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Distributor's Link Magazine Spring 2019 / Vol 42 No2

98 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

98 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK BENGT BLENDULF THE GOOD AND BAD USE (ABUSE) OF METRIC STANDARDS from page 8 NASA is not alone in this experience but gets the headlines in newspapers and TV news reports. No headlines cover the general drag on the US economy caused by numerous problems with having to deal with two different measurement systems. The 5 million loss of the spacecraft is “peanuts” compared to other losses of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of US jobs. Our insistence on maintaining a long obsolete system is, in fact, a technical trade barrier limiting our possibilities to participate fully on the international market. The US tourist industry brings in a lot of money to our country and employs thousands of people. It would expand even more if visitors from other countries (thinking metric) had references to temperatures, distances and speed limits that made sense to them. We made, in some states, a very lame effort some years back to actually have highway signs posted in kilometers (km) instead of miles and speed limits in km/h (kilometers per hour) instead of MPH. It largely failed due to cost and lack of support, but was, and still is, a “shovel ready” project. If started again today it would pull many people from the unemployment lines. When we Americans travel overseas, we can more easily function as visitors and tourists because the metric designations are so very simple. The US auto industry was ready in the 1970’s for a quick and complete change-over to metric. They would probably save some money by making instrumentations easier, like speeds only in km/h instead of dual with primarily MPH. Also ready to go was the US fastener industry where a plan for a 10-year change-over from 1970 was deemed realistic. But, the resistance and unwillingness to change became soon evident and we went back (more or less) to follow our old, worn tracks. I don’t think anyone realistically doubt that the United States will eventually be joining the metric world. The problem we have is that the longer we procrastinate, the more expensive it will be to make up for lost time and business opportunities. On the other hand, by waiting we will have more time to make many more costly mistakes, if we should consider that as a positive factor. A decisive action from our elected leaders in Washington DC could make the conversion process quick, economical and with limited headaches. Mandating weather reports in degree Celsius (°C) instead of Fahrenheit, wind speeds in m/s (meter per second) instead of MPH, snow depths and rainfall in mm (millimeter) instead of inches and feet should make us comfortable with metric terms because it would be right in our faces on a daily basis. The food industry has already advanced on this issue and can also give us a comfortable feel for the kilogram (kg) and the liter (L). We already get soft drinks in 2 liter bottles without getting too bent out of shape. Now to the unfortunate ABUSE of metric In our feeble attempts to “do metric” we often invent units and pronunciations that are completely out of sync with SI. If we can learn how to use SI units correctly and get rid of the many confusing examples of “home-made” metric, our lives in the metric lane will be a lot safer and smoother. A very firm and simple piece of advice to all fastener suppliers: DO NOT preserve the DIN standards for fasteners. DIN 931, 933 and 934 for Hex Fasteners and Nuts were officially made obsolete by the originators in Germany in the 1990’s. Why would we in the US by pure ignorance and/or laziness maintain these old, scrapped German standards when the Germans have already ditched them? Functionally they are replaced by DIN/ISO 4014, 4017 and 4032 (some countries put their own standards in front of the ISO designation). When you buy these fasteners anyway from the far East (they are NOT likely made in Germany) they are not necessarily “German made”. The following areas should cover most of the units (good and bad) that apply to our work in engineering and in our daily lives. Length/Distance The SI unit is meter, m. Avoid the French spelling, metre. We normally use millimeter (mm) in technical drawings. For very small measurements like plating thickness, surface roughness, etc. the micrometer (µm) is practical. The term “micron” is sometimes erroneously used to indicate µm, but is a no-good term today. Longer distances are measured in kilometers (km). But, if someone invites you to run a 10K race, don’t show up. K means kelvin, SI base unit for temperature. At a temperature of 10K, which is the same as -263.15 °C or -441.67°F you are already frozen solid before the start of the race. Please, don’t abuse kelvin. Some other bad examples are MM instead of mm for millimeter. MM means mega mega or million million and does not make any sense (only for candy). NEVER use Km (and meaning km) as we often see on route displays in airplanes, or Kg that some load sensors have as markings for the same reason as above. CONTINUED ON PAGE 154

BTM MANUFACTURING BTM’s U-BOLT COFFEE A BIG HIT! Many of you have indulged in BTM Manufacturing’s U-Bolt blend coffee. The meaning behind the coffee runs much deeper than its bold flavors. The origin of U-Bolt blend coffee began in 2016 with an idea to bring something unique to the 2016 International Fastener Expo in Las Vegas. Kansas City’s Eleos Coffee owner, Dan Smith, has been an intricate part of the creation. As the relationship between BTM and Eleos continued to evolve, it was evident that the small locally owned business coffee shop represents much more than roasting coffee. We initially reached out to Eleos to fulfill the need of roasting coffee, but as I learned more about their mission, I realized they were a natural partner for BTM. Eleos focuses on community and cultural transformation. BTM has sincere admiration for Eleos and if we can support their mission, we will… and the coffee is great too!” said Jake Davis. BUSINESS FOCUS ARTICLE THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 99 15403 Andrews Rd Kansas City, MO 64147 TEL 1-800-369-2658 EMAIL sales@btm-mfg.com WEB www.btm-mfg.com The partnership between BTM and Eleos has resulted in a staple within the fastener industry, sharing the blend with BTM customers, friends and colleagues around the world. In the past two and a half years, BTM has had such a great time offering the coffee and supporting the mission of Eleos. “We love our partnership with BTM! Eleos Coffee is working toward community transformation in the inner city of Kansas City, MO and BTM has been a huge supporter of our efforts among these underserved neighborhoods,” said Dan of Eleos. BTM, an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, has been serving customers throughout North America for over 50 years. Capabilities include U-bolts, J-bolts, studs, anchor bolts, eye bolts and bent/threaded custom products. Ready for a refill on U-Bolt blend coffee? Let us know and we’ll include a pack in your next order! BTM MANUFACTURING

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