A-Z Factory Supply Blog

A Breakdown of Drill Bits

Posted by Henry Bolden on Tue, May 10, 2016 @ 03:33 PM

Drill bits are a cutting tool used for making holes in an infinite number of applications across a variety of industries.  Maybe you’re in aircraft manufacturing, and need to run wiring through steel struts. Or possibly you are in the fabricating industry and need to drill holes to bolt sheets of steel together. Maybe you need a precision hole to fit a rod through. Whatever your need, A-Z Supply has the drill bits to fit your needs.Drill_bit_set.jpg

Drill bits are produced in many different sizes and configurations, and are used to create holes in a variety of material types.  Below is a breakdown of characteristics that separate drill bit types from each other.

  • Material: What your drill bit is made of really matters- it determines how well it will perform, as well as how long it can last. High-speed steel drill bits are the industry standard, great for general use with most materials. If you are working with super-hard materials such as high-temperature alloys or titanium, cobalt steel will provide an even more capable and durable bit.
  • Point Angle: For the most part, you will find either 118-degree or 135-degree points. The point of this measurement is to provide an idea of what materials they can handle. Lower-pitched points have a more aggressive tip, and are made for drilling into softer materials, including aluminum. Highly-pitched points have a longer chisel to allow for repeated drilling into harder steels.
  • Finish: Certain finishes excel at certain tasks – gold finish, for example, provides increased lubrication, particularly helpful when drilling through harder metals. Surface-treated bits, meanwhile, help to prevent chip welding and improve the abrasion resistance. At A-Z, we offer multiple drill bit options with different finishes.
  • Usage: Some drill bits are made to work with specific types of materials. While you can use heavy-duty bits for lighter application, you never want to use a light-duty bit for an application it isn’t capable of handling. For instance, while you may be able to use a gold-coated hi-molybdenum bit where a general-purpose bit may suffice, using a general-purpose bit where you should be using the premium bits can result in poor results, extended drilling time, damage to the tool or materials, and other failures that will just end up costing you money in the long run.

At A-Z Supply, we have a large variety of drill bits in stock and ready to ship. We carry the top drill bits from Viking, a premier drill bit manufacturer whose bits are American made and trusted at worksites and on manufacturing floors across the nation. We also carry a range of other drill accessories making us a true one-stop supply store for your drilling and manufacturing needs.  Contact us to learn more about the drill bits we offer that will meet every application.

Topics: industrial supplies, A-Z Supply, industrial, drill bits, Viking

A-Z Supply Offers Safety Equipment

Posted by Henry Bolden on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 @ 08:45 AM

When it comes to safety in the workplace, companies can never take too many precautions. Safety is important for many reasons, but two of the most important are to ensure employees feel confident and comfortable while on the job and to reduce workplace injuries that can be very costly to a business. Not only can insurance premiums increase with accidents, but having an employee absent from work can cost the company money in lost time or even overtime from other employees picking up the slack.

There are many ways a company can improve safety in the workplace, and any employer can find out more from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA falls under the United States Department of Labor and was created in 1971 to enact and enforce laws that protect all workers throughout the United States. Updated guidelines are available to help companies better understand how a proactive approach to safety works best in the workplace.

Whether your company needs protective clothing, safety containers and storage cabinets or is interested in adding or replacing fire extinguishers, A-Z Supply has the right products to meet those needs. If you’re not sure what you need, feel free to give A-Z Supply a call. Our representatives are here to help you understand what products are best suited for your business.

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A-Z Supply specializes in workplace safety equipment and Kidde safety products. We offer products from fire extinguishers to safety containers for flammables, to hoist rings that will meet MIL-STD 209 and ASME B30.26 specifications and much more.  We also offer a free safety eBook and hazardous awareness chart on our website along with these outstanding products.  A-Z Supply has everything an employer needs to meet safety standards as set forth by OSHA and to help protect employees while on the job.

 

Topics: OSHA, safety, A-Z Supply, storage cabinets, fire extinguishers, safety containers, protective clothing

The Uses of Industrial Fans and Blowers

Posted by Henry Bolden on Mon, Mar 07, 2016 @ 11:35 AM

Commercial and industrial grade fans and blowers are extremely useful in production plants, workshops, warehouses, churches and auditoriums, and so much more. They not only provide powerful air circulation, they are also ideal for facility and equipment cooling, drying and exhausting. Fans provide high volume air movement while blowers concentrate airflow to a specific space with greater pressure.

How do Commercial Fans and Blowers Help to Dry?

After clean up from a flood, plumbing leak or burst pipe, fans and blowers can help you dry out. Using fans to circulate moist air rapidly prevents humidity from building up, allowing dry air to follow behind and continue wicking away moisture. Blowers concentrate air flow to dry carpet, drywall and framing materials and ventilate affected areas.

Types of Industrial Fans and Blowers

Drum fans generate far traveling streams of air making them great for warehouse aisles and production lines. Their base mounted wheels make them easy to move.

Pedestal fans bring air circulation to a higher level. The pedestals are adjustable for maximum effectiveness.

Wall mount fans are the perfect solution for areas with limited floor space.

Blowers are compact and lightweight with a pivoting head to target air flow.

At A-Z Supply, we carry Air King commercial fans and blowers.  Proudly manufacturing in the USA for over 40 years, they are known throughout the industry for superior quality and performance. Let us help you pick out the right equipment for your cooling and drying needs. Our expert staff will guide you to make the best choice for every fan and blower application.

Topics: fans, blowers, industrial supplies, A-Z Supply, industrial

Industrial Equipment Maintenance

Posted by Henry Bolden on Fri, Feb 05, 2016 @ 09:54 AM

In industrial environments, the proper operation of your equipment is very important to your business.  From OEMs to custom manufacturers, businesses rely on their equipment running at full strength.  To make sure this is the case, performing the proper maintenance on your equipment is critical.  A-Z offers a full product line of OEM adhesives and maintenance products for all of your maintenance needs.   Falling behind on your upkeep schedule results in equipment downtime, and a negative effect on your business overall.

What can happen if you do not maintain your equipment?

If equipment is not taken care of, its life span decreases, while the chances of costly recurring issues having to be dealt with increases.  Corrosion is a major risk if equipment is not regularly cleaned.  Friction in areas with gears and chains can lead to rust, wear and corrosion, and should be routinely lubricated as a preventive measure.  Rust buildup can loosen nuts and bolts, and can affect bearings, rollers, sprockets, and couplings.  These parts are vital to the efficient operation of equipment and need to be properly maintained to ensure a long operating life.

How can you maintain your equipment?

A-Z distributes a variety of products to maintain your industrial equipment and vehicles.  Products such as adhesives, brake parts cleaners, carburetor and choke cleaners, anti-spatter spray, coil cleaner, and degreasers will help keep you equipment running at an optimum level.  To prevent and stop corrosion in gears and chains, lubricants and lubricant protectant are available to quickly loosen rust and corrosion.  Sprayway glass cleaner will dissolve dirt, grease, grit and grime, allowing a driver to operate their vehicle without any visual obstructions.  The use of grease on a regular basis will reduce friction and wear, and help prevent components from breaking down.  Regular maintenance will help to prevent a potential breakdown that could cause equipment to be taken out of use for an extended period of time, having a harmful impact on your business.

A-Z offers over 180,000 products from more than 650 major manufactures, and our knowledgeable staff will personally help you get the right products for all your industrial needs.

Topics: automotive, industrial supplies, A-Z Supply, maintenance, industrial

A-Z Docking Equipment

Posted by Henry Bolden on Mon, Dec 14, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Even though the dock to your facility is an important point of shipping and receiving of all your products and supplies, often it is the most neglected. Inferior products and/or installations are used in the hope that the apparent compromise in quality will not make too much of a difference. However, cases of safety breaches and accidents do stand testament to the fact that facilitating the movement of goods is a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of your dock equipment. If they malfunction, do not operate properly, or are not used optimally, everything from accidents and damage to energy loss and the unwanted entry of pests and debris into your facility is possible.

SIT UP AND TAKE NOTICE:

Dock equipment comes in a variety of materials and operation, and each category serves a unique need. Proper inspection and maintenance of a dock and its equipment is key to a safe and productive operation.

But the best thing you can do is:

  • Use the right kind of equipment based on docking area specifications and the nature of goods handled
  • Procure the equipment from a reliable manufacturer and dealer duo so that the rigors of work does not compromise reliability and safety

LOADING DOCK EQUIPMENT CATEGORIES:

Without the proper dock equipment, moving goods in and out of your facility may become unsafe and time consuming. Choosing the “right stuff” is all you need to keep the operation running efficiently and accident and injury free.

The following loading dock equipment categories are the most commonly used:

  • Dock levelers – Mechanical, hydraulic or electric dock levelers provide a smooth point of exit and entry, ensuring that the bridge between the dock and the truck is firm, solid and safe.

 

  • Dock plates – Where dock levelers are permanent fixtures, dock plates are portable. They serve the same function though – to bridge the gap between the lip of the dock and the edge of the trailer, providing height adjustment as well if there is a difference between the two levels.

 

  • Wheel chocks – When a large truck is being loaded or unloaded, any sudden movement can result in disaster. Chocking trailer wheels prevents this from happening and is an essential component of dock safety.

 

  • Dock Shelters & Seals – Dock shelters and seals work in tandem to ensure your facility and the interior of the trailers are protected from the elements. A shelter facilitates unobstructed movement of goods between the trailer and the dock by providing adequate coverage during the transition for better loading and unloading of delicate goods. Seals go on the sides of the trailers to keep out dust, moisture, and rodents.

 

A-Z SUPPLY WORKS DIRECTLY WITH VESTIL MANUFACTURING CORPORATION:

A stalwart in the docking equipment industry, Vestil is family owned and known for its sturdy, ergonomic designs, top-notch material handling equipment and complete customer satisfaction. A-Z Supply has the privilege of working directly with this market leader to deliver cost effective and long-lasting solutions for all your dock safety concerns.

Connect with us at 800.323.4511 for a custom quote and additional information about the units available.

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Illinois is gaining notoriety! And this time it’s manufacturing

Posted by Henry Bolden on Mon, Dec 14, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Chicago isn’t the only thing to talk about in Illinois. The state of ‘warriors’ is witnessing a rejuvenation and resurgence of sorts that will give it new bragging rights. What is this positive development on the horizon? Read on!

A STATE OF PLENTY:

Dubbed the Prairie Land, lush and fertile, Illinois is a treasure trove of countless natural gifts. More than 50 different crops are grown in large volumes here, and coal mining has fuelled employment for decades. With all the much needed raw materials close at hand, it is no surprise that manufacturing is a major contributor to the domestic revenue of Illinois.

As 2015 comes to a close, the future holds heightened manufacturing activities, and an era of prosperity that can leave the rest of the states behind even as the US prepares to welcome home industries national (and international) in a large reshoring drive.

THE NUMBERS SAY IT ALL:

Numbers truly bring with them the gift of objectivity and to any observer these statistics of Illinois should appear impressive.

Manufacturing’s share of the Gross State Product has been circling the healthy 13%-15% mark for some time now. And with close to 15,000 manufacturing facilities spread out over the state, this value will only increase. The effect of the pre-occupation with production has strengthened the economy, and benefitted the masses.

Recent research into the compensation trends of the state has found that manufacturing employees earn about $29,000 more than their non-farm counterparts. The Skill Gap in US manufacturing is primarily due to a lack of adequate exposure to the advantages a career in production can have. Illinois is a shining example and should be used as a case study to inspire and excite future prospects.

MANUFACTURING SPURS EXPORTS:

Production in Illinois has not only brought in abundance in the form of local jobs, it has also made a mark on the international landscape with its quality exports. If manufacturing is the supply, exports to a large extent are the demand and one without the other can never create the harmony needed to fill the state’s coffers.

The export of manufactured goods in Illinois stands at a whopping 60% of the total production supporting 27% of the jobs that this sector boasts. It serves clients in Canada, Germany, China, Australia and Mexico and thanks to the Free Trade Agreement more will soon join the fold.

A-Z Supply is proud to be an Illinois based wholesaler of hose clamps, other industrial supplies and material handling equipment. We understand the critical role played by manufacturing and production in the economic scheme of things and support the endeavors of small and large businesses as they do their part in taking the state to a golden tomorrow.

Source:

National Association of Manufacturers: http://www.nam.org/Data-and-Reports/State-Manufacturing-Data/2014-State-Manufacturing-Data-OLD/Illinois-Manufacturing-Data/

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Merrick’s Roster Of Custom Auto Products For An Industry That Has Had The Highest Sales In A Decade

Posted by Henry Bolden on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

At the end of September 2015, the numbers released by Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler were nothing short of impressive. The cumulative returns have touched a staggering 18.17 million dollars, the highest ever since 2005. Speculation is widespread about the contributing factors that have resulted in this positive development. Some attribute it to the low fuel prices while others are tagging the consistently low interest rates as the benefactor.

Obviously the dynamics between people and what they wish to purchase is never simple or straightforward. The same applies here. The buying power of the US economy is thriving, thanks to the creation of more jobs than ever before and the financial solvency of the Millennials who desire bigger, better and faster cars that define the zenith of luxury.

The time is ripe for automobile dealers and maintenance centers to invest in quality products that can help take care of vehicles in inventory and serve demanding customers who may be contemplating becoming owners of multiple high horsepower and/or technically advanced transportation.

A-Z SUPPLY WITH MERRICKS BRINGS AN ARRAY OF CONVENIENCE SOLUTIONS LIKE NEVER BEFORE:

The Auto Dolly is a revolution unto itself. It allows users the freedom to move their cars around with relative ease by taking on the weight of the tonnage and providing sturdy roller bearing casters for smooth mobility.

  • The Standard Auto Dolly – Capable of bearing up to 1500 lbs. in weight, it’s portable, and comes with 4 large casters.
  • The Heavy Duty Auto Dolly – The weight capacity is a healthy 2500 lbs. and the casters are more robust than the standard version. The casters have crown profile wheels allowing two people easily roll a heavy vehicle in any direction.
  • The Engine Dolly – With a thoughtful gentle V design for stability and centering, the Engine Dolly allows a single person to easily move an engine.
  • Service Seat Attachment – Meant for the service crew and designed to be comfortable, even during the long hours of back breaking cleaning and maintenance work, the Service Seat Attachment with its extra wide saddle seat is a pleasure to use.
  • Roll Around Attachment – A plus to have at hand for auto restoration projects, the Roll Around Attachment allows vehicle movement in any direction without wheels on the vehicle. It is available in 4 bolt, 5 bolt, and 6 bolt patterns.

If you feel that any of these products might be a valuable addition to your facility, assisting you in making the most of the surge in business inevitable over the months ahead, please contact us or call us at our the Toll-Free number 800.323.4511 for a custom quote.

Measurement is Vital When it Comes to T-Bolt Clamps

Posted by Henry Bolden on Wed, Aug 05, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

T-Bolt_Clamps2T-Bolt Clamps are resilient products that are ideal for applications in several industries. Their stainless steel construction and heavier bands afford users the corrosion resistance needed for tight and enclosed areas. T-Bolt Clamp bands are also smooth enough for use with soft hose materials.

These clamps provide superior holding power and have long service lives, which is why T-Bolts have become a standard hose clamp for many intake and exhaust applications. The only tangible disadvantage of these clamps is their narrow sizing range. 

In order for T-Bolt Clamps function properly in their applications, they must be accurately measured and sized. Keep in mind that even the smallest mismeasurement of clamp diameters can have huge implications, so proper measurement is vital to the success of your T-Bolt Clamp.

How to Properly Size for T-Bolt Clamps 

First, make sure the hose is assembled for its intended use. Next you’ll need to carefully measure its outside circumference — this measurement must be precise, so take a few measurements to verify your results.

Once you have an accurate result, divide that measurement by Pi to obtain the final dimensions needed. This is the formula you are utilizing: Nominal application diameter (ND) = Circumference (C) ÷ 3.1416 (Pi).

Proper Dimensions for Coupling Applications

To determine the right dimensions for T-Bolt coupling applications, perform the following measurements for each aspect of the flange with dial calipers.

  • Outside flange diameter can be measured on the outermost edge of the flange. Record this measurement (fd).
  • Rotate the flange and measure its base diameter (bd).
  • Flange height is calculated by subtracting the base diameter from the outside flange diameter, then dividing the result by two. Flange Height = fd – bd ÷ 2.
  • Flange apex (a), base width (w), and angle can be measured with dial calipers, but exercise caution when doing so. For the best results, use an optical comparator or the flange’s design print. Flange angle can also be determined with this formula: Flange Angle = TAN¯1 [( Flange width (w) – Flange Apex (a) ) ÷ Flange Height (fh)].

T-Bolt Clamps We Offer

Once you’ve determined the proper size for your clamp, A-Z Factory Supply can provide you specially designed T-Bolt Clamps for any application. We offer:

View T-Bolt Clamps

You can also contact us today for more information about our high quality T-Bolt Hose Clamps.

Topics: t-bolt clamps

The Varieties, Types and Common Uses of Hose Clamps

Posted by Henry Bolden on Wed, Jun 03, 2015 @ 11:30 AM

Hose Clamp KitsHose clamps are hardware products used to attach hoses and tubes to different pieces of equipment, and to provide an adequate seal for that attachment. Known for their versatility and cost efficiency, hose clamps are commonly used in plumbing, HVAC and automotive applications. They are also useful when making household repairs. 

There are several types of hose clamps to choose from, and each offers distinctive and desirable characteristics. Choosing the most ideal hose clamp for your project may seem daunting, but your decision will ultimately depend on the requirements of your specific application. Simply choose the clamp that best suits those needs. 

Worm-Gear_Clamps

Worm Gear Clamps consist of a galvanized or stainless steel slotted band with a screw housing and adjustment screw. These clamps can be tightened or loosened by turning the screw with a flat-head screwdriver or nut driver.

These clamps are the most popular because they are versatile, easy to use, reusable and come in a large variety of sizes including miniature for use in tight or hard to reach spaces.

Constant_Torque_ClampConstant-Torque Clamps have a unique spring mechanism that eliminates “cold flow” leaks.  They automatically react to changes in operational or environmental temperature changes. As your system expands and contracts during these changes, these clamps will increase or decrease their diameter to maintain a consistent sealing pressure.

They also have an extended inner liner to protect all types of hose from damage and aid in maintaining a positive seal.

T-Bolt_ClampsT-Bolt Clamps feature a smooth, wide stainless steel band and threaded t-bolt/nut adjustment to provide positive sealing pressure without damaging even the softer hose materials. T-Bolt Clamps are designed for use in high vibration and large diameter applications common in automotive, industrial equipment and agricultural industries.

These clamps offer many benefits but do not have the broad adjustment range for each individual size as many other clamps. 

Marine_ClampsMarine Grade Clamps are comparable in design to the standard worm gear clamp, but because they are constructed of corrosion resistant 300 series stainless steel, they are the best choice for marine, underground and corrosive environment applications.

Their extra strong 4-piece interlocking construction allows for increased tightening torque to be applied to the band.

Aerospace_and_MIL_ClampAerospace and “MIL” Spec Clamps are manufactured to meet stringent government requirements. Whether you sell to the government or are contracted for any type of government work, you will be required to only use classified components. Aerospace and “MIL” Spec Clamps are Federal Supply Class 4730.

Made entirely of stainless steel for corrosion resistance, they are generally available with fastener options.

Hose Clamps We Offer

At A-Z Factory Supply, we have a wide selection of hose clamps to choose from that are ideal for just about every industrial application. We also offer Make A Clamp kits that allow you to create custom clamps of any size—just in case you need some extra support.  

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Topics: hose clamps, t-bolt clamps, aerospace clamps, marine grade clamps, worm gear clamps, constant-torque clamps

Selecting the Right Reciprocating Saw Blade

Posted by Henry Bolden on Wed, Apr 08, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

Reciprocating_Saw_Blade-1For over 60 years, reciprocating saws have provided manufacturers with the power and versatility needed for the most demanding cutting tasks. These saws have evolved to incorporate exceptional features such as improved balance and precision, adjustable speeds, and orbital cutting action.

Another notable feature of reciprocating saws is the variety of blades available and the ease of changing blades.

The saw you use has huge implications on both the task at hand and the results you hope to achieve. It is important to choose a blade with properties that are appropriate to your needs.

Before selecting a saw blade, consider the types of materials you anticipate cutting. Wood, metal, fiberglass, ceramic, and plastic all present different challenges to saw blades, but there are also ideal blades for each material.

You should also consider the following blades characteristic before reaching a final decision.

Teeth

The blade’s teeth are significant, since they come into direct contact with the work material. The number of teeth per inch (called TPI) in a reciprocating saw blade can range from three to 24.

Blades with a lower number of teeth deliver faster cuts with rougher edges while more teeth per inch result in smoother, slower cuts preferred for cutting metal.  For the best results, try to have at least three teeth in contact with the work material while cutting.

Each blade has different gullets and teeth sets:

  • Larger gullets (areas between saw teeth) can boast your productivity by removing more of the material, but the blade life will be reduced.
  • Raker-set teeth are popular for most sawing applications since they provide solid, all-purpose cuts.
  • Wavy-set teeth afford blades the strength to resist stripping, but yield a rougher cut.

Dimensions

Sizing is important to saw blade selection. Always keep in mind the specific blade length, width, and thickness—these individual properties will deliver different results:

  • Length sizes can range from 3” to 12”, longer blades will provide deeper cuts.
  • Wider blades offer greater stability while cutting by decreasing bending and wobbling.
  • Wider and thicker blades—at least 7/8” wide and 0.062” thick—are commonly used for heavy-duty applications, such as demolition and rescue operations.

A good rule of thumb is to choose a blade with a thickness of at least 0.035"; this thickness provides adequate cutting strength for many standard jobs.

Construction

Saw blades can be constructed from several materials:

  • Carbon Steel blades are flexible enough to allow bending without fracturing the blade. Carbon steel blades tend to dull faster than other types, but they are also less expensive. These are ideal for use on softer materials, such as wood, particleboard, and plastic.
  • High-speed Steel blades are not as flexible as carbon steel, but they possess teeth that are much more durable—in fact, these blade last up to five times longer than carbon steel blades. High-speed Steel provides an all-purpose blade, best suited for hardwoods without dulling quickly.
  • Bi-Metal is a combination of high-speed steel and carbon steel, and has the advantages of each. Bi-Metal blades have durable, long-lasting teeth that are resistant to heat while being flexible and brake-resistant.

Bi-Metal blades have long service lives, since they can last almost ten times longer than carbon and high-speed steel.

  • Carbide-Grit blades are suitable for materials such as fiberglass, ceramic tile and cement board.
  • Diamond Blades—which utilize actual diamonds—can cut ceramic but will also cut through glass and concrete.

Other blade features to consider:

  • Variable-Pitch Blades – The TPI will change at various points on the blade itself. These blades are ideal for cutting metal faster with as little vibration as possible. Variable-Pitch blades can be used on a wide variety of materials without having to constantly switch blades.
  • Tapered Back Blades – Cuts made directly into the surface rather than starting at the edge.
  • Bi-Directional Blades – Teeth cut in both directions for faster cuts.

When you’re ready to choose the most appropriate saw blade for your manufacturing needs, A-Z Factory Supply is here to help. We have numerous high-quality M.K. Morse reciprocating saw blades in stock and ready to ship.

Browse Our Saw Blade Catalog

Topics: saw blades, Saws, reciprocating saw blades