Reducing weight is a frequent need in industrial and manufacturing processes. While the weight of fasteners may seem insignificant, it can make the difference between exceeding a weight threshold and staying within the safety bounds specified to equipment being used at your facility. 

The following are four suggestions on how you can reduce the weight of equipment and the products you're working with by making a small change to fastener use or selection:

Opt for a different fastener material

Material can make a big difference when it comes to fastener weight. There are several different options out there for lightweight fastener materials.

Some examples are titanium head cap screws and aluminum hex nuts. Titanium and aluminum are significantly lighter than typical fastener materials like steel or iron. 

Fasteners constructed of lightweight materials like these sometimes need to be purchased from specialty vendors. 

Remove unnecessary fasteners

If you've never put some thought into how you can use an absolute minimum of fasteners, you're probably using too many. Every fastener you use adds to the total weight of your equipment by a certain margin. 

Of course, you need to make sure that you're not compromising the structural integrity of your equipment or product when you remove a fastener. Make sure that any removals are carefully analyzed by authoritative technical staff members. 

Analyze fastener placement

Sometimes, manufacturers find themselves having to reduce weight only on a particular part or component of a completed product or equipment piece. In this case, strategic fastener placement could allow fasteners to be removed from the component in question or placed elsewhere. 

One example of reducing weight through analyzing fastener placement is adjusting fasteners to lower the center of gravity of a piece of equipment, thereby making it more stable. Even marginal reductions in center of gravity can save lives in an automobile's design, for example, by making the vehicle in question more easy to control. 

Optimize profiles for your fasteners

The smaller your fasteners are, the less material they are made of and the less they weigh. By opting for smaller fasteners, you could cut an appreciable amount of weight off of a product.

One possibility to look at when reducing weight by optimizing fastener profile is the length of your bolts. Another possibility is hollowing out fasteners so that they weight less. Screws with a hollowed shaft are often adequate to provide the needed structural support, but they weigh much less than solid pieces.