Close-up of the TV assembly line at the factory

Unsung Heroes of Assembly

With more focus on the latest and greatest trends in assembly, especially with automation and technology such as additive manufacturing becoming mainstream, it is easy to forget some of the unsung heroes of assembly.  This article looks at some of the popular staples of assembly offered by Hawker Richardson which stand the test-of-time, and for good reason.

1. Screwdriver Bits by Apex Tools

Good quality screwdriver bits are definitely the neglected hero of many assembly processes.  The Apex bits that Hawker Richardson supply are more accurate with tight tolerances to ensure a tight mating fit with superior transfer of torque to the fastener


Hardness is another important factor.. Apex bits are manufactured from high grade proprietary tool steel and alloys which are then subject to an advanced heat treatment process to produce the best wearing bits available… tested and proven to last 10X longer than some lower quality bits


Low quality bits culminate in a series of issues which are born from premature wear of the bits driving faces.  Issues include slower production, fasteners not properly tightened, and occupational health and safety issues.

Worn bits cause “cam-out” where the bit slips out of the screw recess, requiring greater downward pressure by the operator to keep engagement between the bit and the screw recess.  This results in unsightly damaged screw heads, unseated and loose screws, possible repetitive strain injuries including tendon inflammation such as tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).

The Apex Advantage

  • Globally recognised to meet stringent Military and Government standards
  • Superior product durability
  • Greater torque transfer to the fastener due to precision fit and tighter tolerances
  • Consistent quality from Proprietary Tool Steels and Alloys
  • Manufactured exclusively in USA/Ohio state-of-the-art manufacturing facility

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   Unsung heroes Apex

2. Kolver MiniK Torque Tester

The Kolver MiniK is designed to calibrate the torque output of the screwdriver, so fasteners can be tightened to the correct torque specifications.

Good practice

Weekly or Monthly checks of the assembly screw drivers torque output should be part of all manufacturer’s quality regime. Every screw should have a torque tolerance set so it meets international standards. Quite simply, the failure to ensures a two cent fastener has been tightened to the correct torque could result in catastrophic failure of equipment.

The Kolver MiniK Torque Testers supplied by Hawker Richardson are low cost and have an excellent workable range.  The most practical workhorse is the Kolver MiniK20, which has an impressive torque range of 0.5 Nm to 20.0 Nm.  It’s supplied with a run-down adaptor/joint simulator, 9-volt battery for portable use and cable for connection to mains power.

Other Models

Other Models include MiniK5 torque range 0.1 Nm – 5Nm and MiniK1 torque range 0.03Nm – 1 Nm

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   Unsung heroes MiniK

3. Kolver Torque Arms    

Torque arms are broadly recognised for their critical role in reducing repetitive strain injuries, but they also play an important role by increasing production throughput and improving quality.

Reducing operator Injury

Kolver Torque Arms eliminate the reaction that screwdrivers generate when they stop at their pre-set torque. Without a torque arm this reaction would be absorbed mainly in the operator’s wrist, risking repetitive strain injuries to the operator.

Increased production throughput

Kolver Torque Arms manoeuvre smoothly on linear or rotary bearings while counterbalancing the weight of the screwdriver, allowing quick and effortless location of the screw locations.

Increased quality:

Ensuring the screwdriver is perpendicular to the screw hole, the Kolver Torque Arms will reduce the chance of misalignment or cross threading.  Additionally, the drive bit has better engagement in the screws drive recess, reducing cam-out and unsightly damage to the screw head and plating.

Positioning Torque Arms

Kolver Torque arms are also available with linear and angle encoders which can be programmed through Kolver’s TLS1 controller to disable the screwdriver until it is in the correct positional location. This ensures assemblies that require a certain screwdriving sequence is followed.  An example would be when screwing a series of screws around a PCD where a gasket requires even pressure to prevent leakage.

Whatever Your torque application, Hawker Richardson has torque arms available with capacities up to 2,000 Nm.

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   Unsung heroes Torque arms