The fastener and fixing industry is used to handling the challenges of fluctuating raw material prices; sea freight container availability; and anti-dumping tariffs. However, never has there been such a situation as there currently is within the market – with both increasing raw material prices and unprecedented sea freight difficulties. With the possibility of an anti-dumping tariff being introduced later in the year, as well as the ongoing impact of the pandemic, this really does make 2021 a year like no other.
As a magazine we look to cover these topics in as much detail as possible. With that in mind, we have an article from the British & Irish Association of Fastener Distributors in Industry News that looks at the ongoing sea freight crisis and escalating metals costs – through feedback from the association’s members.
On anti-dumping, following up on our invitation to the European Fastener Distributor Association and European Industrial Fasteners Institute in January, for this issue we have invited individual distributors and manufacturers to give us their perspective on the recent announcement of an anti-dumping investigation into imports or certain iron or steel fasteners in the People’s Republic of China (2020/C 442/06). It makes for fascinating reading.
For our Cover Story I interviewed Ekkehard Beerman, managing director at Fastbolt Group, who gives us a breakdown of the different challenges currently in the market and discusses how the Group’s investment in digitisation, and streamlining processes and services, came to the fore in 2020 and will continue to help the business in the future.
Within Construction Fixings we have articles from two associations. Firstly, Barbara Sorgato, secretary general at the European Consortium of Anchor Producers, focuses on Declaration of Performances (DoPs) and how a new XML format could help harmonise the DoPs structure. There is also an article from the Construction Fixings Association and its new eLearning platform.
For the Manufacturing Technology section, we have articles from SACMA Group, Carlo Salvi and National Machinery that all focus on heading and forging technology. Plus, there is an article from Enkotec on how its new ENKOnail+ machine, supplied with the brand new software platform ENKOsmart, will take nail manufacturing to the next level.
In our Fastener Testing section we have two excellent articles on mechanical testing. Firstly, John Cross, general manager at Rotech Laboratories, outlines the importance of mechanical testing and how it is used within many sectors of industry. There is also an interview with Cesare Certini, owner of S.M.T Srl, which focuses on the knowledge and experience within the Italian-based independent laboratory and the tests, machinery and services it can provide the fastener and fixing industry.
To add to this, we also have some excellent electrical and electronics articles in Application Technology, as well as features on rivets + rivet nuts and battery powered installation tools
in the Products + Tools section.