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SPIROL: Unique Fasteners for Manufacturable Components


Not all fasteners are off-the-shelf products. In addition to standard rivets, threaded inserts, and lockbolts, you sometimes need custom fasteners made for specialized tasks or a fastener specifically designed for manufacturing. That’s when you call SPIROL.

SPIROL specializes in high-quality components specifically designed for the assembly line. Manufacturers want more from their installation equipment and production line, and SPIROL helps with a line of engineered fasteners, shims, parts, and installation machines. SPIROL’s mission is to deliver parts that improve assembly quality, extend the life of customers’ products, and reduce manufacturing costs.

To learn more about SPIROL and its line of specialty components, we spoke with Michael Lentini, the company's distribution sales manager.



SPIROL has a rich history of creating custom components to solve unique manufacturing and assembly problems. In 1948, the United States Air Force had issues attaching turbine blades to jet engine assemblies. To solve the problem, Herman Cole developed a coiled spring pin with the strength and flexibility to withstand the shock and vibration of the engine.

The Air Force’s success with the coiled spring pin led to the launch of Connecticut Engineering Manufacturing, headquartered in Danielson, Connecticut. The company evolved into SPIROL, a family-owned business now run by the third generation of Coles.

Today, SPIROL manufactures a diverse line of standard products, such as coiled spring pins, slotted pins, spacers, disc springs, precision shims, and more. In fact, the standard for coiled spring pins is based on Cole’s 1948 design. The company’s goal is to develop components that use standard processes, materials, and manufacturing technology to reduce costs, setup times, and lead times.

As Lentini explained, “We manufacture multiple products, but it’s all based on solving customer problems using standard fastening technologies we develop for the market.”

SPIROL manufactures more than 30,000 products across 12 product lines, including aerospace, agriculture and heavy equipment, alternative energy, automotive, plastics, cosmetics, and medical products. The company has regional offices worldwide.


Designing for Manufacturing

SPIROL’s entire philosophy is to engineer parts into the manufacturing process. While the company can make specialty and custom parts, it prefers to create standardized parts that fit into the customers’ assembly line and meet their specific needs. As Henry Ford proved, standardization of parts and assembly processes improves efficiency and reduces costs.

In addition to making components, SPIROL offers application and fastener engineering services. The company welcomes a chance to work with customers on product design and assembly processes. 

The earlier the engineering team is brought into the design process, the easier it is to apply off-the-shelf fasteners. The engineering team comprehensively evaluates the application requirements, including hole size, materials and environmental considerations, and assembly methods, offering suggestions and alternative strategies to incorporate SPIROL fasteners into the assembly process.

Sharing engineering knowledge with customers shortens design and development time and improves manufacturability. The goal is to not only reduce component costs but also overall manufacturing costs.

Due to the specialized nature of SPIROL’s fasteners and the fact it works with customers to design products for the manufacturing process, SPIROL doesn’t have a conventional distribution strategy. The company does sell parts directly to original equipment manufacturers, and Lentini is responsible for distribution accounts. While many of its fasteners are designed into the production line, it also sells many components to packaging houses, which then sell them to retailers such as Home Depot and Ace Hardware.


Securing Growth Markets

SPIROL products are used in virtually every industry, from automotive and aerospace to heavy industrial and agriculture. SPIROL pins are even used in cosmetic cases.

“We really are in everything,” Lentini said. “Anything that is fastened or has a join in it has the potential to use our products. We’re in everything from aerospace and military applications right down to toilet seats.”

The automotive market is currently SPIROL’s largest, and with the migration from combustion engines to electric vehicles, new designs mean new sales opportunities. SPIROL is heavily involved in many new designs to accommodate battery-powered vehicles. 

Hydrogen power is another growth market, and SPIROL has been working with makers of hydrogen fuel cells. With the boom in plastics molding, the company has also seen substantial growth in brass and aluminum inserts and compression limiters, a product category SPIROL helped create.

“The way we go to market is we work with the engineering design centers and help customers assemble their products in a cost-efficient manner for the life span of that product,” Lentini said. “We improve the quality and help the customers install the product in their applications. We have installation equipment. For example, if they buy pins, how do they get them in the hole? We design installation equipment to install the components for them.”


Specialized Components for the Fastener Marketplace

To extend the growing success of SPIROL’s design-for-manufacture sales model, the company is working with Bay Supply to find additional customers. Lentini explained that the company is seeing more web traffic and interest from e-commerce sites. Engineers are going to online suppliers to sample parts.

“When we use an e-commerce site to satisfy customer requirements, it’s a good thing for us since it reduces my transaction costs,” Lentini said. “I’m not quoting the customer, and the order process is streamlined. I’m seeing more interest from our customer base for some type of e-commerce platform. They don’t want to talk to me; they want to go online, place an order, and have parts delivered the next day.”

Customers will use e-commerce sites to source components for prototypes, then go to SPIROL to place larger orders for manufacturing. Working with B2B marketplaces such as Bay Supply is the only way to find those customers. 

“Bay Supply is going to help me capture market share,” Lentini said.

For more information about SPIROL’s line of fasteners and specialty products, shop for SPIROL products on the Bay Supply Marketplace.

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