bisco industries Blog

What is a Standoff?

Standoff Fastener Description

Standoffs are fasteners used to create space between printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies and are the standard fastener for mounting PCBs to prevent electrical shorts. Standoffs are similar to spacers but differ in that they are threaded.

Standoff Fastener Styles  

Standoffs may be cylindrical, square or hexagonal in shape and come in male, female, male-male, or male-female styles. Standoffs are fabricated from various materials such as aluminum, brass, stainless steel and nylon. In addition, standoffs are often plated to meet application specific requirements.

Standoff Fastener Application Example

One application example for standoffs is the fastening of a motherboard (PCB) to a metal enclosure. In a typical scenario, male-female standoffs are fastened into pre-drilled metal ringed screw holes in the motherboard while the opposite end of the standoff is fastened to the enclosure wall. Mounting the motherboard in this manner prevents it from short circuiting.

Standoff Fastener Manufacturers

  • Accurate Screw Machine (ASM)
  • Amatom
  • Bivar
  • Concord Electronics
  • ITW Fastex
  • Keystone Electronics
  • Lyn-Tron
  • RAF Electronic Hardware

Configuring Standoff Fasteners

Since standoffs come in so many styles, sizes, and materials configuring the correct standoff for your application can be challenging. To aid you in configuring standoffs and other electronic hardware bisco has recently updated it’s RAF product catalog. Users can now browse and filter standoffs by style, material, diameter, length, thread size, and finish. Visit bisco’s online RAF product selector to learn more.

What is a Draw Latch?

Draw Latch Description

Draw latches operate on the principle of drawing two items together using tension. The main components of a draw latch assembly are the blade (a hooked plate or a wire formed loop), the keeper (a hooked plate that receives the blade), and the hinge. The tension is created when the blade is hooked to the keeper and clamped down. For typical draw latches the tension is released when the latch is rotated to a vertical positon and is applied when the latch is rotated to a horizontal position.

Draw Latch Styles

Despite shared functionality, draw latches come in many different styles.

Draw Latch Applications

Because of the simplicity and effectiveness of draw latches they are utilized in a large number of applications. Draw latch applications include HVAC systems, exhibits, signs, agricultural equipment, industrial machinery, trucks, and lawn/garden equipment.

Learn More About Draw Latches

For more information about draw latches view these helpful catalog pages from Southco or contact bisco’s product support team.

Where to Buy Draw Latches

bisco industries offers a wide selection of draw latches from leading access hardware manufacturer, Southco. Visit to buy rotary draw latches, over-center draw latches and more.

What is a Grabber Catch Latch?

A grabber catch latch is a push-to-close style latch which locks when the hooked keeper is inserted into the catch and the cam rotates into the hook of the keeper creating the necessary tension to secure the latch in place. Grabber catch latches are typically actuated (unlocked) using electronic switches or pressure (pushing or squeezing the latch to release the cam). Grabber catch latches can be used on swinging or sliding doors and can be mounted to any orientation as long as the keeper and catch orientation correspond.

What is a Grabber Catch Latch


Advantages of Grabber Catch Latches

  • Easy mounting and installation
  • Extra closure force which minimizes space between the door and panel

Grabber Catch Latch Applications

  • Automotive, Passenger Vehicles, Trucks
  • Electronic Enclosures
  • Exhibits/Signs
  • Industrial Enclosures
  • Vending Machines

Learn More About Grabber Catch Latches

One of the leading manufacturers of grabber catch latches in the world today is Southco. Southco offers a variety of grabber latch configurations including microswitch actutation and snap-in and side-mount installation. To learn more about grabber catch latches and to configure products view Southco’s grabber catch latch catalog. Popular Southco grabber catch latches include the C3-303, C3-310, and C3-810 latches.


Still have questions? bisco’s product support team is standing by to answer your questions. Just send us an email.

What is a Heat Sink?

Ever wonder why your electronic devices don’t overheat? One of the primary reasons is heat sinks. Heat sinks work by spreading heat over wider area, allowing it to dissipate more quickly. All heat sinks are composed of bases and fins which can be fabricated in different shapes depending on the application requirements. The larger the protruding fins the greater the surface area from which heat can dissipate.

A heat sink’s performance depends on several factors including material, protrusion design (the shape and height of the fins), and surface treatment. When heat sinks are utilized without fans they are referred to as passive heat sinks. If fans and heat sinks are used in combination then the heat sinks are called active heat sinks. Heat sinks are typically categorized by the manufacturing method and function. Heat sinks are most commonly used in computers, but are also found in cell phones, refrigerators and many other electronic devices.


Leading Heat Sink Manufacturers

  • Aavid Thermalloy
  • Wakefield
  • Mersen
  • Sunon


To learn more about heat sinks read this helpful article from IHS Engineering360 or contact bisco’s industries’ customer support team. bisco’s team has a wealth of knowledge and access to resources from leading manufacturers including Aavid Thermalloy.

Introducing bisco’s New Blog Series – What is it Wednesday?

Modern procurement teams often purchase items based only on a product number and a short description. Product expertise is left to engineers allowing buyers to focus on obtaining cost savings and ensuring on time delivery. Despite the benefits of specialization, processing basic product knowledge can often be useful for purchasers.  In particular, product expertise is helpful when related products are required or when alternate products are provided.  Although a buyer may not make the final decision about purchasing associated items or accepting alternates, product knowledge can help them make an informed decision about escalating to an engineer or supply chain manager.

In an effort to provide purchasing teams with foundational product information, bisco industries is launching a blog series called What is it Wednesday. Each Wednesday we will offer insight on common electronic components and hardware by providing product descriptions, common applications, and top manufacturers. To receive updates on the What is it Wednesday blog series and other news from bisco industries be sure to subscribe to our blog.

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