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The recent debate around choosing third party PVCu reinforcement options over the system-specific reinforcement raises an important question about what happens when you change any element of a door or window’s design and construction.

Leading profile makers, who have invested significant sums in research and development to produce a reinforcement that perfectly suits their systems, rightly point out that their warranties and performance promises cannot be honoured if a different reinforcement choice is made. And we support them.

Whichever profile is being used to manufacture your windows and doors, it will have been developed and tested as a complete assembly, so if you change anything in the specification, how can anyone be sure of the finished product’s capabilities? If you replaced the high spec tyres on a performance sports car with budget tyres designed for customers buying on price, would you expect the car to drive as well?

Swapping the reinforcement is a risk, but so too is changing any of the recommended fasteners. The two are actually closely linked – fasteners must fix securely into the reinforcement to ensure a robust build quality can be achieved. Opting for an alternative reinforcement or fastener, therefore, means there’s no certainty about whether the frame construction is to the right standard.

More generally, changing just one of the recommended fasteners can be detrimental in so many ways. Fasteners may seem like a relatively inconsequential component, but they are – in the case of Rapierstar’s products – precision engineered components with a vital role to play.

Impact on finished window and door quality

The correct type of fasteners, manufactured from the right metals for the application, are crucial for a window or door to live up to its promise. For example, for properties located in coastal locations, friction stay screws must be both purpose-designed to allow for smooth operation and be the correct grade of stainless steel. If not, they will rust and potentially break after a short period in-situ, potentially affecting the opening and closing of the sash. What comes then is a costly call-back, for an issue that could so easily have been avoided.

Manufacturing efficiency and productivity

Rapierstar conducts extensive testing on all batches of screws to check that they are easy and safe to use on the fabrication line. This ensures that the fastener’s insertion speed is good with no excessive wobbling, which can make assembly tricky and hinders productivity.

However, it is not just about practicality and speed. If fastener supply suddenly dries up, the production line will quickly grind to a halt or mean the wrong screws are used as an interim substitute – see above – which could prove to be extremely costly either way. That’s why Rapierstar invests so heavily in logistics and stockholding.

Health, safety and injury claims

Closely linked to efficiency and productivity is health and safety. If fasteners are proving difficult to use, this can cause annoyance and frustration on the fabrication lines at best, and accidents at worst. Given the significant financial consequences which result from an employee’s personal injury claim, saving of a few pence on a fastener swap could end up costing tens of thousands in compensation.

Reputation and customer satisfaction

Whether it is failure to meet customer expectations, or a high profile employee injury claim that was completely avoidable, making the wrong choices for fasteners can result in significant reputational damage and expense. That’s why, in today’s world of online reviews and word of mouth recommendations, it is so important to get the basics right and eliminate risk – especially for a component that on average can make up less than 0.4% of the finished unit cost.

Getting it right

Having the right components available to use, in the right place at the right time, is too easy to take for granted, and it is only when we see supply chain disruption that we realise the real value of reliable suppliers. That’s why making the right fastener choices, which can help rationalise component use and eliminate production issues is crucial.

To arrange a technical consultation and a free comprehensive health check on which fasteners are currently being used and where improvements could be made, please call 01260 223311 or send us an email and we will call you.



This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Technical & Marketing Manager at Rapierstar 


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