A client came to us with a problem: their current hardware solution made it possible for customers to over-tighten, and do significant damage to the assembly. They needed a solution quickly, so there was no time to source from China.
In a pinch, we were able to come up with a self-cinching stud that costs 17 cents per unit in the U.S. It has a small round head that can’t easily be tightened with tools, so our clients loved it, and put it in their assembly right away.
However, we and the client both knew there was substantial savings to be had in this screw, so we both set out to find a better price.
Instead of a better price, we found a better product: the weld stud, which is exactly like a self-cinching stud, only it eliminates some gripping features that are not needed for their application.
At the same time, we performed torque-to-failure testing with a regular Phillips head screw in their application. We determined that was simply not possible to apply enough torque to a Phillips screw to cause any damage. The client was satisfied with our test results and switched, getting the final price down to 3 cents each.
Beyond that, the mating part is a standard furniture insert and was also costing them about 17 cents each from their U.S. distributor. Not by coincidence, the same supplier who is providing the Phillips screw is now also providing the mating part also for 3 cents.
In the end, the client is now saving about $17,000 a year on two of their seemingly insignificant parts.