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What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

My boss calls it a knurlock *(or knurl-lock?)
Some others call it a threaded insert. What is it supposed to be called?
It is inserted into a plastic part using ultrasonics or heat to place a thread into the hole. The knurled sides make it stay fast in the plastic material.

This opens up the discussion for many other things that are commonly referred to by their trademark name, such as Vaseline (petroleum jelly), Velcro (fabric hook-and-loop fastener), Delrin (Polyoxymethylene plastic) etc etc...

Is it acceptable to refer to parts by their Trademark or should effort be made to use their proper names? I assume that not every Engineer in the world is familiar with the term knurlock, making inter-company communication difficult...

I am an Engineer/part time student (Mechatronics) from South Africa.
Advice from lecturer: "Be warned - when you go into industry your boss will give you a thousand things to do and he wants them done yesterday!" So far he is right...

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

I would stick with generic names, unless a manufacturer makes a specific part under a trademarked name that you need.

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

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RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

I'd be inclined to name those things, "Knurled threaded inserts."

I've long held the philosophy that a few extra keystrokes can prevent many future memos.  As for trade names, I did enough work for the Corps of Engineers (US Army) to get myself out of the habit of ever using them except maybe in an explanatory note, or in a list of at least three alternate manufacturers.

30 years ago, we weren't even allowed to refer to Scotch tape.  It was "adhesive-backed transparent acetate or cellophane strip."

Good on ya,

Goober Dave

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

It depends a bit on application.

However, I'd generally try to keep the term generic.  As suggested above, you could as reference give the trademark name in some situations.

Of course, on drawings, it shouldn't be much of an issue as you'd normally either explicitly state the manufacturer and manufacturer PN, possibly with the 'or equivalent' qualifier.  Or you'd have an internal specification, source control drawing or similar to reference that defines the item

Right?winky smile

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

If you use the trade name, you may want to consider including "or equal". Otherwise, it may appear to be single source which can tend to drive up costs. If only one source exists, the supplier has more leverage to pick their price. Something that I also dealt with working for the Corps of Enginerrs.

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

I've always avoided trade names... I think it was beat into my head when I was first starting on the board working military contracts that trade names are not to be used due to sourcing issues.  That is what "Suggested Sources" were for.

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

There are many reasons to avoid referring to trademarked names or a specific company product on engineering documents like drawings and specifications.  Approved source lists and contracts often do (and must).  

For this specific case, I would use threaded insert or knurled threaded insert.  The benefit of adding the word knurled is that it differentiates these parts from other threaded inserts like wire thread (e.g. Heli-Coil) and key-locked (e.g. Keensert).

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

I think the general issue here depends on what you want, and to a degree on what the custom is in your field.  If something can be described exactly, then you don't need to give the brand name.  But for a lot of things, if you don't say exactly what you want, the cheapest and not necessarily the best will be provided.  For example, we structural engineers use a lot of post-installed concrete anchors.  There is little equivalency between the manufacturers, so we tend to specify the ones we want and consider alternatives later.

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

...if you're writing a "specification" you should be defining the required physical/electrical and mechnanical attributes, not a manufacturer's trade-name. Which actual "part" that will be chosen is the "Buyers" task, not yours.

...hence, DRWeig's advice "Knurled threaded inserts." is perfect.

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

I would refer them to their part number...

"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

That's Ok for a purchase order, but way too specific for a specification (unless no other supplier's products are suitable for the application).

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

Note to buying dept:

Please supply 1-off, self-powered vehicle, suitable for transporting 4 adults and their luggage between locations.

- Steve

RE: What's the proper name? Trademark name woes...

Just look like special brass fittings to me.   

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS
Motivation:  Don't ask

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