May 22 & 23, 2024
Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland | Cleveland, OH

How Bolts and Nuts Get Made at Nucor Fasteners

ST. JOE, IN – Widely known as the largest U.S. steel manufacturer, Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE) also happens to produce products from that steel – nearly $187 million worth during the third quarter, a including fasteners.

Overall, Nucor rang up $4.93 billion in sales for the quarter, down by 10 percent due to COVID-19. With 300 manufacturing facilities across the U.S., Nucor invests widely, including in Marion, OH, where an environmental investment helped drive profitability is up almost 200 percent last year, according to CEO Leon Topalian. Marion, by the way, is just a couple hours southwest of Cleveland, site of the next Fastener Fair USA: June 22-24, 2021 in the Huntington Center.

Entering the fastener market during a 1980s downturn, Nucor Fasteners Division now produces 300 million fasteners per year in its 500,000 sq. ft. facility in St. Joe, IN. Products include high-quality hex head cap screws, finished hex nuts, structural bolts, nuts, assemblies and flange bolts, but its product lines have been expanded to include build-to-print fasteners.

Head styles, dimensions, grades and finishes can be customized to meet individual specifications. And through strategic alliances with processors, Nucor Fasteners accommodates special finishes, patches, adhesives and other secondary processing requests.

The employees at Nucor Fasteners are intimate with the conversion of steel to fasteners, and in the video above (partial transcript is below) explain the steps from an insider’s perspective, providing insight advantages of a vertically integrated operation for producing nuts and bolts out of steel.

Here is a partial transcript from the tape above about Nucor Fasteners Division:

We're able to use machinery to form that material into a piece of art the fastener making process starts with a wire coil that comes from one of our sister divisions. Typically, when you make a bolt it's a very aggressive forming process. We do it all cold, so you don't have heat on your side. You've got to do it with very formal material and then the lubricant. The bolt starts at the cut off and then moves through a number of different stations.

Depending on what type of bolt you're making you hit it two, three, even four times to get it to be what you want it to be. You might trim the head, or you might have a flange on the head, letting it stay the way it was formed.

You might have a flange on the head and it stays the way it's formed, and then it goes through the pointer to get the champs around the end of the bolt. That makes it easier to have the threads rolled in.

At that point you have what looks like a bolt for the most part, but that will then have to be heat treated to get it to the appropriate properties. After it's heat treated then it is most likely going to have some kind of coating and whatever the customer wants to have. And then we put it in a box.

While the bolts are made from the coil the nuts are actually made from bar stock which is just going to be bundles of long bar product. Those are hot formed and so they are induction heated up to a red-hot temperature and then they're formed very similarly to the bolts.

They’ll move through a couple stations, you make your rough form, then you have a more precise form and then, you end up finally with your nut.