Traceability

Know Your Nuts and Bolts Inside and Out.

Many of the problems that challenge fastener reliability in the industry today come from a lack of knowledge about the bolts and their history. Parts are purchased by one company, sent to another for coating, are coated by hand, then shipped in boxes with no protection or consideration for bolt integrity. The boxes may contain markings that relate back to the part’s origins, but the fasteners inside are not identified. When the bolts inevitably fail, there is no way to know which applications are currently using bolts from the same batch so they can be pulled from service, burdening the turnaround team with the responsibility of replacing the bolts as quickly as they can under stressful conditions that lead to simple yet costly mistakes.

This has been the way the industry has operated for decades. While some companies may be able to trace a bolt back to the manufacturer, for the most part their path from manufacturer to application is lost entirely upon leaving the box. When they can be traced back, they usually can only be traced to the manufacturer rather than the actual facility where they were originally made. And the coating process is never traced.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. The industry has possessed the technology to provide certainty and traceability for years, and with experts calling for change and developing new specifications to account for the need for traceability, a traceable fastener is the way of the future.

The Journey of a Fastener: Where it Is, Where it’s Been, and Where it’s Going

For Doxsteel Fasteners, traceability starts at the nut and the bolt. Each part is stamped with a marking that corresponds to its heat load and coating batch. This information allows our customers to reference the fastener’s Material Test Report (MTR) and track the parts as they work in the field. When coupled with our Fastener End of Life Test (FELT Test), customers are continually in the know about how the fasteners are performing. And when they near the end of their life cycle, this number will tell you at a glance which parts require immediate turnaround before they seize so you can avoid the issues associated with corrosion. We promise to deliver the most reliable fasteners that do not require hot bolting, and this promise rests partly on our unparalleled level of traceability.

What’s in the Box?

Something as simple as box design may not seem futuristic and innovative, but at Doxsteel we see things a bit differently: the box makes a huge difference in how we operate and stay accountable to our customers.

A dent in a bolt’s thread can have a 30% effect on its torque value, so it is imperative that no unforeseen issues be allowed to compromise a fastener’s integrity. Our boxes are specially designed to withstand the rigors of shipping, field conditions, and storage in facility warehouses, and to mitigate human error in the warehouse and on-site. We’ve tested our boxes’ integrity against as many variables as we can imagine. We’ve thrown them down stairs, kicked them down hallways, left them out in extreme field conditions, and stacked them in warehouses for months on end to verify they can hold up. We even put it in our salt fog chamber to take the box to its most extreme limits. We stand by the integrity of our boxes 100%.

The interior of the Doxsteel box wraps each fastener in cardboard rolls. The wrapping makes sure that the fasteners won’t knock against each other during handling. The rolls reinforce the box’s structure to allow stacking. These structural improvements give our customers the ability to store and organize the fasteners in their warehouse with ease, and the extra protection the packaging provides helps the boxes stand up to field conditions.

Packed in with the fasteners is everything you need for installation. The Doxsteel Material Test Report (MTR) provides you with the chemical composition and mechanical properties of every bolt in the box along with an analysis of its coating, and each part is stamped with a marking that links back to the MTR, heat load, and coating production batch. Our user guide provides the K nut factor needed to calculate required torque, so the turnaround team knows exactly how to put the fasteners to work.

We stand by the integrity of our boxes 100%. If you get to the end of your turnaround project and still have remaining unopened boxes, we will gladly take them back and refund that portion of your purchase. That’s how much we believe in our product and our packaging.

The exterior of the Doxsteel box is designed to eliminate bolt confusion. Each box is color coded to the bolt’s steel type, and the label on the side also provides the K factor and traceability number to link back to the Doxsteel MTR. This allows our customers to visually identify the fasteners they need for the job. It also helps turnaround teams prevent common errors when putting the parts to work, and aids in tracing the fasteners’ life cycle.

The ability to stack our boxes and arrange them by color is simple in theory, yet unprecedented in practice. The more organized your the fasteners are in the warehouse, the more easily and quickly they can be identified, picked up, and sent where they need to go, whether that’s into the field or back to the manufacturer for credit. We design with intent so the person in the warehouse can communicate with the owners and executives who run the business and the vendors they rely on.

Accountability Requires Traceability

If a bolt ends up on the ocean floor, and no one is around to claim it, does it get accounted for?

While ASTM specifications apply to the steel that comprises the bolts, the fastener company is often no longer held accountable for the bolts once they have left the box. If a failed bolt is found onsite or nearby, the only way to assure that the fastener company will share the origin of the bolt is if the company complies to API 20E. API 20E requires fastener companies to keep documentation to prove compliance so they are held accountable for bolt failure and can trace the failed bolt back to its heat load and coating batch. Every license is location-specific instead of manufacturer-specific so each fastener can be traced back to precisely the facility where it was made. This holds fastener companies accountable and enables a faster response to initial signs of bolt failures, better protecting the team in the field and everyone’s bottom line. In critical operations, an API 20E compliant nut and bolt can make the difference between a minor problem and a major disaster.

As a result, companies that once had to scramble to replace every bolt in the operation can now target failures before they become an issue, saving time, money, and lives.

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