12 July 2021
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Hand tool fabricated to install trim clips

On its website, a customer says: “If you’re pushing at the edge of what’s possible on land, sea, or air, we can make it happen.” Jet Press has helped it literally push at the edge by suppling trim clips.

Actually, pushing at the edge was causing problems. The operatives attaching the trim clips found the operation quite difficult in this particular application: it was taking a long time, there was a risk of misapplication and even repetitive strain injury (RSI) in the long term.

Having shared the problem with the supplier, it designed, tested and manufactured a hand tool to make the task quicker, easier and more accurate. A magnet holds the trim clip within the body of the tool. That means the tool can be used at any angle with no risk of the edge panel clip dropping out. The operator then pushes the clip into place, and the barbs on the clip hold it in place when the tool is removed.

Trim clips were developed to hold facias, dashboards and trim panels in vehicles, and are now used across a variety of industries. There are three main types. Headed trim clips have barbs which enable them to remain on the trim panel but will disengage from the base panel to facilitate removal or replacement. Unheaded travel clips are designed for use on rectangular studs or integrally moulded ribs on any lightweight application where removability is desired. Upon removal, unheaded trim panel clips are retained on the trim panel by the integral steel barbs. In contrast, retain-on-base panel clips are designed to remain fitted to the base panel, but separate easily from the trim panel.

Other clips supplied are profiled below.

Standard edge clips are used extensively in the automotive industry and in many other industries. They secure two panels or components to other panels or flanges. They are ideal for the assembly of dissimilar materials. For instance, fibre and hardboards, wood, hard and soft plastics – even rubber. No other fasteners are required because barbs hold the clip in place.

Extrusion mounting edge clips can be used as a standard edge panel fastener, where the internal barbs can be used to fix two sheets of metal or plastic together. However, outward-facing barbs provide a secondary function as a fixing for any extruded channel section or covering trim. This trim can be used to neaten the joint, protecting the user from sharp edges or preventing ingress of dirt into the joint where hygiene is important.

Cable and pipe clip retainers are designed to fasten to any convenient metal flange to hold a grommet or, alternatively, a fir tree, w-button type cable clip or pipe clip. When used in this way, the combination of the two fasteners provides an insulated stand-off position allowing pipe runs to follow a natural contour without chafing.

D-type edge clips secure leather, cloth, soft plastics, fabrics, rigid plastic or fibreboard panels to metal. Barbs keep the assembly securely in position on one side whilst the flat side provides a neat, flush appearance on the other.

S Clips represent a practical range of Edge Clips designed to hold metal, fibreboard or rigid plastic sheet material at 180°. This can be either to other metal panels or to each other. The barbs hold the clip securely in place, so no need for holes and screws.

Lugged grounding connectors ground metal panels, to ensure conductivity between a metal edge and a grounding wire with a lug connector. They can be inserted onto the edge by hand or with a mallet. Sharp teeth ensure good pull-off resistance and a good connection through the surface treatment of panels. They are made from Carbon Steel.

Grounding wire connectors are said to be ideal for electric wires with a sheath and for use in grounding the aluminium frame of solar panels. They ensure conductivity between an aluminium edge and a grounding wire type H07V-K6. A single action cuts the wire insulation, connecting the wire and fixing it to the frame.

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Jet Press Ltd

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