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Challenge (Europe) Ltd

Challenge (Europe) Ltd Contact Details

Telephone
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Fax
01234 327349
Contact
Kevin Moorcroft
Email
Address
Shuttleworth Road
Goldington
Bedford
Bedfordshire
MK41 0EP
England UK
Opening Hours
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Monday
09:00 am-05:30 pm

Tuesday
09:00 am-05:30 pm

Wednesday
09:00 am-05:30 pm

Thursday
09:00 am-05:30 pm

Friday
09:00 am-05:30 pm

Saturday
Closed

Sunday
Closed

Other Dates

About Challenge (Europe) Ltd

Challenge (Europe) Ltd is an ISO9001 stockist and distributor of threaded fasteners, with an emphasis on supplying manufacturing companies located within the UK with specialist standard or custom components.

This includes extensive stock and application specific supply capability for screws and bolts of all types including machine screws, self-drilling screws, hammer drive screws, wood screws, self-tapping, thread-forming screws and sems. Bolts include Hex head, construction floor anchors, coach bolts and studding. They have an extensive stock of socket head screws as well as nuts, cage nuts, rivet nuts, Tee nuts, weld nuts, u nuts, wing nuts, barb nuts and combi nuts. Washers are stocked in depth from flat and shake proof to mudguard, copper grip and terminal cup types, to crinkle washers, sealing and Belville washers, spring and cup washers, as well as O rings. Rivets include blind and tubular, alongside split cotter pins, dowel/groove pins, weld studs, tension pins, self-clinching and brass threaded inserts.

Challenge also carry useful ancillary products, such as grommets, plugs and screw caps, carrying handles, valve knobs, cable ties and the range of Action Can lubricants, sprays and aerosols.

Challenge operates Project Manufacturing Partnerships for subcontract manufacture, sub-assembly and logistic supply. These have developed over many years from simple kitting processes to cover supply chain management, including co-operative product development, tooling control and global sourcing through to stock monitoring.

Project Manufacturing Partnerships have developed in a number of ways from the original threaded fastener distribution function, while threaded product ranges have expanded to include more sizes, more materials, and more finishes. New products have been included, such as rivets/pins and sole UK distributorship of the Dubo ring, together with associated products such as the toothed collar ring, Korrex nut caps, and insulating bushes. Challenge are now suppliers to customers in many market sectors – this includes associations with the electronics industry, building products, construction industry, automotive industry and white goods manufacturers.

Quality has always been a top priority for Challenge, reflected both in the product range they stock, and in the service they provide. Challenge gained the ISO9001 award for quality in 1996, and the company is a member of the Engineering Industries Association. The Challenge service enables them to supply systems such as Vendor Managed Inventory, Kanban, JIT, and Linefeed. The company also offers a specialised sub-assembly and packing service, allowing customers products to be supplied in the most efficient format. Combined with the availability of their own UK delivery fleet, the service that Challenge offers cannot be surpassed.

Gallery

News
20/03/2020
Ex-stock and custom Machine Screws – Challenge Europe discuss their future

Machine Screws represent a technology that is now conventional, so that Challenge Europe believe it is interesting to ask “what is their future?”

We have already seen many developments in drives/head configurations for automated production such as Hex drives and other socket screws, leading on to the more modern Phillips, Pozi and star drives, e.g. TORX, developed with a view to self-centring so that they will sustain torque loadings of automatic drives and with the further aim of being self-aligning when inserted.

We already have in the market an extensive selection of different thread pitches/multiple thread screws – custom screws – many diameters and head styles. Including threads for different materials such as steel, soft metals, plastics, zinc die castings, aluminium castings and so on.

More sophisticated driver forms can now be readily produced with advanced production machinery, leading to a great variety of head forms for differing purposes, e.g. wafer heads – thin and large diameter to spread the load over the substrate, which may be a thin sheet or soft material.

Other common forms include Narrow/small dia heads for confined spaces, Dome heads for aesthetics, Countersunk heads for smooth surfaces, Vandal-resistant heads for security, Integral washers, Pre-assembled sealing washers, Load spreading heads and Anti-vibration, e.g. serrated flanges.

Generally, in the future we foresee evolution rather than revolution with major market trends focused on:

- Better production technologies leading to better quality, greater accuracy, cleaner execution, reduced wastage, lower cost.
- Higher performance through use of higher spec materials, better finishes, superior insertion and drive capabilities, coupled with development of new thread forms to suit different materials and applications.

As discussed elsewhere, new thread forms are in development, but do not seem to have mass market utility as yet.

This has been the story of machine screws so far and we can only see it continuing as new industries of personal transit, renewable energy and recycling continue to develop new requirements with ever-lower energy use.

Clearly the threaded fastener industry continues to be vibrant with evolutionary growth based on their simple functionality at low cost.

Further information on Machine Screws from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/threaded-products-screws/

09/03/2020
Challenge Europe discuss the future for Imperial and Metric Screws

Sorting out the multiplicity of screw thread designs has been such a big issue for so long that there are lots of guides to give approximate conversions, although naturally there are no actual like-for-like equivalents. The team at Challenge Europe recently discussed a little history and some future-gazing.

Imperial threads - as it may be expected come out of the ins./feet standard developed in the blossoming of the industrial revolution when Imperial meant British Empire and then into the dynamic drive for mass production seen in the USA. These imperial threads were in their heyday at the end of that era which was approximately in the early part of the 20th century. When the Empire broke up under the stresses of two world wars and the rise of international power blocs together with demands for independence they continued in general use since the momentum of these newly grown industries carried them forward. Metric on the other hand comes from the millimetre/centimetre measurement system so popularised by Napoleon in the continental European theatre and subsequently established in the rebuilding and regrowth of the European manufacturing industries after the devastation of the wars that took place there.

They are not mutually compatible of course but may have approximate size replacements. The two standards essentially run alongside each other with metric (ISO) being the one that is replacing imperial across the world – it is the defacto global standard.

Consequently, metric screws are more readily available, e.g. ex-stock, more standard sizes, more easily sourced, more development in new products, more widely used and continuing to replace imperial globally on new projects. Challenge Europe are one of the few specialists who stock both standards in depth.

Increasingly tool kits are solely metric – although even today new spanners, taps and dies are available for Whitworth and BA – but are expensive so that they are often sourced by hobbyists and renovators as second hand items at auctions and car boot sales.

Since Imperial standards derive from the early days of the industrial revolution and industries like ship building and armaments that were important to the days of Empire and grew immensely at that time.
The first national standard was Whitworth - devised and specified by Joseph Whitworth in 1841. Followed by William Sellers who developed the Sellers thread of 1868 later developed into American Standard coarse and fine.

Well known to instrument and model makers is the British Association screw thread standard – known as BA these are small screws with the largest being OBA = 6mm dia. There continues to be a low level demand for older applications, e.g. old instruments – or for rebuilding of older vehicles.

Many countries have run both types alongside each other but all are in the process of moving to ISO metric standards if they have not already done so. The USA has probably held out longest due to the inertia of its huge market, but globalisation has led to sourcing of cheaper metric products for mass production and this has driven the conversion. The US/American market is therefore becoming more restricted - imperial products used to be the mainstay of general sales in the US, but not so now as US customers are more comfortable with metric specs. Availability of metric equipment in the US has now completely overtaken imperial screws in a relatively short time – roughly coinciding with the rise of Chinese manufacturing as the component supplier to the world.

New thread design development continues as specialist companies and engineering enthusiasts seek to explore niche areas, for example, “total surface contact” and bone screw fasteners – which may one day find application outside the medical/surgical field.

One particularly interesting arena is that of alignment correction whereby a misaligned screw will self-correct and pull itself back to its true axis.

Further developments are aimed at improving the performance of screws subjected to transverse loads which can lead to self-loosening or fatigue failure.

However, in the mass manufacturing market we do not at present see any further new thread designs on the horizon since metric forms seem to have adapted well to all general requirements. Elsewhere, other designs of fastener have been extensively developed from push-fit plumbing connectors to pop-in electrical and electronic fittings and this approach to specialist fastenings has very much taken off as a new way of dealing with often completely new problems.

While the transition from “old” to “new” thread forms is almost complete and many threaded fasteners have simply not been specified where they might previously – because now more cost-efficient fasteners of specialised design are available. However, it does seem that pockets of demand for imperial threads will continue for a long time yet.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on th
20/02/2020
Self-drilling/self-tapping screws stocked in depth for metals and plastics at Challenge Europe

Self-drilling/self-tapping screws for metals and plastics – ex-stock from Challenge Europe are often used in the construction industry, e.g. for fixing sheet metal in place on frameworks and can come with bonded washers to prevent water ingress in outdoor applications. Self-drilling screws come in a variety of formats but all are based upon the principle of drilling and tapping in one operation. They are generally used in steel, softer metals or plastics and there is a range specially designed for use in wood/composite materials.

Major benefits in using this type of fastening include increased speed of installation and efficiency provided by combining the drilling and tapping operations as well as a functional improvement in alignment, which otherwise could require re-setting the screw for correct fitment.

Self-tapping screws are stocked in depth as hardened and plated carbon steel and stainless steel self-tappers for use mainly in sheet steel products. These screws form or tap their own thread so saving time and providing a strong clamping action with the ability to remove and replace if required. Countersunk, Pan, and Flange heads are commonly available, the flange head having the advantage of spreading the load well and minimising deformation of the sheet thus eliminating the need for an under head washer. The traditional slotted drive is still available, but the modern preference is for cross recessed or multi-splined (star) drives to suit modern insertion equipment. Self-drilling and self-tapping screws are available in plated steel and stainless steel for engineering, construction and general assembly purposes.

Specialist Construction screws are often thought of as a separate genre but principally operate in the same way as their more standard cousins and tend to be designed to perform more specific functions. These functions range from having integrated sealing washers, for the fixing of cladding, through to Bugle head designs for use in fixing plasterboard. There are a variety of drives available, often linked to the intended function of the fixing, and can include designs such as Hex, Star, Pozi, Phillips and even Square. Some fixings are available in a Collated format where speed and handling is important.

Largely because of their wide utility this group of self-drilling/self-tapping screws offer an extensive range of different head and drive types. Head types include the following and may often be specified with a drive configuration of choice:
- Pan head: which has a thick rounded, outer top with a large surface area
- Button or dome head: which is cylindrical head with a dome shaped top
- Countersunk or flat head: An inverted cone head with a flat outer surface
- Raised countersunk head: Combines a countersunk head with a rounded upper surface for decorative purposes
- Bugle head: which presents a smooth increasing transition from the shank to the angle of the head
- Flanged head: Can be any head style incorporating an integrated flange so that it does not require a washer
Also wafer head – which is very thin – for use where a low profile is required.

In some instances they can also be offered with anti-vandal features, such as pin hexagon, pin star (multi-splined) and clutch head.

Further information on self-drilling/self-tapping screws from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/threaded-products-screws/.
11/02/2020
The Challenge Europe difference between Thread-forming screws and Self-tappers

Challenge Europe are delighted to hold in stock both metal thread-forming screws, e.g. for castings etc where they secure components by forming a machine thread – also purpose designed screws for thread forming in plastics.

The Challenge Europe team point out that thread forming tri-lobular screws are used for fixing into metal components – a form of self-tapping screw, they use the tougher tri-lobular design which assists the grain flow as it effectively deforms a thread into thicker material than could be managed with a standard self-tapping screw. This process results in a thread geometry that is more accurate than a standard self-tapper and so provides a stronger fixing which is more resistant to loosening under vibration. Almost a machine screw in concept these thread forming screws leave a tapped hole when removed and may be replaced with a standard rolled thread machine screw if required – for example at servicing or repair and thereby provide a much higher torque loading capacity than a standard self-tapping thread. They are typically used in steel, aluminium, aluminium die castings, zinc die castings, magnesium and other light alloys.

Heads and drives include countersunk, pan, and hexagonal/flange types with cross recess, multi-splined (star) or hexagonal formats. Hardened steel is normal for most applications and is suitable for use in a variety of metals providing the correct diameter pilot holes are in situ. Stainless steel thread forming screws are also freely available but tend to be used in softer materials such as aluminium and zinc.

Thread forming screws for plastics have become more and more important in the assembly of everything from electronic equipment to furniture, as they are easily inserted into drilled or moulded holes in thermoplastic materials where they deform the material to provide optimum fastening force superior to standard self-tappers. Thread forming screws are especially useful in the manufacturing production environment where an automatic feed can be employed to greatly speed the assembly process, by eliminating the need for nuts or inserts, so reducing piece part costs, labour costs and process costs.

There are a range of thread geometries associated with this type of screw, this is to allow for their use with different component materials and design features. For example, if required for insertion into thinner walled, harder plastic mouldings it might be advisable to try a tri-lobular thread variant which tends to reduce the risk of burst out. Of course, the choice of hole diameter can be critical and the team at Challenge can advise on both screw selection and suitable hole diameters.

Head formats for use with plastics include countersunk, pan, and flange types with cross recess or multi-splined (star) drives. Typical materials include hardened steel with a zinc & clear passivate finish or in some instances black finishes can be available, also stainless steel. Again, proper installation requires a pre-formed hole of the right diameter to properly form or cut the right size thread and to take advantage of the benefits of this design which include low radial stress, no material to jam the thread, maximum resistance to substrate relaxation and no material stress through plastification.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
07/02/2020
Difference Between Thread-Forming Screws And Self-Tappers

Challenge Europe has shed some light on the difference between metal thread-forming screws and purpose designed screws for thread forming in plastics - both which are stocked by the company.

The team points out that thread forming tri-lobular screws are used for fixing into metal components – a form of self-tapping screw, they use the tougher tri-lobular design which assists the grain flow as it effectively deforms a thread into thicker material than could be managed with a standard self-tapping screw. This process results in a thread geometry that is more accurate than a standard self-tapper and so provides a stronger fixing which is more resistant to loosening under vibration. Almost a machine screw in concept these thread forming screws leave a tapped hole when removed and may be replaced with a standard rolled thread machine screw if required – for example at servicing or repair and thereby provide a much higher torque loading capacity than a standard self-tapping thread. They are typically used in steel, aluminium, aluminium die castings, zinc die castings, magnesium and other light alloys.

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Heads and drives include countersunk, pan, and hexagonal/flange types with cross recess, multi-splined (star) or hexagonal formats. Hardened steel is normal for most applications and is suitable for use in a variety of metals providing the correct diameter pilot holes are in situ. Stainless steel thread forming screws are also freely available but tend to be used in softer materials such as aluminium and zinc.

Thread forming screws for plastics have become more and more important in the assembly of everything from electronic equipment to furniture, as they are easily inserted into drilled or moulded holes in thermoplastic materials where they deform the material to provide optimum fastening force superior to standard self-tappers. Thread forming screws are especially useful in the manufacturing production environment where an automatic feed can be employed to greatly speed the assembly process, by eliminating the need for nuts or inserts, so reducing piece part costs, labour costs and process costs.

There are a range of thread geometries associated with this type of screw, this is to allow for their use with different component materials and design features. For example, if required for insertion into thinner walled, harder plastic mouldings it might be advisable to try a tri-lobular thread variant which tends to reduce the risk of burst out. Of course, the choice of hole diameter can be critical and the team at Challenge can advise on both screw selection and suitable hole diameters.

Head formats for use with plastics include countersunk, pan, and flange types with cross recess or multi-splined (star) drives. Typical materials include hardened steel with a zinc & clear passivate finish or in some instances black finishes can be available, also stainless steel. Again, proper installation requires a pre-formed hole of the right diameter to properly form or cut the right size thread and to take advantage of the benefits of this design which include low radial stress, no material to jam the thread, maximum resistance to substrate relaxation and no material stress through plastification.
16/01/2020
Challenge Europe announce ex-stock star/multi-splined (TORX) drive screws

Challenge Europe are pleased to offer ex-stock Hexalobular Internal Drive screws (generically of the TORX style) as part of their manufacturing supply service for delivery under normal production protocols, e.g. Lineside supply, JIT, Kanban or similar.

Often referred to as star drive or multi-splined screws, they are available in metric standard sizes and are designed for automation assembly in that they feature a positive drive with reduced slip-out and are especially suitable for controlled torque insertion - using bowl feed equipment.

Hexalobular Internal Drive screws are popular for use in the auto, motorcycle and bicycle industries, as well as instrumentation, electronics, computers, brown goods and construction projects.

A wide range of screw types in steel and stainless steel are now available with this type of recess to ISO 10664.

Security or tamper-resistant variants are available with centre pin requiring a special driver – also external Multi-splined bolt heads are available providing many of the benefits associated with the aforementioned internal drive version.

Further information on Hexalobular Internal Drive screws from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/hexalobular-drive-screws/.

04/12/2019
Socket Head Screws from Challenge Europe

Ex-stock production supply specialists Challenge Europe are pleased to offer five types of socket screws from stock to support the engineering/assembly industries.

Socket head cap screws, socket shoulder screws, socket button head screws, socket countersunk screws and socket setscrews are all in common usage by virtue of their ease of use in the production environment and for their very clean aesthetic appearance.

The great strength of these screws makes them popular in specialist tooling, engineering assemblies, hydraulic systems, vehicle production, furniture and other high quality technical equipment.

Further information on socket head screws from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/socket-products-screws-and-bolts/.
01/11/2019
Challenge Europe - service packages - the most important component in manufacturing

Challenge Europe are delighted to offer a fastener sourcing and supply chain service to manufacturing design and production engineers and consider that taken overall such a service package may well be the most important component in that process.

We can all recognise that the specification of a fastener will be governed by a number of possibly conflicting factors. At the concept/design stage, the designer will consider the functionality of the components, environmental issues, life-cycle expectancy, how the assembly is to be held together and whether there is a need to disassemble it amongst other concerns. For the sake of simplicity and cost the first consideration is to see if standard fasteners can be used and check the current availability with suppliers.

Whilst International Standards will provide comprehensive information on things like fastener diameters, lengths, materials etc., we should not assume that the entire range listed in a particular Standard will be available from stock as standard product range – so even “standard” fasteners may require specialist sourcing and supply arrangements.

Consideration of standards is of course vital and can be difficult without guidance from an experienced team - the following are common examples:

- International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) – ISO Metric Threads
- Deutches Institut für Normung (DIN) – ISO Metric Threads
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI) – Unified National and Metric Threads
- British Standards Institution (BSI) – ISO Metric, Unified National and British Threads

Reference to these international standards will provide detailed specifications for thread tolerances and other information on the geometry of fastener threads while considerations of other configuration requirements can be integrated in the final design.

Drive types will need to be considered where quantity, speed, torque requirements and cost can be defining factors, differentiating between slotted, Phillips, Pozi and Torx to name a few well-known variants.

The team at Challenge Europe can offer guidance on material selection based on cost, product strength characteristics, environmental and corrosion-resistance requirements, application of the fastened joint. They will of course include steel; stainless steel – Austenitic, Ferritic or Martensitic; plus, brass, bronze, aluminium, copper and plastics of many sorts.

The actual manufacturing processes, heat treatments or annealing processes involved in the production of a suitable fastener will very likely have a profound influence on the quality and longevity of the final assembly and so form part of consideration in the service package.

Once the sourcing is confirmed only then can supply chain issues be addressed such as stocking, importing, batch sizes, delivery, e.g. using JIT, Lineside supply, VMI, Kanban or other protocols.

Further information on service packages available from Challenge Europe products can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/service-packages/.
17/10/2019
Custom Nuts - Challenge Europe provide the solution

Custom nuts from Challenge Europe meet many widely varying needs in materials such as steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminium, plastic or exotics like titanium. There are many different styles on the market today. Amongst the commonest are the Full Nut, the Lock Nut (sometimes referred to as a Half-Nut or Thin Nut) and the Nylon Insert Self-Locking Nut.

Special shapes include curved combi-washers/collars to fit tubing etc., or castellated designs of varying pitch to allow for indexed adjustment. Options are almost endless, and the final choice is heavily dependent upon the service expectations required.

Essentially conceived as any piece of metal (or plastic) with a thread in it intended to be fixed to a component, special nuts can have C wrench slots, pin wrench holes, may be double-ended or welded (projection weld nut) to a foot plate or bracket. All metal self-locking nuts are available where higher temperatures are likely to be experienced. These include Aerotight, Philidas, Stover, Binx, Cleveloc and many others, all providing anti-vibration loosening characteristics.

Security (anti-vandal) nuts available include Kinmar, both permanent and removable, Tufnuts, Scroll Nuts and the ever-popular Shear Nut. Flange Nuts, both plain and serrated flange, fill another gap where load spreading is required without the need of a washer, while the serrated flange version also provides a degree of resistance to loosening under vibration. The Combi-Nut design is another configuration that provides load spreading where a washer is trapped into the nut but is free to rotate. Versions fitted with an external toothed shakeproof washer can also offer an element of resistance to vibration loosening.

The team at Challenge Europe are experienced in fabrication of custom nuts in-house or with trusted subcontractors against a program of supply chain demand for industrial manufacturing. Combined with a range of materials and finishes you pretty much have a nut for every occasion, meeting the demands across industries as diverse as lighting, electronics, general equipment, refuse processing, machine tools, conveyors and automated/specialist vehicles.

Further information on custom nuts from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/nut-products/.
01/10/2019
Custom Fasteners – a speciality from Challenge Europe from screws and bolts to formed and threaded rods

From some of the simplest and most commonly available fasteners such as the humble machine screw to the more specialised and often heavily customised bolt Challenge Europe can help in all formats. Threaded fasteners are perhaps uniquely adaptable since designs can readily be adjusted to suit many diverse applications requiring non-standard lengths, intermediate diameters as well as alternatives to the generally available materials of steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminium and nylon.

These alternate materials include titanium, copper, phosphor bronze, duplex and super duplex stainless steels. Threaded fasteners with special heads may be needed such as bar type (T form) to locate in slots, or bolts for special purposes, e.g. welded to a foot plate or spiked for use in materials processing machinery such as drums where replacement is often required.

A common form of specialist bolt is the U bolt or hook where the extended bolt can be formed in such a way as to create a completely different item of custom dimensions. Further refinement is then possible with varying surface treatments such as zinc and clear, chemi black or anodising.

It is truly remarkable how versatile the humble screw has become and how readily suppliers like Challenge Europe can create that special solution.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
10/09/2019
Production, products and service – Kevin Moorcroft of Challenge Europe explains the nuts and bolts of successful manufacturing relationships

Manufacturing philosophies are subject to change and fashion, but Challenge Europe find that the one constant is the need for trust between suppliers and manufacturing customer.

Indeed, it can be seen that this “hand-in-glove” relationship may often become so close that it is difficult to discern where the boundaries lie – who orders, who determines stock levels, who even carries or funds the stock, who establishes the final specification, who a particular operative actually works for. In such an intimate relationship, egos are subjugated to efficiency, quality and flexibility in the process which can involve:

- Secondary assembly, kit collation, lineside supply and other protocols.
- Supplier managed stock – ordinary, delivery to site.
- Combined supply of:
- Standard fasteners, special fasteners
- Custom fasteners
- Specialist components, assemblies and finished components
- Production kit
- Delivery to site on schedule

With the supplier acting as a stock/supply node that can bring together the outsourcing and supply of components for their small to medium SME customers in the manufacturing industry. Such an intimate relationship builds a supply chain management package as a trusted part of a system, improving efficiency, raising quality, reducing costs. Taking the worry out of day-to-day supply issues.

Stocking & Delivery:
Sourcing and the supply chain in a manufacturing cycle – key factors fall under the headings of Stock Inventory control, Site management, Production system integration.

Quality & Service:
By understanding and satisfying the needs of a customer a contractor can recognise that the assurance of quality is a fundamental factor governing all work conducted within the supply chain relationship model under the considerations of:

• In house approval
• ISO9000 systems
• Quality products, suppliers
• Hi-tech applications
• Sophisticated materials
• Specialist processes
• High volumes, low fault tolerances

Thus, partnerships in engineering, product enhancement, component supply and assembly, stocking and delivery, costs and pricing, in-house investment and sourcing/supply infrastructure support the manufacturing process through service elements comprising ex-stock, VMI, JIT, Kanban, Linefeed etc., technical support, trade counter, fast response capacity, sub-assembly processes, supply administration, sourcing consultancy and national/international logistics management.

Product Enhancement:
Successful manufacturing relationships contribute to on-going product improvement by suggesting and supplying components of alternative materials which can reduce component counts and shortening assembly times.

As concept consultants an excellent supplier can advise on optimal design-for-production (DFP) values at the product concept stage and provide pre-production advice on the handling of components, kits and sub-assemblies. This allows processes and component stocks to be tailored for the production line by negotiating component supply, implementing assembly planning/ methodology, design of kit specifications, component grouping and packaging to meet specific production needs. In addition, subcontractors can carry out physical assembly/packaging operating to ISO9001 accredited quality systems to international standards and a corporate vendor approval process.

Further information on manufacturing partnerships with Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/presentation.
28/08/2019
Challenge Europe discuss the different types of construction floor anchors available

Challenge Europe are pleased to announce that they stock a number of basic types of construction floor anchor including the Shield Anchor and the Throughbolt designs, both of which work on a similar principle of an expanding sleeve for fixing into concrete flooring. They are also known as wedge anchor bolts and are available in carbon steel, zinc plated and hot dipped galvanised, also in stainless steel.

Of the two, Throughbolts are often preferred because they may be used where the hole has to be drilled after the steel flange has been positioned, while Shield Anchors need to be installed before the flange is positioned.

Generically other styles of construction floor anchors, such as Sleeve Anchors and Drop-in Anchors, are also available designed for use in materials like concrete that do not take a thread and are resistant to screws or nails. These devices generally utilise a system for casting in place or for post fix (like throughbolts or shield anchors) by using an expanding wedge design, whereas embedded floor anchors (often referred to as Rag bolts) use a specially formed end for casting in place or for post fix using a 2-part resin injection system.

Further information on construction floor anchors from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/threaded-products-bolts-studding-fixings/.
16/08/2019
Custom special threaded fasteners – a “stock” service at Challenge Europe

The team at Challenge Europe recognise that manufacturing today is very much a partnership operation, based on mutual respect and trust, succeeding on the varied skills of the parties involved and the strength of their relationship, often forged over many years. Such is the case with sub-contract suppliers of specialist components and small quantities where efficiency at small scale is key to achieving desired outcomes.

Typically, a “special” can be something as simple as a modified standard item – probably ex-stock plus a second operation but difficult to fit into an established assembly process. Otherwise a designed-from first principles component requiring ground-up manufacturing in its own right but requiring special parameters, skills or equipment in its production. This may require anything from knowledge-based sourcing of base components through creation from raw stock, fabrication and assembly dependent on specific needs.

These Specials and Custom small volume manufacturing projects are frequently jobs that are a problem for bigger manufacturers, where it is not cost-effective to program large and expensive automated equipment. So, when standard fastenings are not suitable a custom solution is needed from a specialist sub-contract manufacturing facility. This capability is ideal for small quantities and extends to partnering arrangements with fabricators and finishers so that a wide range of items may be covered from specialist threaded fasteners to sheet metal or cast fixings. In-house machining is often coupled with a global sourcing and supply infrastructure and in-depth expertise of the manufacturing cycle.

This capability enables production of components from alternative materials at short notice and incorporation into packaged sub-assemblies. In this way customers gain an overall package of high-quality and low-cost for their standard mass-produced items and for small quantity specialist components.

Examples of this sort of special cover the gamut of:
- Screws – lengths, non-standard threads, machined e.g. shoulders, holes for locking wire, tapered lead-ins, thin/shallow heads
- Brackets and special fittings, stand-offs etc, small assemblies for manufacturing.
- Complete assemblies, e.g. specialist light fittings, electronics fitted to housings, electrical equipment fitted to chassis.
- Components – machinery, thread forming.
- Manufacturing kits for lineside supply.

Further information on Challenge Europe’s custom special capability can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/specials-custom/.
22/07/2019
Action Can from Challenge Europe for manufacturers and installers

As specialists in the world of industrial threaded fasteners, the team at Challenge Europe are pleased to announce stocking of the Action Can range of industrial aerosols.

Explains M.D. Kevin Moorcroft “we deal every day with manufacturers, installers and service engineers who are in constant need of high quality consumables and we find the Action Can range meets the exacting requirements of professional engineers for anti-corrosion products and paints, cleaners, lubricants, metal working sprays, along with general workshop products.”

The Action Can range offered by Kevin and his colleagues at their trade counter and for general order, includes lubricants, cleaning sprays, foams and many related aerosols such as copper grease, cutting fluids, car cleaner, anti-static spray, welders anti-spatter spray, brake and clutch cleaner, glass cleaner, chain lube (also food grade), freeze spray, electrical control cleaner, isopropyl alcohol cleaner, corrosion inhibitors, stainless steel cleaner and many more.

Added Kevin “engineers find this range of 60 high quality aerosol products to be a quick and very convenient way to apply these important industrial materials on demand and to be easy to store on the production line, workbench or in a service vehicle.”

Further information on Action Can products from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/ancillary-products/action-can-products/.
26/06/2019
Challenge Europe address urgent need for “O” rings

The team at Challenge Europe have found that alongside their core threaded fastener range, there is a demand for sealing “O” rings on an urgent basis – and consequently decided to enhance stock levels to meet the need.

Common requirements for “O” rings come in Nitrile (NBR), EPDM, Viton®, Silicone, Polyurethane and Neoprene with many others also called for to suit the needs of practically every industrial sector.

Challenge Europe can support both production line requirements and supply as consumable items for manufacturing plant. Indeed, any application where seals for liquids and gasses are an essential requirement. Challenge Europe stock standard metric and imperial sizes to ensure that production lines keep moving and maintenance operations can proceed smoothly.

These “O” rings function as seals between fixed faces in static assemblies or as dynamic seals between moving components, e.g. in cylinder and piston configurations or on rotating shafts in valving equipment.

Back-up rings are also available in a range of materials and styles.

Further information on “O” rings from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/washers-dubo-ring-products/o-rings/.
06/06/2019
Challenge Europe offer thread locking devices, ex-stock

Challenge Europe are pleased to offer ex-stock thread locking solutions for general industrial assembly purposes. One of the most common and simplest solution to problems of vibration loosening of threaded fasteners is by use of a conventional locking nut or half nut.

Use of a full nut provides an easy fitment which pulls from the same stock as the main fastener. A locking half nut above the full nut leaves “head room” – indeed, where two half nuts are used, this can make a quite significant difference in cramped situations.

Full nuts are available in all metric sizes to fit screws and bolts. Commonly they are available as cold forged parts but larger sizes are often bar turned from hexagonal bar. Half nuts are available in steel, stainless steel or brass.

Ex-stock self-locking nuts are frequently a preferred solution since they reduce the number of operations and order lines. Also known as stiff nuts and sometimes prevailing torque nuts, these are available in a range of styles but they all operate in a similar way having an interference fit mechanism that provide anti-loosening characteristics. Standard reference types include nylon insert nuts, Philidas® nuts, Binx® nuts, Aerotight® nuts and Stover nuts.

Further information on thread locking devices available from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/nut-products/.
24/05/2019
How to choose a screw drive – a brief guide from Challenge Europe

Kevin Moorcroft, M.D. at Challenge Europe, explains some features of different screw drive types.

Anyone regularly using simple slotted drive screws – with a traditional straight bladed screwdriver, will be aware of its shortcomings – with a power driver then even more so. The old-style slotted drive will “cam-out” easily, is almost impossible to centre and if the tool or slot is even slightly worn, then is extremely different to install or remove.

Consequently, with the need in industry for a faster, more reliable approach a variety of different styles are now available from suppliers such as Challenge Europe.

The first seems to have been the Phillips – a cross-head design centred in the screw head with a matching drive tool, either manual or powered. The sides of each blade are slightly tapered and rounded so that the tool will rise out of the cross-head rather than break off the head. However, this limits tightening torque which led to the Pozidrive screw with flat sides and a more sophisticated design so as to engage more firmly with the driver, enabling much higher torque values to be achieved.

Importantly, the self-centring action of these drive styles greatly aids ease and speed of use, either manually or in automatic feed systems.

A more recent development is the six-armed star Torx™ approach which is a precision parallel-sided design for higher torque and finds great popularity in the motor vehicle industry.

Interestingly, one of the oldest head styles and still one of the highest performing and commonest is the hex drive – with internal socket formed in the head or with external hexagonal shape to accept a socket wrench tool. Internal hex drives, often referred to generically as Allen key drives, are a precision drive with high performance, available in an extensive size range. Whereas the traditional external hex head is commoner on lower cost bolts and setscrews. Both offer stability in operation but often need some “help” in centring. This is commonly achieved by providing a spherical end to the drive for an internal hex or a chamfered lead-in on an external hex head.

Machine screws, bolts, self-tappers, self-drilling screws and woodscrews are all available with at least 2 or 3 of these drive styles and making the right choice can make or mar an installation or assembly process. In case of doubt, consulting with your supplier is always advised.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
10/05/2019
Challenge Europe – specialist screws in various materials and finishes

Industry screw specialists Challenge Europe recently announced the breadth of screw materials and finishes they work with on behalf of their industrial/manufacturing customers.

The rational for using various materials or treatments/coatings is usually either technical or cost based. This can vary from improved corrosion resistance by using stainless steel, zinc plated, zinc-nickel plated, galvanised, chrome plated, nickel plated or plastic screws. Improved electrical connection is often important and can be achieved by using brass screws or the copper plating of steel screws, in some instances silver plating is also an option. Where insulating properties are required many styles of plastic screws are now available.

Equally, light weight applications may suggest aluminium or titanium alloy fasteners. Appearance requirements may call for chrome plated screws – whereas cost considerations may demand self-colour steel or the more basic of the fastener range, dependent upon the application.

Good looks or ease of use are indeed frequent considerations, perhaps to minimise intrusion of the drive pattern into the head design or to match a desired drive style, e.g. hex, Torx™ or other with assembly equipment or desired torque values.

Further information on the specialist screws available from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/threaded-products-screws/.

26/04/2019
Challenge Europe take aim at theft, vandalism and equipment tampering with Hafren fasteners

The need to safeguard against theft, vandalism and tampering is an increasingly essential part of many design specifications. Hafren security fasteners from Challenge Europe are in constant demand and are used in a vast range of security applications in projects and manufacturing all over the world, e.g. in engineering equipment to prevent tampering while leaving access available to qualified personnel with specialist tools, such as 2 hole (often referred to as “snake eye” or “pig nose”) head designs or pin hex screw heads and barrel nuts.

Typical applications include architecture, parks and playgrounds, automotive, instrumentation, airports and rail stations, prisons, signage, fencing, regeneration projects, public venues, on the street.

Most designs are removable in some way by use of specialist tools – other designs, e.g. shear nuts and shear bolts, are not intended for removal other than by destruction, perhaps by grinding, drilling or brute force.

Further information on Hafren security fasteners available from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/security-fasteners/.
15/04/2019
Threaded and helical inserts ex-stock from Challenge Europe Ltd

Challenge Europe are delighted to carry an ex-stock standard range of metric and imperial threaded inserts for use in the manufacturing and installation industries, in order to provide a robust thread in moulded/fabricated plastic components, where the softness of the substrate precludes a tapped thread.

Threaded inserts are a favourite for use throughout industry where they can provide a quick thread just by drilling or moulding a pilot hole and pressing the insert into place – in electronic/electrical application brass inserts offer good tensile properties, excellent corrosion-resistance and good electrical conductivity.

A well-known and much used solution to fixing onto non-metals, threaded inserts can often provide higher torque or pull out performance by the application of heat or ultrasonic energy to further embed the insert into its substrate.

Expansion and self-tapping inserts are available in brass for use in plastics or in the case of wood, some composite materials and light-weight castings in aluminium or other alloys where steel and stainless self-tapping inserts can be supplied.

Inserts in die cast zinc, steel, brass or stainless steel may be push-fit or inserted by self-tapping thread cutting, others may be moulded in place.

Externally threaded inserts from Challenge Europe also include helical inserts, often used for thread repair or to provide a higher performance thread form than might otherwise be possible.

Further information on threaded inserts from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/rivets-pins/brass-threaded-inserts/.
22/03/2019
Hex drive bolts and screws - Challenge Europe announce stock/supply capability

Hex headed high tensile bolts and screws, together with hex drive socket head cap screws, are the mainstays of industrial fastening and as such are stocked in depth by Challenge Europe as part of their supply partnership philosophy.

Standard high tensile formats include non-flange hex head and flanged designs, along with standard socket cap head, socket button head and socket countersunk designs. Material grades available include 8.8, 10.9, 12.9 and stainless steel to suit the strength and environmental performance characteristics envisaged for the application.

Sizes are typically in the range M2 to M24 with some specifications going larger.

Supply partnership means that Challenge Europe take on the management of a customer supply chain from design specification to lineside supply using lean manufacturing principles or other optimising and integrative manufacturing philosophy to suit customer methodology.

Further information on high tensile bolts and screws from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/threaded-products-bolts-studding-fixings/.
06/03/2019
Industrial Screws range ex-stock from Challenge Europe

Challenge Europe – “the nuts and bolts of your business” people, are pleased to announce they are stocking industrial screws in metric sizes to ISO and DIN standards, also imperial to BSI and ANSI with other national/international standards available to order from recognised high quality international manufacturers. The aim at Challenge Europe being always to ensure quality, reliability and competitive cost of assembly with consistency of supply backed by stock in depth.

High tensile bolting in 8.8, 10.9 and 12.9 are offered, many sizes from stock to meet urgent manufacturing demand. Ex-stock supply enables Challenge Europe to service production requirements with ongoing supply chain management in line with JIT, VMI, Kanban, Linefeed philosophies or similar integrative approaches.

Ex-stock screw supply enables urgent prototyping and production trials, as well as timely installation, maintenance and repair. Related stock items include self-tapping screws, self-drilling screws, thread forming screws, hammer drive screws, machine screw SEMs and wood screws.

Further information on industrial screws available from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/threaded-products-screws/.
20/02/2019
Safe and secure – fasteners from Challenge Europe

Challenge Europe, in conjunction with their sales partners Hafren, are delighted to offer safety and security through the medium of their primary fastener ranges. These high quality competitive fasteners are in constant demand for use in a vast range of security applications in projects all over the world. The need to safeguard against theft, vandalism and tampering is an increasingly essential part of many design specifications. To counter these threats Challenge Europe provide a comprehensive range of vandal and tamper resistant fixings and fasteners which have a varied range of uses, e.g. Architecture, Parks and Playgrounds, Automotive, Airports and Rail Stations, Prisons, Signage, Fencing, Regeneration Projects, Major Sporting Arenas, Public Venues, Street Furniture.

Standard security fasteners form a new section at www.challenge-europe.co.uk where engineers can find shear nuts and shear bolts, 2 hole (pig eye/snake eye) head machine screws, clutch head screws, pin hex head self-tappers (also 6 lobe pin head self-tappers) with Nogo™ and Armour Ring™ devices.

Further information on security fasteners from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/security-fasteners/.
06/02/2019
Vibration resistance, sealing and good looks from Challenge Europe

The team at Challenge Europe are experts at exploiting the adaptability of simple, rugged threaded fasteners – and it is this adaptability which brings engineers to their use. Simple to use and to provide with vibration resistance, improved sealing, load spreading or good looks by combining with a range of washer accessories to enhance the performance of the basic fastener.

Crinkle, wavy washers, coil spring washers and serrated tooth lock washers each offer anti-vibration resistance in varying degrees whilst two-piece wedge lock washers such as Nord Lock provide a much greater resistance to vibration loosening. Belleville washers provide a combined profile of characteristics by offering continuous load anti-vibration and cushioning effects.

Where liquid control is required, then a sealing ring of some sort is usually called for, often in nylon, fibre or rubber, or perhaps a composite bonded type like a Dowty washer. More specialist items such as Dubo Ring washers extend liquid sealing into pressure retention, combined with vibration resistance.

Challenge Europe are often called upon to accessorise for a decorative finish, frequently with a soft or even fragile substrate and find that something as low tech as a cup washer fits the bill in attractive finish and providing a light load spreading function.

Further information on washers available from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/washers-dubo-ring-products/.
25/01/2019
Challenge Europe put threaded fasteners in thin walled sections

Ex-stock rivet nuts and rivet bushes from Challenge Europe are frequently ideal fixing solutions by providing female threads in thin walled sections. Sheet materials are commonly difficult to integrate with more rugged bulky components since provision of solid fixing in thin sheet is often a problem – however it is a problem easily resolved with rivet nuts which compress onto the sheet, or by rivet bushes which are pressed into it.

Rivet nuts are especially useful in situations where access is limited to one side, e.g. in box sections where the tooling enables the unit to be fitted with simple lever tools or more sophisticated high volume pneumatic equipment.

Rivet bushes on the other hand require access to both sides but are cheaper and simpler to fit, especially in the manufacturing environment where they can usually be fitted to flat sheets before they are folded into chassis or enclosures or other assemblies.

The team at Challenge Europe are used to dealing with these situations in production or retro-fit/repair and can provide in zinc plated steel, stainless steel, aluminium, brass with body sections in round, serrated, hexagonal or square to suit a wide range of material gauges, e.g. rivet bushes to match 0.8mm up to 4.00mm (22 to 8 gauge).

Further information on rivet nuts and rivet bushes from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/nut-products/.
04/01/2019
Challenge Europe A4/ASTM 316 Stainless Steel Fasteners for high corrosion environments

With the addition of molybdenum, A4 stainless (ASTM 316) is significantly more resistant to corrosion than the more popular A2 (ASTM 304) and very little more expensive. Although A4 stainless is often referred to as marine grade Challenge Europe have noticed an increasing need for this highly cost-effective grade to meet the demands of non-marine industries where equipment is subjected to more demanding service conditions. The non-magnetic nature of A4 also makes it particularly suitable for use in instrument manufacture and the medical industry. Consequently, Challenge are pleased to announce ranges of ex-stock nuts, bolts, screws and washers in A4 stainless for manufacturing and service/maintenance requirements.

The exceptionally high quality and longevity of A4 grade fasteners makes them a firm favourite in UK industry. Now coupled with a service package such as Kanban, Lineside supply or Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), Challenge Europe are able to provide design and production engineers with the fasteners they want at prices they need – and to work with purchasing departs so as to ensure smooth assembly flows.

Contact Challenge Europe on 01234 346242 or sales@challenge-europe.co.uk to find out more about A4 Stainless Fasteners. Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
14/12/2018
Challenge Europe – Socket Screws from stock – or custom

Specialist fastener suppliers Challenge Europe are “big” on socket screws – with big stock and big service to ensure UK manufacturers across the electro-mechanical industries can save costs and ensure problem-free production schedules.

Socket head cap screws are frequently the threaded fastener of choice for manual or automated assembly. Typically in metric sizes of 10.9, 12.9 and 8.8 grade of high tensile steel, as well as stainless steel. Socket head cap screws, with their knurled outer head and internal hex drive, are ideal for manual positioning and power tightening for speed and accuracy. Their sister socket shoulder screw design offers an additional precision ground shoulder for accurate location.

Lighter duty applications and fully automated assembly are facilitated with both socket countersunk and socket button head screws, dependant on the thickness of the material and the appearance desired.

Complementing the above is a full range of socket setscrews in the traditional configurations of cup point, cone point, flat and dog point.

Delivery to Kanban, Linefeed or Vendor Managed Inventory systems is available.

Further information on the different socket screws available from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/socket-products-screws-and-bolts/.
06/12/2018
Challenge Europe rework and retro-fit service announcement

Challenge Europe are finding an increasing requirement for rework and retro-fit projects – often involving changes to mechanical fastenings or the fitting of electronic components such as sensors. This generally occurs in an OEM environment where perhaps a specification has been changed in the middle of a production run or a previously unforeseen service requirement is realised.

This service provides a massive benefit to manufacturers whereby they can call in specialists like Challenge Europe at short notice to take a production batch away for economical rectification and speedy return to the correct specification.

Challenge Europe are experienced in supply side relationships for their threaded and other standard/custom fasteners and can seamlessly extend that interface to include special projects.

Further information on Challenge Europe service projects can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/specials-custom/.
28/11/2018
Challenge Europe announce fastener stock and delivery service packages for Manufacturers

Challenge Europe recognise that managing the supply chain for large numbers of small fasteners is a major administrative issue for specialist manufacturers and to that end they have developed a versatile stock and supply system to take much of the worry out of this process, all under the umbrella of their BS EN ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management certification.

Their four point system encompasses stock holding and control of standard and custom fasteners – providing a central site for location, control and rapid delivery.

Inventory control by performing inventory measurement, stock re-ordering, kit and component supply, plus single point invoicing.

Site management of optimum stock quantities.

Production system integration by aligning supply side capabilities with customers preferred production system, e.g. Kanban, Line-side supply, and Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI).

Further information on Challenge Europe service packages can be found at: www.challenge-europe.co.uk/service-packages/.
14/11/2018
Action Can industrial products from Challenge Europe

Challenge Europe serve central and eastern England with an ex-stock range of the well-known Action Can industrial consumables including industrial lubricants, cleaning sprays, foams and many related aerosols such as copper grease, cutting fluids, car cleaner, anti-static spray, welders anti-splatter spray, brake and clutch cleaner, glass cleaner, chain lube (also food grade), freeze spray, electrical control cleaner, isopropyl alcohol cleaner, corrosion inhibitors, stainless steel cleaner and many more.

An extensive range of aerosols, bottles, hand sprays, cans, packs and bulk containers are available for delivery in co-ordination with the Challenge Europe fastener portfolio for manufacturers and installers.

Further information on Action Can products from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/ancillary-products/action-can-products/.
31/10/2018
Challenge Europe meet the demand for custom and special fasteners

The demand for fasteners – threaded or otherwise – is frequently impossible to meet from standard ranges – at the same time quantities and delivery schedules need to be managed for production scheduling. Challenge Europe are in a position to handle both since quality has always been a top priority for them, reflected both in the product range of their stock, and in the service they provide. Challenge gained the ISO9001 award for quality in 1997, the company is a member of the Engineering Industries Association and their service ethos enables them to supply systems such as Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), Kanban, JIT, and Linefeed.

This is coupled with a specialised manufacture, sub-assembly and packing service, allowing customer products to be supplied in the most efficient format. Combined with the availability of a UK delivery fleet, the service that Challenge offer enables small to medium sized manufacturers to meet the challenges of present-day operations.

It seems that small volume custom special jobs are a problem for bigger manufacturers, where it is not cost-effective for them to program large and expensive automated equipment. This enables Challenge Europe to optimise performance across customer manufacturing operations with customer standard products from stock including many specialist items.

This capability is ideal for small quantities and extends to partnering arrangements with fabricators and finishers so that they can cover a wide range of items from specialist threaded fasteners to sheet metal or moulded/cast components. Coupled with in-house machining and a global sourcing and supply infrastructure, their in-depth expertise of the manufacturing cycle has been gained from over 30 years in the engineering arena.

This capability enables them to produce components from alternative materials at short notice and to incorporate them into packaged sub-assemblies. In this way customers gain a complete package of high-quality and low-cost on standard mass-produced items and on small quantity specialist components.

Typically this includes Instrument Carrying Handles, Chrome Handles, Clamp Screws and Stud Rivet Nut Assembly, as well as cut to length studding, vented screws, spacers and general modification work to standard fasteners e.g. shortening to non-standard lengths & cross drilling to take split cotter pins.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
23/10/2018
Challenge (Europe) - handles, clamps, machine parts, stud rivets, valve knobs and captive screws

Along with threaded fasteners goes a whole swathe of ancillary products, which for Challenge (Europe) are characterised by items such as instrument handles, clamp screws, stud rivet assemblies, valve knobs, captive screws and a great capability in the production of custom specialist machined parts.

This capability covers most metals and sometimes plastics with non-standard special items to customer drawings or non-standard sizes to international standards, e.g. an intermediate diameter or length. Where an ex-stock item is not suitable they are happy to advise.

Instrument carrying handles in painted or chrome finish are suited to instruments, trollies, cases etc.

Clamp screws are designed to suit specific customer requirements for the clamping of components by hand operation rather than for screwing into a component. They can be manufactured in steel, stainless steel, brass, and to many sizes metric and imperial. Stud rivet assemblies provide a quickly installed permanent rivet nut type of assembly but with a re-usable male screw thread. Used mainly in sheet material where accessibility or other installation processes, e.g. welding, are not practical options.

Valve knobs are just one example of a product resulting from a joint customer development project.

Captive screws are another example – they are retained by means of having a reduced diameter shank following on from a standard screw thread – usually with a raised head for tool or manual operation. Standard metric sizes, materials plated steel or stainless steel. This is one style of fastener which is often required to custom dimensions as they must be a correct length to suit the application.

Further information on ancillary products from Challenge Europe products can be found at https://www.challenge-europe.co.uk/ancillary-products/.
24/09/2018
Challenge Europe Rivets and Pins and Weld Studs and other fasteners

In the engineering lexicon rivets and pins are commonplace and are fundamental to location, e.g. by use of dowels or groove pins and slotted steel tension pins. Similarly, Challenge Europe ex-stock delivery reflects the everyday usage of simple security fixings such as split cotter pins as well as the wide range of weld studs, self-clinching pins, brass threaded inserts and the many types of rivet in daily use. The experienced team at Challenge Europe are optimally positioned to advise on new or specialist applications and very much welcome talking to engineers before product finalisation, or at revision stages.

Common rivet forms available from Challenge Europe include blind “POP” rivets, solid, tubular style and self-clinching pins.

Blind rivets offered by Challenge Europe include: Open Ended which provide strong, low cost fastenings ideal for a wide range of applications within the general engineering industry. They are available in aluminium, steel, stainless steel, monel and copper; also closed (Sealed) End which are specifically designed to provide a waterproof seal after the rivet has been set and are available in aluminium, steel, stainless steel, and copper. Multigrip rivets are designed to clamp a wide range of material thicknesses as well as having excellent filling characteristics where the hole form proves inconsistent.

Traditionally multigrip rivets are available in aluminium, but steel and stainless steel versions have been recently introduced albeit with a very much reduced range of sizes and head styles... Structural rivets are designed to provide high tensile and shear strengths for more demanding applications and are available in steel and aluminium. Grooved rivets can be used in conjunction with fibrous materials such as wood where upon setting the aluminium body of the rivet expands and the grooves bite into the material. For load spreading special rivets are suitable for soft or brittle materials where upon setting the aluminium rivet body folds back into segments preventing damage. Peel rivets are similar to the load spreading rivet in design and application, except that the rivet body splits open into a ‘petal’ arrangement upon setting, they are also in aluminium.

Solid Rivets are generally manufactured to suit individual customer’s requirements, and are almost infinitely variable in terms of diameter, length, head form and material type. They are considered to be the strongest of the rivet types, but require high setting forces and sometimes more specialised setting tooling. Semi-Tubular rivets preserve the shear strength of solid rivet but with easier setting. They are generally available with oval, countersunk or tinman heads and in a variety of sizes and materials to suit customer applications. Tubular rivets are similar to the semi-tubular variety, but with a fully hollow shank and are designed for lighter setting force. Bifurcated style rivets are sometimes known as split rivets, being generally used on softer materials such as leather and composite timber boards, where they act in a self-piercing manner and can be designed to self-set.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
05/09/2018
Challenge Europe ex-stock Specialist Washers and Dubo Rings

Ex-stock specialist Washers and Dubo Rings from Challenge Europe offer many benefits in terms of sealing, security, anti-vibration and mechanical protection. In addition they can normalise friction on torque sensitive applications, provide sound deadening and anti-corrosion by electro-galvanic insulation. Copper grip and brass terminal cup washers on the other hand provide excellent electrical conductivity for connection of power or earth wires.

Plain washers in standard or “mudguard” forms are complemented by screw cup (finishing) washers and crinkle washers which improve aesthetics and add light spring compression to the fastening respectively. Sealing and security roles are addressed by fibre and coil spring types, plus Belleville washers for higher force spring compression.

Where special sealing and anti-vibration functionality is required then the Dubo Ring system from Challenge Europe is suited to many applications in aerospace, electronics, component assembly, construction and maintenance.

This product is proving to be an increasingly popular method of meeting the dual requirements of sealing and locking, e.g. in preventing leakages from transformer oil reservoirs up to more demanding roles within the power generating industry.

Further information on washers and dubo rings from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/washers-dubo-ring-products/.
22/08/2018
Ex-stock specialist nuts from tech fastening experts at Challenge Europe

While many machine screws or bolts fit into a tapped thread within a larger component the versatility of these threaded fasteners is often exploited by using a nut which Challenge Europe stock in many variations and materials. Their wide ex-stock offering supports manufacturing supply chains – including nylon insert nuts – the most used anti-vibration self-locking nuts often fitted where previously a full nut and jam nut were utilised, thus saving an extra operation, also reducing weight and height of the assembly; a situation where half nuts could also be used to allow for lack of space.

Specialist nuts are often called for and are stocked to locate into various substrates e.g. flange nuts which help with load spreading and anti-vibration capability. Similarly, square nuts which slide into channels and are often used for roofing because of their self-locating square format.

Dome nuts are a frequent solution where aesthetics and safety are uppermost e.g. on prams and fairground equipment etc. Other standard nut forms include cage nuts for captive use e.g. on 19” racks, computer panels etc. often in M6 sizes for electronics, they provide location with space for the nut to float and allow for adjustment. Combi nuts on the other hand have an integral washer retained within the nut assembly for load spreading and anti-vibration purposes, whereas their barb nut variant incorporates paint cutting edges for earthing continuity purposes while saving fiddly assembly, loss of washer etc.

Traditional wing nuts facilitate hand operation for quick release without tools and the convenient U nut design is used on sheet material to provide an instant thread with load spreading action.

Further information on nut products available from Challenge Europe can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk/nut-products/.
08/08/2018
Ex-stock socket screws and bolts from Challenge Europe

Specialist threaded fasteners available ex-stock from Challenge Europe in high grades of material include socket screws for production, incorporating milled sides (cap heads) so they may be easily spun up by hand and of course with a recessed hex drive which enable machine feed and torqueing on the assembly line.

Other specialist socket screws include button head/dome head designs which give improved appearance, lower profile and a smooth finish. They also offer more clearance with less vulnerability to interference, either to clothing or to other equipment passing over and are ideal for floor fixings as they present less of a trip hazard.

Socket head cap screws are generally more considered for engineering use at the elite end of the fastener range, by virtue of their more precise production tolerances - and historically being more commonly of 12.9 grade they are engineered for use at the top end of the precision spectrum.

In particular the socket head shoulder screw variant features a plain shank with a ground surface for location – “a dowel with a thread”, especially useful for tooling applications where a lower clearance is desirable, e.g. for locating with precise fit, but it can also be used to provide a bearing surface.

Further information on socket screws and bolts from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/socket-products-screws-and-bolts/.

16/07/2018
Challenge Europe – a nuanced approach to manufacturing with bolts, studding and fixings

The manufacturing sourcing and supply process today is more than ever concerned with supporting robust procedures to ensure reliable quality and performance at highly competitive prices. But the greatest concern is probably that of getting it wrong as this is often the greatest cost of all.

It is here that Challenge Europe can help, even with apparently simple threaded fasteners like flange bolts – used for speed and where people don’t want the inconvenience of a separate washer for load spreading or anti-vibration purposes. Similarly for studding where a longer length is required, e.g. for ceilings, to extend floor anchors or for chemical fixings such as epoxy glue embedded attachments.

All are well understood products but still benefit from expert guidance, as experience has shown.

Standard ex-stock items include flange bolts which are generally found in a more limited range than conventional bolts and set screws – also throughbolt style floor anchors which permit component positioning, hole drilling and insertion of the fixing all in one operation without needing to remove the component.

Conversely, shield anchors do need removal of steelwork in order to drill and place the fixing, but are better in weaker concrete as they are capable of generating a greater wedging force in variable substrates. They are also able to accommodate a variety of different fixings, e.g. various bolt head types.

Further information on bolts, studding and fixings from Challenge Europe can be found on their website at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/threaded-products-bolts-studding-fixings/.
06/07/2018
Advantages of modern mechanical fasteners by Kevin Moorcroft, M.D. at Challenge Europe Ltd

In the modern world there are many issues coming to the fore such as the reduction of chemicals hazardous to your health (RoHS – Restrictions of Hazardous Substances and REACH - Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). In addition industry is continually being charged to reduce wastage and improve recyclability as well improve working environments, health and safety being key issues that most companies come across on a regular basis.

Mechanical fasteners in one form or another have been in existence almost from the cave man days with developments in more recent years enabling them to be used successfully in most types of assembly environments and at the same time satisfying the requirements of safety, quality and cost. They continue to be a simple solution to assembly problems providing a system of positive connection with low risk, which can be easily disassembled. They have no thickness limitation, are not environmentally sensitive and provide through-thickness reinforcement, with low sensitivity to peel stresses and have no major residual stress problems.

Above all they are simple – joint configuration is simple, manufacturing processes are simple, inspection is simple and maintenance is simple. Simplicity can be a major advantage in most applications.

Simplicity however does not mean they are incapable of sophistication with major advantages over chemical fastening adhesives. For example, threaded fasteners are commonly used with a torque adjustable closure force permitting pre-loading of the joint to allow it to adapt to variable loads from engines to couplings.

Similarly, the structural integrity, strength and security of mechanical fasteners can be designed to encompass the needs of vandal-resistance, to accommodate the extreme loads of vandal attack and to resist tools. In our drive for the new it is easy to forget the advantages of the old technologies.

With a mechanical fastener, when it is fixed, it is fixed and with a little thought it stays fixed. You can have confidence in what you feel when you fit it and what you see when you inspect it. So it is worth considering that most mechanical fasteners exhibit a common range of attributes:

They are suited to production - especially where dis-assembly is likely to be needed. Threaded fasteners and rivets are easy to use in the manufacturing environment where everybody has appropriate tools, experience and expertise.

They have predictable, reliable and often very high performance – they are a known quantity from simple and robust (to high specification) materials with positive known characteristics, including sealing and anti-vibration.

They are easy to maintain and are easily removed for maintenance and repair, even small components can be replaced from larger assemblies. Assemblies using mechanical fasteners can generally be taken apart for ease of repair and maintenance, even rivets can be drilled out allowing access in sheet metal fabrications. Whilst there are some adhesives that will allow disassembly this often requires considerable time and the use of chemical solvents to clean and prepare the surfaces for re-assembly.

Mechanical fasteners provide certainty of fixing as they eliminate the risk of faulty and potentially scrap assemblies by providing a visible fixing that is not subject to a failed bond scenario.

Reduced surface preparation – generally mechanical fasteners require no special preparation of mating surfaces, eliminating the need for cleaning solvents, etc. and provide an immediate fix – unlike many adhesives there is no delay in production due to allowances for cure times.

Adjustment during assembly is readily achieved since some assembly jobs entail a trial and error approach, with mechanical fixings you have the provision to adjust as many times as is necessary without being limited by a cure time.

Mating Components – fasteners don’t have any detrimental effect on mating components as there is no risk of chemical created structural change. In addition dissimilar materials can be joined, although care is recommended to prevent the risk of galvanic corrosion.

They are environmentally friendly – due to their recyclability you don’t have the problems associated with having to safely and legally dispose of chemical waste that could occur with adhesives products. Regarding environmental concerns we find that generally all fasteners are recyclable, either by reuse in their original condition or by melting down. In this respect steel is quite an environmentally friendly material.

Low impact on the work environment - mechanical fasteners have the benefit of being able to be utilised in all weather and environmental conditions that man can survive, no need to provide specialised assembly areas, such as fume extraction or controlled temperature. In addition mechanical fasteners are less messy to use, require less specialised training, and generally don’t require respir
22/06/2018
Challenge Europe – Screws ex-stock and custom

The team at Challenge Europe are experienced in supporting manufacturing and trade users of ex-stock and custom screws in a very wide variety. In the experience of Challenge Europe this differentiation of design and material enables them to help customers get the right screw for the job – saving time, saving money, saving waste and ensuring a top quality job first time.

Typically this covers stainless steel machine screws, self-tapping/thread-forming screws and steel chipboard screws. Of increasing popularity are self-drilling types such as SPAX – which have a special thread form to cut into timber without a pilot hole – and HECOFIX screws, also with a range of specialised threads, both especially designed for professional users.

For example, they find that people often use self-tappers in plastic without realising that there are specialist designed-for-plastic screws – and only find out later that ordinary self-tappers can bind in the hole where they snap off or split the component.

Proper advice can cover screw type, hole, sizes, clearances, torque settings etc.

Further information on screws available from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/threaded-products-screws/.
14/06/2018
Challenge Europe address Fastener Security

When a manufacturer is considering security issues around fasteners, generally there are three aspects:
- The ability of the fastener to securely do its job and withstand problems such as vandalism.
- How secure will the fastener be in service, how for example will it seal or retain components and/or fluids?
- How confident can I be in my selection and my supply chain?

These are vital matters addressed by Kevin Moorcroft and his team at Challenge Europe in their article which can be viewed at https://www.challenge-europe.co.uk/fastener-security-with-challenge-europe/
06/06/2018
Challenge Europe updated fastenings and fixings brochure

An updated core description of the Challenge Europe portfolio is available free as a download from their website at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/brochure. This document covers the Challenge Europe focus on threaded fasteners and associated accessories.

Their quick reference brochure is expected to be handy for designers and installation engineers who need capability in both standard and custom components across the spread of industry from machinery to building, from office to foreshore environments.

Rivets, pins and miscellaneous related products are covered that align with the needs of manufacturing industry and installation contractors at large.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
23/05/2018
Challenge Europe fulfil the fastener sourcing and supply chain requirements of the manufacturing cycle

It is the philosophy of Challenge Europe to reduce manufacturing component costs and cycle times by supporting all phases of the manufacturing process, from concept through design/development to mainline production. M.D. Kevin Moorcroft explains that they achieve this “by involvement in advising the various benefits and pitfalls of specific fasteners at an early stage so that the design engineers can best decide the path to follow. We then carry through with standard samples, custom prototypes and final production specification items, on a customer specific delivery plan – usually to an industry standard such as Kanban, Lineside Supply, JIT or Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI).”

The company’s primary objective is to understand and satisfy the needs of their customers. To this end, the assurance of quality is a recognised fundamental governing all work conducted within the company. Procedures are clearly defined, properly documented and closely monitored to ensure full integration with the overall company policy and its certification to BS EN ISO 9001:2015.

By controlling existing tooling in an on-going relationship, they are able to audit and maintain appropriate levels of inventory, including a full logistical history for each item. Managing quality control in this way they can take responsibility for the inspection, monitoring and acceptance/rejection of components.

Once into the manufacturing cycle as a full production item, Challenge Europe contribute to on-going product improvement by suggesting and supplying components of alternative materials which can reduce component costs and shorten assembly times.

As concept consultants they advise on optimal re-design-for-production (DFP) values, while also providing advice on the handling of components, kits and sub-assemblies.

An important part of the whole service package is the provision of specials and custom items which can be readily integrated, along with provision of standard fasteners. This capability is ideal for small quantities and “fiddly” components which can often deflect a design team from their main goal.

Further information on Challenge Europe service packages can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/service-packages/.
25/04/2018
Special and Custom fastener parts from Challenge Europe now available

Challenge Europe specialise in small volume manufacturing projects – custom special jobs that are a problem for bigger manufacturers, where it is not cost-effective to program large and expensive automated equipment. This enables them to optimise performance across a customer manufacturing operation with standard products from stock including many specialist fastener items.

However, when standard stock fastenings are not suitable they can offer a custom solution from their own manufacturing facility. This capability is ideal for small quantities and extends to partnering arrangements with fabricators and finishers so that they can cover a wide range of components from specialist threaded fasteners to sheet metal or cast fixings. Challenge Europe couple in-house machining with a global sourcing and supply infrastructure and in-depth expertise of the manufacturing cycle gained from over 30 years in the engineering arena.

This capability enables them to produce components from alternative materials at short notice and to incorporate them into packaged sub-assemblies. In this way customers gain a complete service of high-quality and low-cost on standard mass-produced items and on small quantity specialist components.

Typically this includes: Instrument Carrying Handles, Chrome Handles, Clamp Screws and Stud Rivet Nut Assembly. In addition they offer cut to length studding, vented screws, spacers and general modification work to standard fasteners e.g. shortening to non-standard lengths & cross drilling to take split cotter pins.

Custom specialist machine parts are produced in most metals and sometimes plastics – non-standard items are specials to customer drawings or non-standard sizes to international standards, e.g. an intermediate diameter or length.

Typical related items include instrument carrying handles in standard or custom dimensions for transport of instruments or use on cases, trollies etc., available in black or chrome.

Further information on custom fastener parts from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/ancillary-products/.
11/04/2018
Threaded fasteners need ancillaries

Challenge Europe have found that wherever threaded fasteners are used then various ancillary products are often needed. For example, protection of the nut end of a bolt or screw with a plastic dome cap – or protection of the internal hex socket head from filling with dirt by use of a protective cap insert. Both from sales partner Korrex, who also provide insulating bushes which offer protection from electrolytic corrosion between combinations of differing metals.

Perhaps more generally known are standard rubber and PVC grommets for associated sealing and protection of cables or pipes – along with plastic blanking plugs and screw caps for sealing round or square tubes and holes. Then to tidy it all up when properly screwed together, nylon cable ties are the ultimate – and ubiquitous – fastening ancillary.

Further information on threaded fastener ancillaries from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/ancillary-products/.
27/03/2018
Standard and custom specialist washers from Challenge Europe

Challenge Europe, as long-time specialist suppliers to UK manufacturing industry, are well aware that every application is different – many production needs can be met from their extensive range of standard types but often a custom variant is required.

Explained M.D. Kevin Moorcroft “we carry a full range of flat, shakeproof, mudguard, copper grip and terminal cup washers, as well as crinkle, sealing, Belleville, cup, spring washers and “O” rings. All of these can be produced to custom specification to suit the needs of UK assemblers. Where vibration and sealing are specific problems then we also offer the Dubo retaining ring and toothed collar ring systems.”

The Dubo ring system is often used in preventing leakages from transformer oil reservoirs ranging to more demanding roles within the power generating industry and elsewhere such as machine tools and hydraulic systems. Complementing the retaining ring is the Dubo toothed collar ring which is intended for use in combination with high quality steel nuts (8.8), making it possible to admit any desired bolt tension. The deformation of the Dubo ring causes the locking and tightening effect according to the dubo principle.

Further information on washers and dubo ring products from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/washers-dubo-ring-products/.
14/03/2018
Challenge Europe Rivets make assembly quicker and cheaper

Rivets from Challenge Europe offer a quick, simple, reliable and low cost ex-stock way to join sections of material – either similar – metal to metal, or dissimilar – metal to plastic. Blind rivets are stocked in depth by the expert team at Challenge Europe who aim to partner manufacturers through the design/development/production cycle with standard or custom specifications.

Many rivets are available with a choice of head forms from the standard dome head to large, extra-large and countersunk. A full range of setting tooling is available, including simple handtools for smaller volume work, and sophisticated hydropneumatic equipment to meet intensive production line working. For example, Blind Rivet Nuts which offer the facility to provide an internal thread to the work piece and are set in a similar way to that of a blind rivet. Rivet nuts are available in a comprehensive range of body and head types with material options of steel, stainless steel and aluminium. They provide advantages of being able to be easily set in thin material, but have the same properties as a tapped thread in fuller thickness material.

Blind rivets are offered in a range of fixings designed to allow the riveting operation to be conducted from one side of the workpiece. Variable in type, according to the application, some typical examples are listed below:

• Open End – Provides strong, low cost fastenings ideal for a wide range of applications within the general engineering industry. Available in aluminium, steel, stainless steel, monel and copper alloy.
• Closed (Sealed) End – Specifically designed to provide a waterproof seal after the rivet has been set. Available in aluminium, steel, stainless steel, monel and copper alloy.
• Multigrip – Designed to clamp a wide range of material thicknesses as well as having excellent filling characteristics where hole form proves inconsistent. Additional benefit of allowing reduced rivet inventory. Traditionally available in aluminium, but steel and stainless steel versions have been recently introduced.
• Structural – Designed to provide high tensile and shear strengths for more demanding applications. Available in steel and aluminium.
• Grooved – Used in conjunction with fibrous materials (e.g. wood) where upon setting the body of the rivet expands and the grooves bite into the material. Available in aluminium.
• Load Spreading – Suitable for soft or brittle materials where upon setting the rivet body folds back into segments preventing produce damage. Available in aluminium.
• Peel – Similar to the Load Spreading rivet in design and application, excepting that the rivet body splits open into a ‘petal’ arrangement upon setting. Available in aluminium.

Further information on Challenge Europe rivets can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/rivets-pins/.
01/03/2018
Nuts from Challenge Europe – reaching the parts threaded holes cannot reach

Ex-stock from Challenge Europe the humble threaded nut is frequently the optimal solution where a screw or bolt is required. Not only do traditional nuts provide a simple and inexpensive alternative to a pre-tapped thread, but self-locking versions perform a function often not readily achieved with a tapped hole. Where once a full or half nut was used as a “jam nut”, today Challenge Europe provide a wide selection of specialist nuts, including the popular nyloc nut, plus the combi nut with integral washer for load spreading/anti-vibration purposes which saves fiddly assembly, loss of washer etc. Its related design of barb nut incorporates a serrated washer for enhanced vibration resistance and to cut into painted surfaces in order to establish earthing continuity where required.

Challenge Europe offer nuts to locate into various substrates, e.g. for embedding into plastic or grp mouldings. Also square nuts which slide into channels formed in aluminium extrusions as used in machine guarding frames or in steel channels for roofing/cladding applications.

Further information on nuts available from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/nut-products/.
31/01/2018
Challenge Europe socket screws and bolts form finer fastenings

Socket screws and bolts form the higher end of threaded fastening methodology in manufacturing industry today and are freely available in high grades of materials such as 12.9 steel from Challenge Europe. Their circular head design and internal hex drive makes them particularly suitable for use in products with counter bored holes providing a flush or sub-flush assembly. They are also suitable for the automated assembly environment.

Challenge Europe stock holding also encompasses closely related button head or dome head socket screws which feature a lower profile with smooth finish. This design gives more clearance in moving machinery whilst being less vulnerable to interference, either to clothing or passing equipment – for example when used as floor fixings, where they greatly reduce trip hazards.

Related to socket screws and bolts is the socket head shoulder screw with its own plain shank which has a precision ground surface for exact location of components. Sometimes described as a “dowel with a thread” the socket head shoulder screw is often used in tooling applications as it has a lower clearance requirement enabling positive location with a precise fit. The ground surface can often double as a bearing surface in low stress applications.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
19/01/2018
Screws from Challenge Europe with confidence and support

Screws from Challenge Europe come in an extensive range of general and niche ex-stock products, each with its own special features. Especially they come with the strong background support of the Challenge Europe team so useful to customers seeking just a bit more than simply placing an order without the benefit of guidance and support.

For example, stainless steel machine screws and self-tapping/thread-forming screws often need special care in selection. Not so much perhaps conventional steel chipboard screws, but help is often needed at the more specialised and professionally used end of the range such as SPAX & HECOFIX screws with their special thread forms, which enables them to cut into timber without a pilot hole.

Typical problems the team are called on to sort out include self-tappers (for steel) being used with plastic components without realising that there is a designed-for-plastic range. Normal (for steel) self-tappers can bind in the hole and snap off or split the component, leading to scrappage in production and perhaps serious problems when attempting an onsite installation.

Conventional hex headed bolts & setscrews are available ex-stock in 3 grades of steel, similarly with socket head cap screws. Many products are also available in A2(304) and A4(316) grades of stainless steel. Challenge Europe personnel can advise on hole sizes, clearances, torque, head types, thread forms and suitable substrates.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
07/12/2017
Miscellaneous consumables from Challenge Europe match Fastenings and Fixings

Challenge Europe (via their new brochure) are pleased to announce ex-stock supply of miscellaneous consumables to complement their range of fastenings and fixings.

Anyone who uses threaded fasteners in a production or installation environment is also likely to value the support of these related materials on a one-stop-shop basis.

Obvious items include lubricants, adhesives and sealants, tools and abrasives, bearings and “O” rings, push-on fixings and through bolts. Associated consumables cover wall plugs, circlips, inserts, spacers and cable ties. On the more discrete component side, Challenge Europe have a great range of security screws (Hafren), pre-packs, sub-assemblies, threaded protection caps and plugs, hose clips, tool clips, wire inserts (Helicoil), plus taps, dies and drills.

Associated general products from Action Can further support engineers in their daily tasks with industrial lubricants, cleaning sprays, foams and many related aerosols such as copper grease, cutting fluids, car cleaner, anti-static spray, welders anti-splatter spray, brake and clutch cleaner, glass cleaner, chain lube (also food grade), freeze spray, electrical control cleaner, isopropyl alcohol cleaner, corrosion inhibitors, stainless steel cleaner and many more.

Explained Kevin Moorcroft: “As engineers we were determined to provide manufacturers with the sort of package that we would want for ourselves, and I believe we have done exactly that.”

For the new Challenge Europe Fastenings & Fixing brochure contact Challenge Europe on 01234 346242, or sales@challenge-europe.co.uk.

Further information on Challenge Europe Miscellaneous products can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/ancillary-products/.
29/11/2017
The right Engineers-Pin for your Project – from Challenge Europe

For what appears to be a simple product, the specification of engineering pins can be a surprisingly difficult matter. Given that most pins are used to precisely locate and/or retain components in a long-term assembly, Challenge Europe offer their expertise in detailing pin types, fit, tolerance, material finish and cost so that customers can find the optimum pin, and pin fitting system, for their project.

Their new brochure highlights the main types of engineering pin available. These include split cotter pins, precision dowel pins, groove pins, spring tension pins, spiral pins (coiled spring pins) and taper pins. If you already know what you need then all types are carried in stock for same-day despatch. If you need advice then the team at Challenge Europe are available to engage with your project at any stage from concept to development and production. If you are already in production then it is possible you may need to rework your specification and there too they can help.

For the new Challenge Europe Fastenings & Fixing brochure contact Challenge Europe on 01234 346242, or sales@challenge-europe.co.uk.

Further information on Engineering Pins from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/rivets-pins/.
21/11/2017
Challenge Europe offers standard and custom washers

Challenge Europe in their new Fastenings & Fixing brochure reveal that they not only offer a very wide range of standard ex-stock same-day despatch washers, but they also offer special washers to customer drawings. This covers industries as diverse as electronics and construction, also machine assembly, marine application and aerospace.

Their brochure lists flat form (A, B, C and D types), mudguard (penny) washers, spring washers in rectangular and square section, internal/external serrated tooth lock washers, crinkle, cup, Belleville/disc spring, grip, fibre and Dowty/bonded seal washers. Of special interest in the electrical industry are copper grip and brass terminal cup washers. Sealing washers in a range of materials are covered under this program, along with “O” rings.

Challenge Europe can provide washers to metric and imperial standards in materials such as steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, nylon, fibre, rubber and more sophisticated metals in a wide range of finishes.

For a copy of their brochure, contact Challenge Europe on 01234 346242, or sales@challenge-europe.co.uk.

Further information on washers available from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/washers
01/11/2017
Rivets for production assembly or installation purposes from Challenge (Europe) Ltd

Rivets for production assembly or installation purposes are addressed in their new brochure by Challenge Europe who offer a production supply service to meet Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), JIT, Lineside supply, Kanban or other supply chain models.

Standard or custom (and customer standard) types of rivets are offered, including Blind (POP) designs, Tubular & Semi-Tubular, Solid Rivets, Rivet Nuts, Rivet Bushes, Self-Clinching Studs, Weld Studs and Self-Clinching Nuts.

Many rivets are available with a choice of head forms from the standard dome head to large, extra-large and countersunk. A full range of setting tooling is available, including simple hand tools for smaller volume work, and sophisticated hydro-pneumatic equipment to meet intensive production line working. Blind Rivet Nuts offer the facility to provide an internally threaded attachment to the work piece in a similar way to setting a blind rivet. The rivet nuts are also available in a comprehensive range of body and head types with material options of steel, stainless steel and aluminium. They provide advantages of being able to be easily set in thin material, but have the same properties as a tapped thread in fuller thickness material. Solid Rivets are generally manufactured to suit individual customer’s requirements, and are almost infinitely variable in terms of diameter, length, head form and material type. They are considered to be amongst the strongest of the rivet types, but generally require higher setting forces.

Riveting systems are offered alongside many other threaded fasteners ex-stock for same-day despatch or as part of a manufacturing support package where customers are encouraged to take advice from the early concept stage through development to final production.

Kevin Moorcroft at Challenge Europe explains “many issues can be foreseen and dealt with at a pre-production level if the fastener supplier is involved early on. We can draw on extensive knowledge of similar engineering matters and mesh that with an awareness of cost and availability so as to optimise the solution.”

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
19/10/2017
Standard threaded fasteners – technical support from Challenge Europe

The team at Challenge Europe believe that while there are many suppliers/distributors of threaded fasteners, what most manufacturers appreciate is the willingness to follow through with tech’ support throughout the supply process.

Their new brochure provides an insight into the specialist range of products and the depth of support available, from troubleshooting an existing application to defining and developing a new product. Challenge Europe can provide the technical expertise that often small to medium sized manufacturers do not have available in-house. Indeed, many large scale production facilities are increasingly finding this type of supplier relationship saves them time, money and rework.

This is exemplified by the ranges of nut products described in their brochure and website, including full nuts in all metric sizes to fit screws and bolts. Commonly available as cold forged parts but larger sizes are often bar turned from hexagonal bar. Also half nuts – otherwise referred to as lock nuts or jam nuts. These are available in steel, stainless steel or brass. They are also useful in situations where space is restricted but ultimate strength is not required.

Self-locking nuts - also known as stiff nuts and sometimes prevailing torque nuts. These are available in a range of styles but they all operate in a similar way having an interference fit mechanism that provide anti-loosening characteristics. Standard reference types include nylon insert nuts, Philidas® nuts, Binx® nuts, Aerotight® nuts and Stover nuts.

Combi nuts - sometimes known as carp nuts, these combine a plain or domed washer assembled into a hexagonal nut so saving time, operations and loss of washers. The washer offers a load spreading function and if serrated also adds to the anti-vibrational security of the assembly.

Cage nuts or captive nuts are used as a “spring-in-fit” nut in square or slotted holes in sheet steel or other rigid materials. They provide a measure of compliance for the mounting of components, e.g. M6 sizes used in 19? racks for panel mounting.

Square nuts are frequently known as pressed nuts as they are pressed out of sheet metal – usually zinc plated steel or stainless steel. They are useful to fit in a channel, e.g. in aluminium extrusions or a steel “C” section. Also valuable where space is limited and for light assembly applications.

Tee nuts are for use with soft and semi-soft materials where the teeth can pierce and lock into the sheet, e.g. wood or plastic. They may be inserted by tapping or pressing into position where the prongs ensure a secure fit.

Weld nuts are produced with weld lugs or protrusions to enable their use with standard projection welding equipment. Formats of round, hexagonal or square geometries are available in steel or stainless steel.

Flange nuts extend the bearing surface of the nut for better load carrying – plain flange nuts and serrated flange formats are available. The serrated type has an improved
05/10/2017
New brochure from Challenge Europe covers Socket Screws

Challenge Europe carry an extensive stock of Socket Head Capscrews (DIN 912), Socket Button Head Screws (ISO 7380), Countersunk Socket Screws (DIN 7991) and Socket Setscrews in cup, cone, dog and flat point styles. They also have Socket Shoulder screws, Socket Pipe Plugs and Allen keys.

Designed as they are for general engineering production situations, these screws are supported by the Challenge Europe supply chain support package, which covers Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), Lineside supply, Kanban, JIT and other protocols to speed the component flow.

The support team at Challenge can also provide a custom special sourcing capability to meet unusual requirements leading to customer standard designations and local stockholding.

Further information on Socket Screws from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/socket-products-screws-and-bolts.
27/09/2017
Manufacturers find added value from specialist fastener supplier

Specialist fastener distributor Challenge Europe find that working closely with manufacturers pays dividends for their customers in the added value of an experienced supplier team. This results in better products, more profitably produced with shorter development cycles.

Where a manufacturer is able to work with Challenge Europe from concept to production, they have the benefit of extensive experience across many years, many industries and many production methodologies. This results in better functionality, better quality, better pricing and better operational efficiency at lower cost.

The Partnership way of working is a popular approach because it pulls together an extensive resource base of standard products, custom products and in-house production. With manufacturer and fastener supplier invested in the project at all stages a true supplier partnership can pay substantial dividends. Challenge Europe have a presentation online which demonstrates how this is achieved. Readers can view on their website at: https://www.challenge-europe.co.uk/presentation.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
14/09/2017
How to specify a threaded fastener product

Threaded fasteners are still one of the most common mechanical products manufacturing companies require on a daily basis. In fact they are so common that accurate terminology is often overlooked in the specification process and the complexity of detail may not be adequately appreciated. Challenge Europe therefore focus on full conversation with users where they can guide and advise.

For example, many people are unaware of the simple difference between a bolt and a set screw, a mistake which may cost thousands of pounds in incorrect supply, replacement delays, production delays and the knock-on implications for contractual defaults or even catastrophic service failures if not corrected before ultimate use in the field.

Consequently the team at Challenge Europe have developed the experience and skill to guide customers along the path of selecting the right product for the job and helping them to understand the correct terminology to be used at the design stage or when ordering for manufacture.

Knowing the traps that can be easily fallen into, simple questions are asked that will enable Challenge to determine what it is that the customer is looking for. It is important that even basic information is determined correctly, like how is the customer measuring the length of a product, do they realise that most male fasteners are measured from under the head, whereas countersunk fasteners are measured inclusive of the head?

In very basic terms what are the things to be kept in mind when ordering fasteners:

1. Material – brass, steel, stainless steel etc.
2. Grade – 4.8, 8.8, 10.9, 12.9 etc.
3. Finish – self-colour, zinc plated, chemi-blacked, nickel plated etc.
4. Diameter – metric or imperial
5. Thread form – metric coarse, metric fine, BSW, UNC, UNF, BA, etc.
6. Head form – Hexagon, Countersunk, Pan, Cheese, Cap, etc.
7. Drive form – Socket, Multi-Lobed, Pozi, Phillips, Slotted, etc.
8. Application – how is the fastener being used

There are of course many other factors that need to be taken into consideration at the more specialised end of the fastener range but Challenge Europe are able to provide technical expertise in helping to prevent the sort of frustration and product failures possible from simple mistakes of the kind described.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
24/08/2017
Brass threaded inserts from Challenge Europe Ltd

Challenge Europe are delighted to supply ex-stock a standard range of metric and imperial brass threaded inserts for use in the manufacturing and installation industries, in order to provide a robust thread in moulded/fabricated plastic components where the softness of the substrate precludes a tapped thread. Brass threaded inserts are a favourite for use throughout industry where they can provide a quick thread just by drilling or moulding a pilot hole and pressing the insert into place.

A well-known and much used solution to fixing onto non-metals, brass threaded inserts can often provide higher torque or pull out performance by the application of heat or ultrasonic energy to further embed the insert into its substrate.

Expansion and self-tapping inserts are also available in brass for use in plastics or in the case of wood, and some composite materials, steel and stainless self-tapping inserts can be supplied.

Further information on brass threaded inserts from Challenge Europe can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/brass-inserts.
10/08/2017
Thread Forming Screws for Plastics - from Challenge Europe

Challenge Europe now offer an extensive range of threaded fasteners ex-stock which includes many specialist items such as thread forming screws for plastics. These have become more and more important in the assembly of everything from electronic equipment to furniture.

Kevin Moorcroft, MD, explained “thread forming screws for plastics are easily inserted into drilled or moulded holes in thermoplastic materials where they deform the material to provide optimum fastening force superior to standard self-tappers. They are especially useful in the manufacturing production environment where automatic feed can be employed to greatly speed the assembly process. Thread forming screws eliminate the need for nuts or inserts, so reducing piece part costs, labour costs and process costs.”

There are a range of thread geometries associated with this type of screw, this is to allow for their use with different component materials and design features. For example, if required for insertion into thinner walled, harder plastic, mouldings it might be advisable to try a trilobular thread variant which tends to reduce the risk of burst out. Of course the choice of hole diameter can be critical and we at Challenge can advise on both screw selection and suitable hole diameters.

Head formats include countersunk, pan, and flange types with cross recess or multi-splined (star) drives. Typical materials include hardened steel with a zinc & clear passivate finish or in some instances black finishes can be available, also stainless steel.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
27/07/2017
New Security Fasteners from Challenge Europe

Challenge Europe are delighted to have in their portfolio the Hafren range of security fasteners – a range of anti-vandal, anti-tamper screws and nuts proven in applications from architectural and street furniture, to marine and industrial equipment.

2 hole headed (otherwise known as pignose or snake eye) A2 stainless screws, bolts and self-tappers provide a versatile and clean look to installations while deterring vandals and keeping installations safe. Likewise, shear-nuts in zinc plated steel, galvanised, A2 and A4 stainless.

The Hafren range from Challenge Europe also covers 6-lobe driven threaded fasteners in A2 stainless steel with centre pin, in self-tapping, machine screw, self-drilling, barrel nut and floor anchor formats. Both countersunk and dome headed types are available.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
13/07/2017
Production oriented fasteners from Challenge Europe

The needs of manufacturing industry can generally be listed under the headings “reliability, speed, quality and cost” in varying order – but whatever the exact balance, design is always at the heart of achieving a successful outcome - as professed by specialist fastener suppliers Challenge Europe.

Explained Kevin Moorcroft, M.D. at Challenge Europe – “Automation in particular, places exceptional demands on a fastener above and beyond how well it does its job in service. For example, designs such as Torx™ and Torx Plus™ are less prone to slippage and wear in the assembly cycle - likewise, collated nails and screws for electric and pneumatic installation are ideal for the building/construction industry - similarly, self-piercing rivets especially designed for fast joining of sheet metal.”

Many drive forms for threaded fasteners exist, each with a different relevance to assembly, e.g. by hand, with power tools, semi-automatic, fully automatic and completely automated. Each also carries varying degrees of security when installed. At the simple end we have slot, cross head, socket, square and hex head forms. More complex we have hex lobed (torx), tri-lobed (tri-wing), torq-set, triple square (12 point), polydrive, double hex (8 point), bristol, one way, splined, hex+pin, hexlobe+pin and pignose (spanner head/snake eye).

It must be kept in mind that not all the above are freely available in a wide range of sizes, head styles or materials. Many were initially developed to meet specific applications and would be very expensive options unless your demands ran into the hundreds of thousands.

In principle the simpler drive forms are suited to lower speed assemblies whereas the more specialist complex designs offer higher speed and higher torque capability. Types with centre pin or dual holes are primarily for security installations.

Where high speed jointing of sheets is required on a continuous basis then the investment in the specialist equipment for self-piercing rivets can prove a worthwhile exercise – no holes are required and a neat join is produced – it is essentially a single iterative process which can be used on un-weldable materials and combinations of differing materials. There is minimal damage to coated sheets and it is a low impact process in terms of environment, e.g. zero fumes or heat, low noise levels and low energy usage.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
12/06/2017
Manufacturing/Assembly Capability at fastener supplier Challenge Europe

As specialist fastener suppliers Challenge Europe often meet customers with low volume, low tech, problem jobs that have come along at inconvenient times and which would take up disproportionate resources in house. Consequently they have developed an expertise to take on these specialist projects so that they can soak up urgent or otherwise troublesome small component production, to enable smoothing of resource usage, efficiency and cost reduction. They can efficiently and reliably feedback the finished items as needed to suit production requirements often with the integration of the required fasteners processes.

Projects include racking assemblies, lifting handles for instrument cases, clamp screws, modification of standard components into specials, e.g. safety valves, cutting of studding to length, small and simple welding fabrications, brackets, countersinking, tapping and other similar light engineering.

This add-on service has benefited many existing customers who have taken advantage of the engineering expertise available at Challenge Europe and coupled it to ongoing fastener supply for existing production so saving time and money.

Further information on the Challenge Europe manufacturing and assembly capability can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/specials-custom/.
24/05/2017
Challenge Europe support growing UK manufacturing industry demand for threaded fasteners

As UK manufacturing industry once again uses all its ingenuity and determination to grow itself out of externally derived problems, Challenge Europe are geared up to help with design and production support in supply of standard and custom threaded fasteners.

The Challenge Europe service packages provide advice in the design/development phase, coupled with a range of supply approaches through the production cycle.

Typically this takes the form of stockholding, monitoring of usage patterns, inventory control and/or site management – all the way up to production system integration using a customer preferred production model, e.g. Kanban, Lineside supply, JIT or Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI).

This is achieved with ISO 9001 systems and a fast response capacity for standard threaded fasteners as well as for security and custom fastenings, and related components.

Challenge Europe is a member of the Engineering Industries Association and able to offer specialised manufacture of fasteners including nuts, bolts, screws, washers and allied products including sub-assembly and packaging.

For especially urgent or local requirements Challenge Europe maintain a drop-in trade counter service and warehouse stock holding.

Further information on service packages available from Challenge Europe can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk/service-packages/.
11/05/2017
Self-Drilling Screws from Challenge Europe

The concept of self-drilling screws came out of the need for speed and the realisation that by putting a cutting face on the end of a power driven screw it could cut its own hole and immediately generate a female thread, so saving a considerable amount of time. In the case of self-drilling Tek type screws, with integral sealing washer, this time saving is increased, together with the added functional improvement of instantaneous sealing.

Challenge Europe are significant suppliers of self-drilling screws for application in the construction industry, general engineering, agriculture and others, where steel, other metal or plastic sheet needs secure fixing to steel frames, wood or composites. The Challenge Europe production service means that they can help specify the correct screw and ensure reliable supply on a Kanban or similar basis.

Challenge Europe self-drilling screws are offered in a variety of configurations to suit the specific requirements of the material into which they are being driven e.g. drill points, gimlet point with serrated lead threads, needle point, etc. Head forms available include self-countersinking, pan head, integral flange or hexagon heads in plated finishes and in stainless steel.

Further information on self-drilling screws can be found at: www.challenge-europe.co.uk/threaded-products-screws/self-drilling-screws/.
20/04/2017
Challenge Europe announce ex-stock and custom sealing washers for manufacturers

Challenge Europe are delighted to announce they have large stocks of sealing washers such as Dubo rings and Dowty washers, also those manufactured from rubber, EPDM, neoprene, silicone, nylon and fibre are available for immediate delivery. They are also pleased to advise on specification of custom sealing solutions for threaded fasteners to suit all types of industrial applications.

Specialist sealing of fasteners such as bolts and machine screws can be achieved with Dubo ring technology or with options such as Dowty washers. Where a more traditional method is required then washers in EPDM are often supplied – other options include NBR, fibre, nylon or neoprene. For more extreme environments where greater resistance to heat, oils and solvents is required more exotic materials such as FPM/FKM (e.g.Viton) can be offered.

Supply models for manufacturers in production situations include Kanban, Line-Side Supply, Vendor Managed and JIT systems, providing peace of mind to suit high and low tech’ products. The Challenge Europe supply program covers advisory “hand-holding” where required from design to finished product in metric or imperial sizes and an extensive range of materials with each project sourced and stocked for optimal production.

Further information on Challenge Europe sealing washers can be found at www.challenge-europe.co.uk/washers-dubo-ring-products.
07/04/2017
Vibration proof threaded fasteners from Challenge Europe

Specialist industrial suppliers of threaded fastenings and fixings, Challenge Europe, have built up a portfolio of vibration proof products to suit many manufacturing and installation applications, both ex-stock and to custom specifications.

For sealing and locking purposes the Dubo Retaining Ring is a deformable plastic collar which prevents rotation of a threaded bolt or screw while effectively sealing the opening. Dubo rings are chemically resistant to most industrial environments and do not deteriorate or wear. They also absorb vibrations by virtue of their plastic-flexible characteristics. Dubo toothed collar rings complete the system where extra support is needed.

Traditional self-locking nut solutions are of course part of the Challenge Europe package including nylon insert nuts, and all metal self-locking variants that use a range of features e.g. deformed or collapsed threads, to provide an interference fit condition. Other types of anti-vibration nuts include the serrated flange type and those that are combined with an external toothed lock washer. These are all available with the Challenge Europe supply chain management service of Kanban, Line-Feed (or Line-Side Supply), Vendor Managed Supply or JIT programming etc. Where a self-locking nut approach is not appropriate there are a number of washer products that can be used to impart vibration resistant properties, these include toothed lock washers, shakeproof washers, crinkle washers, Belleville washers and many sorts of nylon or fibre sealing washers.

Often of course a nut or washer solution may not always be suitable and in many cases the use of a patch applied to the male thread will prove to be a better option. These patches can be a simple nylon type which provides an interference fit but allows for the component to be used several times, or it can be of the adhesive type for a more permanent form of assembly. Challenge Europe can supply either of these which also carry the benefit of enabling quick automated insertion for continuous production assembly.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
24/03/2017
What screw head type should I use?

Kevin Moorcroft, M.D. at industrial threaded fastener specialists Challenge (Europe) Ltd recently discussed the question - What screw head type should I use? - with some helpful tips as he explained: “Standard hexagon head is one of the most common form of screw or bolt head used throughout industry in typical sizes from M4 upwards but there are also countersunk screws with recesses of many types, e.g. multi-splined, hexagon socket, pozi and slotted. These have particular purposes since countersunk screws for example finish flush so need a recessed drive. There is also pan head which is effectively surface mounted and tends to be used for M1 up to M8 sizes with many drive forms available.”

For both stock and custom needs in recent years it seems that the tendency has been to avoid slotted drives because they do not lend themselves to power tools, either manually or automatically operated. Consequently a wide variety of other designs have been created primarily to aid fast and accurate machine-driven assembly with less slippage and more control of speed, torque and pressure.

Standard external hexagon drives suit many kinds of automated assembly, these and hex socket drives are both very positive options for larger sizes. However, auto-feed tooling is required for high speed assembly and this presents the screw to the driver which best utilises multi-spline recessed heads for fast positive performance.

Socket head cap screws are a good example of a screw design suitable for manual or semi-automated production and feature an internal hex drive in a circular head, often with external knurled finish which aids manual starting of the thread allowing a good finger grip for positioning. Similarly, flange head bolts which have a flange that stands in place of a washer to spread the load. A related variant is the range of socket set screws (grub screws) with internal hex drive, which are used for location, e.g. collars on shafts and similar.

Carriage bolts are a good example of a very useful and specialist head type, in this case very popular with the construction industry. They are formed as a dome with square underneath designed to locate into a square hole in metal or to pull down and lock into wood. This enables the bolt to be tamper proof on the head side and for the nut to be done up/undone without needing a tool at both ends of the bolt/assembly.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
10/03/2017
Many Threads on industrial screws and fasteners stocked at Challenge Europe

Metric thread forms are common across a significant range of fastener products, so that for example an M5 thread is the same irrespective of the head type or screw style. There are of course fine thread, extra fine thread and constant pitch series, but if possible these are to be avoided as their stocked range is not as comprehensive as it is for your more general coarse pitch threads.

Challenge (Europe) Ltd M.D. Kevin Moorcroft explained that “the coarse pitch series of threads will meet most general engineering requirements so these are the standard production and ex-stock items. The more specialist threads such as an M10 fine pitch socket head cap screw, may be stocked by specialists such as ourselves here at Challenge Europe but of course the finer pitch thread forms can come at a premium price simply by reason of economies of supply”.

“Similarly for ‘old’ imperial threads such as the B.A. range, once commonly used within electrical equipment, which has seen its availability diminish during the last recession leading to enforced redundancy in many applications. Although demand still exists for the range, only those sizes/types with viable volumes tend to be stocked and available at reasonable pricing. Sizes not commonly stocked can be small batch produced but again at the risk of premium pricing.”

Other thread forms are slightly different – for example self-tapping screws which have a coarser pitch – and were conventionally used in sheet metal work with variants later developed specifically for use in plastics, the latter becoming more commonly known as thread forming screws. Thread forming screws also exist for use in metals and create a finer machine screw type thread by material deformation during insertion, the theory being that a thread forming screw could be removed if required and replaced with a machine screw. Thread cutting screws also exist having a lead in design feature that specifically aids the cutting/removal of material in a similar way to a thread tap.

Thread forming and cutting screws tend to be smaller sizes typically M2 up to M8 – possibly M10 depending on the drive – since security of the drive determines the amount of torque that can be transferred to the screw.

Specials, e.g. self-drilling screws, are another variant available in a several drill point and thread configurations suitable for use in a diverse range of applications and industries.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
28/02/2017
Industrial Screws – Many Sizes, Many Threads from Challenge (Europe) Ltd

Many imperial thread sizes are now either obsolete or trending towards obsolescence prompted by changes in demand patterns from countries such as the USA who are now drifting towards metric products. This increasing globalisation of metric threaded fasteners does not necessarily mean that all variations are commonly available and it remains important that design engineers are careful in their selection. Whether metric or imperial it is always advisable to seek advice and avoid either paying premium prices or creating lifetime availability issues.

The team at Challenge (Europe) Ltd are well used to this situation and carry extensive stocks of standard sizes of industrial screws – plus a wide experience in supply of non-standard sizes, threads, lengths and materials.

Explained M.D. Kevin Moorcroft “We find that standard sizes of metric products have grown extensively to compensate for this trend. ISO standards now cover a whole range of products complimentary to old imperial sizes, as well as expanding on the original ranges of metric fasteners, e.g. metric socket head cap screws once only available in 12.9 grade are now offered under the ISO standard in 8.8, 10.9 and 12.9 grades to suit a wider range of applications with varying requirements of tensile strength.”

As you would expect, small diameter screws find applications in areas such as electronic devices, medical equipment and instrumentation, while larger sizes are used in heavy duty applications such as radio masts, large lighting assemblies, machinery etc.

However, head configuration can have an effect on the size of fastener which can be used. For example, one may wish to use a M6 bolt with a hex head but find conventional spanner access limited, consideration could then be given to the use of recessed drives such as a hexagon (socket) or multiple splined variants. A further alternative is to go to a smaller diameter with an upgrade in material specification, although this may require a greater deal of investigation in order to avoid non-preferred diameters such as M7, M9, etc.

A common failing when at the design stage is to assume that smaller diameter threaded products are available in the same lengths as their larger diameter brethren. In general terms, the smaller the diameter then the shorter are the commonly available and stocked lengths. Nothing is impossible and specials can be created but these nearly always come at a premium price. The answer is to consult the experts whenever possible.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
08/02/2017
Challenge Europe makes threads material to the case

Threaded fastener systems – nuts, bolts, screws and washers used in manufacturing industry at large are a time served, well developed, reliable and surprisingly sophisticated technology. They are also well known – but it is often not appreciated just how critical it may be to choose exactly the right material and finish. This is where Challenge Europe can be of real help.

Manufacturing industry typically requires threaded fasteners in varying grades of steel, stainless steel, copper, brass and aluminium, depending on the installed environment and compatibility with neighbouring substrates.

As explained by Kevin Moorcroft, M.D.: “The material choice is the most important first step but often just as important is the choice of finish – we offer chemi-black on mild steel, stayblack on stainless steel, zinc plated, chrome plated and nickel plated as standard finishes on many of our fixings.

“We work with design engineers and buyers in all industries to optimise choices and minimise costs so we can ensure highest quality and quickest assembly times for each product.”

Standard products include machine screws, self-tapping and self-drilling screws, as well as machine screw SEMs, thread-forming screws and hammer drive screws.

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
10/01/2017
Challenge Europe - threaded fasteners for Manufacturing Industry

The Challenge Europe range of threaded fasteners supports their mission to provide standard and bespoke components, along with both technical and supply expertise in sourcing of specialist specifications. Explained Kevin Moorcroft, M.D., “We aim to help manufacturers specify, source and ensure reliable supply to production facilities. By working as a partner to industries from electronics to agricultural, machines to aerospace, instruments to window frames – we aim to help small, medium and large manufacturers optimise their products and their production processes.”

Standard products include a full range of machine screws, self-drilling, hammer, wood, self-tapping and thread forming screws. High tensile bolts of course feature in many formats, along with construction floor anchors. Socket bolts and various nuts are stocked with many types of washer and sealing washers. The stock lines at Challenge Europe of course include numerous other industry standard fasteners and ancillary components.

Naturally, where there are standards customers also look for custom specials, and Challenge Europe are capable in this area too, working with thread forms and materials to suit the individual application.

Once specified and sourced customers can take advantage of the many service packages available from stock-holding-and-control to production-system-integration such as Kanban, Lineside Supply or Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI).

Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.
Products & Services

Nuts

Bolts

Screws

Washers

Theaded fasteners

National and international logistics management

Sourcing consultancy

Supply administration

Sub-assembly processes

Fast response capacity

Trade Counter

Technical support

Production system integration – we integrate our supply chain capabilities with your preferred production system, e.g. Kanban, lineside supply and VMI

Site management – we maintain optimum stock quantities.

Stock holding and control - we provide a central site for the location and control of stock items.

Cable ties

Action can products

Captive screws

Valve knobs

Stud rivet nut assemblies

Custom specialist machined parts

Clamp screws

Chrome handles

Instrument carrying handles

Plugs and screw caps

Grommets

Korrex insulating bushes

Korrex protective caps

Korrex nut caps

Electrical Rivets

Tube Rivets

Cup Rivets

Drive Rivets

Self-Piercing Rivets

Friction Lining Rivets

Bifurcated Rivets

Solid Rivets

Brass threaded inserts

Self-clinching pins

Slotted steel tension pins

Weld studs

Dowel and groove pins

Split cotter pins

Tubular rivets

Blind rivets

Wide flange washers

Solid copper, aluminium and fibre sealing washers

Plain washers

External toothed lockwashers

External countersunk toothed lockwashers

Engine expansion or welch plugs

Copper, aluminium and phosphor bronze washers

Copper grip, shell or claw washers

Bright steel washers

Toothed lockwashers

Spring washers

Solid sealing washers

Serrated lockwashers

Fibre washers

Expansion plugs, cup type

Copper and aluminium washers

Connector washers

Conical spring washers

Bright washers

Dubo toothed collar rings

Dubo retaining rings

"O" rings

Single coil spring washers

Cup washers

Belleville washers

Sealing washers

Crinkle washers

Terminal cup washers

Copper grip washers

Mudguard washers

Shakeproof washers

Flat washers

Stainless steel bolts

Stainless steel screws

Tee Bolts

Square-Head Set Screws

Stainless steel nuts

Pressed Nuts

Hexagon Slotted & Castle Nuts

Combi nuts

Barb nuts

Wing nuts

U nuts

Weld nuts

Tee nuts

Square nuts

Cage nuts

Rivet nuts

Rivet bushes

Flange nuts

Self-locking nuts

Full and half nuts

Dome nuts

Socket countersunk screws

Socket button head screws

Hexagon wrenches

Socket pipe plugs/Taper pressure plugs

Socket set screws

Socket shoulder screws

Socket head cap screws

Studding lengths

Engineers studs

Coach bolts

Construction floor anchors

Hexagon plain flange bolts

Hexagon serrated flange set screws

Hexagon headed high tensile set screws

Hexagon headed high tensile bolts

machine screws sems

thread-forming screws

self-tapping screws

wood screws

hammer drive screws

self-drilling screws

machine screws

Team

Name Role Email Telephone
Kevin Moorcroft Managing Director kevin@challenge-europe.co.uk 01234 346242
Nicola Morris Office Manager nicola@challenge-europe.co.uk 01234 346242

Challenge (Europe) Ltd General Description

Nuts Bolts Fixings industrial fastenings clips threaded fasteners south east, tap tite, dubo ring suppliers bedfordshire, mechanical integration, special fastenings, kitting, pins, rivets, sub contract component assembly, specialist fastening suppliers, specialist screw suppliers, specialist bolts,
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