AFI Blog

What’s the Difference Between Metric and Standard Bolts?

Posted by Hugh Watson | August 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

American standards organizations increasingly seek to find more common ground between the imperial and metric systems of measurement. These differences between units of measure have created two separate sets of hardware dimensions that possess different bolt designation systems. For this reason, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is working with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to develop unit measurement standards that ensure consistency across tooling and machinery. 

Read More »

Types of Washers Explained

Posted by Hugh Watson | February 15, 2019 | 3 Comments

Washers help distribute the shock load of nuts, bolts, screws, and other threaded fasteners, preventing them from becoming damaged or unscrewed during normal operations. These thin, usually disk-shaped plates come with holes in the middle that allow workers to install the fastener through them. Typically made of metal or plastic materials, washers’ outer diameters are usually twice the size of their inner diameters.

The three main types of washers include:

  • Plain washers
  • Spring washers
  • Locking washers

Here, we describe in detail each washer type as well as some of its applications.

Read More »

Partnership Perks: AFI Kitting Services

Posted by Hugh Watson | May 24, 2018 | 1 Comment

Since December 1984, AFI has provided high quality, cost effective fastening solutions. Those years of experience have taught our team not only about specific components and their strengths, but also how to optimize complete fastening systems and kits of parts.

Kitting parts can both simplify work processes and boost profits. With a long history of dedicated customer service and a deep inventory of parts at our disposal, kitting brings our staff’s expertise and efficiency together to create detailed, cost-effective custom kits to meet your operation’s precise needs.

Read More »

Knowing When to Use Rivets

Posted by Hugh Watson | March 19, 2018 | 1 Comment

Cost-effective, straightforward, and easy to install, rivets provide versatile, reliable solutions for a huge range of industries and applications. Though screws, nails, and bolts may still be more common fastening solutions, rivets can provide enhanced performance for particularly challenging situations.

Read More »

Benefits and Common Uses: Coil Machines and Lockers

Posted by Hugh Watson | January 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

As industrial and manufacturing companies continually strive to become more efficient and boost their bottom lines in today’s increasingly competitive landscape, the use of industrial vending machines has been experiencing substantial growth.

Vending machines come in several different forms, such as coiled types, carousels, and lockers. Each type offers unique benefits and features for various applications and workspaces.

Coil vending machines, in particular, allow inventory to be stacked front to back, and provide solid storage density, but they’re not ideal for larger parts. Locker vending machines, on the other hand, provide more room for inventory but at a lower density.

Below are some of the key benefits of industrial vending machines.

Read More »

5 Reasons You Should Work With Vendor-Managed Inventory Systems

Posted by Hugh Watson | December 11, 2017 | 1 Comment

Vendor-managed inventory (VMI) — a supply chain process that streamlines inventory procedures by putting the vendor or supplier in charge of managing and replenishing a manufacturer’s inventory — can be hugely useful for both the companies employing these systems and their clients.


Here at Assembly Fasteners, Inc. (AFI), we make use of a number of specialized VMI programs in order to provide added value to our customers while reducing our overall costs. Our newest VMI system — Assembly Virtual Inventory System (AVIS) — uses SmartBins to automatically track the number of parts in a bin and determine when part refills are needed. AVIS then collects and stores this data in a cloud system to generate automatic stock orders.

With VMI systems like AVIS, we’re able to supply our customers with high-quality products while requiring fewer transactions and allowing for lower purchasing, receiving, and quality costs. Below are five great reasons to employ — or work with a company that employs — VMI systems.

Read More »

Basics of a Nylon Fastener

Posted by Hugh Watson | November 1, 2017 | 1 Comment

Metal fasteners are everywhere-- screws, nuts, bolts, rivets, clamps -- they're used to bond materials together in appliances, electronics, industrial equipment, and more. However, metal fasteners no longer remain the only ones dominating the industry.

Read More »

Tropic Fasteners Earns Women Business Enterprise Certification

Posted by Hugh Watson | July 7, 2017 | 4 Comments

The team at Tropic Fasteners is excited to announce that we’ve recently been awarded Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

Read More »

Fastener Solutions to Save Your Bottom Line

Posted by Hugh Watson | June 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

When rolling out new products, many manufacturers find themselves struggling to keep down overhead costs, which can directly affect profit, market competitiveness, and overall product success. To ensure optimal efficiency, managers across all industries are working hard to curb the high costs of manufacturing overhead. Customers know what they are paying for products however they don't know what they are buying and at what cost. With AFI, you get the transparency you deserve.

Read More »

Assembly Solutions for Sheet Metal Fabrication

Posted by Hugh Watson | February 17, 2017 | 8 Comments

Sheet Metal Fabtication Southco.jpgThrough cutting, bending, and assembling, sheet metal fabrication produces machinery and structures of all types for a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, construction, and jewelry.

Read More »