When little things go wrong, they can have a big impact. Think about it: the biggest fire that’s ever burned was started by a single spark. An inch of reach or an ounce of force can alter the outcome of the Super Bowl—and the millions of dollars riding on it. Or think about Gavrilo Princip, who wasn’t anybody until he changed the whole world one sunny summer morning. Small things can make a big difference.
That’s why manufacturers of small products or products with miniature components pay a lot of attention to the minute details of their work. Consumer electronics, internal and external medical devices, and avionics manufacturers, to name a few, must accurately and repeatedly assemble their products using fasteners with exceptionally low torque tolerances. The only way to ensure these products maintain their integrity once they leave the factory is to find and use the best inch-ounce torque wrenches and torque screwdrivers.
Torque Control in the Inch-Ounce Range
Torque is radial force—force which moves in a circle. When applied to an inclined plane wrapped around a cylinder, like a screw or a bolt, it compresses that plane against the parallel plane provided by the fastener’s receptacle. This holds the screw or bolt in place.
When too much torque is applied, it can damage the threads or the shaft of the screw or bolt, increasing the chance that they will warp or break under stress. If not enough torque is applied, there isn’t enough force holding the fastener in place, allowing it to work itself free and fall out. This causes two problems: first, and most obvious, the assembly can come apart. Second, if the assembly is inside something else, such as a jet engine or a human body, the screw or bolt can cause significant harm wherever it falls free.
When working with very small fasteners, extremely delicate tools are needed. These tools must be able to measure and control the amount of torque which is applied to the fastener. The sensitivity of these screws and bolts makes them difficult to fasten correctly by hand and eye and makes it impossible to know if the work is done correctly. Choosing torque tools not only improves production and performance, but it also gives executives peace of mind.
Finding Inch-Ounce Torque Wrenches and Screwdrivers
Torque tools are specialty tools to begin with, and inch-ounce torque wrenches are even more of a specialty product than others, as they are needed almost exclusively by a small set of professionals. In addition, the nature of the work they’re intended for leaves only a minuscule amount of room for error. While their margin of error may be the same as larger tools in relative terms, measured as a percentage, it is far, far smaller in absolute terms, measured in amount of force applied.
As such, it’s critical to find the right tool manufacturer to purchase from, one with proven experience and expertise in crafting such precise implements. Manufacturers with a long track record of successfully producing these tools, operating with current certifications from standards organizations such as the ISO, are ideal.
Not every torque tool can produce force with the specificity required to work in the inch-ounce range. A small set of hand tools and electric tools are capable of applying the needed amounts of force accurately. For hand tools, certain preset and adjustable screwdrivers provide acceptable results, as do certain models of break-over wrenches. Clean room preset screwdrivers can deliver force in the inch-ounces while also meeting standards for use in up to Class 100 clean room environments.
For greater speed, certain models of electric screwdrivers operate successfully in this range as well:
- BL-Series electric screwdrivers have brushless motors, which require little maintenance, and are intended for high-volume production.
- BF-Series electric screwdrivers also have brushless motors and are ESD-safe, rendering them useful for electronics manufacturing.
- SS-Series screwdrivers have soft-stop capabilities and are intended for sensitive assemblies including electronics, disk drives, and plastics.
- CL-Series screwdrivers retain the accuracy of other screwdrivers in this range but without brushless motors. They are best suited for low-volume productions where maintenance downtime is more tolerated.
Choosing the right set of torque tools for manufacturing in the inch-ounce range is critical to manufacturing success. Tool suppliers with proven track records should be preferred, as the quality of their tools will directly impact the quality of the products a manufacturer can produce. After all, in the inch-ounce range, there’s precious little room for error.
Mountz Torque has been a trusted provider of torque solutions for over half a century. Our inch-ounce torque wrenches are manufactured according to the highest standards for quality. To see our full range of products, shop our store. Contact us anytime to ask a question. To inquire about price, request a quote. If you’d like to see our equipment in person, schedule an appointment.