EFC International is a certified quality tier supplier to the global automotive industry – providing engineered components to the tiers for Ford, GM, Chrysler, Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai, Toyota, Honda and Opal. Recently it was also approached by Tesla to provide an engineered solution for a door panel.
The challenge was to design a door panel clip to meet Tesla’s requirement of 60lbs – 70lbs of retention to maintain the performance of the door panel. EFC therefore designed and prototyped four different iterations of a concept clip to prove out the retention requirements and gain Tesla engineering approval. EFC was successful, with Tesla engineering approving the clip and EFC providing an expedited tool build schedule for production.
“Using our extensive engineering expertise, we are able to provide undeniable customer value through engineering support and creative improvements for attachment and closure fasteners required by the automotive industry,” states EFC. “Customers can realise actual cost savings through innovative assembly solutions for interior, exterior, body, battery, instrument panel, seating, trim, routing, clamping, HVAC, fluid transfer and other application segments.”
EFC’s broad product range includes lightweight fasteners, thread forming screws plastics and metals, fasteners for attaching sound absorption materials, electrical insulation and barrier materials, cable/wire management, motion control, compression limiters, aluminium and composite battery box fasteners, plastic clips, as well as fasteners for moulded-in applications of composites.
EFC can also supply a selection of engineered product solutions that include highly engineered advanced compensation nuts, motion control components, carpet fixing applications, Riblok® and flame retardant electrical insulation materials.
“The highly engineered advanced compensation nuts are for gap and tolerance issues, with the nut providing an efficient and economical solution to any gap and tolerance issues that may have assembly efficiency pinned down,” mentions EFC. “It is designed to snap into a panel and auto-adjust during the bolt installation process providing a solid carrying column of strength. This makes them deal for use with a wide range of interior and exterior applications including instrument panels, door, roof, and headlight/front end systems.”
EFC also points out that its motion control components provide smooth controlled opening and closing of mechanisms, which absorb and go in slow motion to decrease vibration, noise and component wear. Rotary dampers also fasten or snap into a panel configuration and give dampening motion for several automotive interior applications. Linear and air dampers provide a smooth linear motion; available with dampening in one direction while allowing free run in the other and dampening in both directions. Hinge dampers mount at the hinge point and are designed to fit into small spaces. Latches snap into a given panel configuration providing dependable latching.
For carpet fixing applications, push pins are perfect for carpet fixing applications. The push pin is an attractive cost, double component solution. On application of inserting the head into the body, the push pin is securely located to the carpet retained. Disassembly by half turn movement of the head the pin will move upwards. The push pin can be removed and is ready for reuse.
Also available from EFC is Riblok®, which is a highly versatile, plastics trim clip panel fastener perfect for metal or plastic garnish trim and access panels. The primary advantages are reducing buzz, squeak and rattles, corrosion resistant, serviceable, or non-serviceable, and an exceptionally low installation effort onto trim panels simplifies the assembly process.
Flame retardant electrical insulation materials are also offered by EFC. ITW Formex® flame retardant materials provide superior electrical insulation. The material is available in rolls and sheets and material can be easily fabricated into a wide range of shapes. No other flame retardant, electrical insulating material can match the flexibility and performance for cost-effective fabricated parts. These materials have successfully replaced a variety of electrical papers, thermoplastic materials, and injected moulded parts.
EFC has a strong commitment to the automotive industry. Through strategic partnerships with world-class manufacturers, customers receive product design consultation, supplier consolidation and introduction to market leading fastener innovation and application engineering and technical services.
Having spent a decade in the fastener industry experiencing every facet – from steel mills, fastener manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, as well as machinery builders and plating + coating companies, Claire has developed an in-depth knowledge of all things fasteners.
Alongside visiting numerous companies, exhibitions and conferences around the world, Claire has also interviewed high profile figures – focusing on key topics impacting the sector and making sure readers stay up to date with the latest developments within the industry.