One Fastener Does Not Fit All – Why Custom Tool Heads Are Increasing Aerospace Industry
The demand for passenger and freight aircraft continues to climb sky-high. Compared to one
year ago, Boeing recently predicted a 3% increase in aircraft manufacturing over the next two
decades¹. With all these planes being produced, aerospace manufacturers have felt pressured
to achieve greater levels of productivity. And given that there are 6 million parts on one 747, it
becomes clear that you need exceptional hardware to hold these fast-traveling vessels together
for heavy duty use.
To step up to this high-duty demand, specialty fasteners and custom tool heads have been
developed to enable this increased production volume. Designing higher-functioning tools
ensures added accuracy, safety, and consistency required to match the numbers.
Companies such as Ingersoll Rand® have come out with complex, custom tool heads to
maximize efficiency and safety². These precision fastening tools offer programmable torque
control, traceability, and batch count capabilities. These versatile parts can be attached to other
tools to enable adaptable fastening options, allowing multiple tools to be used across a wide
variety of aerospace production applications.
Most Common Custom Tool Head Options
Four common custom tool head options you’ll find currently in the market include geared offset,
compression fittings, “skinning” components, and hold- and drive-tool heads. Each custom tool
head bears a specific application for unique operations that may require a different fastener
shape and size.
Geared Offset – Geared offset tool heads fasten bolts with precision in hard-to-reach spaces.
The head is uniquely shaped so operators can easily get into small, difficult areas.
Compression Fitting Fasteners – These fasteners are ideal for the fluid or air lines of an
aircraft. Using a tube nut wrench, you can tighten this type of fastener around a line with enough
torque to reduce leaks and still easily remove the tool.
“Skinning” Components – These components usually involve constructing the outer shell of
the aircraft. “Skinning” is the assembling technique that requires a custom head that allows
operators to apply placeholder fasteners in previously drilled holes. This type of custom head
helps keeps the holes centered between metal panels until permanent fasteners are applied.
Hold and Drive – Hold and drive tool heads are created specifically for fasteners that
disengage once the necessary torque is applied.
etaGLOBAL Keeps You Updated on the Current Market
With the booming aerospace industry, it’s essential to stay in touch with the key tools currently
produced that will keep manufacturers efficient and effective. Aircraft developers need highly
accurate tools that provide flexible applications to uphold the stringent requirements for efficacy,
safety, and demand.
At etaGLOBAL, we are in touch with manufacturers producing custom tool heads and state-of-
the-art fasteners necessary to keep up with the aircraft output. For more information on custom
tool heads and the best options available to you, contact us today.