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Rapierstar window and door fasteners in warehouse

When it comes to maximising productivity in window and door manufacturing, what are the main factors that spring to mind? Skilled and motivated operatives are clearly vital, along with having the right machinery and tools...

But equally crucial is a reliable supply of all the systems, materials and components needed to create the many different window and door styles.

PVC-U or aluminium profiles, reinforcement, glass and hardware elements such as handles, locks and hinges will most probably dominate the thought-process, but what about the fasteners used throughout the manufacturing process?

Fasteners may be the smallest components used by fabricators, but they play a huge role in the long term quality of a window or door and the productivity of the business manufacturing it. In the PVC-U and aluminium sectors, the advanced systems used today demand fasteners with precise capabilities – every one serves a specific purpose, so if a particular type runs out in the factory, that could be enough to halt production.

A small component with a big impact

To deliver the high levels of thermal, security, safety and weather-proofing performance that most window systems promise – and homeowners increasingly expect – everything has to be right down to the choice of fastener. As any experienced windowmaker will know, minor differences in the screw length, diameter, thread form, point and head design can easily affect how well it attaches hardware elements to the frame or achieves strong structural joints.

So, what happens when you are not able to source all the fasteners you need for every window and door style? Do you:

  1. Delay assembly and stop production of all the products which require the unavailable screws until the new order is delivered
  2. Try using a different size of screw and hope that it works, or
  3. Contact your nearest distributor to see if similar fasteners can be found?

Choose option (a) and it could mean a financially costly break or reduction in output, which will have all sorts of implications such as delayed orders and operatives being sent home or having nothing to do. So, options (b) or (c) are usually most appealing, but it is here where things need to be handled carefully or the costs could be equally severe or even worse in the long term.

With specialist fastener advice, such as that provided by Rapierstar’s technical consultants, using a longer screw may well be fine as an interim solution in many routine applications. But it won’t work in certain circumstances, particularly where fixing into a profile reinforced with steel, so it is important to seek advice from Rapierstar first.

In situations where finding an alternative fastener locally is the only option, it is important to ensure you are buying like-for-like screws. This is crucial for windows and doors which are Secured by Design (SBD) approved to avoid invalidating the certification, but best practice for all window and door products in order to maintain quality.

One of the issues with having to use a different type of screw temporarily or find an alternative brand that has not been used previously, is that it introduces risk. Any change of component, no matter how small, can undermine the quality of the window or door, so when unproven products are suddenly introduced consistency of quality is lost and that could affect customer satisfaction.

Unrivalled logistical and supply chain focus

This is why Rapierstar invests significant resources in its fastener supply chain and logistics facilities to give customers supply assurance. It is easy to take good fastener availability for granted, but in our case it is something we are continuously refining, as we have done now for over 30 years, and today we supply more than 65 million screws every month.

Key to the success of Rapierstar’s supply reliability are long term partnerships with the best manufacturing partners and our knowledge of importing. The team’s understanding of international trade, in particular the timescales for production and transportation, mean we are always forward planning to meet demand and taking steps to mitigate the effects of currency fluctuations to offer relatively stable pricing.

The end result is that fabricators can rely on good availability of Rapierstar fasteners, so they have what they need on workstations day in, day out. That should mean incidences of fasteners running out is a rare occurrence, providing stock management and ordering are up to scratch, so there is no need to use screws that are not the optimum size or an unfamiliar brand.

The knock-on effect is that quality consistency can be maintained more easily and the risk of fasteners being the cause of production disruption is minimised. And, as Rapierstar screws are always marked on the heads, anyone inspecting a window or door in future will be able to easily identify that our fasteners have been used in its assembly – adding another layer of quality assurance.

To learn more about Rapierstar’s supply chain expertise and why it is so beneficial to fabricators, please contact us.


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


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