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Stapler
Background
Therearevirtuallyasmanytypesofstaplersasthereareusesforthem.Staplersareproducedfor
usein:themanufactureoffurnituremedicalfieldscarpettackingelectricalwireandinsulation
installationpictureframemanufactureand,ofcourse,inthehomeoroffice.
Thesizeofstaplersrangesaswellfromaministapler(assmallafinger)toonerequiringtwo
handstouse.Andwhilethereisnospecificstandardsizeofstaple,thebasichousehold(office)
typewithawiresizeof.017ofaninchindiameterisgenerallyacceptedastypical.Theaverage
multiusestapleroperateswithwiresizesaveraging.050ofaninchindiameter.Staplersusedinthe
constructionindustryutilizewhatresemblenailsthatcomeinpreloadedmagazines(packets)
similartofirearmammunitionandprobablyalmostasdeadlyatshortrange.
Evenwiththepotentialofdozensofuses,staplersaremostfrequentlyusedinbindingmultipage
documentsandothersuchrelatedofficetasks.Theyareextremelyinexpensive:a"typical"homeor
officestaplercostslessthan$10.00,andapacketof5,000staples,lessthan$2.00.

RawMaterials
Astaplercomprisesmanycomponents,mostofwhicharemetalstampingsandspringtypeparts.
Maincomponentsofatypicalhomeorofficestaplerincludethebasetheanvil
(/knowledge/Anvil.html)(themetalplateoverwhichyouputthedocumentthatyouwanttostaple)
themagazine(whichholdsthestaples)themetalhead(whichcoversthemagazine)andthe
hanger(whichiswelded(/knowledge/Welding.html)tothebaseandholdsthepinthatconnectsthe
magazineandbase).Rivetsareusedtokeepthepartstogether,andapinisthehinge
(/knowledge/Hinge.html)pointforthetopandbottomhalf.Therearealsorubberandplastic
materialsusedbothinenhancingtheproductandinmakingthestaplercosmeticallyappealing.The
springsinastaplertypicallyperformtwoseparatejobs:theykeeptherowofstapleslinedupinthe
trackandreadytobeused,andtheyreturntheplunger(/knowledge/Plunger.html)bladetoits
originalupposition.(Theplungerbladeactsasaguillotine,inthatitseparatesonesinglestaple
fromtherowofstapleseachtimeitisforceddown.)
Themostrecentstaplersarebeingmadealmostentirelyofplastic.Currently,however,themost
popularlyusedstaplersarestillthosemadeofmetal.Thus,thefollowingfocusessolelyonthemetal
staplerandhowitismanufactured.

TheManufacturing
Process
Whilestaplersareproducedforanumberofdifferentusesandinjustasmanysizes,thebasic
principlesbehindtheworkingsofeachremainthesame,andthechiefcomponents(springs,
stampings,rivets,moldings,andpins),oncecompleted,areassembledtocreatesimilarfinished

products.

Formingthesprings
1Twotypesofspringsareusedinthebasicstapler:thecoilandtheleaf.Acoilspringismade
frommetalthathastheabilitytowithstandaconstantpressureandreleaseandstillmaintain
itsshape.Thecoilspringmaterialiswoundaroundanappropriately

Thepartsofastaplerareformedinvariouswaysbeforecomingtogetherto
formthefinisheditem.Coilspringssuchasthefollowspringarewoundaround
rodsandheattreated,whileleafspringssuchastheclearingspringarerolled
orbenttotheirpropershape.Sheetmetalpartssuchastheheadandbase
aretypicallystampedbetweenapunchanddie,whileplasticpartscanbe
injectionmolded.

sizedrod(similartowindingathinwirearoundapencil)andisthenheattreatedtoaproduce
changesinthemetal'scharacteristicschangesthatgivethemetal"elasticity."Theheat
treatedcoilspringcanbepulledapartandpressedtogether,withinreason,andstillreturnto
itsoriginalwoundupcondition.Agoodexampleofacoilspringisthefollowspring,which
connectsthecasetothefollowblockthemetalpieceinthemagazinethatholdsthestaples
towardoneendofthemagazine.
2Leafsprings,whichresembleadiving(/knowledge/Diving.html)board,aretypicallymadeby
eitherbendingorrolling(slightlycurling(/knowledge/Curling.html))athinpieceofsteeland
thencarefullyheatingittoatemperaturethatwillcauseinternalstresses.Thinlyslicinga
carrotlengthwiseintostripsandthenplacingtheminicewatercausesthestripstocurlupthis
isthesameeffectobservedwhenspringsareproperlyheattreated.Thesteelmaintainseither
acurledorflatpositionandresistsanybendingmotionappliedtoit.Oneexampleofaleaf
springistheclearingspring,thepartontheundersideofthestaplerthatallowyoutounlatch
thebasefromtheupperassembly(themagazineandmetalhead).

Stampingofparts

3Stampingsaretypicallymadeofflatsheetmetalmaterialofvaryingthicknessesthatare
sandwichedbetweenapunchanddie.Whenthepunchpushesonthematerial,it"shears"a
pieceofmaterial(theshapeofthepunch)outofthesheet.Asimilarprincipleisappliedwhen
usingacookiecutteronrolledoutdough.Stampingmaterialcanalsobein

Thepins,stampings,andspringsaresubassembledinstagesandthen
assembledtogetherwiththeupperandlowerhalvesofthestaplerframe.The
lastitemstobeassembledarethefeetlantiskidrubberpads)andthesnapon
plasticcap.

theformofacoilofmaterialthatlookssomethinglikearollofpapertowel.(Thematerialtype
andthicknessdependsontheconfigurationofthepartbeingmade).Thecoilallowsautomatic
feedingofthematerialacrossapunchanddieusingacoilfeeder.Thecoilisgradually
unwoundaspartsarestampedoutofit.Thisisaverycostefficientwayofmassproducing
stampingsbecauseitdoesnotrequireanoperatortoholdthematerialbetweenthepunchand
die.Mostofthemajormetalcomponentsbesidesspringsandrivets,suchasthebase,metal
head,andanvil,aremadeinthisway.

Brakeforming
4Afterapartisstamped,itisusuallythenformedintoashape.Iftheshapeisanintricateone,
anothertypeofpunchanddieisused.Thematerialmayalsobeheatedinordertosoftenit,
allowingthematerialtobendmoreeasily.Moststaplerpartshavesomewhatsquarecorners,
sotypicallythematerialisbentat90degreeangles.Therearenowmachinesthatperform
stampingandbrakeformingprocessesduringthesameoperationtheysimultaneouslypunch
outshapesandbendthemtomaketheappropriateparts.Thiseliminatestheamountof
setupsanddifferentmachinesrequiredtomakealloftheparts.

Rivets
5Arivet(/knowledge/Rivet.html)isusuallymadeofafairlystrongsteelmaterial,butitmust
alsohavesomeelasticity.Arivetisdesignedtoholdpartsinplacejustlikeascrewandnut,
exceptthattherivetisonepieceandcannotbeeasilydisassembled.Oneendtypicallyhasa

headonit(likeanailorascrew),andtheotherendisusuallyhollow(eitherpartiallyoralong
thewholelength).Rivetsaremadebycuttingoffapieceofbarstockandforging
(/knowledge/Forging.html)ittoobtainthedesiredconfiguration.Forgingisaprocesssimilarto
stamping,exceptthatthestartingmaterialisalmosttosizealready.Forgingwillminimally
changethesizeandshapethestrengthofthematerial,however,issignificantlyincreased.

Creatingplasticmoldings
6Plasticpartsofstaplersaremadebyinjectionmolding,inwhichaliquifiedplasticisinjected
intoadie.Theliquidflowsintotheopenvoidandisthencooled.Asthediecools,theplastic
solidifiesandtakesontheshapeofthedie.Thedieisopenedandthepartisremoved.

Makingthepin
7Thepinislittlemorethanapieceofbarstock,cutofftoacertainlengtheitherwithasawor
onamachiningcenter.Becausethepinisusedasahingepointforthetopandbottomhalfof
thestapler,itisusuallymadefromastrong,heattreatablemetal.

Painting
8Asrequiredtopreventrust,orforcosmeticreasons,someofthecomponentsarepainted.
Thepartsarehungonsmallracks,setonaconveyorandpassedbyaspraynozzle.Some
automaticpaintingoperationsemployelectrostaticspraying,whereinthepartsandpaint
(../Volume1/Paint.html)areelectricallycharged.Thepaintandthepartsaregivenopposite
chargesforinstance,thepaintwillbegivenanegativechargewhilethepartwillbegivena
positivechargebecauseoppositeelectricalchargesattracteachother.Electrostaticpainting
ensuresthateverypossiblespaceonthepartwillbeevenlypainted.Thismethodalso
eliminateswastedpaint(overspray).

Assembly
9Thepins,stampings,andspringsaresubassembledinstagesandthenassembledtogether
withtheupperandlowerhalvesofthestaplerframe.Forthebottomsubassembly,consisting
ofthebase,hanger,anvil,andclearingspring,thepartsareplacedinanassemblyjigthat
holdstheminpositiontoallowtherivetstobeplacedinthecorrectholes.Oncetherivetsare
lockedinplace,atoolcalledanorbitalriveterspinsthehollowendoftherivetuntilitcollapses
outwardandcapturesthepartstogether.Thetophalf,consistingofthemagazine
subassembly,thecase,thefollowspring,thedriverramspring,andthemetalhead,is
assembledthesamewayinit'sownassemblyjig.
10Thetopandbottomhalvescometogetherinanotherjig,andthepinthatconnectsthetwo
isrivetedintoplace.Finally,thefinishingtouchessuchasthefeet(antiskidrubberpads)and
theplasticcaparethensnappedon.

QualityControl
Samplesofallthecomponentsaretestedindividuallyastheyaremanufactured.Acertain
percentageofpartsarethoroughlycheckedastheycomeoffoftheautomaticmachines.Critical
dimensionsarescrutinizedandadjustmentsaremadetothemachinesorthetoolsare
repaired/replacedastheywearout.

Oncethepartsareassembled,theyaresampleinspectedforfunctionalityandagainasmall
numberofunitsarecontinuouslycycleduntiltheywearout.Thecomponentthatwearsoutis
checkedforconformitytodeterminewhetheritwasnormalwearoradesignflaw.
Animportantitemdetermininglongevity(/knowledge/Longevity.html)andproductwarrantyisthe
useoffactoryrecommendedstaples.Theuseofincorrectstaplesissaidtobeattributedtocause
themajorityofstaplermalfunctions.Itshouldbenotedthatsomestaplercompanieswillservicetheir
staplers(forfreeoranominalfee)onlyiftheirstaples,exclusively,areusedintheunit.

TheFuture
Staplers,likemostothermechanisms,arecontinuallyadjustedandimprovedupon.Asnew
materialsandprocessesaredeveloped,manyusesbecomeincorporatedintoallkindsofproducts,
thestaplerisnoexception.Likewisetheuseforstaplerswillcontinuetoincreaseasoneofthe
latestusesisinthemedicalfieldasasubstituteforstitches.

WhereToLearnMore
Books
Ewers,William.TheStapleGuninHomeandIndustry.SincerePress,1971.

Periodicals
Capotosto,Rosario."PopGoestheStapler."PopularMechanics.August,1987,p.19.
"Now,aStaplerCanBecomeaRivetingTool."ConsumerReports.February,1987,p.73.
McCafferty,Phil."PlasticNails."PopularScience.April,1987,p.66.
WilliamL.Ansel

AlsoreadarticleaboutStapler(/knowledge/Stapler.html)fromWikipedia

UserContributions:
1

BradSmith

(/Volume

Feb28,2006@11:23pm

Theoutwardpointingstapleor"OPS"aswesometimescallit,hastheadvantageofbeingable
toaccomodatemoresheetsofpaper.Yourlocalofficesupplyshopwouldprobablybegladto
giveyouademonstration.
BradSmith,ConsolidatedOfficeMachines,Inc.Cincinnati,Ohio

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