The British & Irish Association of Fastener Distributors held its Autumn 2017 General Meeting at the splendid Hallmark Welcombe Hotel, Stratford upon Avon on 5th October, and established a new record for attendance.
Close to ninety delegates were present from fifty-five companies and organisations to hear a keynote presentation from Liesel von Metz of TGD Solutions, which outlined the critical importance of developing a modern fastener quality assurance system for the rolling stock MRO sector – a project in which BIAFD has been closely involved for more than a year.
The Anochrome Group then looked at new developments in the coating sector, including the potential for a more economic black aesthetic finish, and developments in Zinc Diffusion systems, which offers advances in corrosion and impact resistance over galvanised coatings, and Zinc Nickel coatings, which are increasingly the preferred option for automotive applications.
David Jackson, Chairman of the BIAFD Stainless Steel Fastener Group and Managing Director at Icon/STF explored the significance of nickel in corrosion resistant fasteners and the implications of global nickel supply and demand on stainless steel fastener costs. Members were also updated on market and supply chain issues relating to other key market sectors.
BIAFD Chairman and Trifast Europe Managing Director, Geoff Budd, said “BIAFD is committed to keeping its members better informed but our meetings are just as much about networking and developing contacts in an environment where the fastener industry can look at the issues we all face in supporting crucial UK and Irish industries, from automotive to construction."
Glyn Brown, Managing Director at Archerdale Ltd, attending for the first time commented: "Thank you for organising such a superb gathering of the fastener world in one room. We met old, and made a good number of new, friends and contacts."
The meeting achieved another significant record through an initiative led by Sally Matthews, Managing Director of Performance Fasteners, to recognise the role of women in the UK and Irish fastener industries. As a result BIAFD welcomed twenty women delegates, three times more than any previous meeting. Comments from some of the "Females in Fasteners" following the event included:
"The day was a real blast from the past, so many former colleagues, suppliers and contacts: in all a great networking day so time well spent."
"I really enjoyed it, and saw many people I had not seen for some time. I am pleased that you got such a great response from the female contingent. I would love to attend again."
BIAFD's next General Meeting will take place on Thursday 26th April 2018, when the implications of Brexit for fastener distributors will be top of the agenda.
Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 10 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.
Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.