2006 - PACE Award Winner
What: BosScrew Fastener
The BosScrew threaded fastener or screw has an innovative design that precludes “backing out” when inserted in plastic automotive parts. The result is that plastic parts in difficult to reach places in automobiles and trucks stay attached firmly to each other, eliminating rattling, and reducing warranty costs as a result. This in turn allows ITW Shakeproof to rise above a commodity posture. Manufacturers have begun to redesign plastic parts for future vehicles to take advantage of this new fastener. Clamps, metal inserts and other added-on bits can be replaced by BosScrews. A BosScrew can go directly into the plastic, saving money by circumventing inserts.
ITW Shakeproof’s diligence in exploring the causes of “backout” of conventional fasteners led to a new screw design that circumvents the problem. A team in the ITW Global Product Center researched ways that plastic might be fastened more securely. Using three-dimensional modeling software they developed a better understanding of how plastic material moves under pressure. Further, they determined the optimum torque to drive a screw into plastic and, more importantly, the amount of resistance a screw must have to avoid backout. From this came the design of the BosScrew with its indented threads. The ITW investigators were able to turn the naturally-occurring creep of plastic into a plus. With BosScrew’s unique thread, the cold-flow of plastic creates an anti-loosening interlock.
Interestingly, the vehicle buying public will not see this product, but they will not notice any squeaks or rattles, either, and the vehicle manufacturer will experience reduced warranty costs as a result. The BosScrew is currently being utilized on numerous vehicle platforms, with orders exceeding 89 million screws per year.
In short, a very small part that had been the cause of squeaks and rattles in completed vehicles was, through disciplined investigation, transformed into a screw that actually prevents the problem. ITW Shakeproof understood the cause, quantified the needed characteristics of a fastener that prevents the problem, and developed a solution, the BosScrew.