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In the current economic climate, the primary aim of manufacturing has shifted from profit to survival. Key to achieving this, says fastening manufacturer Ejot, is balancing cost-savings with quality.

Reducing the cost of your C-class parts is the obvious immediate step to reduce the cost of manufacturing – meaning your product is cheaper and your customer is happy.

If only it were that easy.

Certainly, with rationalisation of parts and sourcing of product in low-cost manufacturing countries, it is a logical consideration.

At Ejot UK, however, we are able to demonstrate that there is a limit to how far this can be pursued without compromise to quality and in turn, time lost to inspection and interruption.

When considering the fixing of a joint, the real-time cost of managing a fastener has an immediate and direct input in five critical areas.

These are the fastener itself, assembly, quality of joint, procurement and logistics.

Very quickly the argument to achieve cost savings by reducing the purchase cost of the fastener becomes weak.

Although some moves have been made to improve the efficiencies of procurement and logistics, assembly technique, and the need for quality and inspection are easy to overlook at the expense of genuine overall savings.

So how have Ejot achieved products capable of delivering such significant bottom-line savings? You could simply call it precision German engineering.

Historically, the design of many C-class parts is carried over from product generation to generation, but key to Ejot’s success is the time we have invested in developing engineered products of the highest quality, for literally thousands of applications worldwide.

Selecting a high-quality fastener can easily justify a higher unit cost by either simplifying or even eliminating production processes involved, while contributing greatly to quality of end product.

By reducing the inspection required and further reducing the number of unnecessary parts needed, procurement and inventory management become easier.

An example of this is where a direct screw fixing with the correct thread profile is engineered to replace the need for ‘drill and tap’ into light alloy applications, by thread forming directly into a cored hole.

It’s the kind of screw technology for which Ejot is renowned around the world.

The result is that four operations, including inspection, have been eliminated.

This means that production efficiencies improve substantially and many quality issues disappear.

With regard to direct cost savings, there is now no need for consumables such as drills and taps, and energy to power the machines.

Further cost savings are realised by eliminating the need to dispose of scrap material and cutting fluids.

This leads to an improvement in overall cost saving on the assembly process of between 20 and 30 per cent…

which goes straight to the bottom line.

Similarly, the same direct fix saving theme can be applied to the elimination of female threaded components, from bushes and clips into sheet metal, inserts, plastic mouldings or drilling and tapping into alloy casings.

All too often the female nut, inset or bush has again been carried over simply because it has ‘always’ been the method of fixing joints.

This diagram shows the cost of fasteners used into sheet metal, and in particular, the cost effect of the number of components needed and the assembly time required.

The fastener circled is a flow drill screw (FDS) where no hole is needed in the lower sheet.

The screw forms the displaced material into an extrusion and automatically creates a thread during the installation process, eliminating the need for a female thread that previously needed to be attached before assembly.

Clearly the effect of eliminating the female component is evident – there is a reduction not only in parts but also the cost of any assembly equipment and associated running costs of that equipment.

These cost savings can only be achieved with the correct selection of fastener.

This can be done with very good effect even when a product is in production and our technical engineers will provide genuine assessments and appraisals.

Obviously, the optimum solution where the highest saving can be realised is to ensure the fixing is considered right at the start of the product’s life, ideally at the concept stage.

Either way you will find our development team has the highest level of technical ability and understanding of application engineering.

Ejot has provided assembly benefits for many leading manufacturers globally and in the UK our fastening solutions are proving to be effective to a wide range of market sectors.

Since 1985, Ejot UK has grown to become the UK's leading designer and manufacturer of precision fasteners, achieving accreditation to DIN ISO 9002 as far back as 1993. Ejot is a solutions-driven business, manufacturing the highest quality fastening products and providing unrivalled technical support. German-owned, the Group operates out of 27 countries worldwide, sharing a genuinely vast knowledge pool relating to countless sectors.

Building and construction division

Working closely with system manufacturers and specifiers, Ejot has both widespread approval and application specific product and has developed a wide and effective portfolio, gaining broad acceptance from specifier, engineer, buyer and installer. Reliable brand names define application extensive fastener products, increasingly creating new solutions and building techniques across the sectors, which include:

•    Roofing and cladding
•    Solar
•    Flat roofing
•    Rainscreen
•    ETICS
•    Offsite construction

Industrial engineering division

Ejot’s product and service capability to industrial engineers is based on cost-reduction through intelligent purchase. The realtime cost of managing a fastener impacts in five critical areas; the fastener itself, assembly, quality of joint, procurement and logistics. Ejot's ability to create either one-sided assembly or part-reduced solutions means products consistently deliver significant 'bottom line' savings. This way, cost reduction does not mean lowering of quality, as Ejot's products mean significantly higher performance.

Ejot's current engineering product portfolio includes high quality fixings for thin sheet through to cast metals, alloys and thermo plastics. By reducing the inspection required and also the number of unnecessary parts needed, procurement and inventory management also becomes much easier. Pre-engineering, or tear-down analysis can be freely undertaken from the initial consultation. Project management is led by experienced application engineers who are supported by the Group's unique and highly sophisticated development arm Applitec, with sister laboratories based in Germany and at the Group's UK base near Leeds.

Applitec research and development centre

Ejot products are high in quality, always corresponding to current technical standards by investigation and development. The competitive market and changing demands require a fast response to maintain this quality and to meet UK and European standards — before they are even issued. It is for this reason that Ejot developed its unique Applitec centre: the most comprehensive fastener testing facility in the UK. It’s here that testing for all aspects of fastener technology, from simple dimensional and three-dimensional analysis to testing the mechanical, structural and material dynamics of both the product and within its application.

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