• ISO 9001: 2015
Made in the USA

Glossary of Terms

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AC/DC Alternating Current / Direct Current: The two different types of electrical current.
Alloy A mixture of two or more metals, elements
Annual Pricing
see Spot-Buy
Norstan provides two types of pricing (blanket orders are considered annual pricing), annual and spot buy. Annual is when we price a part that the customer doesn’t take the entire quantity of in less than 90 days. It’s more expensive per piece simply because we have to either set-up more than one time or make them all and stock them for the customer. 1MM annual usually requires 4 set-ups to complete order.
Anneal A process to soften metal/alloy by elevating it’s temperature.
Assembly,Contact An electrical contact and components assembled as a unit.
see Hand Stake
or auto assembly – A process where by a rivet is installed into a stamping where force s are applied to the shank, expanding it firmly into position. Used mainly of higher volume runs.
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Backing A base metal component that is attached to a contact material which allows easy attachment to an assembly.
Base metals Aluminum, copper, steel, nickel is considered base metals in our industries. Usually inexpensive and chosen for specific properties they have.
Benchmarking A technique used to determine “best” practices for a particular process or product.
Bi-metal A material comprised of a contact material and a base metal to serve in a electrical location.
Blade(s) A base metal type stamping designed to allow attachment of an electrical contact. They may be firm or flexible metals.
Blanket Order An ongoing commitment to purchase a specific part which releases are pulled against. Pricing is similar to annual orders but the same P.O. number may be used in subsequent years.
Bond(ing) A metallurgical process of joining materials together.
Brazing Metal Alloy A low melting point metal/alloy used to attach, metallurgically fuses, two metals together after elevating the temperature beyond it’s melting point.
Brazed Composite A finished contact assembly attached in a brazing furnace.
see Flash
Undesirable piece of material extending beyond the surface of the part.
Button(s) The term given to describe a contact that has no shank and is brazed or welded to another part.
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CAD Computer Aided Design. A graphical method of design/development for a part and specification using a computer for communication and data storage.
Calibration A set of operations which compare values taken from a piece of inspection, measuring and testing equipment or a gage to a known standard under specified condition.
CDA Copper Development Association an association based in New York that sets standards for the industry. Common materials we make rivets or contacts from would be the CDA 110 (ETP= Electrolytic Tough Pitch) and CDA102 (OFHC)
CIF Cost Insurance & Freight
Chamfer An angled broken corner on a part.
Clad(ing) metal Combining or layering metals to achieve specific characteristics while reducing when possible the use of precious or expense materials.
CNC Computer Numerical Controlled. Machinery following electronic commands to improve precision and productivity.
Coin(ing) A finish forming process, using a stamping process with a die, to refine feature specifications to drawing compliance.
Cold form/head A process of forming or changing a materials shape below it’s melting point using at room temperature.
Composite An electrical contact comprised of two of more materials.
Concave A dishing effect (outside surface). Opposite of convex
Concentricity The relationship of two circular features.
Conductivity A materials ability to successfully allow current flow.
Contact Two contact materials positioned to allow a make/break action providing an on/off condition.
Contactors Mechanical devices used to control switching of power to devices.
Control Plan Written descriptions of the systems controlling parts and processes.
Corrective Action Action taken to eliminate the causes of an existing nonconformity or other undesirable situation in order to prevent recurrence.
Corrective Act.Plan A Document that specifies actions to be implemented for correcting a process or part quality issue, with responsibilities and target dates assigned
Convex Bubble or spherical formed (outside surface). Opposite of concave
Cpk Centering & spread of the process. A statistical measuring method that is prevention based to provide a zero defect system. 1.65 is a good Cpk
Cross-section A cut-a-way view to observe a section of the part.
Crown That section of the head contained in a convex/concave portion of a contact surface.
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Density The mass of a substance per unit volume.
Die A machine made tool (on a lathe) that is used to form parts in it usually by material being fed into it forcing the material to form inside it’s cavities.
Disc(s) A part (Norstan makes) that has no shank and is primarily used to be welded, brazed to a backing.
Diffuse A process requiring heating in a furnace so the electroplating on the part absorbs into contact material.
Dock-to-stock Describes the process of sending parts from a vendor to a customer without them inspecting the parts, going to their stock to be pulled and used as needed. Generally only the best suppliers achieve this status.
Double Upset A forming process of squeezing (staking) in a die the end of a rivet into a form similar to a contact in lieu of just clinching it to a blade.
Ductile Or ductility – The workability of a material. The Higher the ductility the easier the material is to work into desired forms.
Drawing Wire Reducing the diameter of wire by pulling it through (hence draw) a die of a smaller size than the current diameter. Materials vary in their ability to be drawn to certain sizes as well as the characteristics may change e.g. becomes harder and less ductile. This sometimes is a good thing for certain types of heading applications.
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EAU Estimated annual usage
EDI Electronic Data Transfer. Electronically sending and or receiving information from someone through a proprietary network over phone lines. Used to provide releases of parts and check where parts are in the process.
Electromechanical A term describing a mechanical configurations or devices that would use contacts to move electrical energy from one point to another.
Erosion A physical characteristic of material wearing away from either side of a contact. Can occurred due to electrical, electrical arc or mechanical forces.
ETP Electrolytic Tough Pitch a specific blend of copper material (CDA 110 with oxygen) purchased in wire form to make rivets and contacts from.
Expediting Customers will many times call to move up their ship dates and it’s called expediting. Sometimes there are additional costs (overtime, material shipping charges etc.) to do this for them. Those are called expediting charges.
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see Markets
The number for each part that represents the weight in troy ounces of precious metal (per thousands parts) that is used to calculated final selling price.
Ferrous A metal that contains iron (Fe) and may be magnetic depends on the amount of iron present.
Fillet Material that fills in under the head of a rivet at the point it meets the shank.
Fine silver abbrv. FS or N-100 ; For electrical contacts silver comes in three types .999, .9995 and .9999
see Burr
Material on the edge of the head of the contact that protrudes past it’s intended area.
Flat(ness) The degree a continuous horizontal surface approaches a plane.
FMEA Failure Mode and Effects Analysis A systematized group of activities intended to: 1) recognize and evaluate the potential failure of a product/process and it’s effects, 2) identify actions which could eliminate or reduce the change of the potential failure, and 3) document the process.
Forge A mechanical process (cold or hot) of forming a part in a die distributing it’s mass into another desired dimension.
GFI – GFCI Ground Fault Interrupt (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt) devices that are designed to protect people from electrical shock by disconnecting the electrical power at the plug-in source or circuit breaker. We make contacts for company’s that manufacture these devices.
German Silver It actually has no silver in it 55%Cu, 15% Zn, 20%Ni or 65%Cu, 17% Zn, 18%Ni depends on who’s making it.
Grain A term to describe the geometric pattern or sizing of the groups of atoms that make up a material.
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Head Diameter Or HD is the distance (measured in thousands of inch or millimeters) across the diameter of the head of the part.
Head thickness Or HT is the distance (measured in thousands of inch or millimeters) from the top of the head (peak of any crown or radius) to the underside of the head.
Head(ing) Short for “cold heading”, a process using wire (not above room temperature hence considered “cold”) and forming it by moving or reshaping it’s mass in a die by striking it with tooling pieces called cones and hammers.
Hot-bond A process fusing materials together during a heading operation that uses electrical current to melt dissimilar metals together to achieve a bond that can not usually be done successfully in a cold headed process. Cold heading equipment is usually modified to handle this process.
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ISO 9000 International Standards Organization, which sets up a certification program that manufactures, can become certified in. The number signifies the type of certification 9002=manufacturing, 9001=engineering
I.D. Mark Specific physical feature put onto a part during manufacture to distinguish who made it or assembly orientation.
Indent A small pointed shaped hole pushed into the shank of a rivet or contact allowing a better or more secure upset when staking to a blade or backing.
Interlock A specific switch designed to shut down an apparatus (like a door being opened or a lid raised) for safety and to avoid personnel injury.
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JIT Just In Time, a process of getting parts to a customer within a specific time frame that they would use them on their manufacturing line. Manufacturing to shipping of parts is prescheduled to meet deadlines that can be a close as one day and was developed to reduce the space needed and cost of storing parts to be used on an assembly line.
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Kanban Kanban is a control system, which offers the opportunity to delegate routine material transactions on the shopfloor. Another goal also is reducing excess inventory in the system.
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Lead-time The amount of time to produce an order from receipt of order to shipping. Quoted lead-time is the estimated time it will take to process the order and deliver goods at the time the quotation was made.
Line card Usually describes a single sheet document that summarizes a manufacturer’s representative (rep) product lines handled. Many times reps will have multiple lines (not in the same category) of products the sell.
Loupe A magnifying glass used to view parts that clip to a pair of eye glasses.
Lot Charge Agreed on $ amount for a specified amount of parts with a 10% plus or minus amount variance
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Machine Composite A part made out of silver (or certain silver alloys) cold bonded in a special machine to a copper shank rivet backing. Norstan, Inc. refers to them by our trade name of NICO-BOND.
Make-Break The name given to the process of a movable contact touching (making) and pulling away from (breaking) another contact.
see Factor
The cost of the contact material in a quoted part e.g. silver @$6.00 per ounce. All of our precious metal parts are quoted at a certain market with a factor so the fluctuation in the pricing for the final cost can be calculated.
Melt The process of liquefying the contact material metal in a furnace to make it cover the face of the part or backing without a brazing wafer.
Mic Block A small metal tool used with a known thickness to measure head thickness of parts.
MRP Manufacturing a system usually software based that is used to track and schedule shop floor requirements and provide pricing information.
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Nico-Bond Norstan, Inc. trade name for it’s machine composite parts.
Noble metals Name given to a specific group of metals that don’t oxidize and generally are not affected by acids including Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, Osmium, Iridium,.
Non-Ferrous Has no iron(Fe) in it.
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OFHC Oxygen Free High Conductivity (trade name), a well refine copper material that lacks oxygen for use in brazing applications where the oxygen would react negatively with the hydrogen gas used during that process.
Oxidation A coating or scaling that forms on material because of exposure to open air/oxygen it reduces their conductivity and increases contact resistance or contacts. e.g. rust
Oxidizing A process of heating in a furnace to allow oxygen to penetrate the material. Oxidized wire has certain properties that are suited for heading and the finished product properties as well.
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Peripheral Void Areas on a brazed contact that are not filled in around the edges where the contact meets the backing piece.
Pierce Punch a hole through
Plating A process of electrically coating a metal with atoms of another metal.
PPM Parts Per Million; 1PPM=1 part in 1,000,000 parts
PPAP Production Part Approval Process – a process requiring analysis procedures to verify parts materials and processes used in manufacture. This is necessary for QS status on parts a supplier requires to have verified. It may be necessary to use chemical and or other microscopy analysis.
Precious metals A group of metals found in short supply often having desirable electrical characteristics including some noble metals plus gold, silver, platinum, etc.
see Post Oxidized
Describes that a material was oxidized prior to heading. The wire used to make the parts was oxidized prior to using it either in house or from the supplier who sold it to Norstan. Used for Double upset parts.
Press and Sintered A process of using powdered metals blending them together compacting them into a specific shape then heating them up in special furnaces and atmospheres.
Process variation A term to describe the range of process variance.
Progressive die A stamping tool (die) used to make parts that has multiple shapes and cutting stations to blank or trim form metal from a strip of material.
Prototype An initial production to verify a design.
Post Oxidized
see Oxidized
Oxidizing – The process of adding oxygen by heating in a furnace to allow oxygen to penetrate the material. Oxidized wire has certain properties that are suited for heading and the finished product properties as well.
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QA/QC Quality assurance quality control. The new term is just to us the QA part since you don’t technically control quality only a process.
QS 9000 Another internationally recognized certification standard that goes beyond ISO certification. If you are QS 9000 certified it would include all those things that you did in ISO plus more.
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Radius The term describing the degree of curvature of the face of a contact part (either convex or concave).
Refractory metals Tungsten and Molybdenum (Ma-lib-de-mum) or Moly. These have high melting points and low vapor pressures. Have high resistance to welding, pitting and arc erosion but high electrical resistances. Used in horn contacts.
Relay A device that uses an electrical signal of smaller voltage or amperage to then move a larger current or voltage through it to reduce it’s own wear.
Releases Describes a customer’s request to have parts (usually from an annual order or blanket order) sent to them on a regular or scheduled.
RFQ Request for Quote(ation).
Rivet(s) Term to describe a part with a head larger than it’s body or shank designed to be clinched or “staked” onto another part as in a blade or backing piece.
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Screw machine A single spindle machine (sometimes made by the Swiss resembling a lathe) that a part made on one at a time. Makes a part complete (head, shank, threads etc.) one at a time. It is a slower process than heading a part and more expensive.
see Tubular
A part (contact or rivet) that has a partial hole in the shank.
Shank A portion of a contact or rivet that is usually inserted into a hole.
Shear A process variation where the head of the rivet is scraped along the die and a small piece of that goes into the die of a part creating a defective part.
Shear Strength The amount of force (there is more that one measurement standard) it takes to remove or separate two bonded materials.
Shut A visible section of the head of a part where material meets in a fold due to the forming of the part while heading. This is not always bad since some parts can’t be formed in heading without this process.
Shopfloor A term that designates the area where products are primarily produced.
Skiving A cutting process removing or separating clad metals, usually precious metals from base metals, from a strip of material in order to salvage the precious metal.
Solid State A silicone based control device to control electrical flow.
Solenoid An electromechanical magnetic device that usually engages a mechanical process while providing electrical connections simultaneously.
SPC Statistical Process Control The use of statistical techniques such as control charts to analyze a process or its outputs so as to take appropriate actions to achieve and maintain a state of statistical control and to improve the process capability. Identify the primary and secondary sources of variations and implement methods to reduce or eliminate them.
Spec review Specification review. A meeting to discuss requirements, prints and specifications and tolerances, materials etc. related to making the customer’s part.
see Annual
A term than describes a pricing feature to offer the most cost effective way for a customer to purchase their parts and take deliver in less than a 90 days for the entire volume.
Squirt(extrusion) A heading term describing the process of forming the shank of a part by forcing the material into a smaller diameter hole than the original wire size.
Stake A process or forming (mushrooming) the shank of a to clinch it to a blade or assembly.
Stamping A part made from strip material formed by dies in a punch. Some stampings are made to bend and act as a part of a switch, which a contact may be welded to or staked onto.
Standard cost A pricing process for raw material and labor to reflect the calculated cost a manufacture uses to establish a baseline cost of manufacturing a given part.
Stress Relieve Conditioning machine composite parts in a furnace at a specific temperature 600 degrees for about 3 hours to make them less rigid.
Switch A mechanical device used to control the flow of electricity through it to another device you operate for an on/off condition.
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Tape Weld(ing) A process that utilizes a reel of metal (tape that becomes the contact) made from a specific material that is cut and welded into place on a backing or blade in an automatic process.
Taper A name describing a ramping form of a small end gradually gets larger. Normally a taper is used to allow some dimension of a part be easily inserted into a hole or slot in another operation.
Temper A condition produced in metal by heating it and or mechanical treatment.
Tensile Strength A measurement that describes a degree that material can withstand being pulled apart from it self, when a specific load is applied.
Terminal Usually describes a part whose form is designed to plug in or be attached to another part or device to allow electricity to flow through it and is removable when required.
Thermostat A device designed to automatically interrupt the flow of electrical energy flowing through it to another device when it sense temperatures it is calibrated to respond too.
Tilts A raised side of a brazed contact that should rest flat on the backing.
TIR Total Indicator Read-out; a measurement comparison of the out-of-around dimensions of at least two diameters on a part.
Tool bit rings
Tool Marks Physical and observable feature made on parts as a result of the tooling in the machines. Usually undesirable and not intentional.
Tri-metal Three metals normally with the main purpose of reducing cost using as little of the precious metal content as possible.
Troy Ounce A measurement of weight abbreviated. T.O
Tubular Refers to a rivet with a hole in the shank that usually goes through the entire part as in a “ventilated” part. Sometimes referred to as a semi-tubular.
Tungsten A refractory metal (element) used for certain properties.
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Up mark An indicator mark purposely put into the tooling so it shows a specific side of a part that is visible to a person who needs to distinguish a top and a bottom of a part for brazing or assembly.
Upsetting A method of applying pressure on the shank end of a rivet or contact to make the material flow a desired way over a sufficient range of the backing or blade assembly.
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Ventilated A part with a hole punched through it.
Voids Gaps or areas not filled in as desired
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Weld Projection A small protrusion on the back of a contact that allows it to be fused into the part it is to be welded to.
Welding Controlled process of using electrical current to melt and fuse two materials together into a desired bond.
Wire Weld(ing) Wire electrode on a spool to bond by welding to a blade automatically cutting it and forming the cut piece welded to a desired shape.
WSM Workmanship Standards Manual, Norstan, Inc. book showing our (Norstan, Inc.) terminology and providing standards for manufacturing when customers don’t provide them.
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Yield Strength The ability of a material to resist plastic deformation.