In this issueâ€Ś Fastener distribution Automotive Tooling, dies, + punches fastenerandfixing.com | Issue 112 July 2018
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CONTENTS INDUSTRY NEWS
Financial reports, acquisitions and trade duty news EIFI 2018 conference in Croatia
Hexstone: Growing the right way
World champion fixing technology The best fixing and fastening solution
MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY 132-144 The importance of reliability and transparency in coating High performance tools for the fastener industry
INSIGHT 44-50 High-quality hardened steel nails New CEO to steer fresh era of innovation ZAGO â€“ high-tech fasteners and components
MANAGEMENT + SYSTEMS
PRODUCTS + TOOLS
GDPR: Key considerations for the manufacturing sector When does your operation demand WMS, not inventory management?
A comprehensive insight into fastener distribution
Optimas aids LEVC to develop the taxi of the future A passion for successful joining
EXHIBITIONS 108-118 Afera 1 st Global Adhesive Tape Summit a success Bonding + adhesive technologies come to Fastener Fair Stuttgart Visitor registration now open for Fastener Fair Italy
FASTENER + FIXING MAGAZINE // ISSUE 112 JULY 2018
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EDITORIAL Will Lowry, editor, Fastener + Fixing Magazine
Lights, camera… action Having worked for the magazine for 10 years and travelled the world interviewing people from every facet of the industry, it felt very strange to be nervous about one particular interview for our special Fastener Distribution feature in this July issue.
he reason for the nervousness was that, for the first time, we would also be filming the interview. We pride ourselves on ‘getting out into the industry’ and gathering exclusive content. However, what you normally read in the magazine is only a snippet of the full conversation. By filming the interview, we can provide even more insight and information, as well as create a new media platform for readers to find the latest developments within the fastener industry. Our first interviewee, or victim if you prefer, was Ekkehard Beermann, managing director at Fastbolt, who I must thank for providing a compelling insight into the demands of the distribution sector, as well as analysis of the overall market. To watch the video simply visit fastenerandfixing.com – it is definitely worth it. Our exclusives don’t just stop at video interviews. We also have, in the Fastener Distribution feature, a first-hand report from the European Fastener Distributors Association Triennial Conference, which took place in Rotterdam in June. Plus, there are exclusive articles with several key players within the European fastener distribution sector: I had the pleasure of visiting Lederer to speak to Managing Director Volker Lederer about digitisation and what it means for distribution; Deputy Editor Claire Aldridge visited REYHER to see first-hand the company’s impressive double-level high-bay warehouse and why fastener distribution means more than just delivering screws; Italian-based VIPA focuses on the construction of its third high-bay automated warehouse, which will see its capacity increase to 150,000 pallet spaces; as well as an interview with Timo Scholle, managing director at Achilles Seibert, who talks about how the role of fastener distributors is changing to fulfil customers’ needs; as well as numerous other articles from leading players within the sector. To add to all this there is our Cover Story, where Executive Editor Phil Matten visited Hexstone Group to learn more about how, now in his second year, CEO Ian Doherty is making his mark on the UK’s largest fastener and fixing wholesaler. There is also a special report from the European Industrial Fasteners Institute (EIFI) Conference in Croatia; and excellent insights into both US-based ZAGO Manufacturing Company and Dutch hardened steel nail manufacturer Don Quichotte.
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Part of the Mack Brooks Group Romeland House, Romeland Hill, St Albans, Herts, AL3 4ET, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1727 814 400 Fax: +44 (0) 1727 831 033 www.fastenerandfixing.com Publishing Director Jamie Mitchell email@example.com Executive Editor Phil Matten firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Will Lowry email@example.com Deputy Editor Claire Aldridge firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Manager Mac Rahman email@example.com Advertising Executive Italy Emiliano Pagliaroli firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Executive Peter Makin email@example.com Business Development Manager (DACH) Thomas Schwarz firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Andy Clow email@example.com Digital Content Assistant Grant Rebecca firstname.lastname@example.org Find us online: @fastenerfixing FastenerandFixingMagazine fastener---fixing-magazine Fastener + Fixing Magazine is a dedicated, trade–only publication which is circulated freely throughout the European trade. Disclaimer The Publisher cannot be held responsible or, in any way, liable for errors or omissions, during input or printing of any material supplied or contained herein although the utmost care is taken to ensure that information contained is accurate and up to date. The Publisher also cannot be held liable for any claims made by advertisers or in contributions from individuals or companies submitted for inclusion within this publication. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Editor or Fastener Fairs Ltd. Copyright Entire contents copyright © Fastener Fairs Limited 2018. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publisher.
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EU applies ‘rebalancing’ tariffs on US fastener imports The European Union has applied 25% ‘rebalancing’ tariffs on a wide range of products imported from the United States, including seven categories of fasteners, effective as of Friday 22nd June 2018.
he tariffs are in response to the Section 232 tariffs applied by President Donald Trump to steel and aluminium from the EU. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “We did not want to be in this position. However, the unilateral and unjustified decision of the US to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice. The rules of international trade, which we have developed over the years hand in hand with our American partners, cannot be violated without a reaction from our side. Our response is measured, proportionate and fully in-line with WTO rules. Needless to say, if the US removes its tariffs, our measures will also be removed.” The EU will rebalance bilateral trade with the US taking as a basis the value of its steel and aluminium exports affected by the US measures. Those are worth €6.4 billion. Of this amount, the EU will rebalance on €2.8 billion worth of exports immediately. The remaining rebalancing on trade valued at €3.6 billion will take place at a later stage – in three years’ time or after a positive finding in WTO dispute settlement if that should come sooner. The EU rebalancing measures will be effective for as long as the US measures are in place, in-line with the WTO safeguards agreement and EU legislation. Assuming they were alert to the publication of the regulation in the Official Journal, importers had just one day’s notice of the imposition of the tariffs on Friday 22 nd June, although the European Commission had previously published lists of products on which it
was minded to apply duties. The list of products incurring the 25% tariffs includes seven fastener CN codes. They are: 73181410 – self-tapping screws of iron or steel, other than stainless (not wood screws). 73181491 – spaced-thread screws or iron or steel, other than stainless. 73181499 – self-tapping screws of iron or steel other than stainless. 73181640 – blind rivet nuts of iron or steel, other than stainless. 73181660 – self-locking nuts of iron or steel other than stainless. 73181692 – nuts of iron or steel, other than stainless, with inside diameter <=12mm. 73181699 – nuts of iron or steel, other than stainless, with inside diameter >12mm. According to Eurostat figures, the European Union imported 5.3 million kilograms of these fasteners from the United States in 2017, worth just over €119 million. An average of €22.4/kg suggests a high proportion of these fasteners are specialist, with the highest value components in the self-locking nut and self-tapping screw groups. It is too early to assess the significance to European fastener companies, but one importer has said the impact on its imports could be as high as an additional €100,000 per year unless it is able to find alternative sourcing arrangements.
Hilti continues to boost sales In the first four months of 2018, the Hilti Group grew sales by 16% to CHF 1.8 billion (€1.6 billion). In local currencies, the company’s sales increased 13% over the same period last year.
ilti credits the successful start into 2018 on continued investments in its product portfolio and direct sales combined with a generally positive market environment. CEO Christoph Loos remains confident: “Our positive start confirms that the course we continue to consistently follow is the right one. We expect double-digit growth over the entire financial year despite more pronounced political uncertainties in certain regions.” In local currencies, almost all business regions posted double-digit sales growth rates in the first four months of 2018: North America was up 12% to CHF 411 million, while Europe grew by 13% to CHF 914 million. Significantly better sales figures were recorded both in Latin America (+11% to CHF 42 million) and the Asia/Pacific region (+9% to CHF 239 million). Sales in the eastern Europe / Middle East / Africa region were up 19% (CHF 212 million).
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NORMA sales grow 6.9% in Q1 NORMA Group sales grew 6.9% to €272.6 million in the first quarter 2018 compared to same quarter 2017 (€254.9 million). Organic growth was at 13.6%.
egative currency effects hampered sales growth by 7.6%. Fengfan, acquired in Q2 2017, contributed an additional €2.5 million to growth. Group adjusted EBITA rose by 1.6% to €45.7 million compared to Q1 2017 (€45 million). The adjusted EBITA margin was 16.8% (Q1 2017: 17.7%). NORMA says this was mainly influenced by high raw material prices, particularly alloy surcharges and price increases for engineering plastics as a result of market shortages. “We achieved strong organic growth in the first quarter of 2018,” says Bernd Kleinhens, chairman of the management board of NORMA Group. “This shows that our products are in high demand on the market and is reflected in the increased sales forecast for 2018. However, high raw material prices and negative currency effects had a negative impact on earnings. We want to sustainably strengthen our market position in the future, which is why we are continuing to invest in new technologies and markets. Our recent acquisition of the Indian water management solutions specialist, Kimplas, is another step toward ensuring steady growth in one of our focus areas.” The acquisition of Kimplas Piping Systems Ltd is expected to be completed in mid-2018. NORMA reported sales growth in each of its operating regions. EMEA sales rose by 3.4% to €132.2 million. Growth was due in particular to good business in the automotive sector, attributable to the generally good environment in the industry with rising production and sales figures. In the Americas region, NORMA Group increased sales by 7.7% to €107.3 million. The market for commercial vehicles and agricultural machinery significantly recovered, leading to a good order situation in the automotive industry. The water management division also developed very positively after weather related weaknesses in the fiscal year 2017. In the Asia-Pacific region, sales grew significantly by 20.9% to €33.1 million. Growth was driven primarily by strong customised solutions business for the automotive industry, which benefited from the high demand for joining technology, particularly in China. NORMA Group says it’s growth in the first quarter was stronger than expected. Based on group sales to April, and expected group sales until year end, the management board increased its sales forecast for the fiscal year 2018. It expects sales to rise organically by around 5% to 8% in 2018. NORMA continues to aim for an adjusted EBITA margin greater than 17% (2017: 17.2%, 2016: 17.6% 2015: 17.6%).
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TR delivers another year of strong growth Trifast Plc announced total group revenue for the year ending 31st March 2018 at GB£193.9 million (€219.1 million), a 6% year-on-year improvement at actual exchange rate.
EO Mark Belton said: “This year’s key revenue message continues to be one of consistent growth across all our regions.” At constant exchange rates, revenue increased by 4% year-on-year. Sales to multinational OEMs contributed more than 65% of Group turnover and were the largest source of growth. Underlying profit before tax increased to GB£22.7 million, an 8.5% improvement on the previous year at AER. Trifast reported it had committed an investment of up to GB£15 million to transform its IT infrastructure and business processes, in order to underpin future growth. Project Atlas is targeted as a one-stop service on a global scale through an integrated management information system, so that a customer who requires identical components for their assembly plants in say China, Germany, or the US, can rely on just one of TR’s customer support teams based, for example, in Holland or Sweden, to organise the entire supply and traceability function. Trifast says this will ensure consistency for its customers who assemble identical equipment in their geographically spread plants. Likewise, it aims to enable its procurement managers based, say in Italy, to be able to pinpoint an actual individual TR factory machine within the Group, which has the optimum capacity at that moment to quickly satisfy an urgent customer order, rather than the traditional process which is to quote an average delivery time based on the entire factory loading (typically some 6-8 weeks). Chairman Malcolm Diamond MBE said: “This is where our markets are looking and so Trifast must be ready.” Considering other capital investment, Mark Belton said: “As a Group, we continue to invest in our operations around the world to support our ongoing growth story.” In manufacturing, capital expenditure plans will continue to increase capacity most noticeably at both Italian and Singaporean sites. On the distribution side, Trifast has already expanded warehousing capacity in Shanghai and Northern Ireland to support the strong growth in both markets. It also moved into a new US site in April, representing one of its biggest warehousing investments in recent years – increasing capacity significantly to future proof the business for further growth. Further investment is also planned for TR’s rapidly expanding greenfield distribution site in Spain and the Group has set up a TR Innovation and Technical Centre in Sweden’s electric vehicle development area, Lindholmen, Gothenburg.
Lederer re-elected as EFDA president During the EFDA Triennial Conference in Rotterdam, Dr Volker Lederer, managing director of Lederer GmbH and board member of the FDS, was re-elected as EFDA president for a further two year term. Gian Marco Dalpane, president of the Union of Italian Fastener Distributors, was elected as vice-president.
r Lederer has served as EFDA president since 2012. His unanimous re-election, by delegates from the national associations, plus MEFDA, that make up the European Fastener Distributor Association, was proposed by Robert Klassen of NEVIB and Ian Doherty of the BIAFD – both of whom emphasised the exemplary role Volker Lederer has played in leading EFDA. Gian Marco Dalpane is the owner of the Bulloneria Emiliana and Sappino companies and has been president of the Union of Italian Fastener Distributors (UDIB) since December 2012, an organisation in which he has participated for more than twenty years. During his office he has actively represented and promoted UDIB and EFDA at major fastener events around the world. Under his presidency UDIB has strengthened its role in its domestic market and seen a growth in membership. Dr Florian Seidl of the FDS nominated Mr Dalpane who was also elected unanimously. Mr Dalpane thanked delegates for investing their confidence in him and committed to fulfilling his responsibilities in representing EFDA with dedication and integrity.
SFS raises stake in HECO
Optimas buys Circle Bolt & Nut
SFS Group is deepening its strategic partnership with HECO, a leading manufacturer of fastening solutions for structural timberwork, and raising its interest in the German company to 51%.
Optimas OE Solutions Holdings Inc LLC has acquired US-based Circle Bolt & Nut Co Inc (CBN) – headquartered in Kingston, Pennsylvania – which also has branches in seven other US states.
n August 2015, HECO (Ludwig Hettich GmbH & Co KG) and SFS signed an agreement establishing a strategic partnership. SFS concurrently acquired a minority interest of 30% in HECO. Both companies are active in the structural timber market and have built strong reputations for quality and innovation. Thanks to the two companies’ largely complementary product portfolios, customers have since benefited from a more comprehensive range of products and services. Close collaboration between the two partners has created operational synergies in their manufacturing operations and sharpened their competitiveness. This two year old partnership has yielded very positive results for both HECO and SFS. The advantages are becoming increasingly visible, both on the sales and the manufacturing front. In a move to further strengthen this strategic partnership, SFS will increase its stake in HECO to 51% effective 1st July 2018. This will allow both companies to better capture growth, and synergy potential, and take better advantage of their respective competencies. Acquiring a majority interest in HECO will facilitate the targeted improvement in HECO’s performance within the SFS Group and have a positive effect on the headcount and business activity at different HECO locations. HECO generated €41 million in sales in 2017 and employed 322 employees (end of 2017). The company will be consolidated by SFS Group as of 1st July 2018.
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nesa Chaibi, chief executive officer at Optimas, stated: “We are pleased to have Circle Bolt & Nut join our team. We are convinced this is the right investment for Optimas to expand beyond our current base of business.” Jim Castellino, CBN president and CEO, added: “I’m very excited for our company to become a part of the Optimas family. Together we will be able to provide exceptional value to our customers.” CBN services Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Maintenance Repair Operating (MROs) needs of industrial companies by providing vendor managed programmes. Since 1979, CBN has grown from a single operation in north-east Pennsylvania to national coverage through seven branches and other satellite warehouses and service locations. “Circle Bolt & Nut enables Optimas to accelerate our expansion into small and medium sized accounts,” said Christian Wiltrout, Optimas president, Americas. The acquisition diversifies the portfolio of Optimas customers across multiple industries. “The addition of Circle Bolt & Nut to our Optimas family is another positive step forward in accelerating the execution of our growth strategy and company transformation,” concluded Anesa Chaibi. global.optimas.com
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Anders Nyström new president and CEO of Bulten The board of Bulten AB has appointed Anders Nyström as new president and CEO. He will take up the post on 8th February 2019.
nders Nyström is a mechanical engineer with supplementary education in leadership and economics. He has extensive international experience from the automotive industry and has previously held several leading positions within, amongst others, Kongsberg Automotive, Volvo Cars and Ford Motor Company. Anders joins Bulten from IAC Group where he has been vice-president commercial since 2018. “The board is delighted with the appointment of Anders Nyström who brings solid experience and knowledge of the automotive industry to Bulten. With his background and leadership I am convinced that he will be able to further develop the company and take it to new successes,” says Ulf Liljedahl, chairman of the board. “Bulten is an extremely well managed company with a very strong platform and position as supplier and partner of fastener solutions to the global automotive industry. I look forward to taking part in the continued journey that this exciting company faces,” mentions Anders Nyström. Anders takes over as president and CEO after Tommy Andersson retires after nineteen successful years at Bulten, as previously announced on 26th October 2017. Tommy Andersson will remain president and CEO up to and including 7 th February 2019.
Bulten Polska employee commitment recognised
Bulten Polska has received the ‘Employee Friendly Employer Award’ for 2017. The award was presented by Poland’s President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw to Bulten’s managing director in Poland Anders Karlsson. “We are very proud of this award and we see it is a recognition of being a responsible and attractive employer,” says Anders Karlsson, managing director Bulten Polska. The award is the only one an employer can get in Poland where the employees have nominated the winners. The prize is awarded to employers who are distinguished by complying with legal requirements and collective agreements, health and safety legislation, and how to work with the trade unions at the workplace. The idea is to recognise employers who are characterised by good cooperation with the trade unions.
Dormole purchases Tucks in Ireland Dormole has purchased 100% of the share capital of Dublin-based Tucks O’Brien Ltd (TOB) and Tucks Fasteners & Fixings Ltd (TFF), from the Gardiner Group – which aims to invest for growth in its other businesses.
rivately owned Dormole owns Toolbank and also ForgeFix in the United Kingdom, amongst other tools and hardware distribution operations. Toolbank chairman, Andrew Strong, said: “We are proud to have developed our business in Ireland with great support from our customers, the total commitment of our sales team in Ireland and those within our business that support them. However, we believe that if we are to continue to grow our business and offer our Irish customers the full range of products and services we have available, we also need to have access to a locally based team and distribution facilities – as we do in all other regions.” Tucks O’Brien has traded since 1877 and has a 35,000 square foot warehouse from which it supplies 16,000 product lines. Tucks Fasteners & Fixings carries a 6,000 article range of fasteners, fixings and power tools – supplying the hardware,
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builders merchants and electrical wholesale trade throughout Ireland. The acquisition is being welcomed by Tucks’ management and employees as Toolbank will bring investment and knowledge focused on developing and growing the businesses. In the short term, Dormole says there will be no change, having entered an agreement with Gardiner to oversee the development of TOB and TFF, with support and input from Toolbank. “TOB and TFF will continue to be Irish businesses with Irish leadership,” Dormole said. Bob Boxwell will continue as TOB managing director and Gary Hogan as managing director of TFF. Toolbank’s Irish business will continue to operate under regional director Kevin Carver. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
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EIFI 2018 Conference in Croatia A report by EIFI secretariat
The European Industrial Fasteners Institute (EIFI) 2018 Conference was held from 24th – 26th May in the beautiful seaside city of Split, the second largest city in Croatia.
he programme started on Thursday 24th May with a welcome cocktail and dinner at the Hotel Le Meridien Lav, where delegates from the major European manufacturers of fasteners, members of EIFI, and special guests from the Fastener Associations of China, Taiwan, and the USA, met in a friendly atmosphere. The full day meeting programme started on Friday 25th May. EIFI Automotive Group Chairman Paolo Pozzi presented an interesting overview of the European and global automotive sector. Global vehicles sales showed a very good trend in the first four months of 2018: +9.6% in Europe, +48% in China, +19.7% in Brazil, +20.5% in Russia, +19% in Argentina; stable in the USA, while a small downturn was registered in Japan (-1.3%). For 2018 a general worldwide sales growth of +2.1% in the automotive market is estimated. Considering the electrification trend, in 2017 average European emissions were 117.3g/km, down from 132g/km registered in 2012. However, many countries do show a negative trend, including the Netherlands, Greece, Luxembourg amongst others. The production of battery electric vehicles is expected to increase by 8% in the next seven years (2018 – 2025) worldwide. Mr Pozzi also analysed in detail the new mobility services, the most important impact of which will not be on vehicle sales volumes, he explained, but rather on how customers interact with vehicles, their expectations and uses for them. The meeting continued with a very interesting speech from Zoran Legac, co-owner of the Croatian company – Feroimpex automobilska tehnika d.o.o, which produces bearings and parts for automotive and other industries, including wind power and railway. His presentation: ‘Innovative Croatian solutions for the global automotive industry’, explored three main company goals. The first is an innovative scrap metal breaking technology, which reduces the scrap volume to make its handling easier. The other two are, ‘innovative measuring’, based on designing innovative technology for dimensional measurement and control of metal parts, and ‘robotisation, automation, digitalisation’ aimed to maximise customer value while minimising waste. Put simply, lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources.
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L-R: Zoran Legac and Paolo Pozzi
INDUSTRY NEWS EIFI President Anders Karlsson presenting to Christian F Kocherscheidt
Ramon Ceravalls, EIFI General Fastener Group chair
Xue Kangsheng, CFIA president
Emanuel DeSantis, IFI vice-president
The EIFI President Anders Karlsson, thanked the speakers and opened the first part of the General Assembly. Following the presentation of the EIFI balance sheet for 2017 and budget for 2018 by the secretariat, it was the turn of Stefan Beyer, general manager of the EIFI Executive Committee. He presented an update on the many activities carried out during the year and future projects, which include: An updated PPM document ‘Mechanical fasteners – quality of technical characteristics’; a new survey on electricity and gas tariffs at the European level; and the amendment of EN nomenclature for CN codes 7318. The open part of the General Assembly started with the presentation of the EIFI Board Score 2017, which includes production, import, and export, figures collected from EIFI Members and a general economic outlook in Europe. In 2017, the European economy grew at its fastest rate in 10 years, as recovery spread to all member states. It was supported by high-levels of confidence, as well as by synchronised global expansion, low financing costs, improving private balance sheets and brightening labour market conditions. The European economy should continue growing for some time, with unemployment falling further and inflation increasing only very gradually. GDP growth in the Eurozone was 2.4% in 2017, and forecast at 2.3% in 2018, easing to 2% in 2019. Ramón Ceravalls, chairman of the General Fasteners Group of EIFI, focused his report on trends in the European and global building sector. The world construction outlook for 2018 – 2022 is expected to be good, with an annual increase of 3.9%. Estimated growth by 2030 is more than 50% in China, the USA and India. European Construction output in 2017 was €1.5 billion, +3.5% in comparison with 2016.
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Josip Tica, full professor at the University of Zagreb, faculty of economics and business, provided a deep outlook on the worldwide economic performance in the period 2000 – 2020. His general comments were: Global growth forecast is 3.9% (0.2% above the October forecast for 2018 – 19); the USA, Japan, the Eurozone and China are growing above expectations as are the emerging markets of Brazil, Mexico and central & eastern Europe. The General Assembly closed with speeches from the EIFI special guests who have a general overview of their fastener associations with particular reference to the fastener industry in their country. EIFI gave its best thanks for their attendance to: Florian Seidl, member of the executive board at EFDA; Ivan Lin, chairman of the international committee at TFTA, Taiwan Fasteners Trading Association; Xue Kangsheng, chairman of the China fastener industry association; and Emanuel DeSantis, vice-chairman of the Industrial Fasteners Institute of the USA. The gala dinner was the occasion for President Karlsson to mention Robert Lench, EIFI honorary president, who has always joined EIFI events but this year was unfortunately unable to come. He then awarded the Robert Dicke Award to Christian F. Kocherscheidt, CEO of Ejot, with the compliments and applause of those present, who also took the occasion to wish ‘Happy Birthday’ to Sergio Pirovano, who kindly offered his prosecco to all attendees. Saturday 26th May was entirely dedicated to a pleasant excursion to Šibenik, the oldest native Croatian town on the coast, built completely in stone between 1431 and 1536, in both Gothic and Renaissance styles. EIFI especially wishes to thank its friends at DIV Grupa for the excellent organisation of the event. The next annual EIFI convention will be organised by Artema in France, with dates to be confirmed.
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Bossard further maps management succession The Bossard board of directors has appointed Dr Frank Hilgers as the manager of its businesses in northern and eastern Europe from 1st May 2019. From that date, Dr Daniel Bossard, current holder of these responsibilities, will take over operational management of the Group from current CEO David Dean, as announced in January.
rank Hilgers is currently responsible for global category management and with this for the distribution brands of high-quality fastening solutions. He has been running this growth area very successfully for 6 years, and since 2015 has been a member of the executive committee. On 1 st May 2019, he will additionally take on the Dr Daniel Bossard responsibility for the core markets of Germany, Scandinavia, Poland and other eastern European growth markets from Dr Daniel Bossard, who takes over operational management of the Bossard Group from CEO David Dean. Bossard says the announcement is in-line with the long-term orientation of the Group and that the Board had consciously decided early on the succession arrangements made necessary by the planned retirement of David Dean as CEO. “Dr Frank Hilgers has an impressive track record. With his many years of industry and market experience he is the ideal person to drive growth in existing markets via innovative new technologies and services and in market niches,” according to chairman of the board Dr Thomas Schmuckli. Before his appointment to Bossard’s executive board in 2015, Frank Hilgers ran the KVT-Fastening business units. From 2009 to 2012, when Bossard acquired KVT Fastening, he was responsible for the distribution, product management and fastening technology division of KVT-Koenig. His previous career was in the automotive sector with Continental, Siemens VDO Automotive and Andersen Consulting.
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PERSPECTIVE by Phil Matten, executive editor, Fastener + Fixing Magazine
Phil Matten reflects on some of the key topics currently involving the fastener industry Trying to be in two places at once is never exactly easy – but sometimes it’s important to, at least, manage to come close.
enjoyed immensely the EFDA Conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, which combined impeccable organisation with real substance, capped with a thoroughly enjoyable networking evening. The only tinge of regret was that I had ‘double-booked’ myself and was unable to play in the Heinz Storch Memorial Golf Event on the following Friday – not that, as anyone who knows my golf will attest, I was ever going to threaten the prize list. I did, however – despite a few obstacles thrown in my direction by the M25 motorway around London – make it to the evening dinner, to applaud those who did claim the prizes, with scores way beyond my capability. The real prize of this event, other than providing a singularly appropriate reminder of a very special man, is the extraordinary amount of money it has raised for the Willen Hospice in Fastbolt’s UK home town of Milton Keynes. As I write, I don’t know the exact total raised over the eleven years, but I have no doubt it will have topped GB£150,000. Albeit a fraction of what the hospice has to raise every year, it is an outstanding contribution to an organisation that is truly transformational in its effect on terminally ill patients, and just as importantly, their families. This magazine has willingly played a small part in the event – and, no doubt, been roundly cursed on occasions for its notorious yellow ball competition. However, the real credit for the day’s inception and continued success rests with Fastbolt UK’s managing director, Graham Joyce, who has poured an immense amount of personal effort into its organisation every year. He will tell you that he couldn’t do it without the support of Fastbolt UK and, of course, he is right – but, there is definitely only one man who has succeeded in holding off the rain every year!
Heinz would be very proud of both events – he was, of course, one of three prescient men who brought EFDA into being in 2000. Following the conference and golf, I had the pleasure of reminiscing a little with Dr Florian Seidl, who vividly recalls his meeting in a bierkeller with Heinz and the third in the EFDA founding triumvirate, Bernd Stapf. For EFDA to become a reality took leadership and organisational skills, not to say a great deal of energy – and a succession of presidents who have elaborated the original vision. It depends on your definition of fair global trade whether you see EFDA’s role as positive, but for me it is essential balanced arguments go before the European Commission, when outcomes can have such major repercussions. Looking at the two conference reports, I also recalled a comment from Anders Karlsson three years ago in Berlin. In a political climate focused seemingly on differences, it really is worth recognising that the European fastener manufacturing and distribution industries do, indeed, have far more in common than in contrast.
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by John Wolz, editor, GlobalFastenerNews.com
Fastener industry scores win in trade ‘war’ with China The US fastener industry breathed a collective sigh of relief when steel and iron nuts (HS code 73181600) were excluded from a list of Chinese products subject to a 25% tariff by the Trump administration under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.
he Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a revised list of products imported from China that will be subject to additional tariffs as part of the US response to China’s trade practices related to technology and intellectual property. The list covers 1,102 separate US tariff lines that include industries such as aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials, and automobiles, according to USTR. Implementation of the ‘301’ tariffs follows a trade threat made by President Donald Trump in March. The threat prompted negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, but China indicated that any deals made during that time are now nullified. “The United States has kept changing its mind and now launched a trade war,” China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement. “We will immediately launch tariff measures that will match the scale and intensity of those launched by the United States.”
The US fastener industry is already grappling with uncertainties surrounding the 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum imports that Trump abruptly announced in March. The metals tariffs are often referred to as ‘232’ tariffs because the applicable metals have been deemed to ‘threaten to impair the national security,’ as defined by Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The Industrial Fasteners Institute’s Washington representative Jennifer Baker Reid told GlobalFastenerNews.com that US fastener manufacturers are bracing for the fallout from the ‘232’ tariffs. “Raw material prices and lead times were already increasing (25% – 40%),” Reid said. “This will make matters worse.”
Exclusion process ‘broken’ US fastener manufacturers have been applying for product exclusions from the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports
ore than 22,500 exclusions requests from more than 300 companies have been filed. However, only several hundred have so far been made available for public comment. Once public, domestic steel manufacturers have 30 days to file an objection. Jennifer Baker Reid said the commerce department was already overwhelmed by the exclusion requests, which will only increase now that the ‘232’ tariffs apply to Canada, Mexico, and the EU. Commerce department officials expect the number of applications to reach 40,000. “The process is broken, it has been overloaded, and that is only going to get worse,” Reid said. So far, no IFI members have received exclusions, though some have applied for them. Meanwhile, domestic steel prices will continue to rise while commerce grapples with an administrative process that requires companies to file a separate request for each product they want excluded from the tariffs. The last time the US imposed steel tariffs in 2002, more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. The consequences of these ‘232’ steel tariffs could be even worse for US companies as the 2002 tariffs were not applied to Canada and Mexico. Unlike the 2002 tariffs, the 232 process doesn’t have a time limit, which places it totally at the president’s discretion, Reid noted. “This administration is very hard to predict,” she added.
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Update on this story
The US commerce department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has begun granting its first product exclusions from the Section 232 tariffs. In its first round BIS denied 56 requests from eleven different companies, while granting 42 exclusion requests covering seven companies importing steel products from Japan, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and China. Several high profile companies from nail manufacturer Mid Continent Nail Corp to iconic motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, have struggled with the tariffs. In early June, Missouri-based Mid Continent Nail Corp announced it was laying off 60 workers after losing 50% of its business in the first two weeks of the month. While Harley-Davidson has not filed an exclusion request, the application of those tariffs on steel and aluminum from Europe prompted the EU to apply retaliatory tariffs on imports of motorcycles from the US.
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More than weight involved in lightweight fastener design “Weight is critical,” Mike Mowins said in a presentation on ‘Lightweight fastener design’, for aerospace and automotive fasteners, but also, “strength is critical”.
resident of Phillips Screw Company, Mike Mowins, described needed fasteners as “light and robust” to a 2018 Fastener Fair USA conference. For aerospace there are issues beyond weight and strength: Serviceability, mission critical for the military and aircraft downtime. Controlling weight involves more than fasteners, but changes in aircraft construction to make planes lighter can require different fasteners, Mowins pointed out. For example, composite honeycomb panels have replaced traditional solid floor panels. The newer floors use blind-side installation and optimized screws. In automotive, CAFE standards and hybrid/electric range make weight more critical. But a continuing issue is strength, which is critical for passenger safety. Other fastener issues include maintenance and collision repair, as well as assembly speed with lower costs and fewer tool changes. Automotive seat rigid joints are important for safety in automotive seat track joints, Mowins pointed out. Other issues include minimizing track height and weight, maintaining head strength while still meeting required torque for clamp load.
Automakers need improved tool life for assembly lines, less line stoppage and ease of torque monitoring down to the end of the line, Mowins said. After a vehicle is manufactured and sold to a consumer, there is still servicing during the vehicle life and ultimately end of life disassembly, Mowins added. Factors in weight reduction are minimizing fastener diameter through material strength and minimizing fastener head height for weight. Extending endurance is a joint design issue. Mowins cited external Mortorq® high strength spiral drives for aircraft engines. The fasteners reduce weight with lower head height through an optimised drive system. The lower head replaces the traditional 12 point/bi-hex head. The result is a fastener with 23% less volume, 31% lower height, 1.2 times more drive contact and 2.2 times more removal contact, Mowins demonstrated.
IFI names Walker as 8th managing director Dan Walker, PE, will be the new managing director of the Industrial Fasteners Institute (IFI). Walker becomes only the eighth MD in the 87 year history of the fastener manufacturer’s organisation.
alker will officially join the IFI in August 2018. He has been vice-president of Thomas Associates Inc of Cleveland since 2015, where he has held a variety of engineering and administrative roles since 1996. Thomas Associates is a Cleveland-based trade association management company founded in 1913. His roles include being general manager of the Metal Building Manufacturers Association; executive director of the Concrete & Masonry Anchor Manufacturers Association; technical director with National Sunroom Association; senior account executive; senior engineer of technical services; and staff engineer. Walker has experience managing technology and research projects, codes, membership recruitment and retention, strategic planning, budgeting and safety education. Graduating in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Cleveland State University, Walker is a licensed professional engineer. He succeeds Rob Harris, managing director from 1995 through to 2017, who returned on an interim role after the IFI separated with Ken McCreight who briefly succeeded Harris.
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RUSSIAN + CIS NEWS Alexander Ostashov, editor, Fastener, Adhesives, Tools and…Magazine www.fastinfo.ru
St Peterburg conference focuses on quality and standardisation The issues of quality and standardisation of fasteners remained the centre of attention of specialists participating in the 8th specialised conference: ‘Fasteners, Quality and Responsibility’ in St Petersburg on 14th – 15th May 2018.
eteran of the hardware sector, Mr Erofeev addressed the participants of the conference with a welcoming speech. The general director of the PROMMETIZ Association, Mr Yarantzev, presented his vision for the development of the Russian fastener market. Mr Yerenichev, the director of OSPAZ company, argued for the need to take measures to protect Russian consumers from poor quality fasteners. The main expert on the research work of MMK-METIZ, Mr Sokolov, provided detailed information on ways of improving the quality of high strength fasteners. Mr Galiakhmetov, the director for technical development of BelZan, concentrated on the problems of standardisation in the field of production and application of progressive fasteners. Scientific specialists participating in the conference also spoke on several topics of great practical importance? These included: ‘Ways to improve the performance of fasteners made from low alloy steel’ (Doctor of Technical
Association specialists trained in anchor installation Two groups of specialists from the GLAVKUZBASSTROY Association were trained in anchor installation in Kemerovo on 15th – 18th May.
he training was organised by the GLAVKUZBASSTROY Association, the Union of Producers and Suppliers of Fixing Systems, and Construction SRC (Moscow). Thirty-six representatives of association members took part in the classes. The systematic presentation of the material and the practice that followed, allowed all the students to successfully pass the end of seminar test. Upon completion of testing, all the shortcomings and incorrect answers were discussed with the representative of the Research Institute of Concrete and Reinforced Concrete, Mr Gvozdev (Construction SRC). Following the training, the participants received certificates of expertise in the installation of anchors. Participants noted the highly professional organisation level of the training, as well as the systematic and demonstrative presentation of both theoretical and practical material. They emphasised the importance of this training for both installers and engineering, technical employees of contract organisations, and those working with the technical customer.
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Sciences Gorynin); ‘Fasteners, combining high strength with corrosion resistance’ (Doctor of Technical Sciences Kostina); ‘Magnetic control of physical and mechanical features of heavy-duty fasteners made from medium carbon alloyed steels’ (Doctor of Technical Science Sandomirsky). Another important topic discussed was training of personnel for the hardware industry. Conference participants visited the OMZ-Izhora Research Centre, where they were acquainted with inspection and testing methodology using modern equipment. They also toured the workshop which specialises in preparing fastener samples for testing.
Russia ends duty-free imports of auto-components The cost of foreign cars built in Russia is expected to rise following a decision by a special government commission, which has recognised the expediency of abolishing privileges for the import of auto components for industrial car assembly in Russia.
his decision was made by a sub-commission of the Commission for Economic Development and Integration, which is responsible for customs and tariffs, non-tariff regulation, and protective measures in foreign trade, according to a report by Finmarket. The privileges for component imports can be cancelled as of 1 st July 2018. The sub-commission decided to bring the rates of import customs duties ‘for industrial assembly’ in-line with Russia’s obligations to the WTO. The current ‘industrial assembly’ regime allows automakers to import components duty-free on condition of localisation of production. This privilege was introduced by Russian Federation Government in 2005.
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Automotive industry strategy to 2025 approved On 28th April 2018 the Government of the Russian Federation approved the ‘Strategy for the development of the automotive industry of the Russian Federation’ for the period up to 2025.
t is a continuation of the ‘Strategy for the development of the automotive industry’ for the period up to 2020, which was approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation in 2010. The 2025 strategy includes new topical priorities for the development of the industry in the face of changed macroeconomic parameters in the automotive market. It identifies the following objectives: Satisfaction of 80% – 90% of domestic demand for modern automotive equipment by Russian manufacturers. Growth in exports of automotive equipment and components. Building technological competences of national automotive and component manufacturers by deepening the localisation of manufactured cars to 70% – 85%. Launching products with fundamentally new properties in the fields of electromotive, autonomous driving, connected vehicles, and gas engine equipment. Stimulating demand for such equipment, organising after sales services and creating the necessary engineering and transport infrastructure.
The creation of technological consortia is envisaged as one of the key mechanisms for increasing production and scientific potential.
First Russian ceramic screws for spinal surgery The ceramic screw does not need to be replaced so patients are relieved of the need for repeat surgical interventions on the spine.
ovosibirsk’s development of Russia’s first ceramic screws will make surgical operations on the spine more efficient and will enable patients to recover better in the postoperative period. According to the press service of the Novosibirsk State Technical University, its specialists are the first in Russia to produce such medical products from high-strength ceramic.
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No BelZAN dividends for 2017 Belebeyevsky Plant ‘Avtonormal’ (BelZAN, part of AvtoVAZagregat) does not plan to pay dividends for 2017.
he recommendation was contained in the agenda of the annual general meeting, scheduled for 7 th June. During the meeting the proposal to shareholders was to leave 86.75 million rubles, from 91.39 million rubles net profit in 2017, at the disposal of the company. 4.57 million rubles will be transferred to the reserve fund. It was also proposed to place 39.68 million rubles of 2016 retained earnings at the disposal of the company, making a total of 126.44 million rubles (€1.7 million). Shareholders will consider normal issues, including approval of the Annual Report and financial statements and election of the board of directors for which twelve candidates are proposed. In addition, they will be asked to confirm the premature termination of the authority of CEO Igor Yesin, who has run the business since the beginning of the year. BelZAN did not pay a dividend in 2015 or 2016.
Production of epoxy resins started in Russia The Titan Group of companies is implementing a project to begin production of epoxy resins in Russia.
ith an aggregate annual capacity of 115,000 tonnes, the plant will be located at the Omsk Kauchuk site reports Mikhail Sutyaginsky, chairman of the board of the Titan Group. The project will be implemented in four stages. At the moment the company is finishing the first stage – the technical re-equipment of phenol-acetone processing with a 36,000 tonne annual capacity. Construction and installation work on the project is 80% complete – now some new equipment is being commissioned. Production is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2018. Technical re-equipment of Omsk Kauchuk is being carried out using Russian-made equipment.
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Milestone Indian fastener summit in August The Fastener Association of India (FAI) was incorporated two years ago with the objective of uniting the fragmented Indian fastener industry. This August the FAI launches what it is heralding as India’s largest fastener networking event.
ndia has a relatively small share of less than 5% of the global fastener market, explains the FAI – yet the potential for growth is huge. India has risen to become one of the top seven economies, a position supported by positive economic indicators; a 1.2 billion population of which more than 50% is younger than 25 years; and most recently the implementation of nationwide Goods and Service Tax regime. There has been an influx of global manufacturing hubs and a real thrust to promote ‘Make in India’. The FAI believes the economic climate augurs well for the fastener industry, which needs to step up to improvements in skill, technology and professionalism, in order to make a bigger mark in international markets. The next focus for the FAI will be on the large number of Indian MSMEs (Micro Small Medium Enterprises). These manufacturers need awareness and campaigns to impart skill and technology that will upgrade their process to state of the art levels. Since its inception, FAI has grown to have approximately 350 members. Through word of mouth, as well as active media promotion, it expects its membership to exceed 500 by the end of 2018. Already the FAI has conducted several industry meetings and technical seminars to benefit the fastener industry and its customers. Now the FAI is set to launch its largest fastener networking event – ‘Fasteners India Mega Summit 2018’ with around 200 delegates – to be held on 4th August 2018 in New Delhi, India. Some of India’s top CEOs/owners will speak at the event, sharing their vision, industry experience, and case studies. The inaugural issue of India’s first fastener publication – ‘Fasteners India’ will be released on the same day.
Industry networking to share knowledge and information will be a key component of the summit, and for many of its members the FAI expects the event to catalyse a process of continuous improvement and technology upgrading.
Sundram Fasteners 2017-18 profits up 16.47% Sundram Fasteners, part of the TVS Group, reported an 8.62% rise in its standalone net profits for its fourth quarter ending 31st March 2018. Net profits were 950 million rupees (around €12 million). For the full financial year, standalone profits increased 16.47% to 3.67 billion rupees (approximately €46 million).
ull year income was 3.5 billion rupees (approximately €435 million). Domestic sales were 21.5 billion rupees, up 17% – credited largely to production increases across the automotive sector, including commercial vehicles and two-wheelers. Export sales were 11.4 billion rupees, up 9.6%. In April, Suresh Krishna, founder of Sundram Fasteners, handed over the executive functions of the company to his daughters, Arathi Krishna and Arundathi Krishna, as joint managing directors. Suresh Krishna continues as chairman. Arathi Krishna told media that Sundram wanted to expand export sales to the North American automotive sector, which already represents some 80% of its export business. The company was working with electric vehicle manufacturers to understand the shift to alternative fuel vehicles, which was expected to represent a twenty year transition.
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Arundathi Krihsna is responsible for domestic, Chinese and UK operations. Sundram Fasteners has just announced a new 10,000 tonne capacity foundry in China – an investment of 1 billion rupees. Chinese operations contribute more than 2.5 billion rupees of revenue annually.
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June Shanghai Fastener Expo takes place at new venue Official media partner, Chinafastener.com, reported the 9th Fastener Expo Shanghai – newly located at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre – attracted close to 600 exhibitors and professional purchasers from around the world.
hinafastener.com and Fastener Expo Shanghai jointly staged the ‘5th Face to Face ChinaFastener Purchasing Meeting’ on the second day of the exhibition to which 30 professional purchasers, including from Russia, Brazil, Spain, Thailand and Malaysia, and 150 fastener suppliers were invited. The India Fastener Association also took part. The same organisers were also responsible for the 7 th Chinese Fastener Summit, held at the Le Meridien, Shanghai, with the theme of ‘Trends in digitalisation and intelligent logistics in the fastener industry’. The conference, attended by 300 leaders of Chinese fastener companies and associations, was chaired by Ms Yuan Xiaocheng, vice-president of Chinafastener.com. The opening presentation was from Mr Qin Ke, logistics manager at Bossard China, who introduced the company’s advanced intelligent logistics system. Other speakers
Average value of Taiwan fastener exports increases Fastener World Magazine reports statistics from the Taiwanese customs authorities, which show a sharp increase in the average export price per kilogram of fasteners destined for Europe.
n March 2018, Taiwan exported 50,000 tonnes of fasteners to Europe, For the whole first quarter of the year the tonnage totalled 137,866 – an increase of 5% over the corresponding period in 2017. The average export price per kilogram, however, increased 17.37% year-on-year, to US$2.8/kg.
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included Mr Zheng Jun, marketing technology manager at AFS, an advanced connectivity technology institute, who recommended fastener companies should introduce intelligent production to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs. Mr Dominic Yin, life honorary chairman of the Hong Kong Screw & Fastener Council, addressed the audience on the ‘The development of China fastener industry and a simple talk of the establishment of one belt and one road and global relationship’ and spoke also about the ‘Internet of Things’. The summit discussion was hosted by Mr Yue Laipeng, president of Shanghai RENLE Science & Technology Co Ltd, in discussion with Mr Dominic Yin, Mr Qin Ke, Mr Guo Linjian, director of Zwick/Roell Group (China), and Mr Huang Cheng’an, president of Hangzhou Fastener Industry Association. More photos and reports at www.chinafastener.com
CSC increases domestic wire rod for Q3 On 25th May, Taiwan’s largest steelmaker, China Steel Corporation (CSC), announced it would increase the cost of its wire rod deliveries in Quarter 3 by TW$500/tonne (around €15/tonnes).
n its statement China Steel referred to IMF projections that global GDP would grow by 3.9% in 2018 and noted positive economic reports from the United States, Eurozone and China. It said Taiwan’s second quarter GDP was stronger than expected with more capital expenditure projected for the second half of the year. CSC said international steel prices were continually on the rise. China’s supply side reform and tightening environmental surveillance had led to a fall in export, Japanese and Korean steel mills had cut production due to facility outages and maintenance. CSC also noted that the Taiwan Dollar had appreciated 2% against Q1 2018. In view of the risks of trade protectionism, however, China Steel had left some steel grade prices unchanged and had moderately increased prices of others.
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BRAZILIAN NEWS Sérgio Milatias, editor, Revista do Parafuso, www.revistadoparafuso.com.br
2018 Brazilian fastener imports grow 9.2% Statistics from the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC) show imports of fasteners so far in 2018 running 9.2% ahead of 2017.
he effects of the transport sector strike in May are not yet considered. However, the fastener activity in Brazil, while continuing to oscillate, certainly appears to be growing. As Brazil produces more, the country consumes more, expanding activities for all, including the consumption of fasteners, whether produced domestically or imported. The monthly average of fasteners imported in 2018 exceeds 2017 by 9.2% in tonnes and by 13.98% in US Dollar value. Taking the total registered by the MDIC in 2017, a little over US$595.55 million or US$49.6 million per month
was imported. In tonnage terms the annual total was 112,192 tonnes (9,349 tonnes/month). From January to May 2018, the MDIC recorded US$282.85 million (US$56.57 million/month), with 51,061 tonnes (10,212 tonnes/month). The upcoming statistics will show how much the transport strike has rocked the market. Historically, the second half of the year in the Brazil economy is better than the first. If that scenario stays so it will be positive, especially compared with recent clouded times. Source: www.mdic.gov.br
Max Del celebrates IATF 16949 certification The successor to ISO/TS 16949 certification, IATF 16949 is the group of standards in quality management systems essential for auto part companies to become, or to remain, suppliers to automakers from France, Germany, Italy and North America, as members of the International Automotive Task Force (IATF).
ey amongst the focus of IATF 16949 is risk management, which consists of the application of strategic plans for risk generating situations. Such potential risks include line stoppages through inadequate component supply or even production, perhaps as the result of the shutdown of a key machine, strikes, transport issues or power outages amongst other factors. Max Del has been manufacturing metal fasteners for more than 40 years, including bolts, screws, rivets, pins, shafts and other products using wire rod as raw material. Max Del still needed to wait some time before the start of the audits but its teams’ chiefs anticipated the requirements to achieve IATF 16949:2016 certification, so that it could happen before the end of May, a moment of celebration for all. Genuinely Brazilian, this company already holds other important certifications, such as ISO 14000, OHS 18001 and CQI-9: A level of certification greater than some multinationals operating in Brazil.
Imported Ford Fusion recalled for steering bolt issue More than 32,000 Ford Fusion models, made in Mexico between 2014 – 2018, and sold into Brazil, are involved in the same big recall that hit around 1.4 million of this and another similar model, the Lincoln MKZ, in the USA.
ccording to the automaker, the technical reason is the possibility of losing fastening force of the bolt that secures the steering wheel to the steering column. In this situation, the driver will initially notice a vertical oscillation of the steering wheel and, in case of prolonged use of the vehicle, the steering column steering wheel can detach. The repair and replacement of the bolt is quick – just 20 minutes.
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Creating trade fairs and confusion “This city is too small for both of us.” It could be an exchange between two dualists. However, it almost happened in São Paulo City, Brazil, where there were simultaneously two metal and mechanical trade fairs: FEIMEC and Mecânica.
ince 2016 the two trade fairs organisers companies have fought to get the same customers and visitors; two simultaneous fairs with the same characteristics. It would be like holding two Fastener Fair shows within 20km distance of each other. Apparently, FEIMEC (the international machinery fair) is “winning this fight” against Mecânica (the international mechanical trade fair). Despite being new, with two editions (2016 and 2018) FEIMEC has the support of ABIMAQ (the Brazilian Association of Machine Industry) and important exhibitors, which were disgruntled with the historic partner, the Mecânica organisers. As one Indian proverb says: “When two elephants fight, what suffers is the grass,” – in this case, the visitors and exhibitors. This dispute is set for consolidation as early as 2019, defined by booth sales and the impact on the exhibitors’ budgets.
BASSODESIGN - PH URNATO
elite structural rivets
Growing the right way Ian Doherty is into his second year as chief executive officer of the Hexstone Group, quietly but clearly making his mark on the UK’s largest fastener and fixing wholesaler. Executive Editor Phil Matten went to learn more.
sk Ian Doherty about his background and he will tell you emphatically, “not fasteners”. From university, he served three years in the British Army and then joined Unilever, pursuing a successful career with the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant for nearly twenty years. Qualified as an accountant, general management was always his goal. Unilever’s management structure channelled him, willingly, into logistics. “I loved the planning, the bringing it all together, the making it work.” It was a time of radical change as big UK retailers centralised distribution. “It was exciting, and it was when I really got to understand customer service and the importance of product flow, of availability and reliability.” A sales and marketing directorship was followed by appointment as managing director of a Unilever food business in Australia. Ensuring the best education for his children motivated a return to the UK and a reluctant departure from Unilever. “It had been a great time and I was sad to leave,” he says. In the UK, a series of senior positions reinforced his supply chain expertise, including running a big stationery wholesaler, “with a surprisingly large number of parallels with our own industry”. An interim directorship provided insight into the next day delivery market; followed by more learning in a private equity backed manufacturing and distribution business. “When we exited that I looked for something to which I could commit longer term. A head-hunter saw my background as a good fit for the Hexstone role – and here I am.” “I bring no knowledge of fasteners and fixings, but I bring appreciations from an FMCG background that includes a strong recognition of the importance of brands, and an intensive understanding of how really good supply chains operate.”
“In the end our customers are looking for us to be boringly reliable; always having the product and delivering it when we say we will. Boring reliability does not, however, come easy. No-one can afford, financially or physically, to simply hold so much stock that there will never be a problem. That means becoming more and more sophisticated in how we manage the supply chain to ensure that we do deliver those high-levels of service at optimal cost.”
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We are committed to building that trade presence, and to honing our expertise in getting reliable product manufactured in the Far East, importing it, and demonstrating we can be the number one wholesaler of fasteners and fixings in the UK and Ireland.” Joining the UK fastener industry didn’t entail too many surprises. “I knew it was a largely high volume, relatively low value transaction business.” However, he adds, “the technical aspects of fasteners and fixings blew me away”. “To suddenly realise how much engineering goes into the design and manufacture of a fastener, how many different aspects of creating a joint exist, and just how many technical specifications there are – that was a revelation.” “I’d never experienced that diversity. However, the food industry taught me all about working to very exact specifications, and the regulation, control and management of safety critical products. I was also used to a very large number of SKUs – more than 100,000 in the stationery business.” “Very few people outside of the fastener industry would have any real understanding of the technical side of what we do – the support that every member of the supply chain has to provide in terms of quality and product knowledge.” “At Hexstone I am very fortunate that we corporately possess an extraordinary reservoir of knowledge and experience – the average service period is close to 20 years. Blessed or cursed as I am with insatiable curiosity I will learn more about the technical aspects but that will never be my primary contribution to this business.” Ian Doherty is not the only new name amongst Hexstone’s senior management. “There has been a bit of a ‘changing of the guard’, mainly through retirements and illness.” “Nick Horton has returned to Owlett-Jaton as purchasing director, bringing vast fastener and supply market experience. Dave Cunnah is on board as operations director, bringing a distribution background, and Mark Evans replaced the retiring financial director.” Today Hexstone is a single legal entity, servicing the market via a series of faces that reflect the acquisitions that formed it. Initially, Owlett and Jaton were acquired and merged by the US family company that continues to own Hexstone. “Owlett was more building oriented, Jaton more engineering oriented: Owlett more southerly based, Jaton more northerly based.” “Fair to say in those days it wasn’t going terribly well, which is when Geoff Hopwood – Hexstone’s chairman, was brought in as a turnaround specialist. The options were to close a loss-making business or stick with it for the three to five years it would take to fix. The owner’s response was emphatic – they were not quitters and, besides, closure would be expensive because their business philosophy demanded they look after the people.”
In 2004 the SRB Group was acquired, bringing Icon Fasteners, Stainless Threaded Fasteners (STF), and Galaxy Fasteners, into the fold. More recently Hexstone acquired Unifix and Righton Fasteners. The Group’s approach to market has since been rationalised. “Owlett-Jaton is the bulk of the business, dealing with both the building and engineering distribution sectors. STF is the stainless steel specialist, with people steeped in knowledge of that product and its supply chain.” “Icon is also a specialist – in high grade fasteners and special parts. It’s not the day-to-day, off the shelf supply position, often providing products that require further processes to meet customer requirements.” Galaxy was closed and integrated into Owlett-Jaton. Unifix was similarly integrated, but Hexstone continues to take advantage of its brand recognition. “Owlett-Jaton also handles the logistics for the JCP Fixings brand, but customer support is provided by technical sales specialists who really understand the complexities to anchor calculations, and beyond.” In the round it is performing very well, says Ian. “We moved back into growth in 2017 and are continuing to grow and make money, which is, of course, the reason we are in business.” “Importantly, we’re seeing market share growth, although not yet in every sector we serve – there is a lot of competition out there. Jaton has historically been stronger and has done extremely well. Our business with builders’ merchants has been weaker through lack of historic focus. We’re changing that, and making sure we have a relevant offer for all of our customers. We’re also growing at STF and Icon.” There are a number of growth drivers. “Central is the clarity of strategy we have put in place. It’s a truism, but if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. So, we’ve defined a strategy and have a very good idea where we are going. Let’s also be clear, this business definitely wasn’t broken. This is not change driven by crisis – it is evolution not revolution.” What that means in practice depends on where you look in the Group. “For the stainless business it is about range. Historically the STF range was trimmed to a point at which it wasn’t really a credible player. In the last twelve months we’ve taken that range from 2,500 to 6,000 lines and will continue to expand it, making it relevant and cost competitive. We’re already seeing growth on the back of that.” “For Icon it was also about ensuring relevance and to some extent about pricing, where we were a bit out of kilter. We also need to make sure people realise all the things we offer.”
COVER STORY “Generally, we have worked hard on stock availability, on service level, and on reliability. We are committed to making ourselves the easiest wholesaler with which to do business. That is about simple but not necessarily easy things: Quality of phone response, and the right resources to match the needs of the marketplace. We are also very clear about strengthening the interface with our customers, which means going to talk with them, to understand what they need from us.” The transactional relationship is still largely via phone and fax. “The digital revolution is slow to arrive in our market. There are generational inhibitors and the whole market is generally conservative; which is not to say it isn’t happening.” “The reality is many of the products are quoted and traded on a daily basis, which is a function of the market dynamics. Our market is still highly fragmented, but there will be a natural progression towards consolidation over time. As that happens, more of the interface will become digital, not least because, as the customers get larger, they will look to drive efficiencies internally.” “We are working on how we can better interface with the more common software systems our customers operate. If someone has a Sage system for example, what about a plug-in so it can send the order direct to us electronically? Having a digital strategy is a key route forward, but it will take time in a fragmented market.” “We are a wholesaler, and can only succeed if our customers are successful. If they send a handwritten fax, we will respond promptly. If they need to phone us, we’ll give them the best phone service. If they want to use EDI, we’ll do that too.” Central to Hexstone’s strategy is a reiterated commitment to the role of importer-wholesaler. “Over the last twelve months we have thought clearly about what we want to be and how we define ourselves. We have some end user business, gained by historic accident. It is relatively small but I am not about to throw it away. Looking forward, however, we define ourselves very clearly as a wholesaler, which means we see our growth coming from trade customers.” “We are committed to building that trade presence, and to honing our expertise in getting reliable product manufactured in the Far East, importing it, and demonstrating we can be the number one wholesaler of fasteners and fixings in the UK and Ireland.”
Hexstone is investing in putting even more sales people on the road, thus increasing face-to-face relationships
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“We aim for consistency of pricing, availability, relationship, and customer service. We have invested in computer systems to enable us to manage that product flow. I’d like to say we always get it right: I’m sure we don’t, not least because of the variability in the marketplace, often factors outside our control. If lead times extend from manufacturers they do so for everybody and we can see very large swings in demand as a result – whether because a major customer or a competitor has experienced restricted availability.” “Businesses do one of two things – they grow or decline, they do not stand still. I am determined Hexstone will grow and we are committed to investing for that growth.” “We are investing in putting even more sales people on the road, thus increasing face-to-face relationships. Those relationships are vitally important to our understanding of what is going on in a changing marketplace, to what our customers need.” “We are investing in the range. We’ve brought on channel accessories, and taken on the distributorship of Blind Bolt fixings and ‘Duck Foot’ plasterboard fixings. One of the big initiatives driven by the changes we are seeing in the marketplace has been the introduction of our Unifix branded pouch bag range. That is designed specifically for a more retail style presentation, because we see customers increasingly recognising the benefit of strong, visible presentation at the point of sale.” “We are also investing in our website. Will it become the dominant relationship route with our customers? I don’t believe so, but it is an important tool for our customers to understand what we offer, check availability, and simplify many of the transactional elements.” “Coming back to things that did surprise me about the industry, is the need for traceability back through the supply chain and the certificates that are increasingly required, even for the simplest products. Having a slick, digital way of providing that, which eliminates the need to search a paper filing system, is crucial.”
We’ve spent GB£300,000 installing Modular vertical storage lifts, so that a space that historically held 500 SKUs now holds 6,500.”
“We are also investing in our warehouse technology. It’s all very well saying we are building our ranges, but the warehouse does not have infinitely elastic walls. We’ve spent GB£300,000 installing Modular vertical storage lifts, so that a space that historically held 500 SKUs now holds 6,500. That not only enables us to grow the range, it also makes picking faster and more efficient – crucial when we offer an order cut-off at 17:30, and the last truck leaves at 22:00.” “Some of what we do is inevitably responsive, whether to identified customer needs or competitive activity. Mainly, however, it is about defining what we intend to be and implementing what we need to achieve that. Where things are going well – reinforce them. Where they are going less well – change and improve. We are in business to make money, so wherever we can improve efficiency and improve service to our customers – that is a win-win situation.”
“We are in the fortunate position to be extremely well funded. Where we can genuinely see an investment has a return, there is no obstacle to grasping that opportunity – our shareholders are very supportive about investing to grow the business.” The summary for the future? “I would like to see us having as wide a range as we possibly can. Having a boringly reliable service and delivery. Being the easiest people to do business with – open and communicative.” “I would like to see us as a leader – doing the right thing. That’s very much at the core of the owners’ values – by our people, by our customers, by our suppliers, by the marketplace. We won’t cut corners; we will stick to a very clear set of business ethics. That’s how you grow a business in the long-term – and we definitely have a long-term strategy now.” “Above all, we intend continuing to grow. The business has been created through acquisition and it may well grow through acquisition again – but it will be the right businesses, and the right brands to take us forward as a wholesaler.” www.hexstone.co.uk
High-quality hardened steel nails Here Editor Will Lowry speaks to Jan-Willem van der Wijngaart, general sales manager at Don Quichotte B.V, about the hardened steel nails market and the challenges of being a Dutch manufacturer.
How has 2018 progressed so far and how did it differ from your perceptions at the beginning of the year?
“2018 has started very well and the last couple of months have also been promising. In fact, as a business we have performed positively over the last five years. We have been able to continuously increase our turnover with our installation products – mainly fixings for electrical installation work – and at the same time strengthen our position in the hardware/construction sector. Although our product range for electrical installation has grown rapidly, the construction products still remain very important to us. Hardened steel nails are our history and this range will continue to play a key role in the future. Like many companies one of our main challenges is to keep our necessary margins, which can be difficult with the continuously increasing costs from the purchasing side.”
Having a good offer includes so much more than just price. We want to offer products that have great features and include advantages. Besides that, the packaging, labelling and road to the customer is important, as is the easy way of ordering and handling questions To ensure we are supplying the products customers’ need we have a dynamic and experienced team of salespeople regularly visiting our customers around the world. Since we are supplying customers in more than 70 countries this is an intensive and costly part of our sales strategy. However, because of that we have strong and long-term relations with our customers that also ensures we are developing and producing the products they need. We are also participating and visiting exhibitions seeing customers and keeping informed regarding market trends and requirements. Our sales team is being supported by product managers who are also doing market research and giving input to developing our product range.”
What does Don Quichotte see as the key developments in the nail sector in the next decade?
“This is a very difficult question… I have already worked for Don Quichotte for more than 15 years and even when I first started there were a lot of people who were telling me that the ‘hardened steel nail market is going to decrease rapidly’. However, we are still here. In fact, we have been able to keep volumes up and extend our product ranges and our customer base.
Don Quichotte continuously works on optimising the different stages of its production
What are the main advantages for customers using Don Quichotte products and how do you ensure you are supplying the products your customers need?
“Since we are a manufacturer we are able to control the whole process ourselves, which means we can continuously work on optimising the different stages to make them more efficient. Our products are all designed, developed and manufactured according to the following principle: High-quality products, with competitive prices, that are easy to use – resulting in time and cost savings during installation.
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INSIGHT It must be said a number of European manufacturers have closed and therefore capacities have reduced. On the other hand, there are new suppliers from eastern Europe and of course the Far East, so it is difficult to judge the overall situation. I would like to stress that we focus on producing high-quality nails for professional markets and applications. Our customers are leading importers/wholesalers and OEM/industry customers that have strong positions in their own countries. We wish to support our customers as much as possible offering a product that is suitable to them and perfectly fits their strategy/philosophy.”
What goals has Don Quichotte set for the next 5 – 10 years? What opportunities and challenges lie ahead?
“We aim to further increase our product range for several sectors – offering our customers a bigger choice, as well as products that offer advantages to their customers (the end users). Of course, we plan to further increase our turnover and invest more in the business to remain a reliable partner to our customers and to be an attractive company to do business with. In all sectors digitalisation is a big and inevitable issue and naturally we are also working on this. For instance, we have recently invested in a new automatic Weighpack packing line that has helped increase the efficiency of our packing department. We believe that further automatisation and robotisation will become an essential part of our work.
Don Quichotte recently introduced a new Weighpack packing line
As for opportunities and challenges, currently in large parts of the world the economy is going well, which is positive for construction and therefore our industry. At the same time there are various threats around the world and nobody knows if these are going to have a negative influence on the world economy, like for example the situation in Russia, Turkey, Iran, the Middle East or the USA boycott. Additionally, we are facing high raw material costs, with further increases being announced constantly. Being a manufacturer of high-quality products means we are also using high-quality raw materials. In this respect we must ensure a constant and stable availability. It is also getting harder and harder to find the right people for the work we offer. It seems that less people are interested to work for example in production, so we have to train people and make sure we are an attractive employer.”
Which will be the pivotal global markets for Don Quichotte and why?
“The most significant markets for us are in western Europe and some overseas countries. Since we are supplying products for several sectors like construction, electrical installation or sanitary installation, it basically depends on the product/market combination. The German market is vital for our range of electrical products whereas plumbing products sell very well in our home market – the Netherlands. Hardened steel nails/masonry nails are still popular and are being used around the world.” www.don-quichotte.com
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THREAD INSERT SYSTEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Bordo Europe Industry Source for Thread Insert Systems & Solutions
Locking keys Inserts available in Miniature, Thin Wall, Heavy Duty & Solid
External thread to suit standard tap sizes Insert available in Stainless AISI303 or Carbon Steel C1215 Dovetail groove for captive locking key
Loksert threaded inserts have pre-assembled dovetailed locking keys which are driven into the parent material to create a positive mechanical lock against rotation. This makes Lokserts ideal for applications where there is heavy wear and vibration such as the transport industry, mining, earthmoving and military equipment. They are used in high volume OEM applications such as railway carriages, transmission housings and suspension units, particularly in low strength materials like aluminium alloys. Lokserts are also used to repair broken or damaged threads.
Bordo Europe BVBA Industrieweg 2, 9200 Dendermonde, Belgium Tel: +32 52 412110 Fax: +32 52 410753 Email: email@example.com
ZAGO – high-tech fasteners and components US-based ZAGO Manufacturing Company Inc opened 25 years ago and has quickly positioned itself as a key manufacturer and supplier for contaminant-free high-tech fasteners and components – using its custom production facility.
AGO is located in Newark, New Jersey’s transportation hub, and can serve customers in the USA by plane, rail and truck, as well as globally via the Port of Elizabeth – one of the largest shipping centres in the world. The main products ZAGO is known for are self-sealing high-tech fasteners and sealing switch boots. Self-sealing fasteners include screws, bolts and nuts that are engineered with a groove under the head of the fastener or in the body of the nut – combined with a rubber O-ring which, when tightened, forms a leak-proof seal against the incursion and expulsion of liquids and gasses. ZAGO fasteners are also pressure resistant to a minimum of 1,500psi. ZAGO fasteners can be produced in a wide variety of metals including stainless steel and steel alloys, titanium, brass and monel. The rubber O-rings with which the fasteners are combined are also available in a variety of material depending upon the environment in which the sealing is meant to take place – including silicone, fluorosilicone, viton, neoprene and EPDM. In addition, ZAGO manufactures rubber switch boots for toggle, pushbutton and rotary switches, as well as covers for larger electrical switches in both rubber and ZAGO’s crystal sealing material. “Our sealing fasteners and components are used in hundreds of industries all over the world,” points out Jackie Luciano, vice-president of manufacturing operations at ZAGO. “Although originally a part manufactured for the military and aerospace industries, today we customise high-tech fasteners and components for diverse
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manufacturing sectors, such as: Automotive, construction, commercial outdoor lighting, medical devices – including kidney dialysis machines, undersea robotics, alternative transportation and energy, food production and electronic enclosures.” ZAGO works with engineers and distributors throughout the world, including North and South America, the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia to put its custom, sustainable products in the hands of innovative manufacturers, ranging from Tesla, Ferrari and Apple to GE Energy, HP and L3 Communications. “These industries have discovered the importance of combining fastening and sealing in one component for protecting critical equipment from environmental hazards and protecting the environment from contamination by equipment leaks,” says Jackie. “With 25 years in the business, we intrinsically understand that in today’s competitive market, embracing change and responding to customers’ needs regardless of where they are in the world, or in the supply chain, is critical. Our engineering, production, distribution and client service teams work seamlessly together and welcome engineers’ toughest production challenges, as they view these challenges as opportunities to accelerate innovation.” Additionally, ZAGO has worked diligently to achieve a nearly zero rejection rate. This advantage is critical as manufacturers are ever more sensitive to market conditions and to providing needed equipment ‘just in time’ to satisfy customer demand.
ZAGO is proud to be certified to ISO 9001:2015 by NADCAP registered DEKRA and has lowered its rejection rate to very near zero over the past five years despite seeing double-digit growth in orders over the same time period. By using its own intuitive descriptive part numbering system, and working closely with customers when they order custom parts, the company can ensure customers consistently receive exactly what they need when they need it. “The great companies that make up the customer base of ZAGO’s distribution partners know they can rely on our high-tech sealing components to protect their high value assets from internal and external pressure, environmental threats and other hazards,” states Jackie. “They also know that ZAGO’s products meet the strict demands for non-hazardous environmentally friendly components per the EU’s REACH and RoHS standards as well as California’s Prop 65.” As it’s customers’ needs become more demanding, ZAGO is prepared to meet the challenge of providing more sophisticated hardware through the use of computer assisted design and CNC machining, as well as incorporating best manufacturing practices into every aspect of its business. Throughout its 25 years in business, a key part of the company’s success has been its continuous innovation, with ZAGO constantly developing highly sophisticated machinery and at the same time innovating with respect to its production methods and processes. “We pride ourselves on being an established company with the heart of a start-up that can embrace each challenge an ever-changing market, as well as manufacturing and environmental conditions, pose,” says Jackie. “We understand that new ideas can come from almost everywhere and we take great pride in our ability to assimilate information from the many industries we serve – and to learn where our customers’ needs are going and where their next challenges are coming from. This means that we can be prepared to meet their needs even before they know they exist. In the next 3 to 5 years we see our key products becoming the standard for high-tech fastening as more equipment manufacturers realise they can’t rely on ordinary fasteners to protect highly sophisticated and expensive equipment.”
Planning for continued growth
Over the last five years ZAGO’s sales have increased steadily, with the company reporting double-digit growth year-on-year. “Our growth has come in the most sustainable way possible, not by relying on one big customer for the lion’s share of our sales, but by establishing ourselves as a reliable partner for the fastener industry’s most respected OEMs and distributors,” points out Jackie. “Over the next 5 to 10 years we expect to see continued growth in demand as industries become more committed to protecting their valuable assets by using our products.” ZAGO’s goals to meet this continued growth are to use Lean strategies to streamline its processes; increase productivity through automation; educate its work force further through vocational, community college, undergraduate and graduate programmes – so that they are prepared to meet future challenges; and increase its commitment to its mission of environmental conservation and giving back to the community through volunteerism, advocacy, education, funding and other donations. “We will also continue to embrace Industry 4.0 by taking advantage of developments in automation and data exchange to more seamlessly answer the demands of customers through Electronic Data Interface, the introduction of a state of the art ERP system and the use of robotics and automation where suitable in our production processes,” concludes Jackie. “We are constantly inspired by new developments in technology and welcome the opportunity to accelerate innovation for engineers and distributors worldwide.” www.zago.com
New CEO to steer fresh era of innovation Nord-Lock Group has announced the appointment of Fredrik Meuller as CEO, as of 1st June 2018, with the aim to build on the double-digit growth achieved by his predecessor Ola Ringdahl – all the while continuing to uphold the Group’s core values of protecting lives and customer investments.
ord-Lock Group has made a name for itself delivering high-quality products and engineering expertise to major companies spanning a host of industries all over the world. But far from believing that the Group has reached its peak, new CEO Fredrik Meuller sees an abundance of opportunities to expand the Group and become even more innovative. “I’m very pleased to have joined Nord-Lock Group,” says Meuller. “It’s a market leader and pioneer within secure bolting solutions and has achieved tremendous growth and profitability over the past few years. The Group is now entering a very exciting phase in its development and there are many attractive opportunities to further accelerate its growth.” Nord-Lock Group is comprised of four distinct brands: Nord-Lock wedge-locking technology, Superbolt multi-jackbolt tensioning, Boltight hydraulic bolt tensioning, and Expander System pivot pin technology. Wholly owned by Investment AB Latour, the Group has evolved from the first brand Nord-Lock, which began operations in 1982, to its latest acquisition, Expander System.
Bringing a wealth of industrial experience
As a veteran of the industrial sector, Meuller brings the knowledge and faculty necessary to advance Nord-Lock Group to the next level. He spent 16 years in various functions at the engineered polymer giant, Trelleborg Group, the last six of which he spent as business area president for Trelleborg Offshore & Construction. There, he was a driving force in the globalisation of the business area and the development of customer offerings. Reflecting on his experiences within global business, Meuller recognises an important dynamic for the Group’s growth potential. “Nord-Lock Group is in an exciting evolutionary phase, and I very much like the entrepreneurial spirit that already exists within the company.” This entrepreneurial spirit is what triggered the rapid growth of Nord-Lock Group and transformed it from being the small Swedish originator and manufacturer of wedge-locking washers to a technological leader providing multiple innovative bolt securing solutions, as well as personalised engineering services to a global client base.
Finding solutions to challenges
Meuller does not only view this as an invigorating time for Nord-Lock Group but also for the bolt securing sector as a whole, which he says plays an impressive role within many industries. “You don’t always realise all the applications that bolt securing systems contribute to in your daily life, but it’s amazing when you really start to think about it,” says Mueller. “I think it’s very exciting that despite perhaps being small in size, these innovative bolting solutions are really key for all the applications in which they are used.” However, Nord-Lock Group’s new CEO also views numerous challenges on the horizon including people opting for products that put the lives of workers and the public at risk. “Saving lives and saving valuable assets, that’s what it’s all about,” explains Mueller. “I think the industry as a whole must make a stronger effort to inform people so they’re most likely to change their work habits and select smarter and safer products for their applications.”
Celebrating high-quality products and services
Under Meuller, Nord-Lock Group will continue to produce high-quality products and services that not only meet the strict standards of external testing and certification bodies but also of its clients. “We should continue to be confident about the quality of the products and services that we deliver to our customers,” mentions Mueller. “Our products undergo vigorous laboratory testing, which helps us stand apart in the marketplace. But in my opinion, there’s a bigger reason to focus on quality – saving people’s lives and the important
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investments of our customers and partners. I think that’s a fantastic mission to have for any company and I think that’s something all our employees should be very proud of.”
Paving the way for the Group
Nord-Lock Group’s commitment to high-quality, reliability and safety is what Meuller believes has created the perfect environment for accelerated growth. “The Group has been on an exciting journey, which will definitely continue, whether it’s expanding our geographic reach, delivering high-quality products, increasing efficiency, or acquiring knowledge to continuously innovate in our product development.” As part of Nord-Lock Group’s focus on growth in major markets, Meuller wants to increase support for customers and partners at a local level. This entails opening new sales offices around the world and building teams of knowledgeable sales engineers and product experts, such as the recent expansions in Germany, India and South America. The move will significantly boost product availability and provide enhanced delivery services for customers. Nord-Lock Group also continues to transform its production processes through digitisation. This will increase service support for customised solutions through innovative design and application development. With customer needs a priority, the Group will further invest in smart digital tools that boost efficiency, such as ‘Torquelator by Nord-Lock®’. One thing that will remain the same is the need for safe bolted joints across all applications and industries. Despite the boundless possibilities, Meuller is adamant that the Group never becomes complacent and continues working hard to raise the bar within the bolting industry. “We see the bolting industry and our customers’ needs and challenges constantly evolving. We need to continuously improve our efficiency and productivity as well as to innovate – we need to stay light on our feet and move fast.” www.nord-lock.com
THE COMPLETE PACKAGE CONSISTENT. RELIABLE. EFFICIENT.
Mainland Europe Germany firstname.lastname@example.org
UK + Ireland United Kingdom email@example.com
Spain + Portugal Portugal firstname.lastname@example.org
Asia China email@example.com
EFDA brings them together in Rotterdam The European Fastener Distributor Association staged its sixth triennial conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. One hundred and twenty delegates and international guests attended a tightly organised and convivial event that demonstrated the membership growth, increasing relevance and expanding global reach of EFDA.
t its pre-conference ‘Assembly of Delegates’ from the national associations that comprise EFDA, Dr Volker Lederer was unanimously re-elected as president for a further two year term, and Gian-Marco Dalpane from the Italian distributors association, UDIB, was elected, also unanimously, as the new EFDA vice-president.
The conference was hosted at the stylish Mainport Hotel, on the banks of the River Maas – appropriately located, as Dr Lederer said in his welcoming address, not just in the major sea container port of Europe, but also the home city of Robert Klaassen, president of the Dutch fastener importers association, NEVIB, which co-hosted the event.
Robert Klaassen, president of NEVIB
Dr Volker Lederer, president of EFDA
FASTENER DISTRIBUTION Reiterating EFDA’s core commitment to free and fair global trade, Dr Lederer detailed how the organisation had grown strongly, substantially increased its activities and extended its international connections. He noted that: “EFDA represents an industry that is no longer a simple box shifter. We are now a strategic contributor that literally holds European industry together; investing in equipment, connectivity and people to effectively manage complex global supply chains.” There were, he said: “More than 2,000 major fastener distribution companies across Europe, employing more than 44,000 skilled people and holding more than €2 billion of inventory, in order to supply more than 130,000 different items, worth more than €10 billion every year.” The level of EFDA’s representation has certainly grown. Newly created NEVIB joined in 2014 and, two years ago, UDIB rejoined EFDA to a resounding welcome from its fellow national associations. MEFDA, which provides representation to fastener distributors in countries where there is not a national association, has also expanded quickly, with members now from seven countries. “The more we are the stronger we are,” asserted Dr Lederer. EFDA’s strength and activity was vital, he explained, in an international geo-political situation that has become more insecure and unstable. “We are living in a period of increasing protectionism, driven by a country that we never expected to jeopardise free trade.” He went on: “We face increasing trade barriers across the Atlantic Ocean and we fear the WTO might lose
its weight in ensuring free and fair international trade.” Within the EU, BREXIT also raised concerns: “With the UK leaving the club, the EU is taking a more protectionist way.” Dr Lederer was emphatic: “Free access to all global procurement markets must be maintained.” He committed EFDA to “continually and consistently present its arguments to European politicians and administrators”, and to “continue to increase our presence at international fairs and conferences and to engage with fastener associations outside Europe”. In that context, Dr Lederer welcomed senior representatives from the China Fastener Industry Association and the Korea Federation of Fastener Industry Cooperatives; together with longstanding friends from the TIFI and TFTA from Taiwan, the NFDA from the US, and the EIFI.
Strong line-up of speakers
Wolfgang Mueller, head of the general policy unit at DG Trade, European Commission, took as his theme: ‘We never step into the same river twice’. The 2,500 year old quotation from Heraclitus of Ephesus, said Mr Mueller, was truer today than ever. Previously trade policy and negotiations had been the province of technical specialists and largely unnoticed by politicians and media. “However, things have changed,” starting with the attention attracted by the attempted negotiation of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Further contention emanated, Mr Mueller said, from the Trump administration’s deep aversion to multilateral trade agreements, now influencing US attitude to WTO accords. “The United States has started,” he explained, “a wave of investigations that cannot be reconciled with WTO rules.” Exploring the implications of the US ‘Section 232’ investigation he outlined the EU response: Initiating dispute proceedings at the WTO, introducing rebalancing measures, and initiating a safeguarding investigation on steel and aluminium, the latter reflecting concerns product might be diverted to EU markets. All EU actions, he emphasised, meticulously followed WTO rules.
Wolfgang Mueller, head of unit, DG Trade, European Commission
“Another game changer in trade policy is the advent of China,” Mr Mueller said. “China’s economic policy raises globally many concerns.” He reiterated EU adherence to WTO rules. However, he went onto say, after a period of very little positive developments from the WTO, there was a need to update the old rules, albeit a “difficult and challenging path”. Mr Mueller emphasised EU efforts to open Asian markets to European businesses through an ambitious programme of free trade agreement negotiations, citing agreements with Japan, Korea and Singapore. Speaking of the need for fairness in trade relationships, he turned to the modernisation of EU trade defence instruments, detailing changes brought into force on 7 th June. These changes,
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he argued, were good for EU business, were stronger and more effective and reflected EU values. Shorter investigation periods were beneficial to all EU businesses, be they manufacturers or importers. Particularly relevant to the audience, was his description of how the EU could now decide, where it identified significant distortions in the exporting market, not to apply the lesser duty rule – with the potential for higher trade defence duties. He also noted, in regard to the ‘pre-disclosure’ of impending provisional duties, that this clause had been opposed by the European Parliament and that there was provision for its review and possible elimination if stockpiling was detected.
Ronald Roosdorp, director international trade policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Dr Bart Kuipers, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Dr Bart Kuipers, of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, concluded the session with a fascinating insight to the Port of Rotterdam, its history, extraordinary scale and geographic expanse, and freight throughput. He too, explored challenges faced by the Port, and identified measures it needed to take, ranging from digital innovation to become: “The Smartest Port”, through making it more environmentally responsible, and attracting investment for the future of Rotterdam city.
The manufacturers’ viewpoint
The second speaker was Mr Ronald Roosdorp, director for international trade policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands. He rapidly won the audience’s attention with a lively and sometimes ironic reflection on the state of world trade. “The system is broken,” he said, adding: “I would not say it is beyond repair, but it needs a good fix.” Some of his presentation inevitably overlapped with that of Mr Mueller, but there was a distinctively Dutch take on the issues. Identifying challenges, Mr Roosdorp, said, “there are many, but I want to mention three – the WTO, China and the United States”. He went on: “I could easily have added BREXIT, which is a huge problem.” While the latter’s challenges were political and legal he emphasised the practical problems of needing more customs officials and port space to hold trucks during inspection, none of which had been a previous consideration. He also expressed a regret. “We the Netherlands, as one of the most trade liberal economies in the EU, are losing an important ally.” On the WTO he pointed out that the so-called Doha rounds of negotiation had already gone on for 18 years, adding “even when these are completed we would only have solved the problems of the last century”. New issues, such as e-commerce, had not even begun to be discussed. Nevertheless, he illustrated graphically on a slide, the alternative to a functioning WTO was a ‘spaghetti ball’ of bilateral trade agreements. On anti-dumping, the Dutch position Mr Roosdorp emphasised, was: “Protection, not protectionism”. Only in cases of predatory dumping should reasonable dumping duties be applied, and they should take into account the interest of user industries. In a gently caustic consideration of the potential for US-EU trade wars, he argued the EU should: “Maintain dialogue, defend economic interest, stand for the WTO, protect EU if necessary, address root causes and maintain dialogue.” With remarkable agility, Mr Roosdorp acknowledged that the double inclusion of ‘maintain dialogue’ was an accident but was particularly appropriate as “we need the dialogue to be maintained from the beginning to the end”.
It is customary for the presidents of the EIFI and EFDA to address each organisation’s conference. Anders Karlsson opened by saying it was his third but final appearance as he would retire from the EIFI presidency after ten years. While the audience might not entirely agree with Mr Karlsson’s interpretation of some issues, few could fail to appreciate his wry humour and occasionally off-beat delivery. He reviewed a number of important EIFI initiatives and work programmes, many of which are now detailed on the Institute’s new web page, www.eifi.org, on which said Mr Karlsson: “The only thing that has not changed is the 15 year old photograph of myself, because I looked a lot better then than I do now!”
Anders Karlsson, president of EIFI
A key priority is the further development of EIFI’s Wire Rod Index, key to demonstrating the impact of raw material cost changes on fasteners. A version is publicly available on the German Deutscher Schraubenverband website, but the EIFI is now also strengthening the integrity of the report by working with independent subscription research service, The Steel Index. Mr Karlsson referred to work previously carried out jointly with EFDA to update the Combined Nomenclature coding for fasteners, which led to a recommendation to the European Commission in 2011. The Commission, he said, had just come back to say it was minded to accept the recommendation, so the EIFI would review whether it was still appropriate. Mr Karlsson believed it would prove so and would deliver better statistical understanding of EU fastener imports and exports.
FASTENER DISTRIBUTION Using Eurostat data from 2016, Mr Karlsson argued that the removal of anti-dumping duties on China had driven down the average price of the fasteners involved. “I don’t know what the European Commission will make of it,” he said archly, but did acknowledge that imports had not reverted to 2006-7 levels. He shared some research discussed by EIFI members at their recent Congress in Croatia. Concerns included the risk of trade wars and the unpredictable US foreign policy. “The old game rules… are not valid any more when we talk about trade and relationships between nations.” Nevertheless, research based on responses from some sixty EIFI member companies, showed the European manufacturing industry remained fairly confident about profitability, although the index reading had eased a little compared with 2017. The industry certainly, he said, is continuing to invest in new technologies and capacity “at a good pace”. Uppermost amongst challenges is the upward cost trend in raw materials and the difficulties in getting major customer sectors to accept that they needed to be passed on. “We cannot as an industry,” he said, “absorb the €200 per tonne increases in raw material we have experienced recently”. There were other challenges in relationship to some business practices adopted by major OEMs; and demands for “yearly productivity improvement” really translated into constant cost-down pressure. Regarding the future, he repeated previously expressed views: “Companies are getting global, the bigger ones are getting bigger – that trend of consolidation definitely continues. The small ones will survive because they will find niches and they are agile. Those in the middle, they have a problem.” He also noted the changing landscape of fastener manufacturing ownership, with major acquisitions in Europe by both Chinese and Taiwan corporations, although he emphasised that “Europe was also moving strongly into the United States”. His final analysis: “It is about being global because our customers are global.”
New Conference Forum
The forum provided the audience with a comprehensive insight to global raw material trends. European wire rod costs had risen by around €100/tonne in the first quarter 2018, following a similar level of increase in 2017. In China, government policies restricting winter steel production, combined with the long-term elimination of some low-grade output, had irrevocably changed the steel production market. Prices increased sharply in 2017 Q4 and were now stabilising at higher levels.
Joe Chen, past president of TIFI
The long-term cooperation between Taiwan’s China Steel Corporation and its domestic fastener industry, meant greater stability in material costs, making it “perhaps very lucky” said Joe Chen, who reckoned 2018 H1 increases equated to around US$40/tonne.
Phil Matten, executive editor at Fastener + Fixing Magazine, moderating the Conference Forum
Mr Hansung Jung, chairman of KFFIC
With the objective of bringing together, in a limited timeframe, all of the global fastener perspectives of the conference participants, EFDA introduced a new Conference Forum, with Fastener + Fixing Magazine’s Phil Matten acting as moderator. The panellists, representing fastener associations from Europe, China, Korea, Taiwan and the United States, tackled issues ranging from raw material trends, through global economic conditions and the risks of protectionism, to developments in vehicle powertrains, and how to encourage young skilled employees into the fastener industry.
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Korean fastener producers had experienced significant wire cost increases in October 2017 and again in April 2018, Mr Hansung Jung reported. Increases from Japanese steel mills had been sharper, due to shortages of supply in the domestic market. For the United States, NFDA’s Adam Pratt said: “It’s painful!” Wire rod costs increased as soon as President Trump announced plans for tariffs, with further inflation as they were brought in. Fastener manufacturers needing to source special steels from Canada, now incurred a tariff-driven 25% price increase.
Adam Pratt, NFDA, and the Conference Forum panel
Alexander Kolodzik (EFDA), Ivan Lee and Jimmy Chang (TFTA)
The consensus was carbon steel costs were less likely to increase significantly in the second half 2018. However, as Volker Lederer explained, stainless steel was different. Sustained increases in nickel costs had been driven by a major fall in nickel inventories. A continued market deficit was expected through 2018, and in the context of strong global stainless steel demand, costs for fastener producers could be expected to continue to rise.
Fastener industry trends
Panel views were consistent that the global fastener industry has enjoyed a busy start to 2018.
Ivan Lee, speaking for TFTA Chairman Jimmy Chang, said the Taiwanese fastener industry expects the balance of 2018 to be stable, with perhaps marginal growth. Longer term it was concerned that increased global protectionism could put pressure on its fastener industry. Adam Pratt provided a thoughtful and balanced insight into current US trade defence actions, relating it to historic experiences, from which the current administration recognised the risk of material-targeted tariffs generating rapid growth in imported finished goods. He concurred that “everyone has been incredibly busy so far in 2018”. However, he noted that the NFDA’s analysis of economic trend data indicated a slowing growth curve for 2018, lending credibility to forecasts the US could experience mild recessionary conditions later.
Vehicle powertrain developments
For Anders Karlsson, “there is no short term alternative in meeting CO2 targets to the modern diesel engine”. He added: “The diesel has taken a lot of hits it does not deserve,” with the automotive industry having only itself to blame. Looking forward he said: “Everybody believes in the electric vehicle. It is coming, but it is not coming that quick.” Big changes were unlikely in the next five years. Mr Jung expressed concern that the trend towards EVs would impact fastener manufacturers but saw the longer term development of autonomous vehicles and changes in car usage, as threatening a more significant decline in automotive fastener demand. Mr Xue concurred that movement away from traditional diesels would impact demand for high-end fasteners. Fasteners required in new energy vehicles, while numerous, were less technical and could be produced by many more fastener plants. He saw opportunities for the adhesives industry but longer term less favourable conditions for traditional fastener enterprises.
Mr Xue Kangsheng, president of China Fastener Industry Association
Mr Xue Kangsheng confirmed growth in Chinese fastener exports and saw stable development in the Chinese manufacturing industry. He explained structural transformations being driven in the Chinese fastener industry, including greater emphasis on innovation-led, intelligent and environmentally responsible, manufacturing.
FASTENER DISTRIBUTION The audience contributed actively to this topic. The Polish market, it was noted, was heavily populated with older diesel engine vehicles, creating additional pressure for change. Published research suggests change will be driven by initiatives to improve air quality in cities and from expectations of younger people. By 2030, it was suggested, 35% of vehicle production will be electric or hybrid powered, but with a 4:1 ratio in favour of the latter. Widespread fully autonomous vehicle usage appeared improbable in the next 30 years, but usage within city zones was far more likely in half that time.
Time for relaxed networking
The conference concluded with a cocktail reception, hosted by NEVIB, and a convivial dinner on the 16th floor of the hotel, where guests were treated to a splendid view across the night time Rotterdam skyline.
Fastener industry skills
“Fasteners is not a very sexy business,” opened Volker Lederer. “Both in manufacturing and distribution it is difficult to attract good potential employees, especially as economies are currently booming.” FDS, the German fastener distributors’ association, had recently set up a ‘Junior Group’ for younger business people to discuss these issues and try to find modern ways to enhance the attraction of the fastener sector. Mr Xue believed that the growth of technology in manufacturing, marketing and logistics compelled recognition of the importance of human resources. He agreed that the fastener industry was not first choice for the youth generation, but outlined proactive measures from the CFIA, working closely with educational institutions, to change these perceptions. It was also, he noted, crucial to incentivise skilled workers and talented management professionals to stay in the fastener industry. Mr Jung also agreed technology and automation was driving the need for highly skilled recruits and outlined some of the measures the Korean fastener industry was taking in preparation for the Industry 4.0 revolution. In a strongly family-owned Taiwan industry, said Joe Chen, there was long-term experience of younger family members working in other fastener companies to broaden their skills base, for the benefit of their own family company and the industry as a whole. Adam Pratt believed that “as associations in the industry we have got a really good opportunity to positively affect this issue in each of our own home regions”. He described how regional and national associations in the USA supported the Fastener Training Institute to provide an intensive, one-week fastener course. However, he added: “I take issue with the fastener industry not being sexy, although we say it in the US too. We are working with Tesla, with Apple, with Daimler – really cool companies doing great things, and we are part of that.” To general applause he concluded: “We need to change our message and recognise we do some pretty cool stuff too.” It fell to Anders Karlsson for the final thought: “It takes a year to train a header operator and as an industry we must work harder to keep them and continue to develop them.” Bulten Polska, he said, had recently been recognised by the Polish president as the most employee friendly company in Poland. Even the cleaners are fully contracted employees he said. “That’s the way you keep your people. Invest trust in them and they will give trust back.”
EFDA conference programme
Sponsored and compiled by Fastener + Fixing Magazine the twenty page programme booklet contributed to the professionalism of an excellently organised event. For those unable to attend the conference it provides information from each participating association – guest organisations as well as EFDA members – and an insight to market conditions in each of their countries. A PDF copy is available to download from www.fastenerandfixing.com/efda-2018.pdf
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Looking to source a new supplier?
Fasteners for distributors Since its establishment in 1982, Fastbolt has followed a simple business model – ‘fasteners for distributors’. Here Managing Director Ekkehard Beermann, explains what this means in practice and how the Group has developed to become a leading player within the distribution sector. What is the Fastbolt distribution structure and how do you coordinate your inventories, logistics and sales strategy?
“Within Europe we have divided Fastbolt’s sales territory into three areas and in each of these areas we have a warehouse serving the market. The first company in the Fastbolt Group history was Fastbolt UK in Milton Keynes, which was established in 1982, and takes care of the UK and Irish market. Fastbolt Germany was created in 1992 and is responsible for the entire mainland European market. In 2013, we decided to set-up another warehouse in the south-west of Europe – in Portugal – called FB Iberica. This company serves the Portuguese and Spanish markets. In addition, we have a presence in the Asian manufacturing market – on the supply side. We have one trading company in Shanghai, China, and we have our Fastener Quality Centre (FQC) that carries out inspections. Regarding inventories, we have a centralised purchasing office – which is located in Germany – where purchasing decisions are taken for all the stock orders we place in the Far East. Our centralised purchasing team places the orders directly to our suppliers in Asia and shipments are despatched from the Asian manufacturers to our different warehouse locations in Europe. This way we have a consistent and coordinated product range in the different warehouses – with some differences based on popularity. For instance, there is greater demand for UNC/UNF dimensions in the UK than in mainland Europe – so those products are held only in the UK. If we need any then we will serve ourselves from the UK warehouse. Other than that, most of the products go directly from the Far East to the three different warehouses.”
You mention a presence in Asia and the FQC; why is it important for the Group to have this presence?
“In our business model we believe it is as important to be close to your suppliers as it is to be close to your customers. We are not in a pure selling business, we are in a trading business and part of trading is to buy. To do this it is very beneficial to have a permanent presence in Asia, because the Asian supply market is very big and constantly developing. That is why we have our trade company in Shanghai, so that our team can work directly with the market and fulfil certain jobs and services for us as a Group. We set up the FQC, as a 50/50 joint venture with another distribution company, to give us the opportunity to carry out pre-shipment inspections before the product leaves for Europe. By carrying out this first level of incoming goods inspection we can check the quality of the goods at source. From the very beginning we strove to achieve ISO 17025 certification for FQC, in order to carry out third party testing, which we were successful in doing. Today, we have a very solid base of customers who use FQC as their external quality lab in China.”
Is quality still a key selling point or is it now expected as standard?
We can guarantee this consistency in quality through the careful selection of suppliers – followed by continual assessment, training and development of the suppliers.” 60 FASTENER + FIXING MAGAZINE // ISSUE 112 JULY 2018
“It is expected as standard, but it is also not easy to keep it on a consistent level. That is why we invest in the consistency of the quality and why we say no to certain opportunities in the supply market – as they may threaten the reliability of our product quality. We can guarantee this consistency in quality through the careful selection of suppliers – followed by continual assessment, training and development of the suppliers. We ensure all suppliers fulfil the quality requirements of our customers. At the same time, a key element in ensuring consistency is to keep supplier relationships strong and long-lasting and not to jump around too much in the supply market.
To watch the exclusive video interview with Ekkehard Beermann visit www.fastenerandfixing.com FASTENERANDFIXING.COM
FASTENER DISTRIBUTION When it comes to the shipments, our first check point is through the FQC in Asia. When the goods arrive in our warehouses we also carry out goods-in inspection. This combination of two different levels of incoming inspection enables us to highlight potential problems and weaknesses of products early and rectify them. We can do this because all quality related aspects of our business are coordinated through a dedicated software system solution.”
What makes Fastbolt different in the market? What services have become crucial?
“Apart from our business principle – only selling to distributors – quality has always been a fundamental element of our business. In addition to this reliable and assured quality, the processing and handling of the products have played and more of a key role in our business strategy. Logistic solutions for fasteners are, in many cases, related to packing and handling the product and we can offer all sorts of customised packing solutions. We also offer different stock concepts, different types of drop shipments, direct container shipments – a really flexible set of options to meet individual needs. This is all based on providing a logistics solution that helps to increase efficiency. However, as market requirements change, these services will also need to change. We see this in many areas, such as quality and in documentation, in processing and handling, as well as in information technology. The requirements of the market are constantly developing, and the services distributors need are different today than ten years ago – and in ten years it will be different again. Our business and logistics solutions, along with the key products and services we can provide, help differentiate us from the rest of the market.”
How has 2018 progressed so far and how much of an impact has the fluctuations in raw material prices and currency exchange rates had on the market?
“It has been very challenging so far both on the selling as well as on the buying side. On the selling side we see the European market demanding a lot and growth is strong. On the buying side it is becoming more complicated to respond to those strong demands in Europe. Prices have been going up consistently through the last two years and so has the delivery time. We now have certain products that are only available to
Europe in 8 – 10 months from placing the order in the Far East. This can make it difficult to respond to a very strong European demand. Fluctuations in raw material prices have also had a massive impact. The constant price inflation since March 2016 has had a really significant impact on standard fasteners because the raw material cost is a high proportion of the total cost of the goods. Another factor is the development of currencies and the high volatilities of the Euro versus the US dollar and local currencies in Asia. This was also what happened to the British pound after the BREXIT vote in the UK, which had a massive impact on the currency – and the currency had a 100% impact on the buying price of our product. To combat these fluctuations is very difficult and complex. You cannot predict any price development, in the way you maybe were able to 15 – 20 years ago. Nowadays the world changes fast and sometimes it only takes a tweet of several characters from one person to change the whole business world. We try to limit the risk in our buying and we try to plan ahead, but we still buy when we need product. We cannot usually hold back orders in the hope the price level will go down. You can pre-buy currency, which provides a degree of insurance, but as we place orders regularly at some stage a changed level of currency exchange rate will hit you.”
…it is very beneficial to have a permanent presence in Asia, because the Asian supply market is very big and constantly developing. That is why we have our trade company in Shanghai, so that our team can work directly with the market and fulfil certain jobs and services for us as a Group.” 62 FASTENER + FIXING MAGAZINE // ISSUE 112 JULY 2018
Another factor within the market has been the cancellation of the anti-dumping tariffs on carbon steel fasteners from China. How do you believe this has influenced the market?
“The cancellation of anti-dumping tariffs had a big impact on the market, but I think people expected it to have a bigger impact than it actually did. When China came back in March 2016 – after the EU withdrew the anti-dumping duties at the end of February – many people expected that China would take over the big volumes of standard fasteners, which they lost during the anti-dumping. In fact, the China in 2016 was very different to the China of 2008. The cost structure of the Chinese manufacturers had changed completely. This meant that the cost advantage they used to have is no longer there to the degree it used to be.”
How has the role of distributors changed in the last 5 – 10 years and how has Fastbolt adapted to provide support to its customers?
“I think the role of distributors has developed a lot and the requirements set to distribution companies from fastener consuming industries have grown exponentially. For instance, the level of documentation, transparency and traceability has rapidly grown over the years. At Fastbolt we see our role to fulfil these set requirements and we have to create systems and processes that will enable us to respond to them in the most efficient and effective manner. A big part of this will be technology, and we have already started to implement technology as a solution to answer those requirements.”
Digitisation is currently a hot topic within the industry. How has Fastbolt approached this area?
“We have been working on digitisation from an early stage, we came out with the first version of our e-commerce platform – FB online – back in 2005. At the time we found it helped customers to check availability and maybe also the price for the products we stock. From this we have developed a complete digital common ground with our customers where we exchange information processes. The customers not only get information, but they handle their business with Fastbolt through that platform. As we have added more features and functionality to the software we have made it more attractive, which has resulted in a huge increase in the number of users. We also now offer loyalty programmes and volume-based discounts, which customers can only enjoy on the e-commerce platform. The key challenge at the moment regarding digitisation is the resources we can commit to the area. We need more resources to program faster, to create more added value for our customers.”
As a European source for distributors, we will focus on increasing the efficiency and ease of buying at Fastbolt. We can achieve that through the application of technology and through upgrading our processes to be fully optimised.” With the increasing use of technology, what is the future role of the ‘human factor’ in business? Are there limits for digitisation?
“Of course there are limits, but we believe they will change constantly and what is not possible through digitisation today might be possible in five years from now. However, the ‘human factor’ will still play a major role in our business. What we try to achieve through digitisation is to release our employees to spend more quality time with customers, suppliers, and other business partners, and let the digitisation take care of processes that can be done even better and more efficiently through digitisation.”
What are Fastbolt’s plans for future growth?
“We have a specialised product range of less than 10,000 stock items and our biggest opportunity to grow in the future is to extend that product range up to 15,000 – 20,000 items. This could directly generate growth from the existing customer base in Europe. Another growth opportunity is to respond more proactively and precisely to exact customer product needs. That is why as a Group we emphasise the importance of communication with our customers. We visit them regularly and we have international sales people who take care of our customers. We try to learn as fast as possible what the requirements are and in which direction they might develop in the future. We then try and incorporate these requirements into our business strategy. A big challenge in generating sustainable growth is the unpredictable business environment. This means strategic planning is very important, we need to foresee a Plan B and Plan C, especially if the patterns in the market are changing. As a European source for distributors, we will focus on increasing the efficiency and ease of buying at Fastbolt. We can achieve that through the application of technology and through upgrading our processes to be fully optimised.” www.fastbolt.com
Fastener distribution, more than delivering screws As one of Europe’s leading distributors of fasteners and fixing technology, supplying industry and trade customers worldwide, REYHER was faced with what seemed an impossible task when it wanted to expand its stockholding. Based in Hamburg city centre there was no space for REYHER to build outwards, so it therefore decided to build… upwards.
fficially opened in June last year, REYHER’s double-level high bay warehouse is a striking 42 metres high, with the 110m long high-rack warehouse now covering eight floors and divided horizontally – meaning that the two levels work independently of one another. An additional 40,000 pallet places created by the new warehouse has extended REYHER’s total capacity to an eye-watering 100,000 pallet places, and 120,000 bin places. REYHER stocks a wide product range in all common dimensions, sizes, and coatings, from its dedicated reputable manufacturers. In addition to standard fasteners, REYHER also supplies numerous non-standard items and has a total of more than 130,000 different items in stock. With notable daily incoming goods of roughly 1,000 pallets, and outgoing goods of 300 tonnes, the efficiency of REYHER’s logistics system is paramount. With a daily supply readiness of over 99%, the new fully automated warehouse has further supported the company’s customer delivery performance. REYHER’s central location means customers can choose a variety of different articles to be shipped in one delivery. Orders can be supplied to Germany within 24 hours, Europe within 48 hours, the USA in 1 – 2 days, Asia in 2 – 3 days and Africa in 3 – 5 days – depending on air freight and customs clearance.
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Whilst in the past ‘the product’ was a distributor’s sole focus – today it is more and more about the services alongside the product. “At REYHER we answer that demand with our added services such as ROM, RIO, RKP, REM,” explains Klaus-Dieter Schmidt, joint CEO at F. REYHER Nchfg GmbH & Co KG. “It is only those companies that consistently invest, that can meet the pace of ‘customer needs’.” One of these additional services is REYHER’s C-part management supply system ROM – REYHER Order Management, which it has offered since 1993 and enables the company to provide its customers with the most reliable supply procedures. Combinable modules, RFID technology, barcode systems, flexible labelling, and modern data interchange, form an all-round carefree package for seamless materials supply, which can be adapted precisely and flexibly to meet individual customer needs.
FA S T E N E R S & F I X I N G T E C H N O L O GY
With 130 years’ experience, REYHER is one of Europe’s leading distributors of fasteners and fixing technology supplying customers worldwide.
Reliable C-parts management “We’re offering more services than ever before so we’re doing so much more than delivering screws to customers. Our added services are one of the many benefits to ordering from REYHER,” explains Mr Schmidt. Added to this is REYHER’s consulting and technical expertise, and a dedicated REM – REYHER Engineering Management team consisting of qualified engineers and technicians. “Our support goes far beyond choosing the correct screw. We help our customers to standardise their own range of products and structure it more economically – we do not keep our knowledge and know-how to ourselves. That is why distributors such as REYHER are so important and have a vital role to play in the fastener supply chain,” explains Mr Schmidt. To further ensure customers’ full needs are being met, REYHER also offers individualised kitting and packaging services. RKP – REYHER Kitting & Packaging includes packaging design and labelling, as well as compiling items into sets or complex assembly kits that can be given a prioritised pack sequence as required. REYHER then despatches ‘just in time’ to the construction site, to production halls or wherever fasteners and fixing technology is needed.
130,000 items on stock 22,500 order positions per day 300 t goods issue per day Supply readiness of more than 99%
F. REYHER Nchfg. GmbH & Co. KG Haferweg 1 · 22769 Hamburg · Germany Phone +49 40 85363-0 firstname.lastname@example.org · www.reyher.de
FASTENER DISTRIBUTION The quality of these products is paramount, and REYHER has an on-site laboratory equipped with optical measurement, hardness testing, micro hardness testing, spectral analysis, salt spray testing and much more. Suppliers are classified according to how regularly, and extensive, tests on incoming goods should be to maintain the high-quality products REYHER’s customers have come to expect and rely on. Another recent investment from REYHER includes a tension testing machine, which enables the company to test screws up to M48 and has a pulling strength of 120 tonnes. Offering high-quality products and services is key to REYHER’s success – especially due to raw material trends and high market demand. “Raw material prices are rising and as a result our prices are having to reflect this. Delivery times from Asia also have increased – it can now take up to 12 months to get the stock into our warehouse. It’s therefore crucial that we can continue to offer an extensive range of services, in-depth product offer, and a company-wide drive to satisfy customers,” explains Mr Schmidt. Future-oriented, REYHER is always striving to optimise its services – most recently, for example, with its new ROM barcode scanner. The ROM – REYHER Order Management barcode scanner makes C-part management much more convenient and efficient with an Android operating system and high-resolution
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5 inch display. With the handheld scanner, ROM users can work ergonomically in many different positions with a sharp easy to read display and large keys that can be used whilst wearing protective gloves, often used in production and logistics or with wet hands. For more convenience the virtual scan head can also be placed in many positions on the user interface, and alternatively the user can use a hardware button on the side of the scanner. The articles scanned are then listed clearly on the display. By tapping the relevant function key and authorising with a password the order is triggered and sent directly to REYHER via a mobile radio connection. If required an order number can also be generated. It’s clear to see from visiting the impressive headquarters in Hamburg, that REYHER employees have a passion and pride for the state of the art technology the company continues to invest in. Through this technology and the commitment of its employees REYHER is able to provide its customers with a comprehensive range of products and added value service – ensuring its position as one of Europe’s leading distributors of fastener and fixing technology. “It is always important for us to look ahead and closely monitor the fastener market as a whole. This includes the impact on the market as a result of US action and the EU response, and also anti-dumping tariffs from the EU,” concludes Mr Schmidt. “We see that potential for growth exists for REYHER because our customers have a desire for more, whether that’s in quality, service, logistical solutions, or a more marketable product portfolio. We will continue to meet the pace of customer needs and focus on the German and European markets.” www.reyher.de
VIPA adds third high-bay warehouse Italian mega distributor VIPA is currently constructing its third high-bay automated warehouse, increasing its storage capacity by an additional 30,000 pallet spaces to 150,000 spaces in total – enabling it to further expand its product range and stock capability.
IPA SpA can supply over 65,000 different products including different sizes, coatings and materials. It moved to its current head office in Rolo, Emilia-Romagna, in 2001 and began with one high-bay warehouse, which was 135m long and 35m high and included 5 automated aisles. By 2007 the company had reached its warehouse capacity and needed to expand. It then added a second high-bay warehouse that was the same dimensions, but this time included 7 automated aisles – with all 12 aisles across both warehouses working in synchronisation to deliver the products to the pickers who then created the final order. Now VIPA is adding a third warehouse – again with the same dimensions – which will see the company increase its storage capacity by 25%. The new warehouse will also synchronise with the other two warehouses, but it will differ in the fact it will be fully automated. “There will be no manual movement of boxes in the new warehouse, with the system weighing incoming and outgoing pallets to make sure orders are correct and complete,” explains Gianluca Collepardo, export manager at VIPA. “Not having a human component regarding preparation is something completely new for us, but it is necessary to help improve the efficiency of the picking process.” The introduction of the new warehouse will mean VIPA has a totally automated 24hr system – the machines will be operational round the clock. At night the machines will work on optimising the goods spots; not only on the basis of actual orders, but also on probability of potential ones. Construction on the new high-bay automated warehouse is due to be completed by September 2018. “Originally the warehouse was scheduled to be completed by the end of summer,” points out Gianluca. “However, in recent months we have experienced terrible weather in this part of Italy, with a lot of storms and rain, which meant construction kept having to be put on hold. Hopefully, with the Italian summer now here, we will stay on track.”
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Gianluca is very much aware that having the construction complete and having the warehouse fully operational are two completely different things. “It is like a computer, at the moment we are just fitting the hardware, the next step is the software,” states Gianluca. “Everything will need to be tested and tested again. It is vital to make sure everything is working together perfectly.” Once construction is complete and tests have been carried out, the next step will be loading the goods into the correct locations, which VIPA hopes will be done before the end of the year. “We are planning to have filled the new warehouse, and have it fully operational, by Christmas 2018. It is important to have continuity with the customer and you need to be a stable supplier, so we do not want to rush introducing the warehouse until it is 100% effective. Our aim is to supply a wide range of products with a quick service and by increasing our warehouse capacity we can have a bigger stock, so whatever the customer needs, we have it.”
…as a big stock holder we already have an in-depth stock, so we can act as a pillow for the customer – gradually harmonising the price if there are fluctuations in the market…” Alongside the extra warehouse there will also be an additional area where shipping and preparation for Kanban will be based. VIPA will also move the entrance to the site to the opposite side of the building, so it connects directly with the main road – making it easier for trucks to gain access.
Close to customers
VIPA supplies both trade and industry, with end users accounting for 30% of the business and trade representing the remaining 70%. “We only work with the big end user companies, there needs to be a certain volume before we will work with an end user,” points out Gianluca. “The cost of supplying €10 of products is the same for us as supplying a pallet, which is why we have minimum order values and minimum item numbers.” In addition to its head office in Italy, VIPA has three divisions in Spain, France and Germany that act as fully operational companies with a reception, offices and stock. “We service these divisions from the main head office here in Rolo,” explains Gianluca. “That way the branch office can supply their own products to the customers and if they don’t have the products we supply it directly.” VIPA also has a Chinese division that imports goods directly from the Far East to customers, as well as a task office in the Czech Republic to serve the eastern European market. “There is no stock in the task office,” mentions Gianluca. “They are just working with the customers and then provide stock through the main office.”
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VIPA also has a fully equipped laboratory that can conduct a wide variety of tests including tensile testing, zinc plate testing, micro inspection and salt spray testing. The company points out it can carry out all necessary tests to guarantee the quality of the products, according to certified and known norms. VIPA is also certified as a producer of structural bolts, according to EN 15048:2007 standards, with the SB screw. The SB screw is supplied with CE Marked nuts in accordance with the construction standards 89-106 and 109 EN-1 and 2 – part of the category of high strength bolts. From its expanding range and availability, VIPA offers prompt delivery in zinc plated and HDG. Another, recently released, range is construction bolting in HV kits according to EN 14399. The catalogue includes all the sizes of hex head bolts, in plain and galvanised, from M12 to M36. The core business of VIPA is the 8.8 standard metric bolt classes, but the company also has a very interesting range from M2.5 up to M56 in various lengths. Larger sizes can also be manufactured upon demand.
2018 positive so far
VIPA has reported a positive start to 2018 and with the investment in the new warehouse, it is hoping to create more opportunities in the market. “At the moment everybody is doing fine and there is enough business to go around. However, it is during the hard times when business is not so easy that the truly good companies stand out,” states Gianluca. “As a big stock holder we already have an in-depth stock, so we can act as a pillow for the customer – gradually harmonising the price if there are fluctuations in the market, such as raw materials prices or the currency market.” Gianluca concludes: “As a company we are always looking to expand and adding the new warehouse will give us another weapon to compete in the market. The policy of the ownership is to reinvest into the company because the higher the service quality and product range, the more you are able to achieve that other competitors cannot.” www.vipafasteners.com
Studs and threaded rods DIN 976 form A or B
Global Inch - Fasteners
for more than 40 Years Studs with thread at the end
Tel.: +49 (0) 71 32/99 60-0 • Fax.: +49 (0) 71 32/99 60-60
Trapezoidal threads / Threaded rods and nuts
Raw material stock
Further products with our technical approvals: solar fastener, hanger bolts, DIN 931, DIN 933, DIN 934, TCS flat head screw, bi-metal self-drilling screws, facade construction screws (FBS) Schäfer + Peters GmbH ● Zeilbaumweg 32 ● DE-74613 Öhringen Tel. +49 (0) 7941 6094-0 ● email@example.com ● www.schaefer-peters.com
Valenta ZT s.r.o.
Nedomická 494, 277 16 Všetaty, The Czech Republic
Lederer: Continuous digitisation Whilst digitisation may be a new hot topic for some companies within the fastener industry, Lederer GmbH has been working on the continuous digitisation of the business for over a decade.
anaging Director Volker Lederer is clear that digitisation is a trend all companies must follow, if they want to stay competitive within the market. “We have been focusing on digitisation at Lederer for a long time and it has been an ongoing process. Through different projects and investments, such as the automated warehouse, we have continuously introduced digitisation to more and more parts of the business.” The key for Lederer was to understand what digitisation meant for it as a business. “We have built up a master plan focused on the entire company – from purchasing, sales, quality, marketing, and logistics – that describes the topics where digitisation takes place or needs to take place,” points out Volker. “There are a lot of things around digitisation that play an important role in the business, for instance the different interfaces and the automatic data exchange available to the customers. I believe these types of developments will continue and accelerate in the coming years.” One of the biggest developments at Lederer in recent years that supported the company’s digitisation was the introduction of the automated warehouse – which came into full operation in 2015. “There were two main reasons why we needed the new automated warehouse,” mentions Volker. “The first was we needed to expand and create more space for stock. The second reason was we wanted a more streamlined logistics system. The old system
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was not efficient enough and not flexible enough. It was a substantial investment for us, but since the automated warehouse and logistic system has been up and running we have definitely seen significant benefits starting to come through. We are able to handle much more volume and we are now a lot more flexible. We can also control the process a lot better than before and they are now transparent – meaning we can offer customers a better service.” In addition to its automated warehouse, Lederer has also doubled its office space – adding two additional floors on top of the two it already had in place. This additional space has helped Lederer reorganise its departments. “Previously when we hired new people we didn’t know where to put them, because we didn’t have space. Now we have the space, and we have been able to organise the departments according to their functions and their requirements, which has made us a lot more efficient within the offices,” adds Volker.
An upcoming development that will continue to improve the company’s digitisation is the updating and further implementation of Lederer’s ERP system. “The key thing is we are already using the system, so it already has us working very efficiently,” explains Volker. “We have really analysed our processes and our target is to optimise our administration methods even further and to be more efficient through the further use of the standard parts of the ERP system – whilst also customising the system to our needs. This will ultimately make us more effective and flexible in the administration process.” Another part of Lederer’s extensive service is its webshop, which has consistently seen an increase of users of around 10% every year. “A big benefit of the webshop is it makes customers, especially international customers, independent of opening hours or public holidays,” mentions Volker. “They can get all the information they need at the touch of a button and can see the products we are able to supply.”
Monitoring product developments
To make sure it is supplying the products its customers need, Lederer analyses developments on the market to see which products are being requested by customers. “We have noticed there are a lot of stainless steel parts that are becoming standard items in the market,” points out Volker. “By observing the market we can ensure we have the full range of products. Our target is to offer the whole range of stainless steel fasteners.”
Lederer suppliers both trade and industrial (end user) customers, with the split 35% – 65% respectively. “The business in the two markets is completely different and we offer different products and surfaces to the differing requirements,” explains Volker. “We only supply stainless steel fasteners to distributors and our target is to increase our market share in this sector. We also want to supply more standard items with distributors in the future. We are known for providing excellent service, but we could not always compete with the low prices from competitors. However, with the changes at the company, and in the market, we are now more competitive and our first-class service enables us to stand out from the crowd.” For industrial customers Lederer is focusing on further expanding the services it can provide. “Industrial customers are looking for powerful distributors, which is why we work with our global network of manufacturers and partners to offer the parts, the service, the technical support, the digital support, and most importantly the quality assurance, that makes us the perfect partner,” states Volker.
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Lederer can offer this assurance regarding the quality of its products thanks to the inspection QC laboratory at its head office in Ennepetal, Germany, as well as a being the co-owner – with another fastener distributor – of the Fastener Quality Centre in Shanghai, China. “We do a lot of quality inspections and we regularly visit and audit our suppliers in Europe and Asia,” says Volker. “We are also currently working on a supplier management system, which we are going to implement next year – alongside the new ERP system. This will enable us to observe the supplier in a more professional way and create a detailed rating to ensure the supplier can produce the necessary products.” Lederer products are classified into three groups – standard items, special items and safety items. A supplier must be qualified according to the relevant class before they can be chosen to produce the part. “You can have many problems if the manufacturer cannot produce to the right quality,” points out Volker. “A manufacturer who produces standard parts may not have the technical knowledge of the processes and products to produce specials. However, it can still be a reliable supplier of high-quality standard parts. That is why we are introducing the classification system.”
Considering the ‘human factor’
Whilst digitisation has become core to the business, Lederer is also aware of the crucial role the ‘human factor’ can play within business. “We see digitisation as the opportunity to simplify and optimise processes. However, the relationship between people is absolutely vital. Being able to talk to them and hear what they are saying, and understanding their needs, will always continue to be a big part of business,” says Volker. The ‘human factor’ is also an important part of the relationship with the suppliers. “We have known our suppliers for a long time, sometimes over 20 years, but I still go to visit them to understand them, and to keep the relationship,” mentions Volker. “It is by doing this you build a partnership and help each other. In business you need to support and you have to give support. All this works better if you know each other and you trust each other.” By having these close relationships with it suppliers Lederer can understand what is happening within the supply market and make sure it is able to react quickly to market fluctuations. “We have a purchasing office in Shanghai that observes the Chinese market very carefully, so they can inform us on changes in the Chinese market and government policies,” explains Volker. “For instance, because of government environmental inspections a lot of Chinese factories have shut down their production. This policy is creating a lot of uncertainty in what is going on in the Chinese market. We have seen a significant price increase in the last few weeks, which may not be as big as in other procurement markets, but there is still uncertainty because of the policy.” Volker continues: “In addition to observing the procurement markets every day, we also need to look at topics such as raw material prices (especially nickel) and the currency exchange rate between the Euro and US Dollar. If prices increase in the nickel market then we may have to increase our market price. We do this very carefully because we do not want to lose market share and the competition in stainless steel in Europe is very competitive, but it is a necessity because of the costs. To counteract these changes in the market, we have a very high stock level in our warehouse, which means we are able to manage shortages. Also, thanks to digitisation we can make sure we are as efficient as possible, which helps reduce costs further and also ensures a first-class service that is cost-effective.” www.lederer-online.com
THE COLOR OF FASTENING ESSVE offers one of the widest ranges of premium fastener and fixing products. We cover screws, heavy duty fasteners, nails, nailers, sealants and adhesives. Our ESSBOX System is an integrated fastening system which increases efficiency and saves time and material for the professional construction worker. The patented design offers a user experience that results in loyal customers and repeat purchases.
PARTNERS WANTED - JOIN OUR GREEN TEAM! Essve operates in 10 markets around Europe. We are currently looking to expand our business into more markets around the globe together with the right partners. Are you the one? Contact Ann-Christin Blom, Sales Director New Markets, for more info firstname.lastname@example.org Learn more about us at essve.com
Specialising in customers’ needs A family business established in 1999, GEBO Fasteners B.V is a supplier of steel and stainless steel fastening material, including 3m threaded rod – for which it has recently introduced additional racking, creating two complete aisles dedicated to threaded rod from M6 – M64.
hrough its 3,500m2 warehouse GEBO supplies nationally and internationally to markets that include steel and concrete construction, civil engineering, road and water construction, rail, offshore, machine and metalware, installation technology, agricultural engineering and trade. Threaded rod has become a speciality for the company, with it able to supply in plain, plain under sized, zinc plated, hot dip galvanised, ISO fitting, and oversized – in Grades 4.8, 8.8 and 10.9. “We have rod available in 1m, 2m and 3m lengths and also have three saw machines that mean we can cut to length,” mentions Pieter Boermans, co-owner at GEBO. “The threaded rod market is very big for us, which is why we decided to introduce new specialised racking that will enable us to store the threaded rod efficiently and ensure a quick turnaround service to meet customers’ demands.” In addition to focusing on threaded rod, GEBO can also supply a complete range of SB bolts according to EN15048 – 1 in sizes M10 – M36, and up to 500mm in length – available in zinc plated, hot dip galvanised, oversized, as well as ISO fitting. “We have seen a lot of demand for oversized bolts in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK,”
GEBO is able to cut threaded rod to length
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says Pieter. “We are now looking to attract further interest from around Europe for our complete range of SB bolts.” Whilst threaded rod and SB bolts are leading products for GEBO, the company can also supply a wide range of bolts, nuts and washers, as well as hook anchors and U brackets. “We want to have the complete offering for the customer and provide a first class service. When we see a trend in orders from our customers we look to develop our stock so that we can offer a wide range. For instance, thanks to our full range of threaded rod, in stock, we often find we can meet customers’ demands without needing to cut them to length.” To increase the range available to customers, GEBO made a big investment in its stock in 2016. “Having products on the shelves is very important, as without it you cannot do business,” states Pieter. “Availability of products in the market is vital, as it means you can be more flexible if there are problems in the supply chain, as you already have products in the warehouse.” GEBO sources its products from Asia and works with only eight suppliers to ensure consistency in quality and supply. “Quality is essential, especially for nuts, threaded rod and SB bolts,” states Pieter. “That is why we only work with suppliers that we have built a long-term relationship. When I first visited China and India to look at suppliers, I also visited an independent testing centre. We saw the tests they were able to carry out and we decided we would only buy goods from the Far East that have a certificate from the independent centre. This costs us more money overall, but we want good quality guaranteed. It also means that on average our products will have been checked 3 or 4 times before they reach customers.” GEBO also regularly visits its suppliers’ factories to carry out audits to ensure a consistent level of quality. “Visiting China and India is very important for us, so that we can audit the production process; monitor new manufacturing capability; and to also continue the relationship with our suppliers. We are a family company and we do business with family companies, with family values.”
Call us +31 40 290 2580
Gebo’s strength lies in the ability to find a fitting solution to any problem
Gebo Fasteners provides steel and stainless steel fastener products both nationally and internationally to various industries. Custom cutting of threaded rods is one of our specialties. We are also specialists in:
Our standard range of products in stock includes threaded rods in the range of 1 to 3 metres. The diameters vary from M6 up to and including M64. The quality varies from 4.8, 8.8 and 10.9.
Surfaces: • Plain • Plain undersized • Zinc plated CR 3+ • HDG oversized • HDG ISO fitting
• • • • • • •
Bolts acc. EN15048-1 Various types of washers Guide rail K and L – anchors Turnbuckles U – bolts & L – hookbolts DIN 571 and DIN 603-555 Plates according to drawings
Gebo Fasteners B.V.
Esp 225 5633 AD Eindhoven The Netherlands +31 40 290 2580 www.gebobv.com email@example.com
Through its 3,500m2 warehouse GEBO supplies internationally
In addition to working with suppliers in Asia, GEBO also has partnership with a German manufacturer for specials according to customers’ demands. “We get clients ringing us and asking for bespoke products and then we work with our German manufacturer to see if it is feasible,” explains Pieter. “The requests are normally for unusual products that nobody stocks. So it is important that we are able to produce them quickly. By working with our German partner, we can decide whether a product is viable and then provide a quick turnaround for the order.” Pieter continues: “By offering these additional services it means that the customer relationship is built on trust rather than just price. We are focused on long-term relationships with our customers, we do not just want a quick sale. That is why going the extra step is imperative – we want to provide a complete service.” Being a small Dutch wholesaler has its challenges, but GEBO is confident that it can continue to grow its market share and expand is product range according to customers’ needs. “Our aim is to develop as a business and achieve sustainable growth “year-on-year,” says Pieter. “Steady growth is more manageable and ensures that we can continue to supply a first class service that our customers have come to expect. In addition, different markets require different products or finishes, so it is important that we continue to understand the market and see if it is possible for us to add these solutions to our range of capabilities. We want to make ourselves special to the customers, by providing a complete package of products, in stock, from one location. This makes it easier for customers to buy the products and will enable us to grow the GEBO brand within Europe.” www.gebobv.com
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GEBO has introduced new specialised racking for threaded rod
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THE UK MARKET LEADER
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ACTON launches new website ACTON SAS has developed and launched a new website that will enable customers to view its wide range of more than 15,000 items – with the ability to order in ‘one click’.
ith more than 30 years of experience in stainless steel fasteners, supplying mainly the distributors of building and industrial supplies, ACTON offers an updated quality range of standard items. Via the new website users can consult ACTON’s complete range of fasteners and fixings in stock. The company is also planning on adding a new responsive catalogue that will be available at the end of 2018.
“As a company our priority is to provide a highly efficient service to customers,” explains Philippe Purgy, managing director at ACTON. “Through suggesting new ideas, and concepts for distribution needs of the future, we can stay competitive within the market.” ACTON’s strategy is to observe the market for new trends and to then develop new items or ranges that meet the required standards – in partnership with its suppliers. “The market is always the guide,” states Philippe. “Over the last five years we have observed an evolution in the kind of material customers are requesting (A4, A4-80, etc); the type of recess head (TORX®, Pozidrive, Philipps, etc); different length requirements for products; as well as more interest in personalised packaging. As a business we have looked to develop our range to answer these needs, so that we can stay attentive to new markets and new opportunities.” Philippe continues: “During the last decade the distributor’s role has increased within the global supply chain. Distributors have become the essential link between manufacturers and end users by providing additional services such as electronic data exchange, online website platforms, special packaging and ever shorter delivery times. As a business you need to evolve with the market through continuous improvement.” An example of ACTON continuously improving is its plan to extend its warehouse by an additional 4,000m2. “We are looking to start the expansion by the end of 2018 or the start of 2019,” mentions Philippe. “This will help us increase or stock capability, as well as introduce some new logistic processes to help improve our service level.” www.acton.fr
The ARK Group of companies With a combined experience in the fastener industry of over 30 years, the ARK Group of companies – Rivco, Arpel and Kamtech – is able to combine competitive pricing across a complete range of quality rivets – rivet nuts, structural rivets, and associated tooling – with technical and engineering support, to deliver a full service offering.
he structure of ARK Group enables its UK-based trading companies to operate in an exclusive supply arrangement – with the companies holding all the manufacturing licence agreements with the overseas factories, so they can manufacture in volumes that are most cost-effective. By working together, the ARK Group of companies can also provide forecast information to production planning in order to make every attempt to minimise lead times. Optimised reorder levels allow the movement of palletised finished goods to be shipped in the most cost-effective way by utilising full container deliveries by sea freight. “We are a single point of contact for our customers who value the distribution supply chain,” states Jessica Auld, marketing manager at the ARK Group of companies. “We provide comprehensive product catalogues to support customers in answering the technical questions asked by their customers. We also offer tooling demonstrations to support our customers – with technicians that service the tooling – and we have the ability to offer tool hire to customers that need short term one off requirements. All of these offerings have been driven by listening to customer demands and reacting positively to market requirements.” The ARK Group of companies is always assessing the market, looking out for changing patterns and trends to make sure it can adapt and perfect its service offering. “There have been changes in demand for specific materials, with more demand for stainless steel in A2 and more recently A4 marine grade,” mentions Jessica. “Demand for higher quality rivet products, with the development of the structural high strength rivets, as well as the pin and collar two piece riveting solutions, has also been prevalent. We have responded by ensuring our product portfolio is inclusive of market trends and we have the largest standard range, ex-stock in the UK.”
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Jessica adds: “We have also seen decisions made by European brand manufacturers to move manufacturing and stock facilities to different territories. These big brand manufacturers have also moved focus away from the general industrial sector targeting the big three markets – automotive, aerospace and electronics. This change has affected the market significantly and has allowed ARK to move into a gap in the market, supporting the general industrial sector with pricing, stock, as well as technical and engineering support – plus a range of delivery options.” The ARK Group of companies does not target any OEM business or market and can provide the complete service solution, which covers all aspects of the ARK product range and the complete range of tooling required for setting the product in application on-site. “Distributors are critical to our businesses as they are the total focus of our sales activities and service offering,” states Jessica. “They provide the connection to the customer that is using the product we offer and cover the geographical requirements of the territories we sell into. Importantly, distributors provide us with market intelligence regarding the required level of service demanded by the current market place. Our role is to enhance the supply chain as product specialists, by providing crucial technical, engineering and application knowledge of our complete range of ARK branded products.” A key challenge within the fastener industry has been to get value back into commodity items. “Over the last ten years a lot of fastener product ranges have become commodity price driven and offered at very low pricing levels. The globalisation of the standard fastener product resulted in direct revenue reductions that were damaging the supply chain,” explains Jessica. “However, the recent price increase movements – due to raw material increases and currency exchange rate challenges – has helped the supply chain improve its offering. The distributor supply chain has also become very customer focused with a number of suppliers offering different services and supply solutions to maintain a competitive advantage. The development of niche suppliers, such as the
that are available to be made by understanding products. Many businesses are underselling and underestimating the value in the products they are selling – chasing rock bottom pricing that often goes hand in hand with unreliable sources of stock, with little or no knowledge of the product offering or added value services.” The development of export sales within Europe, and establishing a European wide distribution network for ARK branded products, have been highlighted as focal points for the future for the ARK Group of companies. “Seeking distributor customers that supply the industrial market sector is a priority for us; together we have the opportunity to develop the industrial market sector,” concludes Jessica. “The mature market sector leaders have moved away from this valuable area, on the basis it is multi transactional; may involve small order quantities; and is a challenge for automated warehousing investments. Distributors have a real opportunity to achieve strong gross margins, which shouldn’t be missed, and we are interested in communicating and building strong relationships with people within the business who value our complete support package and do not just seek to source the cheapest global pricing structure.” www.arpel.co.uk www.rivco.co.uk www.kamtechfasteners.co.uk
ARK Group of companies, are taking product and service offerings up to new levels of support and are helping the supply chain invest in new technology to deliver new levels of efficiencies, demanded by the market place.” Another important factor in the market today is to create market awareness. “We believe it is not all just about ‘having stock’, it is ensuring the market place has access to the latest news and product updates, which have become the new drivers of growth in company sales,” states Jessica. “Getting messages into the market, but more importantly, getting them read, is the most critical requirement. We take the view that it is crucial to promote the value in engineered products; it is about educating the market place on the technical, engineering and application aspects of our products; the days of just ‘forwarding enquiries using part numbers as a reference point’ will damage the value within the supply chain. This reduces the opportunities for distributors to achieve strong gross margins
ARK Jack Nuts & the ‘AK Series’ are ex-stock …a wide range of sizes available for next day delivery. - Large and small flange head - Ideal for punched / drilled holes - Used for light, thin or brittle material
- Flush installation
- Perfect for slightly oversized holes - Easy application Comprehensive product info available in exclusive ARK catalogue
We have the largest standard range ex-stock in the UK www.arpel.co.uk +44 (0) 1562 513917
The fastening solutions specialist
Being an integral part of the supply chain
With customer requirements and demands ever increasing, how are fastener distributors adapting? Deputy Editor Claire Aldridge visited Achilles Seibert GmbH, and spoke to Managing Director Timo Scholle about how the role of the fastener distributor is changing to fulfil customers’ needs.
at in Achilles head office in Henstedt-Ulzburg, Germany – approximately 10km north of Hamburg – Timo cuts straight to the point: “Simply importing isn’t our business anymore – our business is changing. Ten or fifteen years ago we were just importing but now anyone can do it, it’s not difficult. We’re seeing a trend of customers cutting the corner and trying to import directly. On first thoughts this could be seen to be a negative, but we see it much more as a positive. These customers are beginning to understand the challenges we also face such as delivery times and quality problems, so they are still coming back to us to buy the smaller quantities.” “We are proud that we have been operating on the market for 60 years. You can go into any fastener company and find our boxes in their warehouse. It’s therefore important for us to not get complacent and to remind customers what we stand for – smoother and easier purchasing. As we sell a finished product, we cannot have innovation in our products so we must innovate in different ways with the added value we can bring and services we offer.” As well as its diverse range of socket and hexagon screws and bolts, standard screws, and special requirement screws – short, long, thick or thin – Achilles also offers additional services and solutions for flexible C-parts management – framework contracts, own brand sales and consignation storage.
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“Another area the distributor will always be needed is when customers begin trying to import certain special sizes of fasteners where they don’t have the expertise. That’s something we are specialists in, and our technical know-how and expertise is unquestionable. We can import and sell special sizes in smaller batches for our customers offering added services and the opportunity to use us as a secondary warehouse. Our customers also know that with our wide network we will always make sure they receive the parts they need. We are in the centre of Europe and can reach customers in Germany within 24 hours, and the rest of Europe within 48 hours.” “We are trying to think more for the customer and put them first – the customer is the king. We have more flexibility than any other foreign distributors to satisfy our customer needs’ when they come to us in an emergency situation. If a customer needs products fast, we need to be able to facilitate this.”
Achilles’ goal is to put the customer in control and to reduce the work process to help provide the easiest, most flexible service possible. This involves working towards a paperless order system, made possible by the second generation of its webshop launching soon. “We want to have zero typing, which is a benefit to both us and the customer – saving time and cost. Since the launch of the webshop in 2014, it now accounts for 15% of our turnover. We see it as an additional service for our customers whose time is too valuable to sit and wait for responses to an enquiry. Surprisingly, a lot of customers who were not key customers before have now developed into good customers since using the site.” Currently users can log on to the webshop, choose an item and see what’s available and at what price. The second generation however, will give customers more flexibility to choose their own lot number, supplier, head marks and display different prices for different quantities. The success of the webshop has also enabled Achilles to focus further on customer integration with its EDI (electronic data interchange) project. This will enable the company’s ERP system to connect with its customers’ so the system can automatically place orders if they run out of stock. It also enables customers to see what stock is available and at what price. “With the focus on our IT connections we have a good opportunity to connect more and keep up to date with our customers, and it’s my belief that in the next five years we will become more integrated into our customer supply chain. Internally our challenge will be connecting this to our logistics system, but the benefits are unquestionable. Customers need automatic ordering, minimum order demands, etc, but do not see investments in IT for their purchasing department as a priority. They have RFID technology, EDI connections, and the latest technology on the customer side, but it will take months for a purchasing IT system to be approved.” At the end of this year, Achilles is planning to provide its customers with a ready to use system consisting of electronic plugs and docking systems for each customer.
Achilles also faces challenges as a European distributor such as high competition, the skill shortage, logistic and freight costs and the shortages of trucks. “In Germany we have a booming economy with a low employment rate, which means that people decide whether or not they want to work with you – not the other way around. Our business is not very sexy and it’s challenging to attract skilled people. When we do, we face a lot of competition to keep them. This is also the case with German delivery drivers as nobody seems to want to drive a truck anymore.”
Achilles can provide a diverse range of products – short, long, thick or thin
“One of the main challenges we face is the violatile distribution market – it goes up and down to the extremes. The first quarter of 2018 compared with the first quarter in 2017 had abnormal increases, with no certain reason. We have to be intelligent and understand it will come down just as fast.” It was this volatility that led to Achilles creating an automotive segment five years ago supplying the automotive aftermarket. Achilles can now supply spare parts from axle nuts to screws, right up to the washers in all current passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Now accounting for 15% – 20% of its turnover, Achilles has focused in developing quality customers and is keen to assure it is not chasing its customers’ business. “We supply the specials that our customers either do not want to supply or can’t. We’ve found a niche that is proving rather successful and the long-term goal is to develop this market even further. We have established a stable turnover that runs alongside our main fastener distribution business.” Another core issue currently facing Achilles is increased lead times from suppliers. “The question is not how the raw material prices are affecting us, it’s whether or not there is enough raw material on the market. Our delivery times from suppliers are getting longer – we used to work to a 3 month production time and at the moment suppliers are confirming 7 months. This means it’s taking almost a whole year for products to turn up in our warehouse.” “Our warehouse was originally built for a turnover of €10 million and this year we are on course for €12 million, which obviously brings in a lot more challenges. With the increased lead times we also have to be wary of running out of the product, and that is simply something we do not want to do. Our stock assurance is an added customer service – we strive to make sure we always have stock available of every item.” Achilles is also seeing a change in customers’ buying patterns with customers no longer ordering once a month in pallets but ordering once a day or every week in smaller quantities for ease and convenience. “Overall, I believe total demand for the product is still similar, however the value per order is shrinking and the order quantity is increasing, and it’s our job to facilitate this.”
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The company has therefore restructured its picking process. Previously, items were sent out as soon as an order was received, but now fixed delivery times are agreed with customers – once or twice a week for example – and orders will be collected throughout the week and be sent to the logistics department as a complete order. Customers will know they will be receiving their goods on a designated day instead of receiving multiple items throughout the week. To ensure the quality of its products, Achilles works closely with its suppliers. “We have been working with most of our suppliers for more than 10 years, so we have an extremely strong relationship with them. Along with our incoming warehouse control, this enables us to ensure only quality products are sold.” “In order to develop further and to grow we need to invest in our product availability and at the moment our warehouse is full. Therefore, in the future we need to explore options for the best way to fulfil our customers’ demands and develop our market here in Europe.” With customer buying patterns changing and the role of the distributor being questioned, Achilles is staying one step ahead to ensure it remains an integral part of the fastener supply chain. It will do this through its investments but also through Timo’s passion for the industry as a whole. “Customers accept they need the fastener distributor – we are there as a secondary warehouse – whether that’s on a large or small scale. We are committed to continually developing and growing our markets, so we can continue to provide a full range of fastener products, coupled with a complete service.” www.achill-fasteners.com
Quality since 1951: classic • system • automotive
DIN 912 / 931 / 933 ... 8.8 / 10.9 / 12.9 from M1.4 to M56 ! ISO 4014 / ISO 4017 ................8.8 / 10.9
ISO 7380-1 / ISO 7380-2...................10.9
DIN 960 / DIN 961 ...........................10.9
ISO 7380-1 (with six lobes drive).......10.9
ISO 10642 - DIN 7991..............8.8 / 10.9
DIN 7984.................................8.8 / 10.9
Achilles Seibert GmbH · Philipp-Reis-Straße 3 · D-24558 Henstedt-Ulzburg · Fon: +49 4193 89 55 Fax: +49 4193 89 56 99 · firstname.lastname@example.org · www.achill-fasteners.com
T H E
G L O B A L
P A R T N E R
F O R
D I S T R I B U T O R S
Ambrovit: A partner to rely on
Ambrovit has been growing continuously over the past 25 years thanks to the endless evolution of its product ranges and target markets – whilst focusing on customers’ requirements.
mbrovit states that its ability and commitment to continuously respond to the challenges of the market has enabled it to establish itself as a partner that can be relied on. “Extending our range of items so as to offer our customers an even wider choice is something we have always done, and we will continue to do in the future”, explains Ambrovit. “Over the coming years, new investments are planned, to improve product quality even further, with new certifications. We are also researching a new packaging system and are evaluating new strategies to make deliveries even faster.” Ambrovit SpA has grown its product range based on the experience within the company, and now offers a catalogue containing a range of over 15,000 items – including hex lag screws, drywall screws, carpentry screws, chipboard screws, self-drilling screws, concrete screws, as well as a wide range of nuts, washers and bolts. They are available in various sizes ranging from 2mm – 30mm in diameter and 4mm – 600mm in length. The products are also available in different finishes and galvanic treatments and have CE Marking. Already with a major presence throughout Europe, the company is currently assessing the possibility of opening a new European base to improve commercial and logistical operations, which are the subject of high duties and transport costs. “We have always looked ahead, trying to offer our clients services of excellence. Our structure is
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sound, developed over many years of work, professional integrity and good management. However, we are also aware that we are currently living through times of rapid change and we need to ensure we are delivering the products and service our customers need. That is why we offer our clients certified product quality with packaging meticulous in its attention to detail – in compliance with the standards stipulated by certification – as well as fast delivery by trusted carriers.” www.ambrovit.it
ENGINEERING, QUALITY,& LOGISTICS. A HISTORY OF INNOVATION â€” Optimas is a full-service provider of supply chain services for fasteners and c-class components. From engineering more efficient parts to streamlined end-to-end inventory management and quality control, our local teams partner with customers around the world to increase productivity and lower costs. Transform your supply chain. Contact email@example.com
Providing technical knowledge and support As a distributor in today’s market it is not enough to simply supply a product, you need to be able to offer something unique. Thanks to its technical knowledge and flexibility, Star Fasteners can suggest exclusive solutions for specific applications, as well as work on bespoke products for critical applications. Here Director Daniel Starbuck talks about the capabilities of vibration resistant, direct-tension lockbolts.
or years, welding was seen as the only way to ensure the integrity of joints in demanding load-bearing or high vibration structures. So, companies manufacturing heavy-duty equipment or fabricating large, metal structures continued to employ the universally accepted process of welding joints together. However, today there are alternatives to welding, one of the foremost being direct tension installed, swaged lockbolts. Manufacturers of heavy equipment are now actively investigating the possibility of using direct tension lockbolts in their assembly process. Even taking into consideration the time needed for preparing the hole, installing a lockbolt is significantly faster than welding a joint. A quick visual inspection is all that is required to confirm the accuracy and quality of the installation. Also, an operator requires a minimal amount of training in order to be proficient in their installation. The pin of a lockbolt is simply inserted into the prepared hole and the collar can either be placed straight onto the pin, or for a pre-installed assembly can be spun by hand onto the pin. When the installation tool is applied, and the tool is activated, the action of the puller engaging onto the pin, together with the anvil swaging the collar, completes the installation. The swage and eject sequence is programmed to complete the cycle without any additional installer input. The process ensures excellent gap closing capability. These unique engineered fasteners, proven in such demanding applications as truck suspensions and chassis, railroad track crossings, and heavy defence vehicles, are now being used in a number of products and structures where welding was once the only option.
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As the UK’s largest distributor of the Huck® brand, we have a very close relationship with Arconic on designing products and we are very proactive in working on new ideas.”
High performance Huck® lockbolts
Compared to conventional nut and bolt installations, which can loosen in high-vibration environments, Huck® lockbolts have proven to be impervious to the effect of vibration in a number of very demanding applications. The secret to this performance difference can be found in the unique Huckbolt design, in which the collar is fully swaged into the locking grooves of the pin. Huckbolts are precision engineered two piece fasteners that once installed, no matter how vibration intensive the environment, never come loose. Huckbolts provide direct metal-to-metal contact when installed, which eliminates the transverse vibration often found in conventional nuts and bolts. Engineered for a wide range of applications, Huckbolts deliver superior joining, shear, and tensile strength for an unmatched fastening solution. Huckbolts can be effectively used with virtually any metal, and dissimilar metals – with dissimilar coefficients of thermal expansion – present no problems. Varying material thicknesses in a joint are readily accommodated, and surface finishes are not damaged. Most importantly, Huckbolts are proven to hold up over years of service in demanding high stress, high vibration environments.
Huck BobTail® fasteners
A leading product within the Huck range is the Huck BobTail® fastener, which is available in a wide range of sizes (up to 13/8 inch). It is a two part fastening system that consists of a pin and a collar. These advanced fasteners are installed using a direct tension technique, in which the pin is pulled and the collar is simultaneously swaged into the locking grooves of the pin, deforming the collar into the grooves. Declared by DIBt as ‘maintenance free’, the 12mm, 14mm, 16mm, 20mm and 1 inch diameter BobTails are approved to be used in both static and dynamic civil engineering applications (smaller and larger diameters are available on request). The DIBt test confirmed that a BobTail is maintenance free during the lifetime of the joint it is fastening, which is not the case when using traditional nut and bolt products. As a result, it can be integrated into a range of applications with complete confidence by civil engineering designers. Through its advanced fastener design the BobTail system offers a strong connection. One key advantage of this fastener over conventional lockbolting systems is that it doesn’t have a pintail to break off. As a result, there is no waste material to collect and dispose of post installation. The added benefit of this is that the tools are lighter and smaller as they do not need the force to break the pintail of a traditional lockbolt. The BobTail is installed using a quiet, jolt-free swaging action, eliminating the potential for repetitive stress syndrome issues. It has significantly reduced noise levels, typically less than 70dB as there isn’t a pintail to break off. The elimination of the shock load and reduced noise can offer real and significant health and safety benefits. Using the Huck BobTail in key joining applications eliminates all of the housekeeping and safety issues that are integral to the welding process. There are no sparks to start fires or cause explosions, nor any debris on the floor that can lead to slips and falls. As the UK’s largest distributor of the Huck brand, Star Fasteners has a very close relationship with Arconic on designing products and is very proactive in working on new ideas. The Huck range has an excellent reputation in the market for the quality of the products, as well as the support available to customers. As a distributor that is vital when you are talking to customers about new projects. www.starfasteners.co.uk
Being a better partner for customers Standing for quick delivery, efficiency and quality – through a modern logistics system and more than 50 years of experience – WASI GmbH has positioned itself as a specialist in stainless steel fasteners.
eadquartered in Wuppertal, Germany, WASI has recently expanded its facilities to include a new administration and logistics building. “Previously we were in two locations, with the administration department situated in one building and distribution/logistics in the other,” explains Daniel Gellert – recently appointed as managing director responsible for administration, logistics and purchasing. “Even though they were only 2km apart, it still made it difficult to optimise the processes and communicate between the departments, which is one of the reasons we introduced the new administration building at the head office in 2017. Moving to one location has proven the right decision as WASI has experienced a series of benefits. “Our key aim from being based at one location was to improve our performance and logistics – for shorter delivery times and higher availability of our products,” mentions Karlheinz Schreiber, managing director responsible for sales in trade and industry. “The market is very fast and customers’ requirements change every day. It is crucial we are able to meet these increasing demands and handle the requirements.” In addition to the administration building, WASI also added a new 3,000m² hall to its existing logistics centre – enabling it to expand its product range and stock availability even further. “We now have an additional 4,000 pallet spaces in the new building, which has enabled us to grow and develop our product range – a key focus for us as a business,” points out Daniel.
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Karlheinz adds: “If you look back five years ago there was no real product management within the company. We needed to improve our product range according to the needs of the markets and through changes within the structure of the company, and the addition of the new logistics hall, we have been able to react quicker to market needs and have the space for the stock.”
N OW AVAIL ABLE!
WASI’s logistics processes are designed to give the customer all the possibilities for an efficient goods flow. “We want to make it easier for the customer to buy from us, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” states Karlheinz. “Our logistics is highly automated, including a high-bay warehouse that is totally automatic. We also have our own logistics system that helps optimise the picking process to ensure the most effective method of picking is chosen.” When working with logistics there is always Industry 4.0 and digitisation to consider. “Our logistics service is already highly automated, but we are still looking at how we can automate processes even further,” mentions Daniel. “However, automation does have its challenges. It is not cheap to have an automated logistics – there is the investment in the initial set-up itself, but then you have to maintain the machinery.” “We have five technical employees who are here for any maintenance that might be required. If there is a problem with the system then nothing works, so it is vital you get everything working as soon as possible. So whilst automation might reduce the amount of people needed to pick orders, you need a bigger technical maintenance team to maintain the system.”
DUPLEX – STRENGTH AT ITS BEST Duplex steels have high strength – comparable to higherstrength structural steels. A high number of applications is given by the high corrosion resistance and excellent mechanical properties. Bolts, nuts, washers and threaded rods are available from Ø6 – 24. www.wasi.de/en
YOUR ADVANTAGES HIGH STRENGTH AND YIELD STRESS (MIN. CLASS 80) SECOND HIGHEST CORROSION RESISTANCE CLASS (IV) Higher than AISI 316L and 316TI at comparable price level.
COST-EFFECTIVE Compared to expensive materials such as 1.4404 (316L), 1.4529 or 1.4571.
IHRE VERBINDUNG ZUM ERFOLG YOUR ACCESS TO SUCCESS
Worldwide supplier network
WASI has subsidiaries in Austria, Belgium, Spain and Denmark, with sales representatives present in each country. “These sales people only have one task – sell,” says Karlheinz. “The whole administration, reporting and delivery of products is carried out from the head office in Wuppertal. The sales reps all speak the local language and are native to each country, so they understand the business philosophy within the country. Also, by having them located in the countries, they have the knowledge of the market and can build the relationship with the customers, whilst receiving all the necessary support and advice from the main office.” Daniel Gellert adds: “We also have sales conferences between all the reps where they can speak about opportunities and challenges they may be facing, as well as discuss products and strategies. The product range and targets are very similar, but there are different requirements in each country and it is difficult to understand them from sitting in the main office.”
“We have set ourselves the target of being the number one supplier in Europe,” states Karlheinz. “However, the stainless steel market is always developing and now there are more and more companies sourcing directly from the Far East, which creates more competition. Everybody has a web shop and the customer just needs to open the web shops of 3 or 4 suppliers and then compare the prices. It is very easy.” Daniel adds: “This makes it difficult to have a USP, compared to other competitors, based on the products. It is more about the added services we can provide that helps differentiate us and helps the customer save time – repacking options, private label, drop shipments, Kanban services, EDI connection, web shop – all focused on being the best service partner.” A recent addition that will help WASI differentiate itself within the market and stay connected with its customers is the WASI App. “The App gives users complete access, and overview, of the entire WASI range of over 21,000 products – even while on the go,” explains Daniel. “It enables users to access relevant product information via their smart phone, including availability, price and delivery time. There is also a tracking function, so the user can see where their order is.” The WASI App is linked to the webshop, so if a customer scans a product barcode, using the camera on their mobile phone, the product is automatically added to the customer’s basket on the webshop. The user then confirms the order via a PC at a later date.
Developing for the future
“We have a young team and we are looking to develop alongside our company goal of becoming more customer-friendly and a service partner for our customers,” summarises Daniel. “We want to be more modern, more flexible and make sure we can reach the changing requirements of our customers.” Karlheinz concludes: “We need to make it clear why customers should be buying from us. A big stock and product range is obviously important, as is of course the best price, but the key is to deliver consistently for customers and create long-lasting partnerships.” www.wasi.de/en
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LOGISTICS BUILT AROUND THE CUSTOMERS www.gberardi.com
CASTEL GUELFO (BOLOGNA) ITALY
APPROVED DISTRIBUTOR. APPROVED DISTRIBUTOR.
ARK Quad Nuts & Rubber Nuts are ex-stock â€¦a wide range of sizes, delivered on time.
Extremely fast and precise installation Up to twice the grip range of standard blind inserts Covers a large variation of thickness
Suitable for marine and automotive applications Noise and vibration-proof Removable and reusable Comprehensive product info available in exclusive ARK catalogue
We have the largest standard range ex-stock, in the UK
The Rivet & Rivet Nut Supplier of Choice +44 (0) 1562 513910
High-quality diverse products For more than 50 years, UBK SpA has been present in the Italian and European markets with the objective of providing clients with an excellent distribution service for screws, bolts and fasteners – all high-quality, diverse products that are ideal for industrial requirements. Moreover, UBK can supply customised components using specific techniques thanks to the support and expertise of its staff and production partners.
BK was established in 1967 as UNBRAKO Srl – the Italian subsidiary of the SPS Technologies (USA) Group – and was involved in the distribution of standard screws and fasteners. In 1994, the company was taken over by a group of Italian entrepreneurs and its name changed first to UBK Srl, and then to UBK SpA. Situated in San Donato, Milan, UBK has a total site area of 3,600m2, with 1,900m2 being covered floor space and 1,350m2 stores, with a warehouse where most of the small standard components are stored. UBK supplies top quality certified products in the standard and special fasteners sector. Specifically, the company is involved in the distribution of screws and bolts made from high strength steel and stainless steel, and fasteners for the automotive sector. Among the products distributed by UBK, a key range is the tapered and cylindrical plugs, which are designed mainly for the hydraulic systems industry – with a wide variety in stock, including GAS, NPTF DRY and LEVL SEAL, DIN 906, DIN 908, DIN 910, as well as plugs with seals. UBK can also supply a vast range of screws and bolts in a variety of materials and finishes. Among the items it handles are dowel pins 6325/7979, straps, shoulder bolts ISO 7379, and metric and imperial fasteners. UBK points out that it can also supply products constructed in accordance with special technical specifications. The company fulfils its clients’ requirements through the experience within the company, which enables it to order customised items with precise dimensions and mechanical specifications – with technical support from the factories. UBK has professional staff, motivated and responsive to innovation, with experience and competence, allowing it to meet any challenge with a conquering spirit. It is a modern enterprise, keeping pace with market developments, offering its clients dynamic and efficient service – having invested many resources in expanding its premises and its IT equipment. This has resulted in improved stocks management with 93% immediate order fulfilment. Moreover, its national coverage through a network of sales people provides outstanding technical and logistical services on a daily basis. “Through our network of sales people within Italy, we have established ourselves as a reference within the market,” explains UBK. “The Italian market represents 90% of our turnover, which is thanks to our widespread coverage of the entire territory. The remaining 10% is exported to European countries and we are looking to grow this area in the future.” www.ubk.it
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For more than 50 years, UBK SpA has been present in the Italian and European markets with the objective of providing clients with an excellent distribution service for screws, bolts and fasteners – all high-quality, diverse products that are ideal for industrial requirements.
Fiminox – a flexible and dynamic partner Fiminox has been operating since 1971 as a specialist in standard screws and bolts in stainless steel – steadily growing its commercial and technical experience in areas such as forged special screws and special turned joining and fixing components.
F BULLONERIA INOX STANDARD BULLONERIA INOX SPECIALE VITERIA BULLONERIA ALTA RESISTENZA MECCANICA - BUMAX PRODOTTI SPECIALI A DISEGNO PARTICOLARI SPECIALI TORNITI
FIMINOX S.p.A. Via per Carpiano, 18 20077 Melegnano (MI) – Italy
iminox SpA is a dynamic Italian company which, due to its flexibility, can play a key role in the fasteners market both in Italy and abroad. “The market offers a lot of opportunities to company’s such as ourselves because there are so many companies that we do not yet know, but for which we can be a valid alternative to their current suppliers,” states Paolo Bettinelli, CEO at Fiminox. “As a company we look to become a point of reference for resolving their problems. By doing this the customer becomes a loyal long-term partner.” Fiminox has developed as a business by offering an ever expanding range of quality products combined with a fast and reliable service. “As the years have gone by, the distributor has exponentially increased in importance in the fastener market – with globalisation heightening the role of the distributor for producers,” says Paolo. “It is vital that you are always looking at ways to develop your products and service to meet the demands of the market.” An example of Fiminox developing its services is the Kanban project it is trialling for the domestic Italian market – enabling it to offer customers a definitive solution to the challenge of material replenishment. “The Italian market is very important for us – highlighted by the introduction of the Kanban service,” mentions Paolo. “However, in recent years the export market has also grown significantly – which consequently has increased the demand for our ‘standard’ products. To meet this demand, it has been necessary to increase the quantities of material stocks and ranges of products we supply.” Paolo concludes: “We will continue to focus on our core objectives of increasing turnover and the number of loyal clients, as well as increasing the sales of special fasteners/custom turned products.” www.fiminox.it
Specialists in threaded inserts Based in the heart of the West Midlands, UK, The Insert Company states its core activity is the supply of the most diverse range of high performance threaded inserts, which are suitable for insertion into almost any base material such as wood, plastic, metal and stone.
upplied in a variety of different sizes, from the smallest thread sizes to the largest, the inserts can be installed using a number of different insertion methods from screw in to ultrasonic to knock in. The inserts can also be manufactured from a variety of materials including brass, stainless steel, aluminium, steel zinc alloy and plastic, utilising the most modern and precise methods of manufacture. All inserts conform to the required industry standards. The Insert Company is also involved in supplying fastenings to be used in conjunction with the inserts, such as connector bolts of which it says it offers the greatest range within the UK. If a part has to be made to customer drawing, the company can also examine the most suitable machine for production and supply accordingly. “We have vast experience, having worked within the fastener industry for many, many years and supplied every type of product that has included an insert as part of its design. We rarely meet an insert requirement that we cannot service,” comments Kevin Broome, director at The Insert Company. “Should we encounter an insert that we cannot identify, we can call upon other worldwide experts in this area of fastenings, having established strong and close relationships over many years of happy, mutual trading.”
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The Insert Company can also recommend a suitable insert for a new application, endeavour to provide cost savings against any existing usage; identify any insert; and offer quotations to suit customer requirements. It also has an online shop to service lower volumes, particularly suited for bespoke design and prototype purposes. This online facility has recently seen tremendous growth due to the 3D printing industry. “We consider ourselves to be a stockist as well as a distributor, and whilst the trend for many of our competitors has been to reduce stockholding (and stock to order only), we have continually invested in stock, both in terms of quantities held and additional ranges, and consider this to be part of our ongoing responsibility to our customers, ensuring we can quickly meet demands, even when they arise unexpectedly,” states Kevin. www.theinsertcompany.com
Introducing Jextar and Jeclin
Known as a distributor of brands for the Dutch market, Jeveka has taken the big step of developing not one but two of its own brands – Jextar and Jeclin. Editor Will Lowry visited the company’s head office in Almere, 20km outside Amsterdam, to find out more.
ith over 80 years’ experience within the distribution market, Jeveka B.V has been a long-term supplier of key brands within the Dutch market. “As a business we have grown through partnering with recognised brands. For instance, our first brand partnership was with Unbrako® in 1946,” mentions Stephanie Veltkamp, joint managing director at Jeveka. “In fact, in the Netherlands Unbrako and Jeveka are almost synonyms for each other to a lot of companies. From this, we have introduced other brands and products including the KATO range of torsion springs, wire forms and CoilThread® inserts. For every brand we make sure we have an in-depth stock so that we can answer all our customers’ needs.” After working with leading brands within the market, Jeveka decided it was time to introduce its own. “It was a very big challenge for us, as there were a lot of steps we needed to take before introducing both products to the market,” explains Adriaan Veltkamp, joint managing director at Jeveka and brother of Stephanie. “First of all, for the Jextar we wanted to work with a manufacturer that would be able to consistently meet the exacting high standards we required.” Jeveka spent 3 – 4 years researching manufacturers to see which had the capability and capacity to produce the Jextar. “We have a lot of technical knowledge within the company, and we also have our own in-house testing facility, so we could assess and qualify the suppliers and the products they produced,” points out Adriaan. “Once we had found the right manufacturer we started by focusing on one diameter to ensure we could achieve the necessary quality and also the reliability to consistently produce that quality going forward. Once we were happy we developed other diameters with the manufacturer.”
Jextar – a new champion in stainless steel
After extensive research and testing, Jeveka introduced the Jextar screw into the market in 2018. Jextar is a high-quality, high strength stainless steel cap screw of A4-80 quality with a tensile strength of over 900N/mm2. Sizes from M3 to M8 are available from stock, with Jeveka having the option to expand the range according to market demands. “We developed Jextar because in many critical applications fasteners need to be stainless steel, but the normal A4-80 just isn’t strong enough,” states Stephanie. “The Jextar is a high-quality solution that is able to comfortably meet these demands and offers an alternative to other fasteners on the market. In addition, every batch of Jextar is tested and provided with a 3.1 certificate and tensile strength testing report.”
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Adriaan adds: “The Jextar is already experiencing good growth and we want to grow it even further. It is a very niche market, but we see a lot of potential. That is why we are giving samples to customers, so they can try the product first-hand and see for themselves how good it works. Most importantly, we have the full range in stock and we can provide a reliability in supply – in Jextar branded boxes, with no mention of Jeveka.”
Jeclin fasteners for cleanrooms
For the Jeclin brand, Jeveka used its experience in supplying the cleanroom and vacuum applications market to develop its own technology and range that would meet customers’ needs. “There are other companies worldwide that can produce vacuum products, but those products are lower grade A2 or A4-70,” explains Stephanie. “If you drill a hole in them the screw gets weaker. For the Jeclin brand we decided to use A4-80 and higher grades, which creates a much stronger product, even if you drill a hole through it.” The Jeclin range includes socket, hexagon, nuts, captive, washers, pins and a wide selection of vented products – characterised by a standard quality of A4-80 and also available in stainless steel (AISI 316 en A4), inconel and titanium TiAl6v4 (Grades 2 and 5). Jeclin range of fasteners
“Similar to Jextar, this is a very niche market and we found suppliers did not always have a wide range available,” adds Adriaan. “The reason is these types of products are usually considered specials and produced to order. However, we have both ranges in stock as a standard range, which means we can ensure quick efficient supply to customers.”
Guaranteeing a reliable supply
Establishing a full range of sizes and products for both Jextar and Jeclin – in stock – was a significant factor for Jeveka before launching the products. “You often find suppliers only have the quick selling sizes and products of a specific brand, rather than having the entire range available,” states Stephanie. “However, if you want to be a distributor of the brand, we think it is critical you have the entire range – providing a single source. That is why we have a full range of Jextar and Jeclin in stock, as well as the other brands we supply to the market – such as Unbrako and KATO.” A big part of Jeveka’s stock capability, and the development of the company as a whole, is its modern warehouse, which it moved into in 2014. “Our previous location was near the Amsterdam Arena and other large venues and it had become too small, and we needed space to grow,” mentions Adriaan. “Amsterdam is also a very expensive and busy city, so transport was time-consuming. It was also difficult to attract new employees as the living costs were so high.” The new warehouse provides easy access to trucks and makes the commute easier for employees. Jeveka has also been able to increase its stock across all products even further and there is still space for further expansion within the warehouse as and when required. “Over the last twelve months availability has become a major factor for customers, whereas before pricing was always the key,” says Adriaan. “Through our warehouse, as well as our wide and in-depth stock, we can supply throughout Europe within 24 hours as standard, with customers able to order until 16:00 – with the products shipped the same day.” Stephanie concludes: “Being able to guarantee the product is where it needs to be, when it needs to be, is crucial. That is why we take stock availability seriously and also why we ensure we have a complete range to meet customers’ needs. The introduction of the Jextar and Jeclin brands gives us another opportunity to grow as a business, as well as establish both brands within their respective markets.” www.jextar.com www.jeclin.com
Face2Face Dr Florian Seidl
Following a successful sixth EFDA Conference in Rotterdam, Executive Editor Phil Matten visited the offices of Keller & Kalmbach in Munich to talk with one of three men largely responsible for the creation of the European Fastener Distributor Association.
r Seidl explains: “EFDA was designed to be an association of associations, so we really need to start with the FDS to understand how it came into being.” The Fachverband des Schrauben-Grosshandels is the German federation of fastener distributors. “I came into our family company in 1975,” says Dr Seidl. “At that time there was no organisation for fastener distributors in Germany. There were just informal meetings locally, because the market was very much local.” “In the late 1970s companies began to appear that had no real stock investment, paid little attention to quality, and just imported anything from the Far East. It was Mr Peters, then owner of Widex Peters in Düsseldorf, who said, ‘we must give proper stockholders a better image’. He invited seven of the major fastener distributors from around Germany to meet as the ‘Düsseldorf Kreis’.” The ‘circle’ met several times and eventually Mr Peters proposed the establishment of a formal association. The FDS was founded in 1980, with its secretariat based in Bonn, then the capital of Germany, shared with an existing association for tool distributors. “The first big meeting of the FDS was in Munich in 1983, where Mr Müggenburg from REYHER was elected president. Quickly we gained more and more members. Now it seems strange but then we talked often about price. The manufacturers had a common price list, so each year when they sent their new – increased of course – one, the FDS calculated its own price list.” “We met every year, and gained from the informal learning and networking, as well as discussing matters of common concern such as consistent box sizes, although we never did solve that problem. Early on, the technical committee was founded, which was very important because it worked intensively, with the manufacturers, and at the Deutsches Institut für Normung.” Rapidly the FDS matured to an association of more than forty leading German fastener distributors, with members also from Switzerland and the Netherlands. The numbers have changed little since. “There were a few insolvencies, some mergers, and some new members, but our membership has been very stable at around forty-three companies.” Its presidency has also been very stable – it is no small measure of the esteem with which he is held in the German fastener distribution industry that Florian Seidl has served in the office for 26 years.
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The idea was that it (EFDA) should be a lean organisation – an association of associations. It would not spend too much money but would be an interest and representation group at the European level, balancing the EIFI, which at that time was a very strong manufacturers’ association.”
Today, EFDA really is a voice that is heard in Brussels. That took time and we had to learn many things. The mood in the Commission was originally not very positive towards distributors.” In the late 1990s European fastener manufacturers became more protective of their market. “They wanted to have a ‘Made in EU’ law, claiming good quality was only produced in Europe, and stating this on every box of fasteners.” “In the FDS,” explains Dr Seidl, “there were by chance three representatives of national fastener associations, who all spoke German. The late Heinz Storch was then chairman of the BAFD in the UK. Bernd Stapf, at that time responsible for the Borstlap business in France, had recently worked to establish PRISME, and myself for the FDS”. At an FDS meeting in Como, Italy, the three talked about the urgent need for a European federation that could represent fastener distributors from across Europe. “The idea was that it should be a lean organisation – an association of associations. It would not spend too much money but would be an interest and representation group at the European level, balancing the EIFI, which at that time was a very strong manufacturers’ association.” “Then it went very fast,” recalls Dr Seidl. “In September 2000 the EFDA statute was written. You could say it was all a bit ‘handmade’, without any lawyers. There were eight initial signatories, myself and Bernd Stapf on behalf of the FDS, Heinz Storch and Alan Stennett on behalf of the BAFD, Bernard Maurin and Christine Delambre on behalf of PRISME, and Francesco Venturini and Massimo Guzzo on behalf of UDIB, the Italian fastener distributors’ association.” Florian Seidl was elected as the first EFDA president. “We began planning our first conference – Heinz, Bernd and myself talking in a bierkeller. Bernd was soon to retire from Borstlap, so it was my idea he should become general secretary of EFDA. He was very glad of it because he really wanted to continue contributing to the industry.” That first conference was staged in Munich. “It was a very nice event. Most came from Germany, but there were some representatives from Italy, France and the UK – I remember you were one of them.” It was a time of significant change for the FDS also. Berlin was now the capital of Germany and some including Florian Seidl were dissatisfied with the performance of the secretariat in Bonn. “It was really the toughest decision in my FDS presidency,” recalls Dr Seidl. “Many members had good relationships with the secretary so it was far from a unanimous decision – perhaps 60:40 in favour – to move to the BGA in Berlin.” The ‘Bundesverband Grosshandel und Aussenhandel’ (BGA) is an umbrella organisation representing the interest of German wholesalers, exporters and service providers. Headquartered in Berlin, core to its mission is the belief that trade and international competition lead to global growth, prosperity and employment. Today it provides legal and secretarial services to both the FDS and EFDA, with Alexander Kolodzik acting as general secretary for both organisations. “Without question it was the right decision. The BGA has provided both associations with excellent professional secretaries – Mr Kolodzik has particularly demonstrated great commitment and interest in what we do and has proven himself a very good organiser.”
“Today, EFDA really is a voice that is heard in Brussels. That took time and we had to learn many things. The mood in the Commission was originally not very positive towards distributors. They thought of us as just box-shifters, who imported products to damage European manufacturers.” “We were not successful in defending our members against the carbon steel fasteners anti-dumping. That was never a fair decision – which time proved, when the EU repealed it following successive negative rulings at the WTO. However, we learnt a lot from the experience. We cannot stop anti-dumping tariffs per se, but we can focus on ensuring they are sensible and workable.” “This is at the heart of EFDA’s commitment to free and fair global trade. We actually supported sensible tariffs on stainless steel fasteners from India but the EU did not go through with that measure, to the harm of the European manufacturers. Brussels is too bureaucratic. That is not to say that the people are not serious about trying to get it right – I am sure most are. However, the mechanism is always too slow, and it often distorts the market in ways that are not anticipated, so it can be a very clumsy tool.” “That makes it very important that EFDA continues to ensure EU institutions have a balanced view of the market and are not led to disruptive decisions through only seeing one part of the equation. Distributors are the agents of progress and wealth creation, so we have to fight for that.” “Looking at the sixth EFDA Conference in Rotterdam, I feel proud of everything we have achieved. EFDA has become more pro-active, and has developed the skills to anticipate, rather than just react. It is well organised and strongly supported from across Europe. I am proud, not only of our businesses and our organisations, but of the branch as a whole. There is a feeling now of a family, and while there is always very healthy competition between us, that is a very good feeling.”
Looking at the sixth EFDA Conference in Rotterdam, I feel proud of everything we have achieved. EFDA has become more pro-active, and has developed the skills to anticipate, rather than just react. It is well organised and strongly supported from across Europe.” FASTENERANDFIXING.COM 105
A benchmark in fastener distribution As part of his visit, Executive Editor Phil Matten was fortunate for Dr Florian Seidl to provide a personal tour of the now radically expanded Keller & Kalmbach Centre of Logistics at Hilpoltstein, Germany.
eller & Kalmbach’s logistic centre was originally opened in 2009. Whilst there are now a number of impressive large-scale, highly automated fastener distribution centres around Europe, the Hilpoltstein project is remarkable in two respects. A green-field, or more precisely bare-rock, development it succeeded in incorporating all that had been learnt from similar large-scale facilities around the industry. Secondly, its design was brilliantly future-proofed with space to ‘slot in’ massive increases in capacity with virtually no disruption to the facility’s day-to-day operation. In a project that took just over a year that is precisely what has now happened, doubling pallet and small parts storage, and introducing a new dedicated hall for KLT processing. This hall is conveniently located between the pallet and small part storage areas. It incorporates storage for empty KLTs, a washing plant, a KLT packaging operation, storage for packed bins and a robotic system to ensure pallets are loaded in the correct sequence for the customer. It took around ten months, says Dr Seidl, before the new storage areas were operational, with a little more time needed to then integrate them fully to the automatic inventory recovery network, which brings the products to the picking teams. All of that was achieved without disruption to the smooth operation of the logistics centre. “It was a little harder to achieve good costs,” Dr Seidl explains, “because the additional capacity had to be totally compatible with the existing operation, which limited the choice of suppliers”. The vital statistics of the upgraded centre are eye watering. A total investment of €55 million across a 44,000m2 site delivers greater than 99% first pick availability from 72,000 pallet locations, 301,000 small parts locations and 8,000 tray storage locations. As a demonstration of the benefits of design forethought the facility is really quite remarkable. It is rare indeed for any company to achieve such a major upgrade with effectively zero disruption. Then again, this is a family company that has been in business since 1878 and certainly does not think in the short term. Incidentally, there is still more space for further expansion.
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Afera 1st Global Adhesive Tape Summit a success Afera, the European adhesive tape association, announced the resounding success of its 1st Global Adhesive Tape Summit, which boasted a sold out programme of market and technical lectures, and biennial international test method and standards committee meetings.
hemed ‘Relationships and drivers in the tape business: Creating and leveraging technology, markets, processes, value and opportunities,’ the Summit saw the attendance of more than 230 tape related company delegates, including a significant number of CEOs and heads of R&D, from 15 European countries including Turkey, China, India, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, the UAE and the USA. Afera members made up about 71% of the participants – 43 from Afera member tape manufacturers and 104 from member suppliers of raw materials, machines and packaging. “The sheer amount of information shared in the lectures and the quality of the papers and speakers probably made this the best business event I have ever experienced,” commented Evert Smit, Summit host, Afera Technical Committee chairman and presidential nominee, and head of R&D at Lohmann GmbH & Co KG. “The strongest idea that I am coming away with is that we are all in this industry together – manufacturers, suppliers, converters,” Mr Smit continued. “Not only will we have to cooperate and create together in order to survive, but we are going to have to be more transparent in everything we do, and in many ways, this begins at an event such as the Summit.” On the first day of the Summit, Afera hosted the biennial international meeting of the regional industry associations and their test method experts. Nearly 30 delegates from the national/regional adhesive tape associations of China (CATIA, The China Adhesives and Tape Industry Association), Taiwan (TAAT, The Taiwan Regional Association of Adhesive Tape Manufacturers), North America (PSTC, The Pressure Sensitive Tape Council) and Japan (JATMA, The Japanese Adhesive Tapes Manufacturers Association) gathered at the Global Tape Forum (GTF) and Global Test Methods Committee’s 6th set of biennial meetings to work through agendas loaded with standardisation issues such as harmonising test methods and guidelines, sharing market statics and trends, comparing environmental legislation and classifying of tape products, identifying world markets not yet organised, and reporting on demand increase initiatives.
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“The GTF brings global players even closer together in sharing common goals for expanding the application of tape and consequently our members’ markets,” commented Michael Yang, GTF chairman and CATIA secretary general. “The reason we came to Munich with a particularly large delegation is that we wanted to expand our knowledge and to develop our contacts in the global industry.”
Providing market production data and analysis
During the summit, multiple presentations were delivered by delegates from each global region represented in the GTF. Session one kicked off with global and national market overviews, most of which were first reviewed in the GTF meeting the day before. Participants learned that with steady technological progress and improved efficiency and quality, China’s tape industry will maintain an annual growth rate higher than that of GDP, around 7%. Over the next few years, Taiwan expects a relatively slow growth rate of 2% CAGR. Japan makes up less than 10% of the global tape market in sales, which in 2016 was US$3.7 billion, and its market volume is slowly shrinking. In western Europe, adhesive tape production will rise a modest 1.2% annually to 6.3 billion square metres in 2018.
Afera to hold 61st annual conference
Afera has additionally announced the launch of its adhesive tape industry annual conference, the premier event for the European tape business, taking place in Athens, Greece, at the Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso from 3rd to 5th October 2018. Themed ‘Innovation and digitisation in adhesive tape technology’ and its impact on suppliers, sales channels, product development, converters, supply chains, business models, technology and the application process, the conference will provide tape industry professionals with the opportunity to interact with industry leaders, sales and technology drivers, and future focused speakers. Afera, the European adhesive tape association, is comprised of over 100 member companies from 20 European countries that represent the scope of expertise of the tape industry. Aiming to promote adhesive tape as one of the most effective, innovative and economical bonding and fixing solutions, as well as to act as the voice of the European adhesive tape industry, Afera actively studies relevant market and regulatory issues, provides platforms for discussion and learning, and facilitates contact among its members and all other pertinent bodies at national and international levels.
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Bonding and adhesive technologies coming to Fastener Fair Stuttgart
Organisers Mack Brooks Exhibitions have announced that for the first time there will be a special ‘Bonding & Adhesive Technology Area’ at Fastener Fair Stuttgart 2019.
nce again occupying halls 1, 3 and 5 at Messe Stuttgart from 19 th – 21 st March 2019, over 700 companies from 38 countries have already secured their stand space at the 8th international exhibition for the fastener and fixing industry. Amongst them are companies from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, China, India and Taiwan. To date, more than 18,000m2 of the available net exhibition space has been booked or reserved. Hence, 85% of the total available stand space has been secured by exhibiting companies. Every two years, the world’s leading trade show for the fastener and fixing industry provides its visitors with the opportunity to discover the complete spectrum of technologies within this industry. The introduction of the ‘Bonding & Adhesive Technology Area’ for 2019 is due to the growing importance of bonding and adhesives in modern manufacturing. They provide an excellent addition to traditional fasteners and, thus, have become a vital choice in lightweight construction, for example in the automotive and electronics industries. Due to their unique characteristics, adhesives offer a cost-effective solution for a range of challenges throughout a variety of industry sectors. Bonding and adhesive technologies allow the material to retain its properties, enable the use of thinner and lighter materials and are perfectly suited for composite systems. Further information for companies interested to exhibit at the trade exhibition as part of this special area is available from the organisers.
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Fastener Fair Stuttgart 2017 ended as a success, with 11,709 trade visitors from 91 countries discovering the latest trends and products from all areas of fastener and fixing technology. This represented a further growth in visitor numbers by 6% compared to the previous event. Both exhibitors and visitors were highly satisfied with the exhibition. The quality of the visitors and the international flair, as well as the large number of new contacts that were made was highlighted by many exhibitors. For companies interested in exhibiting at Fastener Fair Stuttgart 2019, a new exhibitor brochure is now available to order. The brochure can be requested via the exhibition website. Further detailed information on the show is accessible on the newly designed, user-friendly website, including a detailed exhibition profile, facts and figures about the exhibition, information regarding stand bookings, as well as videos and photos from the previous show. www.fastenerfair.com/stuttgart
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EuroBLECH 2018: Step into the digital reality EuroBLECH 2018, the 25th international sheet metal working technology exhibition, takes place from 23rd – 26th October 2018 at the Hanover Exhibition Grounds in Germany. Ahead of the show, around 1,400 exhibitors from 38 countries have already secured their stand space.
urrently, major exhibitor countries are Germany, Italy, Turkey, China, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and the USA. At present, the exhibiting companies have secured almost the entire exhibition space from the previous event, EuroBLECH 2016, which concluded with a record net exhibition space of 87,800m2. Every two years, EuroBLECH is the must attend event for design engineers, production managers, quality managers, buyers, manufacturers, technical directors and experts from associations and R&D in order to discover the latest trends and machinery in sheet metal working. Visitors to this year’s show can expect the complete spectrum of intelligent solutions and innovative machinery for modern production in sheet metal working, which will be presented in form of numerous live demonstrations at the exhibition stands. At the moment, digital transformation is playing a major role in the industry, which enables an increased efficiency and thus a higher level of automation and predictive maintenance. These developments are reflected in this year’s motto for EuroBLECH:
‘Step into the digital reality’, since Industry 4.0 and the relating Smart Factory have become major topics in sheet metal working. This has now become an important area for small and medium-sized companies planning to invest in these technologies in the near future in order to gain a competitive advantage in their market. “The digital transformation is momentarily an important topic in the industry. This requires a close collaboration along the entire value chain, from production control to maintenance. The biggest challenge for companies in the sheet metal working industry is to create an intelligent manufacturing environment, which is based on the secure exchange of data and the networking of machines and processes. EuroBLECH 2018 offers its visitors the possibility to find solutions for these challenges and to connect with business partners to help them with the integration of these processes, machines and systems into their production,” comments Evelyn Warwick, exhibition director of EuroBLECH, on behalf of organisers Mack Brooks Exhibitions.
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Visitor registration now open for Fastener Fair Italy As visitor registration opens for Fastener Fair Italy, organisers have confirmed that the total number of exhibitors planning to take part has reached 200.
nce again being held at the MiCo – Milano Congressi from 26th – 27 th September 2018, Italy’s fastener sector continues to support Fastener Fair Italy, accounting for three-quarters of firms that have so far confirmed their participation. Among them are many of the well known producers and distributors of fasteners, as well as leading specialists in fastener manufacturing technology such as Ambrovit SpA, Carlo Salvi SpA, Ingramatic SpA, Vital Srl, VIPA SpA and more. Joining them will be companies from 13 other countries, including Germany – represented by Lederer GmbH, Fastbolt GmbH and others; Teknoform Fasteners and Kaleliler Bağlanti Elemanlari from Turkey; Spanish companies Chavesbao and INDEX Fixing Systems; Lancaster Fastener Co Ltd from the UK and National Machinery LLC from the USA. To accommodate more exhibitors and visitors, the show is being staged in the larger South Hall of MiCo, occupying both the ground floor (Level 0) and the upper floor (Level +1). This will provide extra space for an open access ‘Seminar Theatre’, ‘Media Point’, restaurants and sitting areas on both levels, all of which is aimed at facilitating business networking and enhancing visitor experience.
Visitors from key industrial sectors
The high-level of interest in this exhibition, which is the only trade show in Italy exclusively dedicated to fastener and fixing technology, reflects the country’s position as Europe’s second largest manufacturing economy after Germany. It also underlines Italy’s role as a major exporter of fastener products. Distributors and resellers of fasteners and fixings will represent a significant portion of visitors to the show, strengthening vital trading links between manufacturers and end users. During the previous edition of Fastener Fair Italy in 2016, 39% of attendees were distributors or suppliers of fastener products to users; 32% were fasteners or fixings manufacturers; 25% were wholesalers or suppliers to resellers; and 16% were fastener or fixings users. The exhibition is a must-attend event for managers, engineers and buyers from key industrial sectors including automotive manufacturing, aerospace, energy generation and distribution, marine industries. Exhibitor products will also be targeted at important consumer-oriented industries, such as white goods manufacturing and furniture making, plus the important construction fixings market. Industry professionals can pre-register on the show website now. They will receive their visitor badge (valid for 26th – 27 th September) via email and bypass the queues on-site. Online registration is free until Tuesday 25th September, and an entry fee of €30 will be payable from 26th September.
Fastener Fair Italy profile
Fastener Fair Italy is organised by Mack Brooks Exhibitions Ltd. It is part of the highly successful worldwide series of Fastener Fair exhibitions for the fastener and fixings industry. These include Fastener Fair India, Fastener Fair Mexico, Fastener Fair Turkey, Fastener Fair USA, Fastener Fair France and Fastener Fair Stuttgart – the world’s leading international trade show for this sector. Products featured by exhibitors will include the complete range of industrial fasteners and fixings, construction fixings, assembly and installation systems, fastener manufacturing technology, storage and logistics services. The exhibitor list, available on the Fastener Fair Italy website, provides comprehensive information on exhibiting companies, such as exhibit categories, company profiles, press releases, featured products and contact details. www.fastenerfairitaly.com
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Our performance. Your advantage.
Carlo Salvi CS 668
Complex shapes formed easily The progressive header CS 668 is the perfect machine to produce special screws, bolts, solid, semi-tubular and fully tubular components as well as parts with special requirements in regard of shape, features and tolerances.
Please get in touch for any questions you may have. For technical information and brochures, visit www.carlosalvi.com
Highlights Suitable for special screws, bolts, solid and other special parts – Up to 250 parts per minute – Wire diameter from 4 mm up to 12 mm – Equipped with Toggle Action system for smooth forming process – Turn key solution
Fastener Fair France Paris, France 28 Nov – 29 Nov 2018 www.fastenerfairfrance.com Specialist fastener event.
Fastener Fair Italy Milan, Italy 26 Sep – 27 Sep 2018 www.fastenerfairitaly.com Specialist fastener event.
Taiwan Hardware Show Taichung, Taiwan 17 Oct – 19 Oct 2018 www.hardwareshow.com.tw/home/Main_cht.asp Tools, building materials/DIY and houseware products.
wire China Shanghai, China 26 Sep – 29 Sep 2018 www.wirechina.net Wire and cable, including fastener manufacturing technology.
2018 IFS China Shanghai, China 21 Oct – 23 Oct 2018 en.Afastener.com The professional fastener show in China.
INDOFASTENER 2018 Jakarta, Indonesia 26 Sep – 29 Sep 2018 www.indofastener.com Dedicated trade fair for the Indonesian fastener and fixing industry.
parts2clean Stuttgart, Germany 23 Oct – 25 Oct 2018 www.parts2clean.de Leading international trade fair for industrial parts and surface cleaning.
Afera’s 61st Annual Conference of the European Adhesive Tape Industry Athens, Greece 3 Oct – 5 Oct 2018 www.afera.com/agenda/afera-annual-conference/ Professionals from the adhesive tape industry came together to share, learn and network.
FastTec 2018 Moscow, Russia 23 Oct – 25 Oct 2018 www.fasttec.ru Russia’s specialist fastener technology fair.
China International Hardware Show Shanghai, China 10 Oct – 12 Oct 2018 www.hardwareshow-china.com Tools, security systems, locks, DIY and building hardware fair.
EuroBLECH 2018 Hanover, Germany 23 Oct – 26 Oct 2018 www.euro-blech.com Sheet metal industry.
FASTENER POLAND Krakow, Poland 16 Oct – 18 Oct 2018 www.fastenerpoland.pl 2 nd edition of the trade fair for fastener and fixing technology.
International Fastener Expo Las Vegas, USA 30 Oct – 1 Nov 2018 www.fastenershows.com Fasteners, machinery formed parts, tooling and packaging.
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2nd International Exhibition for Fastener and Fixing Technology 26-27 September 2018 | MiCo – South Hall | Milan
Exhibitors will present the complete range of products, equipment and distribution services from Italy and beyond: Industrial fasteners and fixings Construction fixings Assembly and installation systems Fastener manufacturing technology Storage and logistics services
Engage with suppliers and industry professionals, discover latest technologies and source products and services.
Pre-register now for your free Visitor Pass www.fastenerfairitaly.com
Breaking fastener records IFS China 2018, the exclusive international fastener show with support from the China Fastener Industry Association (CFIA), is set to break the organiser’s record for booth bookings for a first edition fastener show with 1,500+ standard booths already booked.
aking place in Shanghai, from 21 st – 23rd October 2018, organiser Shanghai Afasteners Exhibition Co Ltd has reported that the number of pre-registered visitors has already exceeded 9,000, and that IFS China will become one of the up-most and largest fastener exhibitions supported by CFIA to welcome global peers. Covering nearly 34,000m2, fastener companies from more than 40 countries will be exhibiting, making the show a meeting place for worldwide fastener mainstream companies – and the booth numbers are still rising. The exhibition will cover all elements of the fastener industry, in Hall 2 exhibitors will showcase fastener manufacturing machinery, fastener materials, moulds and consumption goods, inspection equipment, measuring devices, installation, measurement and maintenance. International exhibitors include Accuvision Technology Inc, Carlo Salvi (Guangzhou) Machinery and Equipment Ltd, CPM GmbH/Wafios Umformtechnik GmbH, National Machinery LLC, Nedschroef, SACMA Limbiate SpA, and Videx Machine Engineering Ltd. Hall 3 will showcase standard fasteners, non-standard fasteners, aerospace fasteners, military fasteners, construction fixings, and other related fasteners and parts. The CFIA will bring its superiority into full play and make joint efforts to build up the largest and most influential industry event in Asia, by promoting the development of the global fastener industry and enhancing the economic and trade communication with other industries. Founded in 1984, the CFIA is the only authorised, representative and national association with nearly 3,000 members and over 10 local industry associations in various provinces and municipalities. To enhance the technological and commercial communion between the China fastener industry and global colleagues, International Fastener Show China is co-organised by the association – Deutsche Messe AG.
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Exhibit sales for Fastener Fair USA strong again Less than two months after the successful inaugural exhibition in Cleveland, the next edition of Fastener Fair USA – to be staged in Detroit, Michigan, from 22nd – 23rd May 2019 – is showing strong growth in sales.
essica Boweak, exhibition manager for Fastener Fair USA, said: “We left Cleveland with nearly 30% of 2018 exhibitors rebooked for Fastener Fair USA – Detroit. Exhibitors are now increasing their space requests and new companies are coming in. We are already tracking ahead in sales compared to last year and are set to exceed 2018 both in square footage and number of exhibiting companies.” Fastener Fair USA 2018 attracted over 2,000 registrants and included the types of decision makers exhibitors wanted to see. Primary job titles/responsibilities included buyer, department head/senior manager, engineer/ technical specialist, managing director, and purchaser/ procurement. These visitors came from a variety of industries including aerospace, agriculture, automotive, construction, distribution, power generation, and maintenance/repair. “I was very excited to be a part of Fastener Fair USA, especially for its first year, and experienced one of the busiest shows I have been to in years,” commented Lori Coar, president of Aluminum Fastener Supply Co Inc. “I’m definitely looking forward to Detroit in 2019 and again exceeding my sales goals at the show.”
• THREADED INSERTS • SPRING STEEL CLIPS • SHEET METAL FASTENERS • THREADFORMING SCREWS • ELECTRONIC HARDWARE • TURNED PARTS
Tel: +44 (0) 1246 296 930 email@example.com www.harrisonsilverdale.co.uk
Fastening & automation tech from one source
TITGEMEYER supplies convincing fastening solutions for trade and industry across the globe. As one of the world’s leading fastening technology and vehicle component companies, the TITGEMEYER Group develops and produces innovative products and services with its almost 500-strong workforce. A sizeable selection of commercial items adds to the total range of 30,000 articles. TITGEMEYER products are used successfully in the automotive, vehicle manufacturing, white goods and solar technology sectors, as well as in numerous other sectors of trade and industry. Many of the prod-
ucts and tools are made in-house at TITGEMEYER’s various European production sites. Fastening technology is becoming an increasingly diverse field, and the demands placed on it by trade and industry more and more complex. This is precisely where TITGEMEYER comes into its own and develops industry-specific fasteners together with its customers – from the initial design stage all the way through to the construction of intricate assembly systems comprising automated work stations. Short communication paths to its customers are especially important here.
With subsidiaries and partner companies in numerous countries, nine sales offices and a region-wide network of sales representatives and application consultants, customer support is assured. Gebr. TITGEMEYER GmbH & Co. KG Hannoversche Straße 97 49084 Osnabrück, Germany Phone: +49 (0)5 41/58 22-0 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.titgemeyer.com
The best fixing and fastening solutions INDEX Fixing Systems works towards maximum customer satisfaction by creating added services, such as packaging and display solutions, as a way to provide greater value for its customers.
manufacturer and industrial supplier of anchor, fixing and screw systems, INDEX Fixing Systems is committed to its products – guaranteeing maximum quality, thanks to compliance with the most rigorous standards of control and inspection at all points of the production process. The company manufactures and controls the production process for a wide range of its products, so it is possible to guarantee the maximum quality of the products and an optimum service. This is underlined by the extensive list of products with assessments and certifications currently held by INDEX. “Based on the principles of our philosophy, and thanks to the continuous improvement in all areas of the company, services and production processes, we are able to offer products of the highest quality, adapted to our customers’ needs,” comments INDEX. Included in its wide range are its light duty fixings such as the TN4S nylon anchor – the reference in the plastic anchors family. This four-way expansion nylon plug provides optimum force distribution within the material, and offers a huge range of load capacities in both solid and hollow building materials. The nylon anchor also includes a flared lip to keep the plug from sliding into the base material during the installation, and anti-spin side wings in order to fix it to any kind of base material. All the installation data is marked on the plug itself – drill diameter, drill depth and screw diameter. The T-NUX is another plastic anchor from INDEX, clearly focused for fixing medium loads. This nylon plug knots itself on expanding – making it especially suitable for hollow materials or when base material for fixing is unknown. It has a wide range of fixing lengths, from 60mm to 230mm, and thicknesses. INDEX Fixing Systems, heeding once again the needs of the market, has adapted the packaging of its product range with these two types of anchors being sold in both professional or industrial design and in DIY format. To gain relevance in the DIY channel, INDEX has launched denominated EASYkits, which provide a great solution to the end customer, and bring great value to the dealer or seller at the selling point. The EASYkits contains the necessary products to fulfil the installation. Presented in a high-quality bag, they are ideal products to promote the cross selling at the point of sale.
The perfect combination to increase profitability
INDEX also optimises the point of sale (POS) to the maximum with displays and support material. It helps to improve shelf appearance, accelerate the replacement process, help rotation and simplify stock control. “With our INDEX SPACE STUDIO service, we analyse the customer’s available space and the products they wish to implement, and then propose the most profitable selection according to their needs.”
A packaging for every need
“We look at packaging as a way to provide greater value for the customer and rely on continuous improvement to offer the customer new, more versatile and useful formats. We are aware of the importance of maximising store space and therefore design optimal size formats to increase our customers’ profitability,” states INDEX. The company’s packaging is therefore labelled graphically and clearly, and includes basic information about the product, its installation and functions, facilitating its identification and product selection.
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Also available is INDEX’s range of concrete screw anchors, which includes the TH-DEX direct fixing concrete screw with silver ruspert coating. The main advantage of this metal anchor is the minimum distance needed between anchors or the border, as it doesn’t introduce stress into the base material. Also, it can be used in cracked and non-cracked concrete, for medium to high loads, and it can be installed and uninstalled very quickly and easy. www.indexfix.com
HECO®-Schrauben Innovation. Safety. Future.
High end products for professionals
HECO-Schrauben GmbH & Co. KG, Dr.-Kurt-Steim-Straße 28, D-78713 Schramberg Tel.: +49 (0) 74 22 / 9 89-0, Fax: +49 (0) 74 22 / 9 89-200 E-Mail: email@example.com, Internet: www.heco-schrauben.com
BoxBolt® blind fixings given CE Marking Engineers and specifiers can have confidence that Kee Safety’s BoxBolt® blind fixing solutions will deliver mechanical resistance, dimensional stability and durability, after the company received CE Marking for the range.
ee Safety commissioned a notified body to carry out an independent assessment of its factory production control system and product performance. This third party confirmed that BoxBolt® products fulfil the requirements described in the European Assessment Document (EAD) 330001-00-0602. The BoxBolt range – which includes M6, M8, M10, M12, M16 and M20 – is a fully tested and approved blind fixing solution for secondary steel connections. Suitable for connecting into rectangular, square and even circular hollow sections – or where access is restricted to one side only – BoxBolt fixings feature a hexagon head design on the body to allow easy installation with a standard spanner. The fixings deliver solutions for joining steel together without the need for on-site drilling or welding, providing much more flexibility than traditional methods. The system also provides a guaranteed connection every time, without on-site verification, as long as the installation guidelines are correctly followed. BoxBolt is available in three finishes, including zinc plated, hot dip galvanised and stainless steel. These finishes, combined with three available lengths, make it extremely flexible to suit its environment and application.
PGB-EUROPE A STRONG CONNECTION FOR MORE THAN 60 YEARS. Established in 1956, pgb-Europe is now
INSULATION PLUGS - With ETA approval for all base materials (A, B, C, D, E) - Diameter 8 and diameter 10 - Patented design
a leading manufacturer and supplier in structural steel fasteners, wood screws and anchors.
LIGHT DUTY ANCHORS - With ETA approval - Solid carton box packaging with clear label CONSTRUCTION OF AUTOMATED PALLET WAREHOUSE
Gontrode Heirweg 170 | B-9090 Melle T: +32 9 272 70 70 | F: +32 9 272 70 99 www.pgb-europe.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent ETAs for fixings Following an agreement with the European Organisation of Technical Assessments, here is a list of recent ETAs published in the last two months on the EOTA website.
t is important to note that existing ETAs may be amended or withdrawn so this list should not be considered definitive. Since 1 st July 2013, as a result of the Construction Products Regulation, new ETAs are known as European Technical Assessments. European Technical Approvals published before 1 st July 2013 will act as the new assessment until their expiry date. For further information and a full list of valid ETAs visit EOTA’s website. www.eota.eu
ETAG 001 Metal Anchors for use in Concrete (all parts) ETA – 08/0212
POLIURETANOS AISMAR S.A
ETA – 17/0068
Difusora de Articulos Mecanicos Especiales S.A
ETA – 17/0069
CHEFIX PL Bonded anchor for concrete
Difusora de Articulos Mecanicos Especiales S.A
ETA – 17/0070
CHEFIX FREE-PL Bonded anchor for concrete
Difusora de Articulos Mecanicos Especiales S.A
ETA – 17/0315
Injection system Hilti HIT-HY 170 with HIT-CS-F
ETA – 17/0677
DROP IN ANCHOR TDX
Trutek Fasteners Polska Sp z.o.o
ETA – 17/0847
Trutek Fasteners Polska Sp z.o.o
ETAG 014 Plastic Anchors for ETICS N/A
ETAG 020 Plastic Anchors (all parts) ETA – 12/0398
World champion fixing technology More than one million fischer fixing systems were anchoring spectator seats, roofs, and much more, at eight of the football grounds used at this year’s World Cup, including the newly constructed Zenit Arena and Kazan Arena.
onstruction of the Zenit Arena began in 2007 and was completed in 2016, which has enough space for approximately 70,000 spectators. It features a retractable roof with a diameter of 286 metres on eight pillars. The retractable roof and beam grillage were securely installed and reinforced with the fischer injection mortar FIS EM. 1,500 cartridges were used in total. The assemblers additionally used 2,900 units of the fischer bolt anchor FBN II in order to install the beam grillage and multiple steel constructions. Also, more than 100,000 fischer concrete screws FBS, in various sizes, were used to install railings and staircases. In addition, more than 4,000 cartridges of fischer’s flame resistant B1 installation foam were used to install fire doors. An additional 1,200 fischer injection mortars FIS EM 390 S and around 150,000 further products by the fixing specialist were also used to install reinforcements, seats and railings in concrete at the new stadium in the city of Rostov-on-Don. The fischer fixing solutions again scored points due to their efficiency and economy. During pull-out tests and test installations of the seats they proved their suitability for a high-level of performance.
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Further products by the fixing expert have installed reinforcements and steel constructions in reinforced concrete in the Kazan Arena. The fischer injection mortars FIS V and FIS EM, as well as the bolt anchor FBN II, were among the products used. The number of chemical fixings alone came to 500. “Our products proved to be the better alternative to our competitor’s solutions during pull-out tests,” reports Andrey Egorov managing director of the Russian subsidery of fischer Group.
A new design on its way for Parasilico Parasilico has been produced since 1979 by the Belgian family company DL Chemicals. In 2018 a major change is about to take place with all silicone cartridges getting new, fresh designs.
arasilico is for sealing elastic joints and finishing off many building projects. The sealants have a permanent elasticity and an excellent adhesive strength on the majority of construction materials. They are produced under the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality label and have several product certifications. The new cartridge design is made up of the companyâ€™s typical colours, black and green, which gives more serenity and uniformity in comparison with the previous design. Furthermore, every silicone type can be easily recognised by its specific colour area, so the customer can quickly make the distinction in the store or on the building site. Finally, a category mentioned on the cartridge helps distinguish which applications the sealant is suitable for such as weatherseal, universal, sanitary, plastics, natural stone, high temperatures and fire resistant.
ISO 9001 Certified Enterprise
KINFAST HARDWARE CO LTD ADD:No.399 Fengxing Road, Fengshi Town, Haining, Zhejiang, China 314405 Tel: 0086-755-83479123 Mobile: 0086-13902953125 E-mail: email@example.com http://www.kinfast.com
The new cartridges will gradually arrive on shelves between summer and autumn 2018 after depletion of stock of the previous design, with some already available this month. DL Chemicals offers a full range of silicones, MS polymers and hybrid sealants, acrylic sealants, PU sealants, PU foams, and glues with a high and constant quality level for the professional user. The Belgian company is a national and worldwide producer, with its own R&D lab and technical support team.
1 FIRE RESISTANCE
PERFORMANCE CATEGORY C2 - C1 ETAG 001 - ANNEX E
Hidden fastening allows for spectacular façades 55,000 KEIL undercut KH anchors have been used for the safe fixing of a large sized, long-lasting, ceramic tile façade for the new building of Frankfurt’s School of Finance & Management – providing a permanent connection with a Systea® supporting construction.
EIL’s undercut anchor is the supporting pillar on the back side of the tile. It is a positive locking, purely mechanical fixing, which is free from expansion pressure and acts in the background. KEIL Befestigungstechnik manufactures these anchors from high-quality stainless steel in Engelskirchen in the area of Bergisches Land. Due to the invisible fixing on the back side, the colours of the ceramic tiles can come into their own – with lasting effect. As the tile is not penetrated by clamps, screws or rivets, no dirt will gather underneath them and the tile will remain clean. As far as constructional supervision is concerned, the tile fixing is subject to authorisation. Apart from a multitude of national and European authorisations or valuations respectively, there is also an ETA (European Technical Assessment) for MOSA porcelain stoneware. Thus, for the façade of the School of Finance in Frankfurt, the ETA – (09/0348) KEIL undercut anchor for Royal MOSA porcelain stoneware regulates how even the 36m high façade could be safely built. As a purely mechanical fixing, the KEIL undercut anchors could be mounted in Frankfurt without any trouble and regardless of the weather, as neither temperature nor humidity impact the high bearing capacity of the fixings.
SWG terrace screws For applications with very hard wooden boards, a reinforced terrace screw with an enhanced drill tip has been specially developed by SWG Production. The drill tip ensures a precise positioning of the screw, no splitting effect and short edge distances.
ue to the designed grooved shank, the terrace screw has additional strength for the hardwood sector. The grooved shank collects existing wood fibres and prevents movements of the boards and any disturbing ‘cracking sounds’. Thanks to a small countersunk head with milling pockets, a final and visually appealing finish is provided. Any remaining chips are repeatedly collected and captured. More head shapes are also available. SWG says the TX drive guarantees an excellent fit of the bit in the screw drive. This prevents wobbling impacts and sliding of the bit from the screw while screwing in. The hardwood terrace screw from the production unit of SWG Schraubenwerk Gaisbach GmbH is therefore the ideal fastener for connecting decking boards and ‘Made in Waldenburg, Germany’.
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One further development of the described stainless steel terrace screw is the new ‘vintage look’ – a dark brown colour created by a special heating process. The unique process changes the surface of the screw; therefore a galvanisation process is not necessary. The result is a durable colour that cannot be damaged by the application and transport. The ‘vintage look’ terrace screw matches perfectly with dark wooden boards such as terraces made of tropical wood. Besides the terrace decking, there are also other types of stainless steel screws with the vintage look available, which can be used for fixing façades and many other applications. By using the expansive tropical wooden boards, many people are willing to use sub constructions made of aluminium frames. For this special connection between the wooden boards and aluminium sub construction, another type of terrace screw was developed. Like the classic terrace screw, the countersunk head and the grooved shank provide a perfect fitting in the wooden board. For a strong fixing in the aluminium profile, there is a metal drilling tip and thread. Depending on the profile design, there are also different dimensions available.
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SIG sells VJ Technology Specialist building products supplier, SIG Plc, has sold VJ Technology (VJT) to Primary Capital, a UK private equity investment firm – following a competitive disposal process.
JT is a UK distributor of technical fixings, fasteners and consumables to the infrastructure, commercial and wider construction industry, and part of SIG Distribution. SIG said the divestment was in-line with its medium-term strategy of disposing of smaller, non-core businesses in order to refocus the Group’s portfolio and strengthen its balance sheet. A strategy review last year identified VJT’s niche offering and operating model as being very different from that of the main SIG businesses.
VJT distributes and manufactures fasteners, tools and fixing systems to the UK construction and civil engineering markets. With a comprehensive range of 13,000 stocked products, VJT has particular expertise in heavy anchors and chemical injection resins. VJT reported 2017 sales of GB£31 million, with profit before tax at GB£5 million. The company’s gross assets at the end of 2017 were GB£16.4 million. SIG said the consideration for the sale is expected to be around GB£29.7 million (€33.6 million), resulting in a gain on sale of around GB£7.4 million.
Rapierstar marks a decade with Shepley® Leading REHAU window and door fabricator Shepley® Windows has reached the 10 year milestone in its use of high-quality fasteners from Rapierstar.
K-based Shepley® Windows is at the forefront of volume window and door manufacturing, being one of the original ‘super fabricators’, and has a long established outstanding reputation for consistently high-quality windows and doors. The thriving company produces over 2,000 windows every week, and its Visage window range attracts a loyal installer client base that values its enhanced security and aesthetics, as well as the short lead times available. Rapierstar has supplied a wide range of fasteners to Shepley for 10 years, over which time it has successfully kept pace with the evolution of new REHAU profile systems and ever advancing hardware configurations, to keep the fast moving production environment on track. Its latest delivery record is excellent, with Rapierstar delivering its fasteners on time, in full, and error free, for more than 99.2% of orders. Rapierstar’s service, however, has always extended well beyond simply supplying product to the fabrication lines. It provides regular ‘fastener health checks’ to ensure the
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factory’s use of fasteners is correct throughout. This consultancy approach helps Shepley streamline production and maintain product quality and performance standards that far exceed customer expectations. “Our success has been built around supplying excellent quality doors and windows every time, on time, and that’s something we can only do by being super efficient in our manufacturing. That means aligning ourselves with the right supply chain partners and having confidence in their ability to deliver high-quality components when we need them. Rapierstar is exactly this kind of supplier, and the fact that we’ve sourced our fasteners from them for a decade demonstrates how well they tick all the boxes,” comments Tony Ball, sales director at Shepley Windows. Rapierstar operates from a purpose-built head office and 100,000 square foot bonded distribution centre near Congleton in Cheshire, with supporting sites in Belfast and Norwich ensuring smooth distribution to all parts of the British Isles. Its own branded products are designed and manufactured to exacting speed of insertion, strength of drill point and high plating standards, with quality assured through comprehensive testing at both its manufacturing plants and its ‘in-house’ R&D test facility at Congleton. This industry leading regime enables Rapierstar to comply with all appropriate British, European and international quality standards and to continuously improve product performance through innovation. “A lot has changed in the market in the past decade, but our ethos of customer collaboration, service and quality remains the same, and we are delighted that Shepley Windows continues to benefit from choosing Rapierstar fasteners. Looking ahead, we will be working hard to ensure that Shepley’s design and production teams can benefit further from our added-value services and we look forward to continuing our long relationship,” comments David Furness, managing director at Rapierstar.
Competitively priced quality tooling Since the company was founded in 1989, RLS Tooling Ltd has strived to become a rolling die manufacturer with a reputation for supplying competitively priced quality tooling, delivered on time to the global market.
hrough constantly updating its machines, processes, systems, training, and listening to customers’ needs, the company has achieved its goal and is able to produce a full range of flat dies for standard, special and licenced thread forms. RLS even holds a range of flat thread rolling dies in stock with Metric threads for immediate delivery to help customers with an even faster delivery. RLS also manufactures a range of circular thread rolls for most common two roll machines up to a maximum of 315mm diameter. For reasons of economy, and to maximise tool life, the company offers a full regrind service on these large diameter rolls. It can also manufacture rolls for the Fette three roll system. Through the knowledge and experience within the business, RLS is able to manufacture bespoke dies to customers’ sample drawings. It also holds licences to manufacture the full range of Taptite® and Remform® thread forming screw dies. These are popular with big assembly lines due to the cost savings made by not having to tap the thread before assembly. The company also holds a licence to manufacture dies for the MAThread® screws, which is used widely for automatic assembly lines due to its high resistance to cross threading. RLS can also manufacture Excalibur Screwbolt® dies that are used for special bolts to be driven into concrete without the need for using plugs. The company uses a range of materials such as D2, HSS and powder metallurgy type, depending on applications, all of which can be coated for increased tool life. RLS would recommend using its HP1 for rolling the tougher stainless steels andits HP2 for rolling Grade 12.9. “We are a customer focused supplier that believes in forging long-term relationships with our customers that is beneficial to both,” states Marcus Smith, managing director at RLS. www.rlstooling.co.uk
Smooth commissioning and safe operation Chinese Guangdong Guoxin Industrial Co Ltd has awarded SMS Group the final acceptance certificate after the successful commissioning of two single strand wire rod mills for its Jieyang works in Guangdong province.
esigned for an annual capacity of 1.4 million tonnes (700,000 tonnes per wire rod mill), the two single strand high-speed mills roll wire rod in diameters from 5.5mm to 25mm and rebar in diameters between 6mm and 14mm. The originally planned rolling speed of up to 105 metres per second has been exceeded; wire rod sizes have already been rolled at speeds of 120 metres per second. The steel grades to be rolled comprise cold heading, alloyed, spring and stainless steels as well as tyre cord and welding wire. SMS Group supplied the high-speed area mechanical equipment starting from the four-stand pre-finishing mill, shear system in front of the finishing block, 6+4-stand finishing block arrangement, pinch roll, loop laying head and all related water boxes. Due to the well proven 6+4-stand arrangement, all final dimensions can be finish rolled in a maximum of four passes and thus be rolled thermo-mechanically, i.e. at low temperatures and with close dimensional tolerances. Besides the mechanical equipment, SMS Group provided the electrical and automation system for the complete line (including motors, drives and sensors), and was responsible for the supervision services for erection and commissioning.
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Manufacturer and stockist of Quality Threading Tools
www.rlstooling.co.uk Product range • Flat thread rolling dies • Flat knurling dies • Flat form rolling dies • Circular thread rolls • Tangential chasers
email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: +44 (0)1543 271 808 fax: +44 (0)1543 277 571
Licenced Products • Taptite 2000® • Duo Taptite® • Powerlok® • High-Torque® • Taptite II® • Taptite® CA • Plastite® • Screwbolt® • Mathread® • Remform®
Apex Business Park, Walsall Road, Norton Canes, Cannock, Staffs, WS11 9PU, England
IN-LINE WIRE DRAWING MACHINES For calibrating wire from 2,0 to 35,0 m, in-line with cold headers and machines for chains.
FOR YOUR IN-LINE AND OFF-LINE WIRE DRAWING NEEDS
HORIZONTAL WIRE DRAWING BULLBLOCKS For coil-to-coil wire drawing of cold heading wire from 5,0 to 32,0 mm. Our lines are supplied complete with uncoilers, wire pointers, take-up units, coil compactors.
Tel. +39 0341.604801 Fax +39 0341.604289 www.tecnoimpianti-italy.com email@example.com
Cold forming tooling specialists Major Industries Ltd is a manufacturer and supplier of tooling for the cold and warm forging industry across the globe. With thirty-five years of experience, the company says it has earnt an unrivalled reputation for quality, reliability and on-time delivery to a wide range of customers in the automotive, aerospace and general fastening sectors.
ajor Industries can provide a wide spectrum of tooling and its in-house heat treatment and PVD. coating facilities enable the company, in most cases, to control the entire production process from raw material to finished tool without the need for outside input. This, of course, also ensures enhanced traceability on the rare occasions that such a facility is required. Its factory in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, employs around 170 people and a new 8,000m2 unit is currently in the process of being built in order to increase Major Industriesâ€™ capacity even further. Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, Major Industriesâ€™ main business was heat treatment, which has stood it in good stead over the years by augmenting its knowledge of metallurgical principles. It is therefore able to offer suggestions for a more appropriate choice of raw material for the tool and a tailored heat treatment for any particular application. Major Industries also has a network of agents around the world who are on hand to deal with the day-to-day requirements of customers and to help solve previously intractable issues affecting tool life where possible. Mil-Tip patented carbide-tipped piercing punches were initially at the forefront of the companyâ€™s endeavour to provide lasting, cost-effective solutions in problem areas and, since then, its has applied its expertise to forming punches, K.O. pins, sleeves, punch and die inserts, die assemblies and a whole range of other tooling. Complex forms for punches and dies pose no problem and the company also has 3D computer imaging technology to ensure its tooling is helping to create a broad diversity of sophisticated end products for many industrial and commercial applications.
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We are specialized in: Cold forming tools
Tooling for cold forging in steel and carbide
Mashine spare parts and Transfer parts Thread rolling dies
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MTK – 30 years in the industry MTK Metal-Komerc d.o.o is a European supplier of hard metal tools and steel tools, selling its products successfully to foreign markets for almost 30 years. Its range comprises of a wide selection of tools that are used in almost all industries including wire, tube and sheet processing, as well as the fastener, automotive, pharmacy, and defence industries.
ith approximately 100 young, qualified employees, the company emphasises its constant investment in production, modern equipment and staff training to secure a road to success – which it has followed for years now. MTK is therefore fully equipped with all metal processing machines – CNC turning, CNC milling, CNC grinding, EDM wire cutting, EDM discharge, and 5 axes machining centres. MTK also has its own heat treatment in a vacuum furnace, which is further proof that the company can guarantee its quality – controlling all processes by keeping them in-house. MTK can supply standard products such as drawing tools (dies and mandrels), cold and hot forging tools, tools for the fastener industry, and rolls for cold and hot rolling. The company can also supply special tools custom made to meet customers’ particular requests. Looking ahead, MTK has big plans to expand its production facilities and wants to increase its production capacity by 20% in 2019. It is also looking forward to exhibiting at the IWA Outdoor and Classics Show in Nuremberg from 8th – 11th March 2019, and wire® Düsseldorf 30 th March – 3rd April 2020. www.mtk.rs
The importance of reliability and transparency in coating By Lammert de Boer, global director – ZinKlad & DecoKlad, MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions Fastener coatings play a key role across many industries, from aerospace and automotive to construction and energy. Surface treatments can help to increase the lifespan of fasteners, improve quality perceptions and ultimately, enhance the end user experience. However, given the degree that coatings across these industries can vary, and the potential impact of fasteners failing in the field, the right coating for each application is crucial.
t is therefore important that coatings maintain a consistent and reliable performance, as well as uphold transparency and trust along the supply chain – both to ensure peace of mind for specifiers and to help keep quality a priority. This is particularly apparent in the automotive industry, where these values are critical for success.
The ever-changing nature of the automotive industry means that fastener coatings specialists must remain at the forefront of the latest technology developments to provide consistent, high-quality performance. The safety critical nature of the industry, and robust legislation that governs this, means that applicators have a unique set of demands when it comes to the coating of choice. For instance, the strict legislative landscape in the automotive industry requires all coatings to be assessed using industry standard test procedures, such as neutral salt spray (NSS), cyclic corrosion testing (CCT) and coefficient of friction (CoF). Documentation and evaluation, including statistical process control (SPC) and Six Sigma techniques, are also crucial to ensuring consistency throughout a component’s life cycle and instilling confidence in specifiers.
Fastener coatings for automotive components need to comply with strict industry standards, to ensure reliabilty and build trust in the supply chain
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Whether it is a coating for powertrain, exterior, interior or safety critical fasteners, superior functionality is a key requirement for automotive applicators. High corrosion resistance is an important consideration for fastener coatings in automotive applications, as the coating extends the life cycle of the fastener. Exterior fasteners require the highest level of corrosion resistance on a vehicle, due to their prolonged exposure to outside elements. For instance, compared to interior powertrain fasteners that require just 72 hours’ resistance to NSS, exterior coatings need to withstand more than 1,000 hours of NSS accelerated testing, without red rust. Similarly, powertrain fasteners need to provide excellent performance and durability, as corrosion resistance and friction requirements can vary across engine and transmission systems. Automotive coatings also need to display good wear resistance to maintain a strong performance. For example, self-cutting thread screws require a hard and highly adhesive coating, such as zinc-nickel. As sacrificial coatings typically have widely varying CoFs, it can also be difficult to determine consistency during automated assembly. Therefore, dry film lubricants are often applied to provide predictable CoF and ensure a reliable performance.
Electroplating remains an important technique for applicators looking to maintain a consistent performance for fastener coatings, and therefore safeguard trust across the industry. However, there are several factors that can influence the end results. For instance, the cleaning stage can be overlooked by applicators, with price typically used as a primary purchasing driver for pre-treatment systems. By first removing grease and any oxide layers, this ensures excellent adhesion between the fastener and coating, as well as helping to maintain a constant appearance. Therefore, a proven high performance and longer lasting cleaning process can help prevent redeposition and ensure the fastener lasts between plant maintenance schedules. Pre-treatment systems that are built at a lower cost often lack the additives that give both high performance and aid with a longer bath life. Depending on the level of resistance required, the plating process conditions also need to be clearly defined to achieve the best results – and this is usually managed by SPC. Again, different solutions are available depending on the application, and the composition of electrolytes can be varied accordingly. For example, alkaline electrolytes offer a good deposit distribution – an important consideration for complex shapes – while acidic electrolytes are better suited to hardened materials. As such, the characteristics of coatings can be easily modified through changing the plating conditions, electrolyte composition, or post-treatment system, to meet the design engineer’s performance requirements.
Unrivaled consistency Quality Performance Systems We are MacDermid Enthone. We have been consistently supplying you with superior quality, technical service and customer support for all of your surface finishing applications. Our Quality Performance Systems help automotive engineers and designers to specify the right products in a sustainable world. This unique program tackles the challenges for high performance automotive coatings. OEMs can be confident that the same coatings and consistent performance are available worldwide.
Programs • ZinKlad® for anti-corrosion coatings • DecoKlad for decorative coatings • ISO certified OEM quality performance programs For more information, please contact us at: macdermidenthone.com/industrial MEIS/B88-2018
© 2018 MacDermid Enthone
MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY Another important aspect of plating is the passivation process. Often used as an intermediate layer between an anodic corrosion protection layer, such as zinc or zinc-nickel, and the final sealer or organic protection layer, passivation increases corrosion resistance. With more companies than ever before demanding environmentally friendly solutions, applicators need to respond accordingly and select passivates that provide optimal performance and are hexavalent chromium-free, in-line with the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) directive. Critically, the automotive supply chain needs to have evidence that the materials used meet this requirement every time.
High performance and durability are crucial for powertrain fasteners, to meet demanding corrosion resistance requirements and ensure consistent coefficient of friction across engine and transmission systems
Finally, the post-treatment stage in plating is crucial, as it can be tailored to suit a variety of applications to provide consistency. The system, which contains lubricants and waxes in a dry film deposit, has a significant impact on the final layer, and therefore the overall CoF and performance. Although the finished result should always be checked by the end user in the manufacturing supply chain, it is the responsibility of the applicator to follow the specification of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), to ensure consistently reliable results. To support this process and ensure dependable quality throughout the supply chain, MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions (MEIS) has a global network of approved applicators in place through ZinKlad®, its quality performance system. This select group of ZinKlad applicators helps to provide global consistency on a local level, by driving quality and
The ZinKlad® programme helps to provide unrivalled global consistency on a local level
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delivery improvements, while maintaining competitive prices. As a greater emphasis is placed on quality and performance across increasingly innovative industries, the ZinKlad network can support OEMs and tier 1s in building and maintaining trust, with the peace of mind that the parts they specify will always be consistent and available.
The threat of ‘fake’ coatings
Without the proper controls in place, inferior or so-called ‘fake’ coatings can significantly affect trust in the coatings industry – creating a lack of confidence in the supply chain and the final product. By not complying fully with the specification or opting for inferior, low cost chemicals, quality issues such as cracks, blisters or uneven thickness distribution can arise and increase the risk of accelerated corrosion, leading to premature component failure. Importantly, any functional failure – particularly to safety critical fasteners – can cause the entire system to fail, which could be highly detrimental to the end user’s brand, leading to a loss of trust amongst vehicle owners and potentially, compromised safety. Similarly, any inconsistencies in appearance would not be acceptable to the end user. By choosing suppliers with a proven track record in delivering reliable components, there is an opportunity to produce coatings that maintain performance and safeguard trust among end users.
To avoid the potential pitfalls of fake coatings, it is important that the right quality performance system is put in place. Systems like MEIS’s ZinKlad programme work with applicators, tier 1s and OEMs globally, to continuously improve performance and ensure global consistency no matter where in the world the coating is applied. By conducting audits, carrying out inspections and testing production outputs against agreed technical requirements, the programme helps to validate applicators’ processes to meet pre-defined ZinKlad standards. Particularly in a strict regulatory environment, the ZinKlad programme allows applicators to comply with the latest legislation, such as the REACH and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations. Furthermore, MEIS has an established Plating Academy, offering platers and OEMs the opportunity to gain technical and commercial knowledge on key processes and technologies. With varying levels of support, the academy is creating a network of specialists, who can solve technical challenges and support others operating within the supply chain – helping to deliver consistently high-quality electroplating for OEMs and end users.
The future of coatings
Amid a rapidly developing landscape, it is crucial that coatings providers continue to innovate to meet manufacturers’ evolving expectations – to stay ahead of the market and build confidence that coatings will always be high performance and reliable. Without the right processes and technologies in place, there could be significant challenges in meeting this goal, in terms of quality, safety, transparency and trust. MEIS is continually working to enhance its products and processes, by developing new technologies and increasing its knowledge of end user markets. Through increased investment in research and development, improved customer facing service, and maintaining strategic focus, specifiers can ensure that high performance coatings can be used time and time again – resulting in both cost and operational savings. macdermidenthone.com/industrial
High performance tools
HEROSLAM S.A.L is a manufacturer of top quality and long life thread rolling tools for the fastener industry, offering a complete range of high performance tools – including flat and planetary dies, as well as cylindrical thread rolling dies.
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ith more than 70 years of experience, HEROSLAM offers flat, cylindrical and planetary thread rolling dies for aerospace fasteners, ogival, knurling and grooving dies, as well as special thread forms upon customers’ request. HEROSLAM also specialises in special dies for Mathread® and Matpoint® fasteners, paintscraper fasteners, hose clamp fasteners, plus combination dies to perform different operations in one pass. All HEROSLAM’s flat dies are made by the grinding process, thus meeting the highest standards in profile quality and precision, guaranteeing an excellent tool performance. This, in combination with HEROSLAM’s in-house coating facilities, enables the company to offer long life tools for the most demanding applications such as thread rolling tempered parts in Grades 10.9, 12.9 and 15.9. HEROSLAM also manufactures a wide range of cylindrical dies (2 or 3 dies per set), which offer multiple possibilities and advantages for thread rolling very hard materials or large size trapezoidal profiles with greater precision and quality. Also available are planetary thread rolling dies to offer customers significant economic advantages. Depending on each application, HEROSLAM can manufacture planetary dies in different materials, making it a unique tool, more durable and of higher performance. Planetary dies for different applications such as U-bolts, nails, as well as for Mathread and Taptite® fasteners are also manufactured, and all tools are made in-house. All heat treatment and coatings are also carried out in-house.
INSPIRING THE FUTURE WIRE
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Sacma’s Combined Headers are the most competitive machines for threaded fastener production from M4 to M24
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One-shot process from wire to finished parts The more effective solution for high productivity requirements by utilizing seamless workflow for the heading, pointing and threading of standard and special fasteners. It provides a complete control to assure quality and to minimize manpower for the highest production efficiency. The process costs are significantly reduced by requiring less floor space and lower energy consumption and by reducing the internal material handling. A complete headed, pointed and threaded fastener is made on every machine stroke up to 350ppm. Ask for more information to : firstname.lastname@example.org
Sacma Limbiate S.p.A • Viale Dei Mille 126-128
20812 Limbiate (MB) - ITALY Ph. +39 0299 4521 • email@example.com
MANAGEMENT + SYSTEMS
100% logistics optimisation at Dimac
eeping pace with the most demanding market requirements, Dimac Srl is committed to providing customers with turnkey solutions such as broad portfolios of maintenance and aftersales support. This includes a comprehensive, targeted service for the optimum availability, traceability and delivery capacity of its machines’ spare parts. Particularly on this point, Dimac is further implementing its intralogistics system with an innovative warehouse technology that develops a smart, extensive, close-knit logistics network. “Our customers are active all over the world and solutions must be readily on hand. Nowadays, timely delivery is no more a plus but a must, to remain competitive and play a key role in crucial segments for car manufacturers such as the fastener industry,” says Massimo Agrati, general manager at Dimac. The warehouse management is closely connected to the overall company’s management, e.g production supply, sales, distribution and on-site servicing. Giuseppe Mastrandrea, logistics manager at Dimac, explains: “We are planning to integrate our automated vertical carousel storage with robotics and IoT elements to make the unit-load system more and more dynamic, quicker and efficient. This will improve our productivity as well as the spare parts consignment.”
Our customers are active all over the world and solutions must be readily on hand.”
The key to remaining competitive in the automotive industry is to provide excellent order fulfillment through efficient product delivery. This is true for the entire B2B sector involved in the supply chain, which is always required to deliver ‘just in time’ and ‘just in sequence’.
On the one hand, production benefits from a perfectly working inventory, continuously monitoring the total amount of stock available for the manufacturer of machines. On the other hand, customers are ‘real time’ assured of the shipment and delivery promptness for any spare parts needed. The vertical automatic storage system is served by a lift device and its configuration allows the positioning of drawers at varying heights, depending on the type of load unit stored. A series of numbered shelves, working on wheel concept, rotates around a track to deliver the stored items quickly to an ergonomically positioned work. Giuseppe continues: “Shelves are configured to create a storage system that maximises storage density, allowing at the same time the easy management of picking lists by rapid access to the archive consultation.” The stocked material is basically shared in mechanic and electric: The former warehouse is based on the purchase orders, allowing Dimac servicing to be predictive, reactive and proactive to the customers’ requirements as well as to the production needs. The latter is conceived on a minimum and safety stock, held to guard against any stock-out. “Our ERP system integrates the inventory management software, easily identifying the exact location of the pick and displaying additional information such as quantity to pick, part number and part description,” continues Giuseppe. R&D is working to include the very heart of Dimac’s logistics process in the brand’s state of the art, cloud-based eco-system. “This will allow us to optimise the material flows and the spare parts handling, giving an optimal ratio between performances, work times, elimination of errors, storage control and traceability of materials and operations,” concludes Mr Agrati. Dimac has also announced that its new headquarters will host a wider logistics area with additional vertical automatic storage systems. www.dimacsrl.com
MANAGEMENT + SYSTEMS
Adapting to new technologies Technological advancements are a common occurrence in today’s fast paced, digital society. However, as increasingly innovative and intelligent solutions are released, there’s often a split reaction between the digital innovators who want to be the first to implement them and those who hold back, preferring more traditional methods. Unlike the technology it concerns, this divide is nothing new. Here, Houghton International discusses the stalemate between those who welcome change and those who shy away from it.
he technology we take for granted nowadays is dependent on a single major technological milestone – the advent of electricity. Following the invention of the light bulb in the late 1870s, 1881 saw Thomas Edison build electricity generating stations in Manhattan and London. 12 months later electricity was available as a commodity, and changed industry forever. At the time, many factories and industries were reliant on steam power, driven by large, cumbersome and often dangerous machinery. Once electricity was made available, this could all change – but it didn’t. It might not be the 1920s, but we’re still facing a similar technological vs traditional battle. Take electric motors themselves for example. While they have been fully adopted into many applications, business owners are still facing decisions on whether to upgrade their model to one that promises further efficiencies. The disparity between those who embrace change and those who do not is being further widened by Industry 4.0. Dubbed the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 is transforming industries through automation and real time data. One example of this is condition monitoring, the process of using technology to monitor the state of machinery to detect significant change and therefore problems. Instrumental in predictive maintenance, condition monitoring can involve techniques such as vibration and lubricant analysis as well as acoustic emissions. For those who have enabled Industry 4.0 already, they are already at an advantage, as they are able to anticipate when maintenance work will be required, in turn reducing the impact unplanned downtime can have. Those who are unaware of the potential of Industry 4.0 are unable to access this level of insight, putting them at an automatic disadvantage.
Extracting the benefits from new technology
There will always be new technology on the horizon; that’s how society got to where it is today and how it will continue to move forward in the future. So what advice can businesses benefit from? Fully establish the benefits of any investment in technology you’re planning to make in advance and establish how it will be positioned within your operations. Consider the amount of work that is required for implementation and whether this and the associated costs are justified by what you’ll gain. If in doubt, enlist the help of a professional to advise you on the right solution. Whether you’re implementing a small change or a major alteration to your company’s infrastructure, technology remains at the heart of how every sector now operates. Shying away from digital advancements is no longer an option; choose to be an innovator or delay the implementation of these new developments. Either way, change is happening now – and you can’t afford to stand still.
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…change is happening now – and you can’t afford to stand still.” About the author
Founded in 1984, Houghton International has expanded over the last 30 years into a multi-million pound, multinational business. The company has grown from originally serving one customer to now working with over 200 customers globally. Houghton International currently exports to over 23 countries worldwide, including Canada, Greece, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Norway, Venezuela, Malaysia, the Middle East, the USA and the Caribbean. Houghton International specialises in the repair, maintenance and life extension of rotating electrical assets. Servicing a broad range of sectors, its customers benefit from over 30 years of multi industry experience in electro mechanical engineering and coil manufacture.
FASTENERS ARE MADE AROUND THE WORLD...
November Special Feature: MADE IN Poland For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
MANAGEMENT + SYSTEMS
GDPR: Key considerations for the manufacturing sector By Natasha Bougourd, lead applications writer, TSG GDPR has been enforced for around two months now, and yet despite the deadline passing, many businesses still don’t consider themselves prepared to comply. Only a month before the deadline, a Crowd Research report declared that 93% of respondents were not yet ‘in full compliance’ with the regulation.
eadlines around GDPR have focused on the potentially eye-watering fines – a maximum of 4% of global turnover or €20 million, whichever is higher – but haven’t offered much detail or guidance. The good news is that 80% of those surveyed identified GDPR as a key business priority, and compliance is more of an ongoing journey than a task that could be marked as completed on 25th May 2018. The manufacturing industry has seen a significant uplift in recent years thanks to getting a grasp on big data. It’s been argued that GDPR could pose a threat to the innovation afforded by correctly utilising big data to make smarter decisions. The key element to consider with GDPR is that it only applies to Personally Identifiable Information (PII); this is the data you need to protect and identify more consumer-led methods of processing. Consent is key, with businesses heavily sanctioned for using data without explicit individual consent. Here are some of the key areas manufacturers need to address to ensure long-term compliance with GDPR.
Protecting your digital data
When you’re dealing with data – whether that’s big data or not – chances are, you’re processing more than ever before. Many businesses that don’t store customers’ personal information make the mistake of thinking this doesn’t apply to them; however, all businesses will at the very least hold employee information. Therefore, all businesses must put measures in place to safeguard that digitally-stored data. Cyber security is the first stop on your GDPR journey. By building your walls of defence and making them as high and
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complex as possible, you not only drastically reduce the risk of your data being breached or stolen, but in the event a hacker does get through, you’ll be able to prove that you put those measures in place. That itself is more important to the data protection governing body than experiencing a breach itself.
Start by encrypting data
You shouldn’t just implement one technology to protect your data; a multi-pronged defence means there are more hoops for the cyber criminals to jump through. However, the method that should be at the top of your list is encryption; not only is it a robust way to keep your data inaccessible to cyber criminals, it’s recommended throughout the full GDPR documentation. Should any PII data you hold fall into the wrong hands – whether deliberately or accidentally – encryption will render it unintelligible. Encryption can operate at a file, folder, device or even server level, offering the level of protection most suited to your business needs.
Evaluate how you process data
The deadline for Subject Access Requests (SAR)
The GDPR empowers consumers to check how you’re processing their data, as well as rectifying and, in some cases, removing their data from your database. Under GDPR you’ll have only a month to respond to these requests, otherwise you’ll be at risk of non-compliance. Not all deletion requests need to be followed, as some businesses have a legitimate interest in holding your data. Could your landlord serve you whilst holding no contact information for you? More guidance on this in the UK can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) GDPR guide.
Finally… don’t panic
It’s important to note that simply experiencing a cyber attack or data breach won’t automatically result in financial punishment; the GDPR clearly states that, should you prove you put in place measures to protect your PII data, you won’t be hit with the most severe fines. Reviewing your existing policies and processes, as well as implementing new GDPR-specific processes, adding layers of cyber security and knowing what to do in the event of a breach are actions that will all stand you in good stead for GDPR.
About the author
It’s a subject nobody wants to talk about, but you need to know what happens in the event that your data is stolen or breached. Whilst businesses are most fearful of experiencing a data leak, not reporting it could be considered a bigger infraction than the breach itself. Businesses must report it within 72 hours of discovery. It’s especially important to note this, as failing to meet this obligation could be considered a bigger breach of the GDPR than the data leak itself. Not all breaches need to be reported. For example, if an employee loses a business issued smartphone that has been encrypted, you don’t need to report it because your data will be inaccessible. It’s best to check the guidance to find out exactly what you need to report.
Natasha Bougourd is TSG’s lead applications writer, specialising in IT support, Office 365, Dynamics Nav modules, hosted telephony solutions and business intelligence. TSG is an IT support company that has expertise across a wide range of technologies and has helped businesses achieve GDPR compliance through the use of technology. From Office 365 to Sage and Pegasus ERP solutions to IT support, infrastructure and cyber security solutions, TSG has a highly skilled workforce working across all areas of business tech. Holding 8 Microsoft Gold competencies, TSG places focus on a highly skilled and qualified workforce with over 1,000 recognised accreditations between its team of experts, including MSCE Certifications, Prince2 and ITIL qualifications.
Fully integrated ERP software specifically designed for Stockists, Distributors, Wholesalers, Merchants & Manufacturers Manage your Rebates with Merlin Merlin has just launched a new Rebates module, designed based on feedback from the industry. Manage the 5 main Rebate Terms (Stepped, Flat Amount, Retrospective, Growth Bonus, Marketing Contribution). Plus...you can also manage Sales Commisions For further information contact us: e: email@example.com t: 01246 457150 w. www.merlinbusinesssoftware.com
MANAGEMENT + SYSTEMS
When does your operation demand WMS, not inventory management? By Alex Mills, sales and marketing director, ProSKU Warehouse management systems (WMS) are widely used in larger organisations where stock and order volumes demand a high-level of control. However, in smaller companies, where stock turn and order volumes might be lower, much of the same problems are experienced when handling ‘physical stock’. Therefore, is a WMS about high-levels of control or just the way to do things properly, and is it something that businesses of any size could use?
he usual route for a growing company is to perceive a need for ‘stock control’ at a certain stage of its development. Software modules that provide it are often a component of accounts systems or, in the e-retail sector, online selling solutions. Most businesses need accounts and order capture so there is a logical step to using the stock or inventory solutions that come with them. What these systems do in many cases is OK. If you do not hold the stock yourself you may only need a numeric stock total in order to advise availability to your customers. If you hold your own stock but work with smaller quantities and order volumes such a solution may also be adequate. But as your business expands the problem of relying on a system for stock accuracy that does not control stock in the physical sense – or is not linked to one that does – becomes bigger. That is one reason why larger companies nearly always consider WMS to be essential. The other reasons are for operational efficiency. As you expand, hold more stock, and process higher numbers of orders, the level of operational control you need to do so efficiently increases. This is where the control offered by WMS – based on system instruction, verification of stock transactions, and increasingly, real time movement updates – becomes the only true form of ‘stock control’. In other words, these businesses need to know not just how much stock they have but also other information such as where it is located, whether it is accessible, how old it is, its weight and size, and more. So what stops smaller businesses embracing the WMS system? Clearly cost has been a deterrent in the past, with little available in the market for the smaller company. But now, cloud-hosted systems such as ProSKU are available by monthly subscription, which makes them accessible to a wide range of companies. The monthly cost of use can represent a minimal sum compared with total labour and operating expenses, and requires little cost justification in the traditional sense. It would be wrong to say ROI does not matter, but it is of less concern than with capital projects. A capital spend involves cash outlay, so a decision to invest in software rather than other business areas needs to be justified. You need to know when you will get your money back! A service-based solution on the other hand need only be justified to the extent of its minimum term. This can de-risk the exercise, enabling benefits to be realised, or assessed, at low cost. The potential upheaval to implement a WMS system also deters smaller businesses. But now, with no need to install big infrastructure, manage servers, or administer a database, things are much simpler. Systems developed specifically for the cloud with the latest web technology and API functionality mean fewer integration issues. In ProSKU’s case we have used experience of larger company projects to refine set-up processes and perfect a system genuinely accessible to the smaller user.
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So does a WMS pay for itself in the smaller company? People often say: “We’ve only two people in the warehouse, it wouldn’t give us any benefit.” I disagree. Even with just two people you will see some savings. They will not be huge, as the cost of using a system is higher as a proportion of labour cost. But based on expected improvements, savings become significant at around four warehouse employees, when annual efficiency gains would equate in value to around one staff member. As staff numbers hit double figures, you could expect savings of around GB£45,000 – GB£50,000 per year, or two to three staff members, based on employee costs of GB£7.50 per hour, plus minimum on-costs. Bear in mind this is probably a cautious estimate. The number of factors you can improve by using a WMS and their knock-on business effects mean you could see considerably greater benefits. In the end, what value do you put on customer satisfaction and retention?
Johan Smit Fasteners? Inventory
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Johan Smit Fasteners www.johsmit.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
A passion for successful joining The automotive industry cannot do without them – modern lightweight concepts. Not only do they considerably improve vehicle dynamics, they also help to reduce emissions. Here Wilhelm A. Böllhoff, joint managing director at Böllhoff Group, looks at why lightweight construction will continue to be a key technology for the automotive market in the future.
ightweight construction is a key topic within the automotive sector for both future cars and the e-mobility market. In 1988/89 Audi started the move towards the lightweight trend with the use of the space frame for the Audi A8. The reason was that using the space frame resulted in every car becoming heavier, so companies needed to reduce weight elsewhere. In the 2000s, there was the political push to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which created further demand for cars to become lighter. The drive to efficient lightweight construction led to multi-material concepts for the design of cars. Nowadays there are the reliable multi-material designs with aluminium (die-cast, extruded profile, sheet metal), multiple layer joints, applications with adhesive as intermediate layer and deep-drawing steels with a tensile strength of up to 500MPa. All these different multi-material concepts led to innovative fastening technology being needed – a prime example of this is the established RIVSET self-pierce riveting technology, which allows users to join different materials in a single production without pre-punching. Now, high strength steels with a tensile strength of up to 1,600MPa have been added, which are suitable for series production. In the context of lightweight construction and the use of related materials, the self-piercing riveting technology with semi-tubular rivets had to be further developed beyond the known technology limits.
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High strength results
As a fastening technology expert, Böllhoff develops fasteners according to the material trends. A great number of fastener varieties result from the many possibilities of use. For instance, RIVSET self-pierce rivets can vary in geometry, hardness, surface, head shape, shank length and diameter. The application defines the rivet type.
Resulting from continuous further development, Böllhoff introduced the RIVSET HDX for solutions to join materials with tensile strengths of up to 1,600MPa and a sheet thickness of 1.8mm in the top layer in series. The fastener geometry of the RIVSET has been optimised and the rivet hardness adapted. However, today’s body designs are not only characterised by an innovative use of materials.
E-mobility the future?
With e-mobility we see more opportunities than risks. However, the car market today is around 85 – 90 million cars, and forecasts are predicting the market is set to grow to 120 million by 2020. The majority of this growth will be through traditional cars (diesel and gasoline), with e-mobility representing only a small percentage. Maybe in 10 years the growth of traditional engines will start to decline, and e-mobility might increase, but at the moment I don’t think the infrastructure within cities across Europe is really prepared fully for e-mobility. We are however currently working with a leading e-mobility OEM in the USA and our ability to supply the installation machinery and products is a big benefit for us because it means that the interface and system is from one company. In the case of development, this means that customers are working with one partner not two. We also see China as an interesting market for the future as it is investing heavily in the manufacture of e-drive cars. There are brands in China under development, which Böllhoff is working with, that will not be known in the market. But there are some very exciting projects that in five years will be very interesting. I think it is the Chinese attempting to become a key player within the e-mobility sector. There is no point competing against the established western manufacturers for ‘traditional’ cars, but the e-mobility market is a different matter.
Providing joining solutions
For us innovation means real innovations and new technologies, as well as the continuous aim to multiple and improve the design of old products to become better. A good example is the HELICOIL, which is an old technology with a patent from the 1930s. However, in addition to still having a high usage within the market, we are inventing a lot of improvements within the HELICOIL – so the installation can be faster; security can be better; and users you can use different installation tools.
Automotive customers are also more willing to work on new solutions with us. There are some OEMs that have huge development departments for joining technology, but our customers can rely on us and our technical knowledge. It is about having a constructive cooperation to get the best solution. By working with automotive customers we can help improve lifecycle costs and cost weight reduction. However, it does depend on the type of car.
Böllhoff Group Structure: 40 locations in 24 countries Headquarters: Bielefeld, Germany Group turnover: €620 million (2017) Global employees: 3,000+
At Böllhoff we are heavily involved in the luxury and middle-sized cars, where the costs don’t have such a big role and the move to lightweight concepts is more prominent and they are open to different technologies. For the smaller cars they are still using more welding, and there is not as much pressure to reduce the weight. When there is a pressure to reduce the weight there has to be standardisation within the products, because it is not cost-effective to have lots of different technologies. This is where innovation can play a key part because to become better in production, standardisation of the products and processes plays a vital role. One example was the Audi Q7, which weighed more than 2 tonnes. For the new model Audi wanted to reduce the weight below 2 tonnes. We were heavily involved in this project because of the joining technology. We helped reduce the material weight, by introducing new joining solutions. One of the challenges of working with an automotive OEM is that you have to be able to innovate for the future. The cycle time of a car is maybe 6 – 8 years, so when you see a new car today in the street, we are already working on the next model that will be introduced in 2024. Standardisation is also good for the volumes of the market. That is why we have invested heavily in the RIVSET elements over the last six years, to be able to produce double the amount – 3 billion. However, we are already looking to double it again.
Maybe in 10 years the growth of traditional engines will start to decline, and e-mobility might increase, but at the moment I don’t think the infrastructure within cities across Europe is really prepared fully for e-mobility.” FASTENERANDFIXING.COM 153
RIVSET Automation EH – the best of two worlds combining setting tools with 100% electrical control for setting forces 60kN and 78kN
Maximum life and minimum maintenance
Böllhoff has also broken new ground with the innovative assembly system RIVSET Automation EH. For this assembly system, the focus is on the functionality, flexibility and design. Plus, a long life, maximum availability and minimum maintenance – this is the foundation for effective production. The intelligent machine variants – modular, comprehensive range – allows high flexibility for prototyping to large-scale production. The fast and high performance control provides and open software interfaces for robot communication, as well as for provision of data via OPC UA. The main requirements for such systems are a 100% electrical installation on robots (no hose coupling), the compensation of punches (for high strength steel applications with tensile strengths up to 1,600MPa) and short process times – for some application < 1.5s. These systems are hard to outperform, since a TPM-concept is also provided. Further technical key highlights are the new die changer, the new magazine feed, as well as the new RIVSET feeder with simple feeding technology. The new die changer is suited for up to 8 dies and die changing takes less than 6 seconds. The optional automatic 100% die recognition improves production reliability.
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Nothing compares to the new magazine feed. Rivet sequences of the same rivet diameter and up to eight different rivet lengths are processed. Partial loading and buffers are available. A die change takes less than four seconds and is executed during nonproductive cycle times.
Plug & play
For modern production systems, production planning and control are also of great importance for defining and optimising manufacturing processes. In cooperation with customers, they elaborate new concepts, such as a software-based workflow to plan and handle the procurement of process devices. Transparent and project specific data and information are thus guaranteed. Another example is an intelligent delivery concept based on the modular design of Böllhoff components. Time critical machine components are separated from non time critical components. Those are two concepts that are very useful contributions to a flexible and equally efficient production and procurement planning. www.boellhoff.com
Successful start to 2018 Böllhoff Group has reported a successful first half of 2018, with order intake at a high-level and further growth impulses expected from the cooperation with automotive and industrial customers, with sales expected to rise again this year.
L-R: Michael and Wilhelm Böllhoff, joint managing partners at the Böllhoff Group
ilhelm A. Böllhoff explains: “We have used the healthy economy to expand our activities in the relevant markets in Europe, Asia and North and South America. Through innovations for new applications and investments in more capacities and more efficient processes, we were able to achieve disproportionate growth.” Böllhoff Group is reacting to the positive development of recent years with further investments in its logistics and production. The combined investment volume for 2018 and 2019 will amount to €150 million. “We will shortly start to build another logistics centre in Oelsnitz-Taltitz in Saxony, Germany,” mentions Michael. “The central location allows an optimal logistic connection to all European sales markets. With more than 10 hectares, the location also offers sufficient reserves for further growth.” In Bielefeld, the former factory buildings are currently being modernised and brought up to the latest technical standards. In the course of the year, the metal production facilities will move to the updated building. The area then made available will be used to expand production capacities for plastic injection moulded parts.
Wilhelm adds: “We are also investing in foreign growth markets. The largest investments will be in France and China, where we will also expand the logistic and production capacities.” Böllhoff Group’s product range is also now significantly higher, with the original assortment of standard parts developed to include threaded inserts, quick-release fasteners, self-piercing rivets, adhesive fasteners and precision plastic parts. “The core business today is not only to support the customers with a wide range of products, but to accompany them throughout the complete value-added chain; optimising processes and reducing costs,” explains Wilhelm. “Our portfolio of technologies and services aim at combining modern materials and construction methods, economical procurement, stocking and delivery, as well as the reduction of assembly times and costs. This enables us to achieve Böllhoff’s corporate philosophy: ‘From the screw to the completed assembly.’
Optimas helps develop the taxi of the future When reinventing an automotive icon, manufacturers are required to preserve the ethos of the original model while bringing the concept in-line with modern technology. A difficult balance to achieve, but one that seems to have been struck by LEVC (London EV Company) and its new TX, the advanced electric taxi.
o achieve the performance and efficiency levels demanded of modern vehicles, the TX represents a complete redesign compared to its predecessors. To enable this new approach, LEVC requested the involvement of automotive supply chain and fastener expert, Optimas Solutions. The new TX combines recognisable aesthetics with truly modern solutions. A large battery pack and electric motor provide a pure EV range of over 70 miles – whilst the petrol range extender, a portable generator for the battery, takes total range of the vehicle up to 377 miles. The electric taxi will meet ever more stringent emissions level restrictions in London and cities across Europe. For passenger comfort, the new TX features a six seat configuration and a forward facing wheelchair position, coupled with a panoramic glass roof to improve the interior environment. On-board WiFi as well as laptop and USB charging ports are available as standard. Ease of accessibility is achieved via the utilisation of carriage doors. Furthermore, the new TX has a fully aluminium body in order to save weight and improve range – whilst delivering an extremely safe vehicle. However, redesigning an icon from the ground up requires consistent thinking from the smallest components upwards. “Specifying suitable fasteners and bolts to achieve a pioneering vehicle while minimising the cost to the manufacturer is a fine balance. That is why at Optimas we involved ourselves from the initial design phase of the new TX project, so we could begin rationalising component options from the first preliminary builds. By this methodology, we could work in tandem with LEVC to tackle the engineering challenges associated with a new vehicle platform,” explains Ian Carvell, European engineering director at Optimas.
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Optimas specialises in working in conjunction with manufacturers to recommend, specify and standardise parts that the business supplies for the production of a particular vehicle. The primary goal in most cases is to develop an efficient approach with regards to the specification of components, offering solutions that are already available or can be easily adapted from the Optimas portfolio for a vehicle application. This serves to reduce lead times for parts, which is of the utmost importance in the research and development stage of a vehicle. “What we are trying to achieve is increased supply chain simplicity by offering suitable alternative parts that can be delivered to tight deadlines. For example one of the first hurdles for this project was to ensure the verification prototypes were ready for the winter testing and shakedown season. Missing this window would delay the project by a year, which is unacceptable to LEVC and its investors. Therefore, we utilised parts that were reliable and freely available, or engineered alternatives where there was no stock forthcoming to ensure that LEVC could adhere to its testing schedule,” says Daniel Pereira, UK engineering manager at Optimas.
Speed of response to component requirements was enabled by Optimas representatives being present at LEVC’s new state of the art production facility from day one. By collaborating with LEVC from the beginning of the project, Optimas was able to provide exact design solutions for a range of complex applications. Familiarity with the demands of the project meant that Optimas could utilise its expertise to tackle specific challenges, an approach which the business prides itself upon. Furthermore, the swiftness of response from Optimas meant the research and development schedule for the new TX could be upheld, reassuring investors and granting LEVC more time to tackle further project demands. “We held weekly ‘Fastener Clinics’ at three different design consultancies, so we could keep pace with the changing requirements of LEVC throughout the research and development process. Through this regular contact, we were able to actively manage and mature the bill of materials in order to supply parts for various new TX prototype stages to tight deadlines, despite the fact that many of the application challenges did not have officially released parts. Considering the new TX incorporates over 2,000 individual parts designed specifically for the project, it was vital we kept regular contact to ensure we could integrate seamlessly with LEVC’s component requirements,” says Ian. “The London black cab is instantly recognisable, and an engrained part of automotive culture,” Ian reflects. “To be involved in a project of such national importance is of course a great satisfaction. Throughout our involvement, we have tried to aid LEVC in creating an efficient transport icon for the future by smoothening the supply chain, offering ease of specification, reliability and a cost-effective approach,” concludes Ian. Daniel adds: “By offering component solutions that were freely available, we were able to avoid the delays caused by sourcing bespoke tooling, the quoting
process or incurred via a complex logistics chain, which all serve to threaten demanding deadlines. Furthermore, by this approach we are able to pass reduced costs onto the manufacturer, so they can utilise budget to maximum effect during what is a capital intensive process. It’s the size of our portfolio that allows us to offer this versatile approach, which has been fostered through our experience in supplying parts to high volume and premium vehicle manufacturers alike.” Phillip Bracken, procurement director at the London Electric Vehicle Company commented: “Throughout the prototyping stage of the new TX, Optimas has been a dynamic fastener partner that has helped us to achieve application goals to demanding schedules at a competitive cost point. With this proof of expertise, Optimas was the natural choice to bolster our production activities from a fastener standpoint, so we are delighted to grow this partnership to further support our future activities.” The new TX will be introduced to British roads over the course of 2018, with models due to be exported to cities in Europe and Asia. LEVC boasts the capacity to produce 20,000 units at its new GB£325 million production facility. global.optimas.com
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SARIV achieves IATF 16949:2016 certification Given its increasing collaboration with the automotive sector, SARIV Srl recently obtained the IATF Certification 16949:2016 – the international standard for quality management systems in the automotive industry.
n addition to the provisions of ISO 9001, IATF Certification 16949 places particular emphasis on the concept of defect prevention and reduction of variability and losses in the supply chain. It allows SARIV to create a shared approach to the quality management system throughout the automotive industry’s production chain, and to respond to the industry’s best practices. “The quality control of our products is a founding pillar of the business and the company is committed to improving daily, which means putting the emphasis on the quality of the products and processes – but starting upstream, from the care in every single step of our production process, to ensure top quality products,” explains Nicola Sartore, CEO of SARIV. “For this reason, we believe that investing in certifications on our quality system is essential to achieve the efficiency standards required by our customers, and that we ourselves define as a target constantly evolving and improving.” The automotive market is an important sector for SARIV with overall sales share increasing from 20% to 50% in the last four years. “We have been succesfully working with the automotive market for a number of years,” points out Nicola. “However, around two years ago we found that new customers were requesting ISO/TS 16949, which meant that we could not work with them. That is when we decided to obtain the new IATF 16949:2016 standard, which is a revision of the technical specification ISO/TS 16949:2009.” Due to the structure of the production floor, and SARIV’s commitment to Industry 4.0, the certification process was made a lot easier. “To meet the automotive market needs you need to be able to supply a lot of data on your processes and product quality,” says Nicola. “By adopting digitisation we have everything online, which makes tracing back throughout the production process a lot easier. When working with the automotive market you need to maintain the records for 15 years after the car is out of production. When you consider that usually a car is produced for around seven years, this means that you need to keep records for 22 years. Through digitisation you can press one button to find data on any processes or suppliers.” SARIV also has the know-how to develop new ideas and solutions and is able to work with automotive customers through distributors as a competence centre to solve application challenges. “You need to be good at helping to develop projects and provide effective solutions in an efficient manner,” states Nicola. www.sariv.it
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Standard Listed – you know who’s best! But contact us for all the rest . . .
STANDARD LISTED - YOU KNOW WHO’S BEST BUT CONTACT US FOR ALL THE REST...
Online Product Guide:
Non-preferred Metrics ~ Intermediate Sizes Short and Long Lengths ~ Slotted Grub Screws A4/80 Bolts & Socket Caps ~ 6 Lobe (TX) Drive Screws All Metal Self-Locking Nuts ~ Studding Connectors And many more...
SUPPLIER TO THE OEM AND AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
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Unit 21, Vauxhall Industrial Estate, Ruabon, Wrexham, LL14 6HA, UK t: +44 (0) 1978 823 900 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Design to succeed
When designing a fastener connection how can you make sure you select the most economic option available without compromising on safety? The answer is simple – test it. The only thing needed is equipment that allows you to verify a bolted joint’s structural integrity under operating stress conditions before putting it to use.
ibrationMaster’s test benches enables just that. A bolted joint can be tightened to the specified torque and/or pretension load while monitoring these essential assembly parameters. Plus the friction coefficient in the threads and under the bolt head or nut, as well as the clamping surfaces can also be recorded. Then, the assembly is subjected to transverse load conditions while monitoring the real time clamping force to assess a bolted joint’s structural integrity. As the equipment allows strict adherence to the standardised stress profiles of the well publicised DIN 25201-4 and ISO 16130 protocol, there is no ambiguity with regard to the relevance of the testing. In most cases it’s likely to follow the vibration stress profile (amplitude and force and frequency) as suggested by the standardised protocol. This will return results in a matter of only minutes of vibration testing. A series of comparative testing of different types of fasteners can be ran this way, be it on the bolt side or on the nut side. Investigations can include
New Grade 19 for Vibra-Stop® Tectorius® is adding a new grade to its family of Vibra-Stop® – an anti-vibration, passive, non-anaerobic threadlocking/ sealing line of products.
ach of these materials may be pre-applied to parts prior to assembly or by the user at the point of need. The wide range of grades has included various retaining strengths, conductivity, colour, friction and delivery systems. The new addition, Grade 19, adds the benefit of installation lubricity. Vibra-Stop can enhance the performance and quality of most types of assemblies. Tectorius is one of the leaders in the field of sealants, adhesives, coatings, lubricants and other performance enhancing products.
special materials used or surface finishes applied, or even special manufacturing procedures utilised, or the effect of accessories like washers, securing elements and/or different types of lubrications and chemical locking techniques. By being able to run a strict and repeatable regime of stress patterns, confidence can be gained in the design and the user gets into a position to explore design options they probably did not even consider thus far. The J121 portable version of the test bench allows the structural integrity assessment of bolt diameters of up to M16. The bigger machines are for bolt sizes of M30 (J600) and even M45 (J900). Also, for these two bigger benches, the vibration amplitude and transverse force can be controlled continuously and independently from each other.
High-speed electric motor demands bespoke solution Engineers from TFC were faced with a problem when asked by one of its leading automotive electric motor OEM’s to supply a 33mm external retaining ring capable of withstanding rotational speeds in excess of 17,000rpm.
onventional external retaining rings (circlips) are limited by centrifugal forces, when the forces involved are sufficient to lift the ring out of the groove and, in this case, the standard Spirolox® rings could only be considered suitable for rotational speeds of around 8,000rpm. TFC Ltd therefore supplied a special custom designed self-locking ring that allowed the ring to function properly at higher rpms. The self-locking feature utilises a small tab on the inside turn of the ring that locks into a corresponding slot on the outside turn. In addition to withstanding higher rotational speeds, the ring is also capable of sustaining vibration, functioning under rapid acceleration and absorbing a degree of impact loading. All Smalley Spirolox® rings are manufactured using a unique edge-winding process, which is as flexible as it is precise. It accommodates design changes without the need for additional tooling or die modifications. This process facilitates the development of prototypes allowing the production of low quantity custom orders quickly and economically. Even after the initial prototypes are produced, the same process allows the design to be altered with simple machine adjustments or even a change of raw material size.
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Manufacturing and distribution of rivets, insert nuts and riveters
HIGH QUALITY FINAL PRODUCTS
RESISTANCE AND FIABILITY
ISO 9001 ISO TS 16949 ISO 14001
FASTENING SOLUTIONS IN AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR
www.bralo.com PRODUCTION PLANTS: SPAIN - CHINA - MEXICO DELEGATIONS: SPAIN - GERMANY - UNITED KINGDOM - ITALY - FRANCE - PORTUGAL - CZECH REPUBLIC - CHINA - MEXICO - TURKEY STAND 1238
Optimising automotive fastener testing Rising levels of competition are constantly increasing the emphasis on quality, especially for fastener companies. In the automotive sector, OEMs are turning to 100% testing technology as the most advanced means to validate and ensure quality with more stringency.
nevitably, these defect-free requirements place strain on quality control management to uphold the pace without sacrificing integrity in measurement. The consistent focus on innovation and commitment to outstanding quality – supporting growth in markets worldwide – are what leads Dimac to constantly invest in R&D. The latest series – successfully exhibited at wire® 2018 – is precisely designed to optimise test throughput with automation and state of the art robotics. SPC-ROBOT meets automotive industry requirements, subject to regulations targeting a zero defect ratio and 100% end user safety, and supports the fastener and fixing manufacturing process with an overall reduction in the cost and time of testing. This equipment expands Dimac’s machine range, and is a mobile, multi-station, control and data collection unit, equipped with an anthropomorphic, COBOT, TURBOCLEAN station for part cleaning. It also has an optical measurement station with high-resolution digital camera. Conceived to be the automated, 4.0 evolution of the SPC-LAB, SPC-ROBOT can be positioned directly in the workshop to service a group of production machines. The COBOT releases the operators from any duty concerning the SPC control at regular intervals and laboratory personnel are relieved of routine jobs, thus becoming available for more complex activities. Technical features include an accuracy from 10µm up to 5µm, and a working range of 4mm/M4 – 25mm/M25 diameters, 30mm – 150mm lengths, part weight up to 2kg, and a repeatability from 3µm to 10µm.
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In the test sequence, the operator simply clicks on the touch screen, logs into the system through the icon related to their machine ID and job number, then leaves the parts for SPC control in the custom pod of the machine. Each part is picked by the COBOT, brought to the turbo cleaning station and then to the optical measuring station. This cycle is repeated for the number of parts required by the company’s statistical process control standards. When the cycle ends, the collected measured data is immediately available for the ERP system, which would process it according to the company quality standard system. The control report is immediately displayed or ready for printing, including the measures trend graphic visualisation with the most important statistical parameters. The SPC-ROBOT software is the evolution of the fully tested Dimac MCVx, providing a complete range of measurement tools as well as the saving of unlimited items, callable at any moment by the barcode reader. Dimac points out that the ROI of this new non-contact automatic control technology usually pays off within one to two years. www.dimacsrl.com
Specialinsert achieves IATF 16949:2016 Specialinsert has achieved IATF 16949:2016 certification in the design and production of products and components for mechanical fastening, to strengthen its position on the market as a partner of excellence for the automotive industry.
he new IATF 16949: 2016 standard, a revision of the technical specification ISO/TS 16949:2009, regulates some practices that have become customary in the automotive supply chain, making compliance with customer specific requirements mandatory. The changes mainly concern the management of business risk and suppliers throughout the supply chain, with parameters much more stringent than in the past. It also provides guidelines on how to implement in case of absence of CSR and focuses on the processes for the reduction of waste in the supply and the traceability of final products, to ensure maximum safety in order to ensure a higher satisfaction of the end customer. “We are very proud of this result that demonstrates the commitment of Specialinsert in pursuing an approach based on the flow analysis, in order to minimise lead time, and eliminate everything that does not represent value for the customer. In this sense, the logic of business continuity assumes, for us, a new declination that contemplates not only the production aspect, but the entire company structure,” states Cinzia Arduini, CEO at Specialinsert. “This management allows us to identify the areas in which to intervene to boost a virtuous cycle in which quality increases exponentially and waste and non-compliance are drastically reduced.
This is thanks to the systematic application of the process approach, which incorporates the ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’ cycle and risk-based thinking encouraging the effectiveness and reliability that distinguishes us from our customers,” continues Cinzia. The adaptation of Specialinsert to the new standard took place through a system audit, according to the VDA 6 standard, which made it possible to identify areas for improvement and to define a plan for the redevelopment of company procedures and systems, in compliance with the requirements of the IATF 16949:2016. In-line with the new processes, Specialinsert has also defined a Plan 4.0, which envisages significant investments for the purchase of CNC machines and the introduction of state of the art equipment for a 100% quality control of the products. In the Specialinsert factory of the future, research and development, purchasing, production, quality, and logistics, work together in close contact. The offices for product engineering are within the production departments, so that the experts in manufacturing and industrialisation can interact from the early stages with three main objectives – reduce costs, increase quality and reduce time to market. www.specialinsert.it
PRODUCTS + TOOLS
Specialised plastic production Bülte specialises in plastic protection, as well as nylon and plasto-metallic fasteners. Its large range includes washers, bushings, nuts, screws, screw caps, protection caps, plugs, cable clips, cables ties, and threaded rods – making the company a key partner in all sectors of industry. The company ensures the quality and reliability of its products with an ISO 9001 certification.
ülte’s products are light, non-conductive to electricity, do not rust, and have good strength to chemicals. “These advantages are very important to our customers’ depending on the applications our products are used,” states Alexandra Prost, marketing and communications at Bülte. “We are also offering lots of different materials, which allows us to remedy most of the technical constraints and thus respond to our customers’ needs.” The company prides itself on quality, reliability and service – which is delivered to its customers through an international sales network
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BÜLTE GmbH - Kunststofferzeugnisse D 59348 Lüdinghausen - Germany Te l : ( + 4 9 ) 0 2 5 9 1 / 9 1 9 4 - 0 Fax : (+ 49) 02591 / 5977 email@example.com - www.bulte.com
with significant knowledge and dynamism. “Bülte offers personalised advice and support from our team of experts who are here to guide customers through their projects from inception to completion. We specialise on going beyond our borders with a multilingual sales team to adopt the best production methods to suit the technical and financial requirements,” explains Alexandra. Working with with distributors, as well as direct/final customers all over the world, Bülte has divisions in France, Germany and the UK – enabling it to develop strong business partnerships across Europe. “The industry sector has been more and more demanding over the last five years,” explains Alexandra. “Products have to be stronger and more resistant, customers are requiring traceability at all stages of the production process, as well as expertise and responsiveness.” To help it be more responsive to customers’ needs, the company has just finished installing a new ERP system across the whole of the Group. “We began three years ago with France, then Germany two years ago and we have just finished the implementation in the UK,” mentions Alexandra. “We are doing our best every day to meet customers’ specific requirements. Our production methods can be adapted to any technical or financial constraint, and with the new ERP software the three companies of the group are working even closer together than before.” Bülte is able to adapt itself to the demands of its customers and provide bespoke solutions if required. “Most of our parts are injected/moulded, but we are also able to produce these parts with other manufacturing methods according to our customers’ needs,” says Alexandra. “Over the last few years, we have seen different plastic material emerge on the market. To keep up with market demands we adapt our material offer and put those new materials within our standard range. This means our product range is very large, with a lot of different materials and colours. We can deliver either 100 pieces or 10 million pieces, pack them either in small bags or in big quantities – which shows how flexible we are.” To enable it to expand its customer base even further, Bülte launched a website in Spanish and Italian last year. “The fastener market is really a ‘niche’ market, so you need to be able to adapt yourselves to market demands,” says Alexandra. “There are still a lot of projects emerging from Europe, and through our divisions and website we are looking forward to increasing business over the coming months.” www.bulte.com
FILLS THE GAPS CONVENTIONAL THREADLOCKERS
Expand-A-Lock® increases in volume 20 to 50% on installation, penetrating the gaps in fastener threads left unfilled by conventional threadlockers.
MICROSPHERE TECHNOLOGY Encapsulated Epoxy Resin
Expanding Capsules Epoxy Hardener
PREVENT LOCKING & SEALING FAILURE FROM CONVENTIONAL
Fastener variation creates gaps be-
Expand-A-Lock (green area)
tween mating threads. Conventional
expands to fill the gaps then
threadlockers (blue area) are thin and
cures, resulting in a strong lock
insufficient at filling these spaces.
and high-pressure seal.
Thread forming abnormalities • Fastener deformation • Oversized or mismatched threads
APPLICATIONS Marine ride plates • Head bolts • Engine plugs • Pipe fittings • Air & compressor fittings • Cooling connectors and more.
PRODUCT BENEFITS •
Low prevailing on-torque.
Exceptional break-away torque,
even on brass and stainless parts.
Shelf life up to one year.
APPROVED TO GM9986339, DIN 267-27, IFI 125, IFI 525
To learn more about Expand-A-Lock visit our website www.ndindustries.com Phone: +1-248-288-0000 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRODUCTS + TOOLS
Thread inserts with locking keys
Loksert® threaded inserts have pre-assembled dovetailed locking keys that are driven into the parent material to create a positive mechanical lock against rotation.
his makes the Loksert® ideal for applications where there is heavy wear and vibration such as the transport industry, mining, earthmoving and military equipment. They are used in high volume OEM applications such as railway carriages, transmission housings and suspension units, particularly in low strength materials such as aluminium alloys. Lokserts are also used to repair broken or damaged threads. So how do they work? Lokserts have dovetailed grooves through the external thread. Locking ‘keys’ are pre-assembled
into the tops of these grooves. After the Loksert has been threaded into the tapped hole, the keys are driven down using specialised installation tools. These keys have ridges that protrude from the grooves so when they are driven down they bite into the parent material locking the insert in place. Lokserts, therefore, have high resistance to torque-out or pull-out. Loksert installation is simple and requires only standard drills and taps. They are available in both stainless and carbon steel in metric as well as inch sizes. There are also two different wall thicknesses depending on the application.
Locking ‘keys’ can be installed using a hammer alone, but use of an installation tool is recommended to ensure the keys are kept straight
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For low volume applications, Bordo recommends use of its size specific hand installation tools. For high volume production applications, however, using Bordo’s new state of the art pneumatic installation tool will significantly increase efficiency and the consistency of installation. Bordo Europe specialises in thread insert systems and solutions. In addition to Lokserts, the company has an industry leading range of wire thread inserts under its PowerCoil® brand, self-tapping inserts known as Tapserts® and the E-ZSERT® adhesive bonding insert system. www.bordoeurope.com
When the keys have been driven into the grooves, the top of the Loksert® is flush with or slightly below the surface of the workpiece
T: +44 (0)1634 281200 www.jubileeclips.co.uk
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New extensive solution to inspect and sort washers Dimac cooperates with the major producers of washers, and special parts by fine blanking, to develop solutions for the 100% inspection and sorting of disc springs, captive safety washers, bearing preload springs with slots, load washers, retaining rings, electric terminal washers, spherical washers, snap rings and shaft retainers.
ne of the latest developments on the new MCV5 glass rotary table-based series concerns the inspection of split washers. “We have introduced special new features to perform the dimensional inspection of split washers by profile analysis. We developed a high-rate special feeding system based on a conveyor belt along with a dedicated software tool, which enables the detection of any critical defects in the split region,” says Andrea Cuttica, project engineer at Dimac Srl. The most critical defects on these kind of fasteners are the thickness of the part and the deformations in the split area. “Due to the split presence and heat treatment process, the thickness of the washer can drift out of tolerance and this could represent a problem during the automatic washer preassembling process on blanks,” continues Mr Cuttica. Parts could jam in the feeding rails of the assembly machine, dropping down the efficiency of the assembly process. “Global thickness and flatness of the washers are controlled on the MCV5 through a high resolution laser combined with a digital side camera with telecentric lens and collimated
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lighting, which is an optical combination minimising the parallaxes error and ensuring the highest possible accuracy,” explains Mr Cuttica. Deformation of the split area is controlled by profile analysis with a dedicated tool working on the top view image of the washer. “The software focuses on control anywhere around the washer image ring and in the split area, where the gap could be open. The metal bandwidth of the washer can be measured to be in tolerance within 0.01mm accuracy between the outer and inner diameter points, only in the split focused area. The width of the opening gap can be defined and measured to be in tolerance as well.” All these controls can be performed with output rates up to 600ppm on the MCV5, combined with dedicated loaders and automatic packing systems. www.dimacsrl.com
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Bülte combines three shapes in one Manufactured in natural nylon, this new range from Bülte combines three shapes in one – hex head, star drive and washer.
hen compared with metallic screws, natural nylon is light, non-conductive to electricity and has very good thermal properties. The material’s mechanical strength provides good resistance to shocks and will also resist staining. This triple fastener combination offers several advantages including the combined washer limiting the pressure/tension under the screw head, offering better support and protection for the fastened surface, and better distribution of the load. The star drive also improves tightening torque and is less likely to slip during tightening. The dimensions available include M4, M5 and M6, as well as lengths from 6mm to 60mm – depending on the diameter. As well as nylon, Bülte also proposes this range in PP, PE, PVDF, and PC on request. These materials also offer higher resistance to diluted acids, greases, oils, alcohol or petrol. Another option is fibre glass filled nylon, which combines enhanced mechanical performance and long-term durability. It represents the perfect polyamide for pieces that require higher torque and increased shock absorption. The washer faced hex screw with TORX® can be adapted to all applications and can be produced in a large range of colours. Bülte’s account managers are available for advice from product design to completion. Quotation and free samples are also available on request. www.bulte.com
Belleville washers – big power, small space When an application calls for high spring loading in a small space, Lee Spring believes that Belleville washers can often be the complete spring solution.
ee Spring explains that the Belleville washer’s conical configuration enables it to support high loads with relatively small deflections and solid heights compared to a helical spring. That is why Belleville washers are often used to solve vibration, thermal expansion, relaxation, and bolt creep problems. While Belleville washers can be used individually they are generally stacked in multiple cylinder or column configurations – for instance all in parallel, all stacked opposite alternately or a combination of the two with multiples stacked alternately face-to-face. Lee Spring points out that in this way a single Belleville spring washer has a specific load for a given deflection. Two washers stacked in parallel will yield double the load of a single washer for the same deflection; three washers will yield triple the load; four washers will yield four times the load, etc. Alternatively, two washers stacked in series will yield double the deflection of a single washer for the same load; three washers will yield triple the deflection; four washers will yield four times the deflection, etc. Various series-parallel combinations therefore can provide a wide variety of combined results of load versus deflection for the stack. Consequently, depending upon the application, the designer can stack in ‘parallel’ to increase load, stack in ‘series’ to increase deflection, or adjust the load and deflection of a washer stack by adding or removing individual washers and/or the sequence in which they are used, whether in series or parallel.
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New tools growing export UK-based Chicago Brand has recently introduced a new range of open end ratchet spanners and a magnet driver – perfectly suited to work with fasteners in many industries.
hicago Brand states that the RatcheTech large size open end ratchet spanners boast the smallest swing angle on the market and are invaluable when space is limited or a ring ratchet cannot be used. They also eliminate the need to disengage from the fastener or adjust then engage over and over – the user must simply click on and then keeps ratcheting. Made from true military grade low alloy carbon steel these wrenches are extremely strong and can withstand work in the harshest environments. Designed specifically to save time, RatcheTech are available from 10mm – 100mm and 3/8 inches – 4 inches covered with a lifetime warranty (including moving parts). They are also available in 7 piece metric and imperial sets with flex head, a lifetime warranty and good margins. Also newly available from Chicago Brand, the magnet driver is an adaptable tool that has revolutionised the magnetic bit. By using the magnet driver a user can instantly turn any screwdriver highly magnetic or adapt to electric drills or impact drivers in seconds. The magnet driver features a powerful magnet within a flexible rubber body that keeps screws perfectly straight, allows for countersinking without damaging the work area, and enables for one handed operation speeding up all screwing tasks. Colour coded for different screwdriver shanks and bit diameters the magnet driver is suitable for use with very small bits all the way to XXL bits and screwdrivers. Excellent for professional and DIY, Chicago Brand points out that the magnet driver makes working with screws easier, faster and simpler. This innovative tool is available in sets, individually or in jars perfect for trade counters. Supplied in eye-catching retail packaging customers can see the benefits over standard magnetic bits. Chicago Brand UK supplies a range of innovative hand tools designed to increase productivity for the end user. The company has also recently appointed Axel Torster of Torster&Torster Lda as its European agent to grow export sales. The company currently supplies engineering supply companies and tool retailers in the UK, Portugal, Germany and Spain.
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Starlock®: Push on – done Trade and industry are increasingly discovering a system for fixing or securing components to metal or plastic axles, shafts or cylindrical pins that is both simple and compelling. Just push on and it’s done – this is what TITGEMEYER promises with its extensive range of Starlock® push-on fasteners.
O Tri-Lobular self-threading screw eliminates the need for nuts, reducing labour costs & installation time.
For added security Power6™ security screws feature the unique 2-way (removable) Power6™ security drive. Superior corrosion resistant plating.
nce fixed in position, significant force is needed to remove the fastener. Push-on fasteners were designed to fit over round and square axles and shafts. The various products are available in diameters ranging from 1.5mm to 25mm or sizes from 1/16 inches to 1 inch. Standard push-on fasteners are made of spring steel with a varnished or zinc-plated finish. Stainless steel versions are used where corrosion is a specific issue. Push-on fasteners can also be supplied with a decorative cap and in numerous customised solutions. Their very flexible production enables the creation of bespoke designs, such as very high strength fasteners, special geometric variants and staining options for plastic caps. Installation requires nothing more than a basic hand tool and minimal application of force. By contrast, far greater force is needed to remove them, thus ensuring that the component remains permanently fixed. The time savings make for a more efficient production process and more economical production. TITGEMEYER points out that Starlock® push-on fasteners are quick and easy to install and offer significant benefits compared to other fastening systems. Automated installation is also possible. Here, cycle times, the feed and the precision needed to maintain the same levels of quality throughout are possible through the automated installation workstations – TITGEMEYER’S TIOS APS. Starlock push-on fasteners have long since become the standard in the automotive industry. They are also used in medical equipment and are equally indispensable in conveyor systems or transport aids, air conditioning and ventilation systems, as well as heating systems. The list of industries employing Starlocks as a more economical alternative is growing all the time. These include the electronics and electrical industries, air conditioning and insulation technology, the aviation and aerospace industries, as well as the household goods, leisure and toy industries. www.titgemeyer.com
Preventing cross threading It can be very fiddly getting a wheel bolt or nut to start threading squarely without cross threading or disappearing into a deep recess, when balancing the wheel on the hub or on the studs. For more security fasteners visit;
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sers can speed up wheel fitting and avoid wheel nut cross threading with a wheel nut locating wrench set from Laser Tools – part number 7037. This wheel nut locating wrench set makes life easier – the user simply uses one before the standard wheel nut socket and torque wrench to squarely locate the nut or wheel bolt and spin it up hand tight. The set includes four locating wrenches – three commonly used standard hex profiles – 17mm, 19mm and 21mm – and the fourth locating wrench is a special Mercedes-Benz 17mm profile. The locating wrenches are manufactured from super strong chrome vanadium steel. There is a magnet in the centre to hold wheel nuts and bolts steady in deep wheel recesses and they are fitted with a nylon protective sleeve to avoid paint damage on alloy wheels.
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Rivit fastening blind rivets GTRERIV rivets with gaskets, from Rivit Srl, are entirely made of an aluminium alloy (body and mandrel) and have been designed for the building sector.
eaturing a neoprene gasket inserted under the head, Rivit mentions that GTRERIV rivets guarantee excellent resistance to weathering, especially to infiltrations caused by rain, thanks to the integrated gasket. The high impermeability, combined with an excellent fastening force, makes the GTRERIV suitable for roofing fastening installations, in particular to fix the brackets that support the photovoltaic solar panels on corrugated sheets and sandwich panels. The placement of this rivet is fast and easy, and from one side only. The mandrel, firmly locked, ensures solid and resistant joints, as it breaks flush with the surface. The three large pressure wings distribute the clamping force evenly over a large area of the surface, so even the soft, thin, flexible or fragile materials can be safely riveted without destroying or damaging the surface. GTRERIV rivets are available in different diameters and lengths including 5.2mm, 6.3mm, and 7.7mm, dome or large head, for different grip ranges. Recommended tools for installing GTRERIVs are the battery powered RIV750 and RIV760. www.rivit.it
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Optimas licensed to manufacture Phillips drive systems Optimas Solutions is licensed by Phillips Screw Company to manufacture a number of its innovative drive systems. This further reinforces Optimas’ commitment to producing advanced, reliable high-quality fastening solutions for challenging industrial applications.
n addition to managing a global network of high-quality suppliers, Optimas also has its own manufacturing capabilities. These enable the company to react quickly to unexpected product and component demands, thus supporting its customers with a flexible supply chain. Optimas’ manufacturing facilities specialise in cold forming and offer a wide range of services, from design and prototype testing to full scale production of highly specialised components. Optimas’ manufacturing sites, located in Wood Dale, IL, USA, and Droitwich, UK, are licensed to produce PHILLIPS SQUARE-DRIV®, ACR® PHILLIPS II®, MORTORQ® Super and External MORTORQ® Super drive systems for automotive and heavy industrial applications. MORTORQ® Super Spiral
External MORTORQ® Super Spiral
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Phillips Screw Company is the inventor of the original 1930s Phillips® drive system and continues to develop innovative, high-quality fastening solutions such as MORTORQ® Super high strength spiral drive and External MORTORQ® Super bolting systems. These are a family of products that, thanks to their long product lives, are used in challenging environments. MORTORQ® spiral drive products feature high torque control, which is achieved by providing a greater contact surface area between the driving tool and fastener head. Phillips’ quality monitoring programme guarantees that only manufacturers that can deliver consistent precision and reliability are issued with a license to manufacture these drive systems. Within Phillips’ exclusive global network of less than 100 manufacturers, Optimas is licensed in both the US and the UK. “Optimas has been a licensed manufacturer for many years, and this relationship has been highly advantageous for both parties. The numerous certifications and quality standards that Optimas adhere to attest to the quality of the components manufactured. These include ISO9001, ISO14001, OHSAS 18001 and the latest VDA 6.2 and IATF 16949,” commented Mike Mowins, president of global licencing at Phillips. global.optimas.com
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Button-fix sets sights on future growth Since its launch in 2012, Button-fix has built up a phenomenal following evidenced by year-on-year sales growth, culminating in a 55% jump in sales for 2017. The company has also extended its national and international distribution network, with Amari Plastics and William Smith joining Hafele, IronmongeryDirect and SDS London.
oint creators Tony Wills and Brian Watson developed Button-fix in response to a customer’s specification for flush invisible mounts to fix washroom panels. Finding that the fasteners on the market were awkward to align and difficult to disengage for panel replacement, the duo created and developed the Button-fix concept – offering a really quick and reliably accurate way of attaching panels to walls and other surfaces. “Completing projects as quickly as possible, but without sacrificing quality, is a constant challenge for those operating in the construction trades. Button-fix is gaining traction in the market because it helps tradesmen working in domestic or commercial settings to meet that challenge,” commented Tony Wills, joint creator of Button-fix. “All sorts of panels can be aligned and installed much more quickly with a higher degree of accuracy than old style fixings and connectors. What’s more, the fix is both incredibly strong and completely invisible – with no unsightly bolts or screws on show.” The Button-fix concept is simple – durable nylon buttons are attached to the back of one panel and the mating fixes are attached to the other. Bring the panels together and slide until the product ‘click’. Part of the success of Button-fix is due to the fact that its use goes largely unnoticed. It is the invisible fixing behind a truly diverse range of projects. “2017 was a good year for the business. Demand for Button-fix products continued to grow and we won several prestigious industry awards such as the ‘BSGA Sign Industry Product of the Year’ and ‘Best Joinery Fittings Manufacturer (Greater London)’ in the 2017 Construction Awards. With new distributors coming on board in the UK and overseas, 2018 promises to be even more successful,” states Brian Watson, joint creator of Button-fix.
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Fastener manufacturers improve ‘drivability’ with unique coatings Speciality coatings can provide fastener manufacturers with new products and a competitive edge. Since cordless tool battery life is a serious concern for pros and DIYers, a growing number of fastener manufacturers are addressing the issue with unique coatings that dramatically increase the ‘drivability’ of nails and screws.
n turn, this also minimises the amount of power used by cordless tools, extends the battery life and increases productivity, since fasteners can be fixed faster and in higher volume before the battery must be changed out or recharged. Drivability can also impact gas actuated fastening systems that utilise fuel cells, coupled with batteries, to drive framing nails, and finish brads or screws without having to connect to an air compressor or power cord. The fuel cells are typically advertised as being able to drive 1,200 nails – by improving drivability of framing nails, a more economical and efficient 2,000 nails could be achieved per fuel cell. According to Dan Chin, president of Universal Chemicals & Coatings (Unichem), this was the specific goal of one fastener manufacturer that sought the company’s help in creating a speciality coating that would dramatically improve the drivability of nails. Unichem is a US-based custom coating and adhesives formulator, looking to expand into Europe, that has worked with fastener manufacturers on these types of issues. “The goal was to improve what the company called ‘ease of drive’ by 25%, which is a huge number. In doing so, more framing nails could be driven flush with one fuel cell,” says Chin. Manufacturers of cordless framing and finishing guns often market unit specific nails or screws. These consumables generate significant ongoing revenue. Given the competition in the space, offering a product with a promotable differentiator is even more critical. The challenge facing Unichem was to create a custom coating for the nails that improved drivability without allowing it to be easily removed. Unichem’s chemists successfully figured out a coating formulation that improved nail drivability by 25%, while meeting required anti-withdrawal properties. “The speciality coating enabled the customer to relaunch the product and market it as incorporating new, improved technology. They were also able to increase their revenue and were very successful with it,” comments Chin. The coating also potentially increases the number of nails that could be driven on a single, full battery charge, a high priority for cordless tool manufacturers and users. “In a competitive market like fasteners, coatings can be used to create innovative new products with a clear cut differentiation from the competition,” says Chin.
Socket & Allied achieves ISO Socket & Allied Screws Ltd has announced it is now an ISO 9001:2015 UKAS approved manufacturer of fasteners and special turn parts.
fter heavy investment in machinery and staff over the last few years, the UK manufacturer has been able to expand into different product ranges and market sectors such as the oil and gas, energy, electronics, defence, rail and transport industries. Socket & Allied has been manufacturing traditional socket products including special socket screws and set screws since 1986 – and now manufactures and supplies special socket screws and associated fastener components worldwide. The company also has the expertise to deliver a wide and diverse range of machined products using standard and exotic materials.
Applying metal cable ties tightly and safely just got easier The HDT16 from HellermannTyton is a new easy to use, two in one, manual tool that gives installers a helping hand by achieving very tight bundles when installing heavy-duty metal cable ties, including stainless steel.
ichard Rands, product manager, fastenings and fixings at HellermannTyton UK, explains: “This is the first time we have developed a specialist tool for installing large metal cable ties. While other suppliers sell two separate tools for this type of application, the multi-functional design of the HDT16 makes it suitable for applying numerous types of metal cable ties.” The HDT16 also helps minimise the risk of injury both during application and subsequently from sharp edges, as the integrated tensioning and cutting mechanism allows for a simple flush cut of the metal strap. In addition, the tool handles are easily adjustable to a range of positions so that the most ergonomic one or two handed position can be configured. HellermannTyton points out that the two way nose piece makes the HDT16 ideal for use with different stainless steel cable ties up to a maximum width of 16mm. For example, ties with metal ball or fold locking designs such as the HellermannTyton MBT, MLT or AMT metal cable tie ranges.
These are typically used for securing large power cables in demanding environments such as on oil and gas rigs, ships and throughout the power grid. The development of the HDT16 reflects HellermannTyton’s commitment to the provision of complete cable management solutions to customers with similar requirements around the globe.
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GESIPA® G-Fast System: One process, two functions Mechanical joining processes can be used to join a wide range of materials quickly and reliably. Blind riveting technology has the additional advantage of only requiring one-sided access. With GESIPA®’s range of threaded fasteners, blind rivet nuts, and blind rivet studs, high-quality load-bearing threads can be driven into thin, soft or sensitive materials without placing any additional stresses on whatever is being joined.
his includes applications where other production processes such as threading, conventional screw fitting and welding are unfeasible. Other advantages of this joining method are one-sided access, flexible, easy assembly and in many cases, enhanced mechanical properties. This means that in almost any material, it can produce load-bearing assembly points that also provide a sturdy basis for non-permanent screw connections. Because the joining element is customised – based on material, geometry or surface coating – mechanical properties can be optimised for any application.
advantage compared to other mechanical joining methods. The GESIPA G-Fast System offers a high-level of flexibility in production process design, as well as cost-effective synchronised mass production involving special requirements. GESIPA reports that integrating the bolting process into riveting can save up to 50% of assembly time.
Savings of up to 50%
The GESIPA G-Fast System uses conventional bolt drivers already employed on assembly lines. All the user needs is an adapter customised for the joining element and the application. Because it uses manual bolt drivers and customisable joining elements, the G-Fast System can be used anywhere that non-permanent connections are required in short assembly processes. www.gespia.com
The patented GESIPA® G-Fast System combines a blind rivet nut and bolt in a single joining element. This combination makes it possible to drive a high-quality thread into thin material while securing a component at the same time. As a result, the user can dispense with an entire process step, as well as an assembly site, processing tools and associated processes. The method only requires access from one side – perfect for those hard to reach locations. The resulting screw connections are also non-permanent – an invaluable
Fast, simple, efficient processing
Be the first to secure Jubilee® flexiband Jubilee® Clips has introduced a new ‘band and buckle’ system, Flexiband, as a further addition to its wide range of clamping and banding solutions.
vailable in all 304 stainless steel, the new Flexiband range comes in four different sizes: 9mm, 13mm, 16mm and 19mm band widths with matching buckle sizes. Both band and buckles display the Jubilee® stamp, a symbol of quality recognised worldwide. Flexiband is available in dispensers containing 30m and buckles are sold in boxes of 25 pieces. Jubilee’s Flexiband range is easy to use and also includes a user-friendly assembly tool, vital for ensuring that the banding is fastened correctly. The banding suits virtually any diameter, as it is simply cut to the length required using the assembly tool. For extra strength, the band can be wrapped twice around the object to be clamped and secured through the buckle. ‘Band and buckle’ systems are ideal for strapping items securely and can commonly be seen in municipal applications such as sign fixing, where the tamper proof nature of the product is of paramount importance. The low profile of the buckle is also useful where space is a consideration, or where there is a
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snagging hazard such as on hose assemblies that could need to be dragged along the ground during recoiling. These benefits, combined with the corrosion resistance of all stainless steel construction, give a very wide range of industries where Jubilee Flexiband can offer optimal performance, including industrial applications, agriculture, automotive, civil engineering, marine, food, petrochemicals, offshore and oil and gas. “After acquiring our existing Multiband production in Birmingham in 2013 we found that we had an ever increasing customer base in various sectors requiring a cut to fit solution. As a result, we have had a number of enquiries for this type of product. Considering the technology to produce pressed and coiled metal parts is well within our capabilities, we decided to introduce the Flexiband range, thus complementing the already successful Multiband products, as well as our other ranges of UK manufactured clamping and fastening products,” explains Ian Jennings, managing director at Jubilee Clips. www.jubileeclips.co.uk
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speedE® – the first e-screwdriver from Wiha Wiha says its first e-screwdriver – speedE® – promises to halve the time users take to complete their work in the future.
globally unique 3-step speedE® process enables users to work significantly faster and more efficiently, but by using a controlled, healthier technique. An electric motor assists with fastening screws up to 0.4Nm before disengaging to ensure that material is protected. The screw can then be fixed by hand with a deft touch, just as with a conventional screwdriver. An innovative electric ratchet function assists users as they complete fastening. Thanks to its electric drive, the Wiha e-screwdriver handles time-consuming, energy sapping screw fastening at a rapid rate, significantly faster than conventional means. Compared to manual screw fixing, Wiha states the speedE helps users get things done at least twice as fast, increasing their working day efficiency substantially with more comfort. speedE also enables users to take a healthier approach to work while saving their strength. Even so, users can adjust or fasten by hand with a deft touch using up to 8Nm when the integrated material protection function activates at 0.4Nm. The speedE can thus also be used as a fully-fledged screwdriver, in combination with the Wiha VDE-tested and insulated slimBits – completely protected for use and work on live parts.
This consciously fine-tuned power transmission and torque control in electric mode brings a particular benefit to users for delicate screw fastenings. A constantly changing grip for manual screw fastening becomes a thing of the past while the electric ratchet function helps to make work methods more efficient while preserving health. An integrated LED light also ensures users are not left in the dark as they fasten screws. Comparable to normal screwdrivers in terms of size and weight, the first Wiha e-screwdriver is an ideal, portable companion in an extensive variety of sectors and application areas with its compact, lightweight design. speedE also provides users with maximum flexibility since they can use all available drives in the Wiha slimBit range to fasten electrically. All Wiha VDE slimBits are compatible with speedE, are tested to 10,000V AC, all undergo inspection and are individually tested for up to 1,000V AC. When fully charged, speedE can fasten electrically up to 800 times. In an ideal case, this provides users with a time frame of over several days to work with the Wiha e-screwdriver without recharging the batteries. Standard rechargeable batteries inside the handle eliminate follow up costs, which highlights speedE’s user-friendly approach.
Perfect positioning with threaded spacers and standoffs Technifast’s threaded spacer and standoff ranges form integral components in a wide variety of assembly applications, spanning industries such as automotive, aviation and most commonly, electronic hardware.
hreaded spacers and standoffs are frequently used to create a specified space between two objects and to properly position parts within an assembly. The threaded spacers and standoffs supplied by Technifast are available with a rounded or hex exterior, which allows for easy tightening by hand or with a wrench. The majority of its standard range is stocked in Technifast’s warehouse facility, ensuring it can meet the demands of customers quickly and cost-effectively. Standard nominal thread sizes range from M4 through to M12 in the round threaded spacer, with diameters from 7mm to 15mm. The size range of standard hexagonal threaded spacers spans M2 to M6 with outside diameters from 4mm to 10mm. Threaded spacers and standoffs are available in three configurations: Male-female, male-male and female-female. The UK-based engineering firm also has manufacturing capabilities to produce bespoke threaded spacers to customers’ specifications, in a variety of materials. Technifast is also a specialist in stainless steel and offer spacers and standoffs in 303 and 316 stainless steel grades, as well as mild steel with a zinc and chromate clear finish and nickel-plated brass.
186 FASTENER + FIXING MAGAZINE // ISSUE 112 JULY 2018
Heavy-duty drive for assembly tables With its compact construction, Kettererâ€™s 4779 heavy-duty drive for adjustable assembly tables combines power and precision while taking up very little space. The gear motor powered linear actuator is designed for continuous load lifting of up to 200kg, with an integrated engine brake for maximum safety.
odifications, shrinking lot sizes, and fluctuating order intake, make assembly and production processes increasingly more complex. One solution is adjustable assembly tables, which can also bear heavier loads and be adjusted quickly to ergonomic requirements according to need. It has reliable and precisely operating heavy-duty drives, concealed in the legs of the assembly table â€“ the necessary foundations for a smooth operation. With Industry 4.0 and the interlinking of relevant information in real time, reliable adjustable assembly tables, that can adapt to a pre-programmed height autonomously via software control, will be a future competitive advantage. Available from SD Products, the 4779 heavy-duty drive offers assembly table manufacturers a reliable solution. It consists of a combination of a high performance drive engine and a spindle. Since the spindle is positioned parallel to the motor, designed as an in-line drive, the construction requires only a small amount of installation space. The drive is equipped with an integrated brake, so that the table stays securely in position under heavy loads â€“ even if there is a power failure. The worm gears are made of steel and brass, making the drive extremely durable and able to withstand heavy loads. Ketterer produces the spindles and gears itself, ensuring the best quality possible. With the help of customer specific adjustable adapters, the heavy-duty drive can be integrated into many lifting columns and just about every adjustable assembly table. It comes in two standard versions: For loads up to 180kg with a lifting speed of 20mm per second (special 12 x 12 threads). For loads up to 200kg with a lifting speed of 12mm per second (special 16 x 8 threads). www.sdproducts.co.uk
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