The servicing, maintenance or adjustment of equipment has usually required the removal of screws, nuts and bolts to access key components on or within the equipment. This may require an inordinate amount of time or may result in misplaced fasteners, increasing labor costs and reducing production efficiency. A unique line of One-Touch Fasteners – sometimes also referred to as “clamping” or “quick release” fasteners – from industrial manufacturer and supplier Fixtureworks, however, provides a quick and easy tool-less clamping and fastening solution for applications requiring frequent servicing or changeover.

One-Touch Fasteners save time and money

Conventional nuts and screws have traditionally been used to hold down fixture plates or otherwise attach panels and plates to a base unit or enclosure. These nuts and screws may be misplaced or lost, and may require special tools, hardware or increased time to properly tighten or loosen them. One-Touch Fasteners eliminate the extra tools and extra time needed for clamping and unclamping operations. A single fastener might replace several screws and nuts, where a simple quarter-turn of a knob or the push of a button is all that’s needed to lock and unlock these devices, saving time and money.

Fixtureworks, a renowned global supplier of a wide assortment of industrial products, offers this unique line of quick release clamping fasteners specifically for applications requiring frequent servicing or changeover. These fasteners simplify and expedite the process and offer a convenient, tool-less clamping and fastening solution.

Types of One-Touch Fasteners

The Fixtureworks line of One-Touch Fasteners have special capabilities that can be used for several different applications. These quick-release fasteners roughly fall into three main categories: Quarter-turn, button push and push-pull. Within each of these fastener categories are different fastener types. These different categories and types provide a broad range of design alternatives, which are described below.

Quarter-turn fasteners

Quarter-turn fasteners use a cam-locking mechanism that draws the mating parts together by turning a knob or handle 90° (Figure 1).

  • Cam-locking fasteners have a pin on the fastener that contacts a cam in the receptacle, which compresses a spring that provides a secure clamping force between the mating parts.
  • Retractable fasteners have a shank that retracts when unclamped, allowing the mating parts to clear one another without lifting the fastener.
  • Heavy duty fasteners provide increased clamping force by the use of a cam groove and spring that increases clamping and holding force to as high as 90 lbs (400 N).
  • Ball-locking fasteners use a wedge that pushes out balls on the fastener pin into a taper on the receptacle, which clamps the mating parts.
  • Pin-holding fasteners enable space-saving by separating the fastener from the pin, where four balls in the fastener lock onto the pin.

Figure 1. Quarter-turn fastener. Source: FixtureworksFigure 1. Quarter-turn fastener. Source: Fixtureworks

Button-push fasteners

Button-push fasteners are similar to the quarter-turn ball-locking fasteners, but instead utilize a push button instead of a quarter-turn to activate unlocking (Figure 2).

  • Ball-locking fasteners release a wedge in the fastener that pushes out balls on the fastener pin onto a taper in the receptacle.
  • Snap-in fasteners utilize four balls that lock the fastener onto a pin.
  • Expanding fasteners use an expanding shaft that is actuated by a button that does not require a receptacle to mate two parts.

Figure 2. Button-push fastener. Source: FixtureworksFigure 2. Button-push fastener. Source: Fixtureworks

Push-pull fasteners

Push-pull fasteners utilize a shaft with pins that align with grooves that pull the mating parts together when the shaft is turned 90° (Figure 3).

  • Shaft-mount fasteners separate the fastener from the receptacle to provide extended reach.
  • Heavy duty fasteners use a special cam receptacle and fastener design that provides increased clamping force by use of spring-loaded balls.
  • Safety lock fasteners use a spring pin that locks a clamp onto the cam groove of the receptacle.
  • Ball clamping fasteners use special pins that are inserted or removed from the standard receptacle by three balls that pull on a clamping pin.
  • Magnetic fasteners have a receptacle that pulls in the clamping pin from the plate, releasing the mating parts.

Figure 3. Push-pull fastener. Source: FixtureworksFigure 3. Push-pull fastener. Source: Fixtureworks

The selection of an appropriate One-Touch Fastener must consider the desired method of applying and releasing the fastener. This could be affected by numerous factors, including ergonomics, equipment operational characteristics or design and volume constraints. The fastener must also be selected based on their ability to clamp the mating parts together with sufficient force. When properly selected and installed, One-Touch Fasteners significantly reduce installation labor time and costs, making them, “the best thing since nuts and bolts!” as proclaimed by Fixtureworks.

Fixtureworks overview

Fixtureworks manufactures and supplies a wide assortment of unique industrial products that range from modular fixturing components and workholding devices to standard machine elements. Because many of these products are highly versatile and easily adaptable to different applications, they are commonly found within different applications, including designing, inspection, machining and finished goods.

Purposely, Fixtureworks only deals with a limited number of global manufacturers offering the highest quality products available. By working closely with a small number of manufacturers, Fixtureworks is able to offer in-depth product knowledge and provide superior product support.

Products including handles, knobs and spring plungers come in a variety of sizes and are available in both inch and metric. Manual, quick acting clamps come in a variety of configurations including pull, swing, side, push, hook, wedge and cam. Work supports range in size and load capacity with styles that include cylindrical, block, static and adjustable. Also available are a wide range of workholding and positioning components including grippers, rest pads and swivel contact bolts. They are designed to promote higher productivity, while their modular and economical replaceable wear surfaces extend the life of expensive jigs, fixtures, jaws and clamping mechanisms. Fixtureworks is also equipped to handle special orders or make modifications to standard products to meet specific application requirements.

For more information on One-Touch Fasteners and other Fixtureworks products, visit the Fixtureworks website. For additional assistance or product support, contact Fixtureworks by phone at 1-888-794-8687, or by fax or email.