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Respect for Fasteners

by Nurcan Dönmez
Fastener Eurasia Magazine Editor

In these days during which we are overwhelmed of the effects of Covid-19, I would like to share with you a more personal matter in this issue.

I can say that the "Away" series on Netflix inspired me to write about these. The series tells the story of five astronauts traveling to Mars. First, the main water system on the spacecraft is malfunctioning and the astronauts must repair it to survive, by removing 145 fasteners from the water system and putting them back in place. Fixing parts is difficult due to the gravity-free environment and requires extreme attention. The loss of a single nut or bolt would render the water system dysfunctional, and the astronauts would die of dehydration on their seven-month spaceflight. It would be grave if the story of humankind first set foot on Mars failed for such a reason. Fortunately, turns out to be that wasn't the case . However, every single one of those tiny fasteners was vital in that position. 

While watching, I thought that there are no compromises in quality production and quality control standards, especially in fasteners produced to be used in the aerospace and automotive industries. Although I already knew this as someone who had been in the aviation industry for 15 years in the past. During my years as a cabin supervisor, there was a saying that was frequently reminded to us about security, "The rules in aviation are written in blood". Indeed, every rule has been established after an accident or breakdown. Discipline and non-compromise in the application of the rules are extremely important in technical matters as well as operational issues. All aviators know what a loose bolt can cause in an airplane. An out of place or dysfunctional bolt can make a plane “No Go”, which means waste of time and extra cost.

Everything is interconnected like links in the chain, and if a few mistakes come together, disaster scenarios can be inevitable. It is important to follow all the established rules, starting from production to end users. There should be a goal of setting international standards and improving quality control mechanisms every day. Because we don't have the luxury to say just "sorry" for unrecoverable incidents.

Fasteners are with us in every aspect of our lives; in elevators, planes, vehicles, household items, electronics, teeth and body. I think that studies and R&D for this sector must be supported.

Fasteners are small, but the purposes they serve are huge.