Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ Categories:

About AFI Compliance About VMI Online Account Documents General Products

About AFI

Q: Where is Assembly Fasteners, Inc. located?
A:We currently have locations in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

Q: When did the business start?
A: We have been in business since December 10, 1984

Q: Who can I contact for more information?
A: Please contact our customer service line at 800-487-4777

Q: Are you ISO registered?
A: Yes, we have been registered since 1994.

Q: Can I get a copy of your ISO certificate?
A: You can access our ISO certificate here

Q: Are scales and inspection equipment calibrated by a third party calibration service?
A: We use a third party service that calibrates our equipment on a set schedule.

Q: What are your Customer terms and conditions?
A: Customer Terms and Conditions are included with every quote and order. To receive a copy please contact customer service line at 800-488-4777

Q: Do you have a line card?
A: Yes, you can view and print our line card here

Q: What types of products do you stock?
A: See some of the various products we provide here

Q: Are fastener prints available?
A: Yes, they can be found here

Q: Does your company have a (DRP) Disaster Recovery Plan?
A: Yes, AFI has implemented a documented process to recover and protect business IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster. Hardware and data storage have been duplicated at a remote location to assure immediate recovery!

Q: Is the price on the website current?
A: Yes, this is published pricing. Log in under “My Account” to see your discount price or contact Customer Service at 407-487-4777

Q: Are you registered ISO 9001?AFI_ISO-1.png
A: We are ISO 9001:2008 certified. You can download our ISO certificate

Q: What is your cage code?
A: 1MTS3

Q: What is your NAICS code?
A: 423710

Q: What is your SIC Code?
A: 5072

Q: What is your square footage?
A: We have four locations totaling over 64,000 Sq ft

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Compliance 

  • RoHS
    We are able to provide RoHS compliant parts. Please notify your Customer Service Representative that this is a requirement.
  • DFARS
    We are able to provide DFARs compliant parts. Please notify your Customer Service Representative that this is a requirement.
  • ITAR (DDTC)
    Effective October 15, 2013, most fasteners will no longer be listed on the USML or the CCL. When additional USML categories are updated, other fasteners currently controlled by the USML or CCL will be excluded because the definition of "specially designed", including the fastener exclusion, will remain consistent throughout the revised export control regulations.
  • REACH
    We are able to provide REACH compliant parts. Please notify your Customer Service Representative that this is a requirement.
  • Conflict Mineral Policy 

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About VMI 

Q: What is VMI?
A: To learn more about our Vendor Managed Inventory system, please download our eBook

Q: What are the benefits of using VMI?VMI_eBook_Cover.png
A: Reduced inventory investment – Automatic, real time inventory updates eliminate the need to stock back up inventory, in addition to reducing the risk of stock-outs and rushed emergency orders

Adjustment to market demand - As the supplier becomes more integrated into the manufacturing process, it can adjust inventory supply based on market demand for the final product

Transition to a paperless system – Scheduling, ordering, and accounts payable functions can all go into a monthly transaction statement, eliminating the need to keep track of a stack of invoices

Improving inventory management – Automatic VMI updates reduce human error and wasted time during inventory cycles that typically require manual counting, barcode scanning, and data entry

ERP Integration – VMI programs are now so technologically advanced that they can seamlessly integrate into companies’ existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) databases, thus consolidating all of a business’ information into one unified system

Q: What value added services do you provide?
A: We offer a Assembly Virtual Inventory System. Learn more about AVIS here

  • Bar Coding
    AFI is ECIA-2D Barcode Labeling Compliant. Every stock item is labeled for product identification and traceability. All products processed for delivery are bar-coded to provide the necessary information to streamline your receiving process
  • Bin Stock
    Learn more about VMI at the page above.
  • Bonded Inventory
    Flexible programs for any size company
  • CMI (Customer Managed Inventory)
    Ask for information about our A-Fob and learn more about our CMI here.
  • Consignment Inventory
    Material is shipped to the customer based on how it is pulled from stock by manufacturing versus What the MRP says manufacturing is supposed to need. A small safety stock is kept in the customer’s stockroom or manufacturing floor.  What is special about consignment inventory is that this safety stock is owned by Assembly Fasteners, Inc., not the customer.  Billing occurs upon consumption, reducing average inventory levels, outstanding payables and cycle times.
  • Custom Kitting
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777
  • DFARS
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777
  • E-Store E-Commerce
  • EDI
    We support the following:
    810 Invoice
    830 Forecast
    840 Request for Quote
    850 Purchase Order
    855 Purchase Order Acknowledgement
    856 Advanced Shipping Notification
    860 Purchase Order Change
    865 Purchase Order Change Acknowledgement
    997 Functional Acknowledgement
  • Engineering
  • Global Sourcing
  • In-Plant Stores
  • JIT
  • Local Stocking Facilities
  • MRP Sharing
  • Part Modification
    • Plating
    • Dying
    • Custom labeling
    • Cutting down
    • Captivating
    • Custom parts
  • RoHS
  • Special Packaging
  • Supply Chain management
  • VMI- Inventory Management Programs
    We will manage your inventory flow. We will manage your procurement, inventory and warehouse functions.
    • Reduction of inventory
    • Elimination of shortages
    • No expediting
    • No internal administration costs
    • Reduction of vendor base
    • Complete supply chain management
    • Flexible programs for any size company
  • Custom Labeling and Packaging

Q: Do you offer consolidated invoicing (e.g., monthly invoicing, etc.)?
A: Yes, please contact customer service at 800-488-4777

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Online Account 

Q: May I check stock?
A: You can check stock by using either the manufacturer’s part number or your part number

Q: May I check pricing?
A: You can check pricing by using either the manufacturer’s part number or your part number, including special contract pricing

Q: May I enter orders?
A: Yes, to bill against either your corporate account or a credit card

Q: May I check purchase and invoice history?
A: Yes, you can check purchase and invoice histroy by either PO or part number under My Account

Q: When is my info available?
A: You may retrieve information 24/7

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Documents 

Q: How do I access?
A: Invoice Copies

  • Go to “My Account” and Login with your email address and password
  • In “My Account Profile”
    Press “Invoices”
    • You may track your order using AFI’s Sales Order Number, PO Number, Invoice Number or Date Range
  • Click on the applicable Invoice Number
  • Print the invoice detail
  • Packing Slips
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777
  • Nafta Certificates
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777
  • RoHS Certificate
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777
  • C of C’s
    This information is on the packing list received with each shipment.
    If a new copy of the packing list is needed, contact customer service at 800-488-4777
  • Manufacturer’s Test Reports (if applicable)
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777

Access to Documents

Q: How do I access?

  • Invoice Copies
    • Go to “My Account” and Login with your email address and password
    • In “My Account Profile”
    • Press “Invoices”
      • You may track your order using AFI’s Sales Order Number, PO Number, Invoice Number or Date Range
    • Click on the applicable Invoice Number
    • Print the invoice detail
  • Packing Slips
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777
  • Nafta Certificates
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777
  • RoHS Certificate
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777
  • C of C’s
    This information is on the packing list received with each shipment.
    If a new copy of the packing list is needed, contact customer service at 800-488-4777
  • Manufacturer’s Test Reports (if applicable)
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777
  • Credit Application
    Contact customer service at 800-487-4777

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General 

Q: Do you ship outside of the United States?
A: We are able to ship worldwide for most of our products. Customers are responsible for shipping, taxes and duties.

Q: Will you ship on our UPS or Fed-Ex account?
A: If you would prefer to use your UPS or Fed-Ex account for faster shipping, please contact our Customer Service at 800-487-4777

Q: If a product is not listed on your website, can you find it for me?
A: We offer over 100,000 products in our inventory and over 500,000 different products overall. If you cannot find the parts you need, we’ll do our best to source them.  Contact Customer Service at 800-487-4777.

Q: Do you offer customer parts and modifications?
A: AFI’s can offer a wide array of product customizations and manufactured to print. Modification options include: drilled holes, nylon patches, plating/coating, machining, fastener modifications, etc.  Send a drawing to our customer service department and they will be happy to assist you.  Contact Customer Service at 800-487-4777

Q: Can I get a sample of a part I am considering?
A: Samples are available on most items. You can request a sample by contacting Customer Service at 800-487-4777.

Q: Does AFI sell in smaller quantities than what is listed on your site?
A: There are times when we have open boxes or can source the product from a different supplier. If you are interested in smaller quantities, please contact Customer Service at 800-487-4777.

Q: Does AFI offer quotes for large orders?
A: We offer package and bulk pricing for many of our products online, however, AFI also specializes in import shipments. For more information by contacting Customer Service at 800-488-4777.

Q: Does AFI accept blanket orders?
A: Lock in prices for up to 12 months with blanket orders. Let us know the quantities and frequency of the products you use on a regular basis, and we can arrange to release and bill these items at the intervals you choose.

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Products 

Q: What is the most common drive type?
A: Phillip recess is the most commonly used drive type.

Q: What are the standard grades of stainless steel in screws and nuts?
A: 18-8 and 316

Q: What makes black oxide so popular?
A: Corrosion Protection – Depending on the post-treatment applied, black oxide coating can give corrosion resistance equivalent to 144 hrs of salt spray exposure. Other applications are designed to provide extended shelf life for stored parts prior to their use or to prepare them for further surface treatment (painting).

Dimensional Stability – Black oxide adds no more than 5 to 10 millionths of an inch to the dimension of a part (it also penetrates to an approximate depth of 5 to 10 millionths). For all intents and purposes, the as-formed dimensions do not change (as they do when painted or plated). This provides corrosion protection for critical-size parts.

Improved Lubricity – Oil post-treatment not only protects against corrosion, but the oil itself results in smoother running, mating parts.

Anti-galling – Where break-in of mating parts is necessary, the anti-galling surface lets the outer lubricating layer be sacrificed during initial contact and abrasion while work-hardened surfaces are formed. Decorative Finish – The resulting lustrous black finish adds visual appeal and a "quality" image at a very low cost. Harder parts, 40 Rockwell C and above, tend to have glossier finished. Softer parts tend to have matte finishes.

Reduced Light Glare – Moving machine parts, hand tools, and surgical instruments coated with black oxide reflect less light and reduce eye fatigue when used under bright lights.

Pre-treatment for Paint – Black oxide greatly improves the adhesion qualities of the metal, allowing paint and other finishes to hold better, last longer. It also minimizes paint chipping and flaking.

Conductivity –Black oxided parts experience no more than a 1% reduction in conductivity, making it a suitable treatment for electrical parts.

No Embrittlement – Unlike painted or plated parts which are oftentimes acid etched, no hydrogen embrittlement accompanies black oxiding. (However, if parts are already scaled or rusted, they may require pickling prior to black oxide and some embrittlement may occur.) Baking of the parts within four hours after black oxide application will relieve this problem. On extremely hard parts, 55 Rockwell C or above, and very thin springs, there is a possibility of "caustic" embrittlement. This condition can be minimized by careful control of the black oxide cycle time.

No Welding Fumes – Welding black oxided parts does not cause the release of noxious fumes as may be encountered by welding painted or plated parts.

Cost Competitive – It is very difficult to achieve the same protection, appearance and performance qualities from other finishing processes for the same low cost as black oxide.

Q: What grade of stainless steel is found in standard dowel pins?
A: 400 series

Q: What is the primary use of a flat washer?
A: Used as bearing surface for nuts

Q: Which thread type is the most common?
A: Coarse threads are the most common with class 2A / 2B fit

Q: What are the standard grades of steel in screws and nuts?
A: Grade 2, 5 and 8

Q: Which grade of steel is most common?
A: Grade 2 (Carbon Steel)

Q: Which grade of stainless steel is considered non-magnetic?
A:Stainless steel series 300 and 18-8 are non-magnetic and non-ferrous. Stainless steel series 400 is magnetic and ferrous.

Q: What type of material is the most corrosive protected?
A:Stainless Steel gives fasteners corrosion protection with strength

Q: Can 300 series stainless steel be heat treated?
A:300 series stainless steel becomes hard with coldworking or straw hardening.       

Q: What grade of stainless steel can be heat treated?
A:400 series stainless steel may be heat treated

Q: What is the benefit to aluminum fasteners?
A:Light weight, good electrical conductivity, low strength and very malleable

Q: What makes Hex Head fasteners popular?
A:Good for wrenching
Provide 6 turns or flats for installation.

Q: What do you call a Hex Head bolt that is fully threaded?
A:Tap Bolt

Q: Which thread form has more threads per inch UNC or UNF?
A:UNF- The F equals fine thread and the C in UNC equals coarse

Q: Bolts have machine screw type threads- True or False?
A:True

Q: Male (external) threads are identified by what fit class?
A: A (2A, 3A)

Q: Female (internal) threads are identified by what fit class?
A: B (2B, 3B)

Q: Which thread class has the most fit clearance- 1, 2 or 3?
A: 1

Q: All socket products are made of what high strength grade steel?
A: Alloy

Q: Hex keys come in what two types?
A: Short arm and long arm

Q: Socket products use what thread fit?
A: 3A

Q: What is the most common nut shape?
A: Many square nut applications are being obsolete

Q: Square nuts are available in what thread type only?
A: Coarse

Q: What are standard fasteners (inch) strength levels called?
A: Grades

Q: What is the standard thread pitch used in metric fasteners?
A: Coarse

Q: What are metric fastener strength levels called?
A: Property Class

Q: What is the most recognized metric standard symbol?
A: DIN

Q: What are the marks shown on the head of bolt?
A: Fastener standards specify two types of marks to be on the head of a bolt.

  • The manufacturers mark is a symbol indentifying the manufacturer (importer). This is the organization that accepts the responsibility for ensuring that the fastener meets specified requirements.
  • The grade mark is a standardized mark that identifies the material properties that the fastener meets. For example Grade 8 bolts will have six has marks on head. 
  • The marks can be raised or depressed. Raised marks are usually preferred by manufactures because these can only be added during the forging process whereas depresses marks can subsequently be added (possibly with illegitimate marks).

Q: What are the benefits of fine threaded fasteners over coarse threaded fasteners?
A: Normally, a coarse thread is specified unless there is an over-riding reason to specify a fine thread. For metric fasteners, fine threads are more difficult to obtain,
The potential benefits of fine threads are:

  • Size for size, a fine thread is stronger than a coarse thread. This is both in tension (because of the larger stress area) and shear (because of their larger minor diameter).
  • Fine threads have few tendencies to loosen since the thread incline is smaller.
  • Because of the smaller pitch, fine threaded fasteners allow finer adjustments in applications that need such a feature.
  • Fine threads can be more easily tapped into hard materials and thin walled tubes. Fine threads require less torque to develop equivalent bolt preloads.

On the negative side:

  • Fine threads are more susceptible to galling than coarse threads.
  • Fine threads need longer thread engagements and are more prone to damage and thread fouling.
  • Fine threads are less suitable for high speed assembly since they are more likely to seize when being tightened.

Q: How do you select a fastener size for a particular application?
A: When selecting a suitable fastener for a suitable fastener for a particular application, there are several factors that must be taken into account. These are:

  • How many and what size/strength do the fasteners need to be? Rather than rely on past experience of a similar application, an analysis must be completed to determine the size/number/strength requirements.
  • The bolt material to resist the prevailing environmental conditions. This could mean using a standard steel fastener with surface protection, or it could mean using a material more naturally corrosion resistant, such as stainless steel.

The general rule of thumb is to minimum the cost of the fastener while meeting the specification/life requirements of the application. Each situation must be considered on its merit and some in depth analysis is necessary to arrive at an optimal recommendation.

Q: How do metric strength grades correspond to the inch strength grades?
A: Metric fastener strength is denoted by a property class which is equivalent to a strength grade in standard inch fasteners.

Q: What is the difference between a bolt and a screw?
A: A screw is threaded to the head where as a bolt has a plain shank. However, using this definition now could cause problems if this assumption is made when specifying a fastener.  The definition used by the Industrial Fastener Institute (IFI) is that screws are used with tapped holes and bolts are used with nuts.

A: Obviously, a standard ‘bolt’ can be used in a tapped hole or with a nut. The IFI maintains that since this type of fastener is normally used with a nut, then it is a bolt.  Although certain short length bolts are threaded to the head, they are still bolts if the main usage is with nuts.  Screws are fastener products such as wood screws, lag screws and the various types of tapping screws.  The IFI terminology and definition has been adopted by ASME and ANSI.

Q: Is there some standard that states how much the thread should protrude past the nut?
A: There are some building codes that stipulate that there must be at least one thread protruding through the nut. However, it is common practice to specify that at least on thread pitch must protrude across a range of industries.  Typically, the first few pitches of the thread can be only partially formed because of a chamfer, etc. 

Q: What are helicoils used for?
A: Threaded device threads into a hole and provides internal threads for a bolt. Check out our HeliCoil page.
Must be used in conjunction with a properly sized drill and tap

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