STI problems

I said STI, not STD. I install thousands of Screw Thread Inserts, AKA Heli-Coils, every year. The last 4000 inserts my customer has
provided are from Re-Coil. These inserts have been really troublesome. The tangs don't break off easily. Even with being bent 90 degrees they don't break off and need to be bent back. On top of that the tangs are too long so that the installation tools that are the screw in type get caught on the end of the tang instead of in the corner. Then when the insert is driven into the hole it catches instead, the tool, which is made of the softest steel I've ever seen, ends up being driven through the insert and both the insert and tool are ruined. But it gets worse. I gauge ALL the holes now before and after the STI gets installed because a bunch of parts were rejected for being tight. All the tapped holes gauge fine, not a single one has been undersized. But about 40% of the holes gauge undersize once the STI is in place. This means driving either driving out the STI and installing another or running a roll tap through the hole. So I have been running a tap through. Which is slow. The tap has to be spun at a low RPM or it will gall on the SS insert. This ruins the tap and drives the insert out. I also have to use a high pressure type oil on the tap which then needs to be washed off. All this fooling around has turned a good money making job into a money losing headache. So we are looking for inserts that can be trusted. Besides Heli-Coild brand inserts does anybody here have any experience with STI of another brand? The Re-Coil brand ones have just gotten so bad. By the way, it doesn't matter if I install the inserts by hand with the RE-Coil type tool, by hand with the thread in type tool, by hand with a pre-winder, under power with a pre winder, or under power without a pre-winder. I have eliminated everything else and it is the crappy inserts that are the problem. Eric
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On 06/21/2016 12:52 PM, snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote: ...

...

No direct help, no sorry; sounds like a problem indeed.
It appears Recoil is an ALCOA product; they're hardly a fly-by-night outfit. Have you contacted their engineering support with your tale of woe? I'd expect them to have solutions/guidance.
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Recoil=NO HELP. Just salsemen who complain. Eric
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On 06/21/2016 1:42 PM, snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote:

"What We Offer: The most extensive range of wire thread inserts and thread repair products in a wide variety of sizes and thread forms. Ex-stock availability on a huge variety of both standard and special products. Optimum installation efficiency achieved by the latest high precision tooling and years of development experience. Comprehensive technical support from our dedicated, multi-lingual European support team. ... Contact Information James Baumgartner Customer Service Supervisor North America 317.704.8852
There's an email form for assistance at
<http://www.alcoa.com/fastening_systems_and_rings/aerospace/en/general/contact_afs.asp?contact_recp=1
I wasn't aware of Alcoa Fastening Systems; seems they're Melbourne-based manufacturing with a US operations headquarters in Indianapolis.
I worked on some upgrade control systems at the rolling mill facility in Alcoa, TN, a number of years ago, but they're the "soda-can by the mile" bunch...
I'd surely yell (loudly) with the troubles you're having all the way to the president if had to before I just slunk away...
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I went to the Alcoa web site in a kind of roundabout way before I first posted about this and found KATO company STI products. Also apparently owned by Alcoa. They are sending me info, samples, and maybe a tangless installing tool to try. My customer supplies the inserts and he will be refunded for the ones he returns, but the time I have lost is just lost. Eric
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On 06/21/2016 6:05 PM, snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote: ...

Yeah, time is one thing only Dr Who can get back...and even he's pretty uncertain on any specific point... :(
Anyway, glad you got at least some feedback; think I'd still try to escalate to the tech support for the actual product; if I read the above correctly this yet another or just a different distributor, not sure...
Good luck, wish I knew more.
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On Tue, 21 Jun 2016 15:32:26 -0500, dpb wrote:

contact_afs.asp?contact_recp=1>

I try to be sensitive to a vendor's desires -- at least when their actions are saying "we desire that you not be our customer". Just as it almost never works to hire back someone you've fired, it almost never works to try to arm-twist a vendor into being something they're not.
I'd hesitate to elevate things to the VP or director of NA operations level, because I'm not sure that I'd want to work with a sales or service guy whose just got an ass whupping because I complained to his boss's boss's boss. I might send a letter about why I was switching to Heli- coil for the foreseeable future, though.
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On 06/22/2016 10:00 AM, Tim Wescott wrote:

I'd only go that route if were having difficulty getting to the tech support guys simply because don't have the access...while I don't know anything particular about these guys in Australia, my other experience dealing with Alcoa has been they've been more than willing to support clients with technical issues; but you're got to get to the right group.
While I used "yell", it was intended in the sense of "Help!!!" and "To whom do I go?" politely requested. The product literature says expressly they offer technical support; I've seen it from other areas of Alcoa and I'd expect it to be so here until was shown it isn't.
But, if I'm having difficulty with a product and _don't_ ask for help from the vendor I'm not going to get any...I'm only suggesting he use the contact information they provided; I'd not expect just a distributor/sales rep to necessarily have any great expertise...
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On 06/22/2016 10:15 AM, dpb wrote: ...

...
And, just as a point of "what if", who better than the manufacturer to look at the application and say "No chance! The tolerances you're expecting are simply not going to be met by this product."
OTOH, if they say there should be no issues with the product meeting that spec, then you've got something to work towards on why this particular application is failing so often.
Either way, unless you ask when there's a problem that isn't up to your expectations of what you think should be. I didn't look for any actual product spec's so have no idea what those might look like but mayhaps they need to redesign the part; maybe it isn't the manufacturer but the expectations that are the root cause.
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wrote:

I've installed exactly 2 STIs in projects in my life, but both were Heli Coil and both installs went quickly and smoothly. More often, when I worked as a mechanic, other machine work had to be done, so the machinists did broken stud repairs for me.

It can be tedious working with large corporations.

Ditto. But only if it's too costly to simply walk away from said company and find a decent one.

Ditto again. I immediately respond negatively to non-responsive companies, then try to let as many people know about said buttwipes so they don't make the mistake I have.

Yeah, there's a chance it could cause more strife, but I'd think most would instantly become your buddy so they could get satisfaction feedback from you to give to the big boss, showing that they learned their lesson and took care of you. The few times I've had to do this, I let the guys know that it wasn't personal, it happened simply because someone in their department totally screwed the pooch. Some acknowledge that, others lay the blame on coworkers. I try to figure out who really caused it and include that in my feedback to the big boss once the problem is solved.
Similar: I recently responded to a Target ad and went to purchase a wire baker's rack and wheels. I got there the day after the ad came out and couldn't find either item on their shelves. After half an hour, seeking people who could help me, we finally found a hidden box with the rack I wanted. No wheels, but they said they'd have stock in a week or so. I bought the rack and trekked the 30 miles home. There was a feedback request on the sales slip, so I squeaked about the hassle. 2 days later, the inventory manager (some specialized title) emailed and then called me. He apologized that the items weren't in stock and said he'd make up for it by giving me the wheel set. When I told him it was a hassle to trek the 60 mile round trip, he responded by sending them to my house, gratis. They showed up within the week with 4 coupons worth $3 each for purchases at Target. THAT is customer service. I thanked him personally and left similar feedback about him on the corporate website.

Absolutely. Try to find the CEO and get the letter (or email) there. Screw the lower ranks who've already ignored you. I feel that it's important to let the top guys know so they can rid themselves of the idiots working for them and make their companies more responsive to the needs of their customers.
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On 06/22/2016 10:33 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

...

I don't think there's any indication as of yet the manufacturer has done any such thing -- as I read it, he said he'd dealt with a distributor/sales rep and the salesmen weren't terribly responsive but that's not too surprising. One would _hope_ they would point you to the manufacturer's technical support, but for niche products it's likely they don't know any more than he does who that might be, particularly since he's not the direct customer, his customer is.
As noted earlier and while it was a far different portion of ALCOA, while I was working on their site the office space they loaned was in an area which included their onsite support engineers...it was pretty routine for them to get calls from customers over an issue and they were dealt with; usually could be taken care of there altho a few were escalated to the research center in Pittsburgh.
Just sayin', gotta' give 'em a chance but they can't even know there's a problem until somebody tells 'em...and if the local sales rep doesn't have a direct technical support engineer contact to provide and since for this product apparently the manufacturing is in Australia and the support contact they provide is the NA Operations VP, call his office and (politely) ask for guidance on whom to contact for help...how hard can that be?
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    [ ... ]

    One thing comes to mind about this. I don't use the inserts offen, but which I have were made by Heli-Coil, and there were two styles -- a "free-running" one and a "thread-locking" one. The latter has alternate turns bent into the center to *intentionally* drag. Is it possible that some of these got mixed in with the regular ones? I think that it would be worth while checking before complaining upstream about the product itself.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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On 06/22/2016 11:23 PM, DoN. Nichols wrote: ...

Well, I'm not "complaining about the product" I'm asking for technical support; _BIG_ difference.
Sure, it's always a possibility there's an inventory defect involved, of course, and if there are different products similar-enough in appearance to possibly confuse one with another, then sure, that's got to be eliminated. One would presume, however, with the number of these the OP has done and his familiarity thereof that he'd have noticed such long before now.
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wrote:

Greetings DoN, These are not the locking type. They are obvious because of deformed coils in the middle of the insert. Eric
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On 06/24/2016 1:43 PM, snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote: ...

As I figured... :)
I suppose nothing new to report as yet...
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I now have samples of EZ Lock brand inserts and another brand that I don't know the name of. I did get prices for inserts and the insertion tools from KATO. The tanged inserts are 12 cents each and the tangless ones are 85 cents each along with $209.00 for the insertion tool. The tangless ones will not be cost effective especially since these parts don't have blind holes which could hold a removed tang and later drop it into a sensitive aircraft component. Next week I'll be testing the two new brands of inserts. Eric
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Actually it is the customer that is the problem. In order to save a few cents per unit they have shit on your labor. If the customer wants to provide an inferior and inconsistent part then they need to accept the work that results. What you need to do is find a way to get the customer to use quality parts. If you have to work harder and make less something just isn't right in order to save them money.
If you do not feel a negotiation with the customer would be successful would it be easier to just resell the crap they provide on Ebay and use a better quality part? Sounds like it might not make you as much money as if they provided a quality part, but atleast you wouldn't be fighting every one. You might make more than using the crap parts.
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wrote:

Greetings Bob, The customer is trying to supply good inserts. This is not the first time we have had problems. He is losing money when welded in parts need to be cut out of hulls and new ones welded in. I lose money dealing with inconsistent inserts. If he needs to spend more money on inserts he will. The same suppier used to provide good inserts but lately there have been problems. So my customer isn't the problem and he hasn't shit on me. We are both trying to make good parts and if it means more money spent on different inserts that will happen. It sucks to buy 2000 inserts from a different supplier and then find out they are bad too. What I want is help solving this problem so that I and my customer can go back to making good money by making and selling good parts. Do you have any experience with screw thread inserts from different makers? Can you give me helpful advice? If not then maybe you should not offer any opinions. Eric
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Before I start offering helpful advice. I have as much right to speak about something you posted publicly as anybody else. You are the one that said the customer provided bad inserts. Maybe you should have thought before you chose the arrangement of words that you did.
Actually I have dealt with different brands and types of inserts, although not in such quantities. I have a few packs of Re-Coils in my inserts drawers now. They look and act just like the ones I got from Harbor Freight. Maybe you were fortunate enough to have some Re-Coil brand that were better at one time, but I have never fealt Re-Coils were as good as the old Heli-Coil brand inserts. I still have a bunch of those for my most common sizes so I have not had to delve into the drawers of Re-Coils or Harbor Freight inserts for some time.
I have seen it claimed that the Heli-Coil and Re-Coils taps are the same, but you might want to double check that.
I don't have an answer to all of your problems with the break off tools, but you can solve part of that by making your own with some drill rod.
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