Archive: Mar 2022

How to reduce “Cam-Out”

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Cam-Out – we’ve probably all experienced it.
Perhaps we’re putting a faceplate on an outlet, or driving into metal.
So we pull out our trusty slotted screwdriver, and start to turn the screw.
But the slot depth is shallow, perhaps it’s a struck slot instead of a saw slot, or maybe, this screwdriver has seen a lot of days and it’s worn, so the screwdriver slips out of the slot, perhaps across the application surface, and mars the surface.

BTDT: Been there, done that.. And hated it!

It is said the two most common complaints for screwdriver users are slipping or “Cam-Out”, and stripping/damaging a screw head). I’d rank Cam-Out as number 1.
Too much torque on the screwdriver, and the blade breaks out of the slot and slides wherever the torque pushes it. The more torque, the more likely it is to damage a work surface. This likewise can be true removing screws, and even more so if you’re using a power tool.
In 30 years in industry, I have often found myself despising the slotted screw.
But all things have a purpose, right? Until recently, I had never, ever thought that perhaps this slippage was by design. But it’s said the intent was to avoid damaging work through excess torque.


A better solution might be a six-lobe, ACR or Philips drive, which have much better BER – Bit Engagement Ratios. More importantly, not only do they engage better, they also tend to stay within the drive if it does Cam-Out. That means less damage potential.
Head types (round, pan, flat, etc.) certainly can play a factor also.
There are many types of drives available. Finding the right combination of Bit Engagement really isn’t rocket science.
A combo drive often performs much better. A Philips / Square / Slotted / Hex drive for example, will allow you to do most anything. But that does require s hefty head height.
Typically deck screws often have either Phil / Square flat heads or ACR II bits. Either one has superior bit engagement.


Want better assembly performance?

-Review your tools.
-Set your torque properly.
-Make sure your bits are in good shape.
-Replace any worn tooling regularly.

Get help! Call a Fast-Rite pro at 888.327.8077 and explain your use case.
The right drive can make your life much easier, speeding assembly, maximizing torque, and minimizing cam-out, saving time, preventing damage and resulting in a better joint.
For help in finding a drive or bit selection, Call a pro at 888.327.8077, or email us at

Why Cast?

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Casting is most often used for making complex shapes that would be difficult or uneconomical to make by other methods.

Precision engineered castings are found everywhere.  Your car, for example.  The water pump, alternator, air conditioning clutch, perhaps the brackets holding these devices, manifolds and more, all are prime examples of highly engineered precision castings.

The same is true in trucks, trains – some train body beds are made from a single casting , planes, and construction equipment.  But that’s not even the tip of the macro scale. In the US alone there are over 57,000 wind turbines, nuclear reactors, defense products and many other items.

Our infrastructure is well populated with pipes, fittings, valves, hydrants, and this extends all the way into our homes.   Even our appliances are made in part of casted material. And that computer you’re using to read this?  It’s probably got one or more heat sinks made of casted aluminum dissipating the heat generated. The American Foundry Society states that 90% of all manufactured durable goods and nearly all manufacturing machinery are produced by means of engineered castings.

Some of these applications are simple and not complex. Traditional casting methods like lost-wax (investment), plaster mold or sand casting may be simply the most cost-effective way of producing them. This makes casting a very common method of fabricating parts in developing countries.

But technology can supercharge the casting process, drastically increasing the output and minimizing the production cost.

Centrifugal casting, vacuum-assist and pressure can greatly speed the casting process.  High volume applications use non-expendable molding engineered to properly flow the material quickly and completely to create the desired form.

Casting process simulation software helps calculate component quality and can accurately predict the resulting mechanical properties.  Various inspection methods depending upon material can be used to prevent defects, including liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, radiography, and ultrasonic testing.

Fast-Rite casting engineers are experts in mold design and engineering the production process to produce the right result, whether it’s smaller than a thumbnail or that proverbial train bed. The goal is to produce the casting you want with the strength needed, the exact dimensions and appearance characteristics you desire – a consistent, reliable output meeting the production volume and the expected costs every time.

Fast-Rite’s casting menu includes:

  • Aluminum Gravity Casting
    • Sand Casting
    • Permanent Mold Casting
  • Aluminum Die Casting
  • Zinc Alloy Die Casting
  • Investment Casting
  • Stainless Steel Investment Casting
  • Alloy Steel Investment Casting
  • Carbon Steel Investment Casting

Fast-Rite’s precision casting methodology is designed to maximize savings on each step of the process including not only the precision casting itself but also material inventory, working procedure, packing and transportation.

Casting allows a wide variety of materials to fit the use case intended, including but not limited to:

  • Aluminum alloy A356, A360, A380, ADC10, ADC12, etc.
  • Carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, heat resistant steel
  • Zinc, Zinc #3, Zinc #5, Magnesium Alloy
  • ZL101, 102, 104 with T4/T5/T6 treatment

Finish treatments include:

  • Chrome Plating
  • Electrophoresis
  • Electropolish
  • Passivation (Aluminum)
  • Painting
  • Polishing
  • Powder Coating
  • Shot Blasting
  • Sandblasting

Do you want to ensure reliable, cost-effective precision stamping for your application? Contact the Fast-Rite Engineering staff to discuss the best solutions for your particular use case. Phone 888.327.8077 or email