control managers.
Production environments that require more torque than electric tools produce should consider air tools, including pulse tools and continuous drive pneumatic screwdrivers. These tools retain the accuracy of hand and electric tools but can function at greater speeds than hand tools and produce higher levels of torque than electric tools.
To fasten the largest, heaviest bolts accurately, companies rely on torque multipliers. These multipliers dramatically increase the amount of torque which can be applied to a bolt, even if they take a little more time to use than a simpler tool. Hand-powered, electric, and pneumatic multipliers are preferred for these applications over hydraulic ratchets, as they are all significantly faster.
By knowing how much torque must be applied to each fastener and investing in the tools needed to accurately deliver that amount of torque, manufacturing companies can improve their quality management systems. This approach to torque control enables companies to reduce lost product, improve product safety and quality, reduce liability, and ensure regulatory compliance.
At Mountz Torque, we’ve been working to help companies improve their quality management through torque control for over fifty years. Our hand and power torque tools and torque control systems have the speed, accuracy, and power you need to create the best products possible. To see our full range of products, browse our catalog. Contact us anytime to ask a question. To ask about price, request a quote. If you’d like to see our equipment in person, schedule an appointment.