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US Fastener Sources
US Fastener Sources
US Fastener Sources

Fastener Part Number Management


A fastener part number (often abbreviated PN, P/N, Part No. or part #) is an identifier of a particular fastener design used in a particular industry or an application. The purpose of a part number is to simplify reference to that fastener. A part number unambiguously identifies a part design within a single corporation, and sometimes across a few companies.

End User Part Numbers vs. Manufacturer's Part Numbers

A problem, a major problem we have had in the fastener industry for decades is not a standard part number for the same fastener(s) from several manufactures. A fastener buyer using a manufacturer's part number but buying from several suppliers because each supplier manufacturers the fasteners to the same specifications is not happy about this. To identify such fasteners, the end user doesn't want to use any of those manufacturer's part numbers, because

  • it would imply that one manufacturer is acceptable and other ones aren't, and
  • it wishes to use a consistent format for the part numbers of all the parts it uses

Therefore, the end user devises its own part numbering system.

Significant vs. Non-Significant Part Numbers

In a significant part numbering system, the fastener's part numbers are assigned intelligently, according to an encoding system, and thus they give an indication of the salient characteristics of the fastener. For example: Type A, A325, PH, 18-8, Zn., T/C 23 See Fastener Glossary. Significant part numbering systems are easier to use if you are trying to identify a fastener through the use of its code inside their company rather than a long description; however, many variations can start to appear when the code is used by other companies, i.e. distributors and then people can become confused.

In a non-significant part numbering system, the fastener's part numbers are assigned in some order of sequentially or arbitrarily. Non-significant part numbers are easier to assign and manage. You can still create a structure where you can have a category and then a sequential number. This is also more efficient for data entry where using numbers and dashes are part of a normal keypad which means you don't have to use both hands on a keyboard. Other benefit is that people usually understand numbers easier, and when you store fasteners in a warehouse, you can put items in numerical order.

Dash Numbers

It is a common practice to use suffixes of a "dash" followed by a number comprising 1 or 2 digits. These dash numbers are a good way to logically associate a set of detail fasteners that belong to a common assembly or fastener family.

Machine- Readability of Part Numbers

It is a very common today for part numbers to be marked on the fastener packaging in ways that facilitate machine-readability, such as barcodes or QR codes. With advancements of optical character recognition (OCR) technology also means that machines can often read the human readable format of numerals or script.

Worldwide Fastener Sources & Part Number Listings

We added the feature of Part Number Listings for Registered Suppliers to better present and establish their part numbering system for their fastener buyers. It is a simple process, after one registers as a Premier Member, prepare an Excel spreadsheet as follows:

  • Column 1: Enter your company Part Numbers
  • Column 2: Enter Mil-Std. Part Numbers AN-MS-NAS-NA. Leave blank if this does not apply
  • Column 3: Enter Cross-Reference to ISO/Din #. Leave blank if this does not apply.
  • Column 4: Enter a brief product description.
  • Submit: Your Excel Spreadsheet to:

We will take it from there to complete your postings in five business days or less!

DO NOT include any Inventory Levels or Pricing in your descriptions as we are an Informational Website site not one that transacts any buying and/or selling of fasteners!

Cost Advantage for posting your part numbers with WWFS

We went to a few printing companies we used in the past for the magazine the American Fastener Journal to get some quotes for printing various sizes and quantities of fastener flyers and catalogs used as a hand-out for customers. From a 4 page flyer to up to a 48 page catalog in quantities of 500 to 5,000; WWFS Part Number Posting was very competitive and not one you have to re-print every few months or annually.

The posting of your part numbers and with any cross-reference information will become a valuable tool for fastener buyers to help locate sources of supply. Can you image hundreds or even thousands of pages for referencing fastener part numbers located all on one website...WWFS. Never been done before, but it can be done!

There is NO fee for anyone to use the Fastener Part Number Listings on WWFS once you become a Premier Member!, LLC

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