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Tri-Star Industries, Inc. News
Tri-Star Times: News and Information About Threaded Inserts


Welcome to the premier issue of Tri-Star Times, Tri-Star Industries' newsletter. Our purpose in producing it is to strengthen communications with our customers. Through it, we plan to acquaint you with key members of our staff, introduce new products and keep you informed of industry trends. From time to time, we will also include technical information on choosing and installing threaded inserts, as well as “case history” articles on customers’ applications.

Since Tri-Star Times is edited for you, the reader, we welcome your comments on this first issue, as well as your suggestions for future articles. We look forward to hearing from you!

In this Issue:
What is the Best Installation Method?
A Message from our President
We Always Clean Up After Ourselves!
Meet Our Staff: Jim Haste, Sales Manager
Tri-Star Product Line Continues to Grow: C-Series Chevron Inserts
The New Tri-Star Catalog
Download this newsletter in PDF format (584k)
What is the best installation method for threaded inserts? It Depends!
What is the best installation method for threaded inserts? It Depends!

threaded inserts for plasticEach installation method for threaded inserts has some advantages and disadvantages. Ultrasonics is faster than thermal insertion, but it is also loud, and you are limited on the number of inserts that can be installed in one cycle. Cold pressing, while fast and economical, induces more hoop stress on the plastic and has reduced holding values.

From a design standpoint, determining the best installation method will include a variety of factors:

1. The type of plastic
2. What methods can be used with the plastic
3. The size of the insert
4. The quantity of inserts being installed
5. Application requirements relating to strength
6. Economics of one process over another
7. Whether the molder can facilitate the chosen installation method

Most molders generally prefer to install inserts after the part is molded, for the following reasons:

• Longer open press times slow down cycles
• Loose inserts can damage the mold
• Sink marks
• Safety issues
• Scrap/regrind issues
• Plastic in threads
• Molded-in inserts are more expensive

Most molders choose ultrasonic and thermal methods of installation. These techniques provide the best holding strengths for post-molded inserts. Companies that perform assembly of plastics will normally have this type of equipment available in their facility.

threaded inserts for plastic
Figure #1
During both ultrasonic and thermal insertion, your objective should be to ensure a good flow of plastic in and around the knurls and serrations of the insert and minimal flash out the top (See Figure 1, left). The insert should be flush to .005” (0.13mm) above. This flow provides for the strongest bond of the insert into the plastic.

Andrew Nowakowski, President of Tri-Star Industries, Inc.
Andrew Nowakowski, President of Tri-Star Industries, Inc.
The past few years have been very good for Tri-Star Industries, in terms of growth. I believe there are several reasons for our continued success.

By design, we are quite diversified in our customer base. No one customer and no one industry are allowed to consume a specific predetermined percent of sales, production hours, equipment capacity, etc. In 2001, our industry was down an average of 35-40%. We were only down 16%. Most, if not all, industries are doing better today than they were 3-4 years ago. This allows us to grow a little faster than we would if just a few business sectors were performing well.

Customers expect immediate delivery. We deliver. For the past 5 years, we've averaged greater than 98.5% on-time delivery. For the most part, we're offering products that are available from stock or have short lead times. I think we do a better job of production scheduling and inventory control than our competition. It is our company's belief that a threaded insert – costing an average of $0.06 each – should never hold up a customer's production line, whether it's on a molding machine costing hundreds of thousands of dollars or a hand assembly line costing a few hundred dollars. The customer has more important things to worry about than if their inserts are going to arrive on time.

Over the past 3 years, we've allocated extra time to training and working with our Sales Representatives. Additionally, we've brought on new agencies in areas of the United States that had previously been unassigned. In mid-2004, we redesigned our Product Catalog and Website. Both mediums provide the customer with accurate and timely information and are user-friendly. The catalog can be downloaded on a page-by-page basis or in its entirety from our Website.

Total Customer Satisfaction is and has been an important component of our Quality Policy. It's not just a slogan or saying, it's the way we do business here. Customer Satisfaction is a goal that we take very seriously. Our Sales Staff is experienced and competent, and they know what has to be done to satisfy the customer. We maintain a database of all customer requirements, and everyone involved with processing a sales order or shipment knows exactly what the customer requirements are and fulfills them. The customer's satisfaction goes beyond dimensional or functional quality: It's the way the parts are packaged, labeled and cleaned, the way we answer the phone and our prompt replies to all questions. It's notifying customers with pro numbers or tracking numbers, and it's supplying the parts with the certifications required. It's the whole package, and we provide the whole package better than the competition.

Looking Towards the Future – Tri-Star Industries has 28 Davenport 5-Spindle Automatic Screw Machines. During 2004, we produced over 90 million pieces. Based on 2005 requirements, we project manufacturing output to increase by about 15%. Current equipment and staffing levels have us operating at about 70% of capacity. Adding equipment or adding personnel to our existing second shift and/or starting a third shift can increase our output to over 200 million pieces annually.

We Always Clean Up After Ourselves at Tri-Star!

aqueous parts washing at Tri-Star To prevent problems such as plastic cracking, threaded inserts must be completely clean. That is why we have a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled aqueous parts washing system to clean and dry the components that we manufacture. This environmentally friendly system incorporates agitation, rotation, submersion, jet-spray and ultrasonic cleaning methods. To allow the parts to tumble during the cleaning process, they are housed in specially designed stainless steel mesh baskets. Our cleaning system allows for an extraordinary flow of liquid to flush the parts clean of cutting fluids, metal turnings and debris. A seven-chamber dryer then ensures that the components are completely free of moisture.

Meet Our Staff: Jim Haste

Jim, our Sales Manager, is also responsible for Engineering. He has been with Tri-Star since it was founded in 1991. He began as a Sales Engineer and was promoted to Sales Manager in June, 2003. In this position, he is in charge of our internal and external sales forces. Jim has an extensive background in the plastics industry. He has been an active member of the Society of Plastics Engineers since 1992 and is currently a board member of that organization.

Married, with one grown son, Jim enjoys getting together with family and friends. His many spare-time interests include woodworking, travel, home projects, cooking, wine and music. He has also recently taken up golf.

Jim Haste, Sales Manager

Jim Haste,
Tri-Star Industries' Sales Manager

C Series Chevron Threaded Inserts C Series Chevron Threaded Inserts
C Series Chevron Threaded Inserts Tri-Star's Threaded Insert Product Line Continues to Grow

Although we already offer the most extensive line of threaded inserts for ultrasonic and thermal installation, our selection of "standards" is continually growing. A new addition to our line usually has its start when a customer asks for a variation (often in length) of one of our many common sizes. If the volume needed warrants, we will turn this variation into a "standard." The resulting economies of scale bring the cost of the insert down.

The C Series Chevron Insert shown above is one in a series of our inserts that has grown in this way. Please click here for the latest sizes in our entire series of inserts.

Click here to download Tri-Star's catalog. Click here to download Tri-Star's catalog.
Click here to download Tri-Star's catalog.
Tri-Star's new catalog is now available, with updated information on our complete line of Threaded Inserts, Precision Machined Products, Compression Limiters and Knurled Spacers. Click here to download the catalog in PDF format (2.4mb). To receive a copy through the mail, fill out our online inquiry form or call us today at 860-828-7570.
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Tri-Star Industries, Inc.
101 Massirio Dr., Berlin, CT 06037 :: Tel 860-828-7570 :: Fax 860-828-7475 ::