Global Fastener News

Updates on Fastener Industry Response To COVID-19

Updates on Fastener Industry Response To COVID-19
March 20
14:28 2020

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our COVID-19 coverage is now free to the fastener industry.

Las Vegas Reopening June 4; IFE Still Scheduled Sept. 28-30
Las Vegas will begin a staggered reopening June 4, 2020, with the Bellagio, MGM Grand, New York New York and Caesars casinos among those accepting guests.
No date has been announced for reopening of Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, where the International Fastener Expo is scheduled for September 28-30, 2020.
If Las Vegas successfully reopens, IFE participants will find many changes, including:

  • There will be mask requirements and temperature screening upon entering a hotel.  Hotels will have “contactless check-in” to avoid the guest registration lines.  Parking may be free, but there will be no valet parking.
  • Many restaurants are reopening, but not the self-service buffets Vegas is known for.  There will be digital menus sent to phones.
  • There will be sanitation stations and employee training.  But there will be fewer seats in shows and social distancing at traditionally crowded pools.
  • Casinos will spread out.  For example, blackjack tables will be limited to three players.  There may be plexiglass shields, plastic curtains, tents and screens throughout casinos.  Standalone hand washing stations have been added.
  • Masks that obscure the entire face will be prohibited.

The shutdown has been expensive.  MGM has been losing $14 million per day.  Web: FastenerShows.com

 

Taiwan Fastener Export Value & Volume Drop
How much is the Taiwanese fastener industry affected by COVID-19?
In the second decade of the 21st century, the average sales value of the first quarters was US$926.1 million.
In 2020 it is US$1.03 billion, which is 10% higher than the 11-year average, and the export weight increased 3.3%, “indicating and proving fastener companies in central Taiwan have been dedicated to improving quality and developing products of high unit price in these 11 years,” Fastener World reports.
However, the export weight and value dropped in 2020 as compared to the result in 2018 and 2019.  Particularly the weight drops 8.18% and the value drops 7.47% from the result of 2019.
“It is definite that the pandemic is going to affect the second quarter and not even anyone knows if we will see recovery in the third and fourth quarter.  Accordingly, the 2020 great recession in the fastener industry will be inevitable,” according to Fastener World.
How large is the impact?
“In a conservative estimate, a regression by over 10% over last year will be inescapable!”

 

Foley: Signals Strong for STAFDA Convention in November 2020
The 44th annual STAFDA Convention this autumn in Southern California remains on, CEO Georgia Foley announced.
The events are slated for November 8 – 10, 2020, at the Anaheim Convention Center.
“I speak with VisitAnaheim about every seven to 10 days and they have remained absolutely resolute about STAFDA’s November convention,” Foley told members.  “They’ve got back-to-back shows this fall and Rockwell comes in town on our heels with 10,000 people.”
Foley reported some smaller boutique hotels in Orange County began opening on May 15 “so the momentum is definitely there,” Foley said.
The Anaheim Convention Center and Disney “drafted a lengthy, well-documented reopening proposal, which was delivered to the Governor’s office last week,” Foley said.
Conventions are not “uncontrolled masses like at theme parks,” Foley noted.
Disneyland and other California theme parks currently closed by the COVID-19 pandemic can reopen during Stage 3 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-stage road map for reopening California’s economy, according to state officials.
Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California and other theme parks fall into Stage 3 of California’s road map for reopening, according to state officials.
“Phase 3 is not a year away.  It’s not six months away.  It’s not even three months away.  It may not even be more than a month away,” Newsom said during a mid-May press briefing.  “We just want to make sure we have a protocol in place to secure customer safety, employee safety and allow the businesses to thrive in a way that is sustainable.”
Newsom has not set a specific Stage 3 date.  Web: STAFDA.org

 

The Crescent team responsible for making these parts (l-r): Erik (threading); Edgar (heading); and Shawn (shipping). (Note: employees are following Connecticut’s social distancing protocol but removed their masks for this photo.)

Crescent Mfg. Producing Brass Fasteners for Ventilators
Rather than being shut down, the pandemic has allowed Crescent Manufacturing to “slowly catch up,” owner Steve Wilson said.
Instead of closing, Crescent also is producing 800,000 brass fasteners for COVID-19 ventilators.
“Crescent is an integral part of the Ford/GE HealthCare supply chain which was described in the Wall Street Journal on April 12, 2020,” Wilson pointed out.  President Donald Trump visited the Ford plant in Michigan on May 21.
The miniature screw manufacturer’s “backlog remains substantial relative to Crescent’s size,” Wilson told GlobalFastenerNews.com.  “A few orders have been cancelled, but more have been pushed out than cancelled.  Incoming has slowed, but orders continue to be placed.”
Currently “some overtime is beginning to be slowly reduced,” Wilson acknowledged.
Crescent has had no cases of COVID-19, Wilson reported.  Two employees have tested and both were negative for Coronavirus.  The Connecticut town where Crescent is located, Burlington, has a population of  9,665 but only 19 confirmed cases, Wilson said.
Wilson explained that Crescent follows CDC/OSHA guidelines for employees “and everyone has been trained two or three times.”  He hastened to point out that employees had removed masks for a related picture.
Founded in 1960, Crescent manufactures miniature screws and fasteners.  Crescent is located at 700 George Washington Turnpike #1718, Burlington, CT 06013.  Tel: 860 673-4591  Email: websales@CrescentManufacturing.com  Web: CrescentManufacturing.com

 

Pac-West Postpones Events
Pacific-West Fastener Association canceled its two summer “After Hours” events in Denver and Seattle.  The end-of-working day receptions were scheduled in Denver in July and Seattle in August.
“As many can expect, the live events that are scheduled to occur over the next couple months are in jeopardy due the current pandemic.  Until restaurants and hotels open fully and we can safely gather as a group, Pac-West has decided to postpone” the events.
“We are in the process of evaluating the conditions for our Fall Conference in San Antonio and our September dinner meeting in Southern California,” the Pac-West newsletter added.
Pac-West has a joint autumn meeting scheduled at the Palacio Del Rio Hotel in San Antonio with the Southwestern Fastener Association and Southeastern Fastener Association, October 21-24.  Web: Pac-West.org

 

STAFDA Webinar on 2020 Workplace Changes
The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association will conduct a webinar on 2020 workplace changes due to the coronavirus.
Nancy Combs, STAFDA’s human resource consultant, will speak at the 11am May 19 webinar for members.
The COVID-19 pandemic “has changed life as we know it,” Combs said.  “Today we have social distancing, remote working and new office leave regulations among issues businesses have to deal with.”
Combs webinar topics include: Crafting a pandemic policy; remote and alternative work assignments; borrowing benefits from 2021; implement states’ paid sick leave laws; and the upcoming “divisive election season.”
For information: STAFDA.org.


Quartz: Taiwan Gaining From Control of Covid-19?
MEDIA SPOTLIGHT – One country may emerge from Covid-19 stronger than before.  A Quartz article suggests Taiwan may gain from the pandemic.
“Taiwan responded quickly to the outbreak and appears to have limited it spread,” the Quartz article by Annabelle Timsit said.  “Its government leveraged technology to trace and quarantine sick people, upped its mask production, and trained communities for lockdowns through large-scale simulations.”
The island of Taiwan, which is about 100 miles from mainland China, had reported only 440 cases of Covid-19 and just seven deaths.  In contrast, Australia with a similar population had 6,948 cases and 97 deaths.
“The world noticed,” Timsit wrote.  “Taiwan’s effective pandemic response won it international support, which may help further its decades-long quest to be included in international institutions like the UN and its various agencies, especially the World Health Organization.”
“There’s absolutely no doubt that this has been a strategic opportunity for Taiwan,” J. Michael Cole, a Taiwan expert and senior fellow with the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute, told Quartz, “and that Taipei has seized it.”
But the island’s rising profile has angered Beijing.
“China still considers Taiwan part of its territory, though the ruling Communist Party has never had sovereign control over it.  Almost all governments in the world, as well as groups like the UN, recognize only the sovereignty of the government in Beijing.  As a result, China is able to actively prevent Taiwan from joining organizations like the WHO, whose membership is predicated on statehood.”
Now the issue involves the World Health Assembly’s late May 2020 meeting.  Because the UN recognizes only Beijing, and WHO is a UN body, Taiwan is not a member of the WHO.
After the 2009 influenza epidemic, Taiwan was invited to send observers to WHA under the name “Chinese Taipei.”  That ended in 2016 when Taiwan elected a pro-independence president and China rejected Taiwan’s participation.
“But this year, the US and its allies are more vocal than before, in part because Taiwan’s public health response has impressed them, but also because it’s an issue they can leverage in their conflict with Beijing,” Quartz reported.
The U.S. Senate directed the State Department to support Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Assembly.
Quartz is a business-focused English-language international news organization that launched from New York City in 2012 and is owned by Japanese business media company Uzabase.
Editor’s Note:  Articles in MEDIA SPOTLIGHT are excerpts from publications that show the industry what the public is reading about fasteners and fastener companies.

 

China Fastener Show Postponed
The International Fastener Show China 2020 has been postponed to November 3-5, 2020, at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center, Fastener + Fixing Magazine reports.
“We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the postponement,” show organizers stated.  “At the moment, the IFS organizing committee is actively coordinating with our partners, pavilion organizers and the exhibition centre to ensure the show will be successful.”
IFS China is organized by the China General Machine Components Industry Association and the China Fastener Industry Association.  Web: en.afastener.com

 

EIFI Cancels 2020 Conference
The European Industrial Fasteners Institute annual conference scheduled for May 14-17 in Germany has been cancelled, Fastener World reports.
“The EIFI General Assembly will not take place this year due to the pandemic,” EIFI Secretariat told Fastener World on May 7.
EIFI has not yet determined the dates and location for the next EIFI annual conference.  Email: info@eifi.org  Web: EIFI.org

 

CBM: Government Funding Needed To Save Jobs
Extending the furlough scheme and giving companies more flexibility could save thousands of manufacturing jobs, according to a survey by the Confederation of British Metalforming.
CBM – which represents manufacturers of fasteners, forgings, pressings, cold-rolled and sheet metal products – found that its members were predicting to cut up to 30% of jobs if assistance was taken away at the end of June, resulting in 12,000 job losses, according to The Engineer.
“Whilst there was some optimism in manufacturing prior to COVID-19, the sector had suffered from lack of investment throughout the insecurity caused by Brexit,” CMB president Steve Morley told The Engineer.  “So, whilst our members are all hoping for an immediate bounce back in the economy, the reality is that volumes will increase at a much slower rate and industry will need help to protect workers in the meantime.”
Morley called for additional flexibility in governmental support so companies can recall staff before the three weeks are over to handle sudden upturns in activity.
“Our members range from SMEs to large companies supplying direct to OEMs and their day-to-day requirements will differ.  The smaller firms may need to call employees in daily if they get new orders, whilst the larger companies – working off schedules – may be faced with having to employ short-time working, possibly three-day weeks instead of five.  These different scenarios will all need to be covered by the government’s scheme.”  Web: thecbm.co.uk

 

Fastener Fair USA Postponed Until 2021
Fastener Fair USA has been postponed from its July 2020 schedule to March 2021 due to the COVID-19 escalation.
The 3rd Fastener Fair USA is now slated for March 23-25, 2021, at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, OH, returning to the city where the inaugural event was held in 2018.
“This decision was made in response to unprecedented challenges we are facing as an industry,” stated event director Bob Chiricosta.  “We know this decision impacts our exhibitors, attendees and stakeholders and was not made lightly.”
While there will not be a physical event in 2020, the Fastener Fair USA team is looking to facilitate business connections through virtual platforms in the coming months.
The 2020 Fastener Fair USA event was originally scheduled for May 18-20 in Charlotte.
Close to 2,200 fastener people participated in the 2019 trade show in Detroit, surpassing the 2018 inaugural show in Cleveland.  There were 270 exhibitors from 15 countries representing aerospace, automotive, civil engineering, construction, energy, and machinery and other industries.  Web: FastenerFairUSA.com

 

IFE Schedules Free May 13 Webinar
The International Fastener Expo is offering a free webinar on May 13 at 2pm ET.
“State of the Industry: Fasteners at the Forefront” will discuss the impact of the pandemic on the industry and how businesses are responding, as well as supply chain best practices, digital optimization, new health and safety initiatives, and the economic outlook.  A live Q&A session will follow the presentation.
Panelists will be Matthew Boyd of Parker Fasteners; Marc Strandquist of Optimas OE Solutions; Bryan Wheeler of Star Stainless Screw Co.; and Tim O’Keeffe of G.L.Huyett.  The session will be facilitated by Eric Dudas of FCH Sourcing Network.
To register, visit EmeraldExpo.zoom.us.

 

Rotor Clip Prioritizing Medical Components For Covid-19 Treatment
Rotor Clip is dedicating time and resources from engineering, supply chain, production, QA and logistics to expedite parts for ventilators or filtration systems needed to treat or halt the spread of Covid-19.  In one instance, an OEM needed wave springs for ventilators that Rotor Clip produced and obtained quality approval to ship in two business days.
“During this crisis, Rotor Clip Company currently is open and has full manufacturing capability to support our customers with our full range of products,” stated co-president Craig Slass.  “We will put our full resources behind any customer producing components for essential medical devices needed to combat and treat the Coronavirus.”
To facilitate the process, Rotor Clip has set up a webpage for customers to start the expedited process.
Founded in 1957, Rotor Clip manufactures retaining rings and hose clamps. Rotor Clip has operations in the U.S., UK, Germany, the Czech Republic and China, and is headquartered at a 238,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Somerset, NJ.  Web: RotorClip.com

 

Fastener Sales Down ’70% – 80%’ In Italy
The drop in fastener sales in Italy is “very heavy” during the pandemic, Gian Marco Dalpane, president of UDIB, the Italian association of fastener distributors, told Fastener + Fixing Magazine.
“Actually, it’s very difficult to quantify the real dimension of the problem and, above all, what will be the scenarios coming in the next months,” Dalpane stated to Fastener + Fixing“UDIB associates, from a first estimate, can quantify the turnover drop during April, to be as much as 70% – 80%.”
Sectors such as the automotive and the entire related production chain “completely stopped” and vehicle registrations fell by 85% during March.
Dalpane criticized some European fasteners companies who he said “have tried to take advantage by attacking those Italian market segments not covered by the companies in lockdown – promising shipments from open and operational warehouses, located in other European areas where the virus (or perhaps the data measuring it) had not reached the same levels of violence.”
Click here to read all of Dalpane’s comments to Fastener + Fixing Magazine.

 

Fastener Associations Plan Covid-19 Webinar
Nine fastener associations are sponsoring a webinar May 14, 2020, on the post-coved-19 process of economic recovery.
Brian Beaulieu of ITR Economics will give a timeline of when the economy and oil prices can move past the Covid-19 “black swan.”  Beaulieu will present an outlook for market segments important to the fastener industry and access interest rate and stock market trends.
The webinar is titled “Looking Past the Fear and the Noise: 2020-2022.”  It will be 11am-12:30pm Eastern time that Thursday (8am Pacific).
The webinar price for association-member companies is $49.  Nonmembers are $149.
Registrants will be given a link to share within the company.
Associations participating are: Industrial Fasteners Institute, National Fastener Distributors Association, Mid-West Fastener Association, Pacific-West Fastener Association, Southwestern Fastener Association, Southeastern Fastener Association, North Coast Fastener Association, New England Fastener Distributors Association and Women in the Fastener Industry.

 

Lawson Furloughing 100 Employees
Amid flat first-quarter sales, Lawson Products is cutting costs by furloughing approximately 100 employees, reducing salaries and board compensation, canceling travel and award trips, consolidating some distribution operations and eliminating non-critical capital expenditures.
Lawson Products reported Q12 sales slipped 0.3% to $91 million, with average daily sales down 1.9%.  Q1 operating profit more than tripled to $18.6 million, while adjusted operating profit gained 33% to $7.9 million. Sequentially, Q1 improved over Q4 2019’s $88.6 million in sales, operating loss of $4.5 million and operating profit of $5.8 million.
“Although sales were increasing sequentially, we experienced declining sales due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the second half of March,” said CEO Michael DeCata.  Web: LawsonProducts.com

 

Zago Sealing Fasteners Mentioned On 60 Minutes
By late March, Newark, NJ-based ZAGO Manufacturing was filling orders for hundreds of thousands of its air-tight sealing screws – a small but integral part in the design and functionality of medical ventilators.
“At ZAGO, we refer to our specialty sealing fasteners as small components that make a big impact.  As a company striving for continuous improvement, we routinely ask ourselves, is this significant to our customers?” asks co-founder and CEO Gail Friedberg-Rottenstrich. “Then, we got an answer.”
While watching a 60 Minutes segment on Ford and GM joining the fight against COVID-19, Friedberg-Rottenstrich saw an interview with GM fork lift operator Tracy Streeter, who is installing ZAGO air-tight sealing screws into Ventec medical ventilator parts to prevent oxygen leakage.
“There’s a little tiny screw that goes into the part that I build, but even though that screw is so small, it’s an important part,” Streeter told 60 Minutes.  “I look at it in the scheme of things and I’m probably just as insignificant as that small little screw but I play a part of what’s happening in the bigger scale.”
ZAGO high-tech sealing fasteners are engineered with a rubber O-ring that permanently seals out hazards while withstanding extreme pressure, temperature and weather.  ZAGO sealing fasteners are corrosion-resistant and made in the U.S.A.  Web: Zago.com

 

Archerdale Managing Director Dies of Covid-19
Tim Graham, 60, managing director of Archerdale Ltd, died from Covid-19 in a UK hospital, Fastener + Fixing Magazine reports.
Archerdale chairman Glyn Brown had worked with Graham for 40 years in several Yorkshire fastener companies.  Archerdale was established in 1983, with Brown joining the family business in 1992 to form the fastener segment and Graham joining a year later.
“A recruitment I was never to regret,” Brown said, “which is not to say we didn’t have some moments when the relationship crackled – but that was always a measure of Tim’s personal strength, his commitment to the business, and to getting it right.”
Graham was appointed managing director at the end of 2019 when Brown became chairman, according to Fastener + Fixing.
Archerdale, a manufacturer and distributor of fasteners and associated products, has been operational throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have a significant number of key customers operating in essential industry sectors, who are reliant on Archerdale maintaining a reliable and effective supply chain,” Brown explained.  “As a result, and I believe combined with our performance as a supplier and quality of our team, we have not really experienced the top-line impact felt by many other companies in the fastener sector.”
Brown has resumed the managing director role.
Survivors include his spouse Amanda and children Sam and Sara.
Messages to the family may be sent c/o Archerdale Ltd, Hirstwood Works, Hirstwood Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 4BU.  Email: sales@Archerdale.com

 

Goebel Fasteners Shares 5 Reasons For Supply Chain Disruptions
The COVID-19 outbreak has stopped production and normal operations for many businesses, something many supply chains can’t absorb.  But the reasons businesses are struggling to deal with the fallout are the same: supply chains are fragile, according to Goebel Fasteners.
There are five key reasons for this:
Reduced Inventory Levels:  Just-in-time manufacturing increases efficiency and lowers costs, but it also leaves supply chains less resilient to sudden shocks and supply shortages.
Inflexible Supply Chains:  If businesses operated flexible supply chains, they could switch order volumes to alternative suppliers in times of stress. “Those companies that don’t do this are unable to identify and connect with alternative suppliers when there are sudden shocks to their supply chain resulting in a tangible impact on production.”
Manual Supply Chain Management:  A key reason that supply chains are inflexible is because they’re managed manually.  Making changes to orders or shifting suppliers is a lengthy and complex process and in times of stress is an amenity few companies have.
Lack of Supply Chain Transparency: Businesses are often unaware of what’s happening across their supply chain beyond the first tier, making it impossible to know where threats to production capacity exist.
Consolidated Centers of Production: The globalization of supply chains has led to the development of specialist production zones (cities or countries specialize in the production of a few key products).  “Yet while this is beneficial when times are good, it can cause issues when there is disruption. That’s because there isn’t the capacity in other parts of the world to plug the gap in supply.”
Founded in 1979, Houston-based Goebel Fasteners manufactures blind rivets, rivet nuts and threaded inserts.  Web: GoebelFasteners.com

 

From G.L. Huyett – “G.L. Huyett operations team in action! Our Maintenance employees have been working extra hard to keep everything as clean as possible and keep the G.L. Huyett team safe.”

Sundram Fasteners Donates Ventilators & Testing Kits
India-based Sundram Fasteners said it has contributed Rs 3 crore (US$393,030) to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund to support the nation’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company donated ventilators and testing kits to hospitals and healthcare facilities in Chennai.  It is also working with multiple NGOs that provide food and hygiene kits to vulnerable and impoverished people.
“Sundram Fasteners places on record its deep appreciation of the contribution being made by its employees in ensuring that the relief material reaches the people whose livelihood has been severely impacted,” the company stated.  Web: Sundram.com

 

China Steel Corp. Cuts June Prices
Taiwan’s China Steel Corp. will further cut domestic list prices of major steel products for June, given weakening demand for steel under the impact of the COVID-19, My Steel reports.
“For the business in June, prices of hot-rolled coil and cold-rolled coil have been trimmed by TWD 900/tonne ($30/t) respectively on month, and those of electrical steel coil and hot-dipped galvanized coil will be lower by TWD 600/t compared with May levels, according to CSC’s pricing policy,” according to My Steel.

 

Advance Components Supplying Testing Kit Fasteners
Advance Components is proud to be part of the solution in the fight against  COVID-19,” the company announced.  “We recently received two orders for products that are going into the manufacturing of coronavirus testing kits and respirators.
“We shipped more than 2 million ARaymond/Tinnerman Push-Ons, and a large order for Davies Molding 5-arm (Star) knobs to manufacturers who are working 24/7 to get their products to hospitals across the country.
“Distributors in the fastener industry are an essential link to manufacturers building medical devices and providing other critical infrastructure support in this time of need.”  Web: AdvanceComponents.com

 

Fastener Trade Shows’ Latest Schedules
Georgia Foley declared “it’s all systems go” for the November 8-10, 2020, Speciality Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association convention.
STAFDA CEO Foley had just spoken with the Anaheim Convention Center and said there are still some TBDs “about any restrictions (if any) coming down the pike for future conventions this year, but for now, none were anticipated.”
“Most convention centers have hand sanitizing stations, but I expect to see more of them,” Foley observed.
STAFDA regularly draws more than two thousand participants.
At the 44th annual trade show, Foley suggested STAFDA members “will need a ‘socially-distanced group hug’.”
“I think the litmus test for how large group gatherings will be handled is to watch the Democratic and Republican Conventions, both in August,” Foley suggested.
Foley predicts that with the November 3rd presidential election “things will be back to quasi-normal by the fall.”
Economist Alan Beaulieu in a National Association of Wholesalers webinar last week predicted a “sharp ‘V’ recovery in Q3, not a ‘U’ shaped one,” Foley reported.
There will be “some jockeying around when states reopen, but things will sort themselves out very quickly,” Foley predicted. “I don’t think it’ll be long for America to hit its stride again!”
She expects some travel restrictions through the end of the year on visitors from Europe and China.
Foley has surveyed STAFDA members and “despite today’s hardships,” respondents were “filled with positivity and hope.”  Web: STAFDA.org

UPCOMING TRADE SHOWS

  • So far the Mid-West Fastener Association has its 39th Chicago-area fastener show still scheduled for June 16, 2020, in Elk Grove Village, IL.  MWFA’s 68th annual golf outing remains the following day, June 17.  Executive director Nancy Rich said she expects to make a decision on the scheduling within a week based on the Illinois governor’s decisions and what options are offered.
  • The third Fastener Fair USA was postponed from May to July 13-15, 2020, in Charlotte.
  • The 75th National Hardware Show was postponed from May to September 1-3 in Las Vegas.
  • The annual International Fastener Expo, first held in 1981 and in Las Vegas since 1997, remains as originally scheduled September 28-30 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
  • The sixth biennial Taiwan International Fastener Show in Kaohsiung was moved from April to October 14-16.
  • STAFDA remains November 8-11 in Anaheim.
  • Wire Düsseldorf in Germany was delayed from March to December 7-11.
  • The biennial International Hardware Fair in Koln (Cologne), Germany was postponed from April 2020 to February 21-24, 2021.

 

NORMA Group Supplying Ventilator Fasteners
NORMA Group is supplying joining products required in lung ventilators and in hospitals.  Products include Y plastic pipe connectors and taper thread connectors for lung respirators as well as white cable ties for attaching hoses.
“With these urgently needed products, we are helping to maintain the manufacture of lung ventilators and supply hospitals with fastening products,” said COO Friedrich Klein.  “Especially in the medical sector, it is currently essential to maintain the supply chain in order to provide the best possible care for Covid-19 patients.”
In Italy and Spain, NORMA Group supplies connectors to distributors whose end customers have been classified as essential.  Most of the products are manufactured in NORMA Group’s plants in Germany and Portugal.  Distribution centers in Italy and Spain have been supplied continuously throughout the past few weeks, so that plastic pipe connectors, taper thread connectors and cable ties are available in sufficient quantities for quick order processing.
In March, NORMA Group announced that CEO Michael Schneider “is currently receiving medical treatment for the respiratory disease COVID-19 due to a coronavirus infection.”  Klein has temporarily assumed leadership.
Germany-based NORMA Group manufactures joining products in three categories (clamp, connect and fluid) and offers more than 35,000 products to 10,000 customers in 100 countries. Web: NormaGroup.com

 

Stanley Black & Decker Announces $10 Million COVID-19 Outreach Program
Stanley Black & Decker announced a $10+ million COVID-19 outreach program to help communities and employees around the world combat the effects of the pandemic.
The program includes:

  • $4 million in financial contributions directed by the company to COVID-19 focused nonprofit organizations;
  • $5 million for a COVID-19 employee emergency relief fund, administered by an independent organization, to provide financial assistance for employees and their families;
  • A purchase of 3 million face masks, as well as large quantities of other PPE, for front-line healthcare workers and first responders; and
  • The formation of a companywide COVID-19 Community Response Task Force to allocate the time, talents, innovation capabilities and other expertise to help mitigate societal COVID-19-related challenges, under the leadership of Mark Maybury, the company’s chief technology officer.

“Today’s humanitarian and economic crises require everyone to contribute to the best of their abilities,” stated CEO Jim Loree.  “We are seeing the best of humankind, and it is inspiring to see the response by corporations, governments, NGOs, communities and individuals, who are all working together to address these daunting challenges.”
Ongoing COVID-19 task force projects include 3D face shield printing, innovations in mask technology, and fasteners and battery technology for medical products such as respirators.
“Now, more than ever, the world needs compassion and empathy,” Loree added.  “Now is the time to be generous.”
To learn more about the company’s COVID-19 response efforts, visit: https://www.stanleyblackanddecker.com/covid-19.

 

Agrati Announces Layoffs & Furlough
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the business of Agrati Inc., which has its U.S. corporate office in Illinois,  according to Inside Indiana Business.
The fastening components manufacturer says it will permanently lay off 9 employees and furlough 42 more at its Valparaiso facility.  The company says it expects the move to last less than six months.
Pasquale Gallace, 44, of Agrati logistics in Italy died March 27, 2020, of COVID-19.  He is believed to be the first coronavirus death in the fastener industry.
Founded in 1939, Italy-based Agrati is a privately-owned multi-national manufacturer of fasteners and assembly components for the automotive and general industrial markets. The company, which employs more than 2,600 workers, acquires about 160,000 tons of steel annually to manufacturer about 8 billion pieces (bolts, special screws, nuts and advanced form parts). Web: Agrati.com

 

Piolax Laying Off 359 Employees
Piolax Corp., which makes metal and plastic fasteners, is laying off 359 employees at its Canton, GA, plant, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications (WARNs) filed to state labor departments.
Founded in 1988, Piolax supplies plastics and metal fastening products.  Web: piolaxusa.com

 

Report: SPS Technologies Under OSHA Investigation For Inadequate Worker Safety
“SPS Technologies, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, continues to operate in Pennsylvania, although there are allegations that it isn’t an essential business,” according to ValueWalk.  “What makes matters worse is that there are reports that some employees at the factory are suspected to have COVID-19.”
Under the Pennsylvania Essential Business Order, makers of nuts, screws and bolts are classified as nonessential businesses and ordered to close, according to ValueWalk.  However, SPS doesn’t classify itself as a screw manufacturer.  In a letter to employees, the company claims it is essential because its products supply engine, turbine and power transmission.
“Management allegedly had told employees that they were looking for a way to stay open no matter what the governor said about nonessential businesses closing,” writes ValueWalk editor-in-chief Michelle Jones.
SPS received a state waiver allowing them to remain open, but the nature of that waiver and the business conducted at the factory remains unclear, according to ValueWalk.
Sources at SPS Technologies also told ValueWalk that the company has not taken adequate steps to ensure the safety of its workers during the coronavirus pandemic.  Nothing at the factory has been cleaned, and they ran out of hand soap and hand sanitizer, according to sources.  Reports indicate as many as six employees were suspected of having the coronavirus, with one admitted to ICU.
Management denied that anyone at the factory had the virus, but someone reported SPS Technologies to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“We take the health and safety of our employees very seriously, and we dispute the alleged matters in the OSHA letter,” a company spokesperson told ValueWalk.
Founded in 1903 as Standard Pressed Steel Company, SPS Technologies continues to operate from the original 560,000 sq ft facility in Jenkintown.  SPS was purchased by Precision Castparts Corp. in 2003 for $729 million.  PCC was later purchased by Berkshire Hathaway for over $32 billion, making it Buffett’s largest ever acquisition.

 

BBI Warns Customers Of Email Scam
Brighton-Best International alerted its customers to an online scam involving fraudulent emails attempting to capture banking information.
“This is a courtesy email to inform you that there are fraudulent emails addressing themselves as Brighton-Best International in regards to a bank reconciliation audit,” the importer announced to customers.
“In the email, they ask to stop all payments to BBI and to update the banking info for BBI.  This email is not BBI.  Please note that all our emails would be from addresses ending with ‘@brightonbest.com.’”
“If you do receive the email, please disregard that message.  Please do not reply to it, do not click any links or open any attachments.”
For information, contact the BBI accounting team.  Email: ar_bbius@brightonbest.com

 

Amid Pandemic, FDI Plunges in March
The seasonally adjusted March FDI (44.4) experienced a sharp contraction (February 53) “as the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing shutdowns took hold over the latter half of the month,” R.W. Baird analyst David Manthey wrote.
The seasonally adjusted sales index mirrored the deceleration seen in the overall survey, decreasing to 34.6 from 54.9.
The seasonally adjusted Forward Looking Index decreased to 33.3 (February 48.9), registering a record low for the index amid the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
“This reflected a lower six-month outlook and employment levels that are below seasonal expectations,” Manthey wrote.   “Additionally, supply chain constraints continued to manifest as further respondents noted slower deliveries coming from suppliers.”
Hiring sentiment deteriorated during the month.

 

FTI Offers Free Training Webinar
The Fastener Training Institute will offer a free webinar on fastener failures on May 1 from 11am to 12:30 PT.
Co-produced by the Industrial Fasteners Institute (IFI), the 90-minute session will provide a brief review of common failure mechanisms that can occur with fasteners, followed by an overview of three real-world case studies covering overload, fatigue and hydrogen embrittlement.  The webinar will focus on using sound methodology and appropriate techniques for failure analysis.
The webinar is an extract from FTI’s Fastener Training Week.
Anyone in the fastener industry can participate, with those in product and applications engineering, technical sales and fastener testing encouraged.
Instructors are IFI Technical Director Salim Brahimi and IFI Director of Training Laurence Claus.
To register, visit FastenerTrainingStore.com.

 

Grainger Taps $1 Billion of Credit
Grainger said it will draw down $1 billion of credit to boost its cash position amid market volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Industrial Distribution reports.
“Our priority remains the health and safety of our team members and customers as we continue to navigate this uncertain period,” stated CEO DG Macpherson. “Grainger’s financial position is strong.  However, in an abundance of caution and as a proactive measure, we are taking prudent actions to increase our liquidity and financial flexibility.”
After the draw down, Grainger expects to have $1.5 billion cash on hand and $250 million of credit capacity.
“With the actions taken today, the company believes it will have sufficient liquidity to navigate through this period of heightened uncertainty,” Grainger added.
Grainger sales in 2019 totaled $11.5 billion.
The credit usage announcement comes four weeks after Grainger canceled its annual trade show.  Web: Grainger.com

 

Brighton-Best Co-Founder Perry Rosenstein Dies From COVID-19
Brighton-Best Socket Screw Mfg. co-founder Perry Rosenstein, 94, died April 3 from COVID-19, the New Jersey Globe reports.
His company, which he sold in 2008 to a consortium of Taiwanese investors led by Ta Chen International president Robert Shieh, became Brighton-Best International, a leading master fastener distributor in North America.
“Sad new for us old timers that had the privilege to know Perry,” stated Don Haggerty of Stelfast.
This is terrible news, especially for those of us at Brighton, added BBI president Jun Xu.  I can only say that we would not be where we are today without the work Perry put into BBSSMI.  It was an incredible platform to build off of.  We are humbled and proud to carry on a part of his legacy in the work we do everyday.
Rosenstein was born in the Bronx to Polish emigrants “who instilled in him a tremendous work ethic and a passion for social justice,” his website biography said.  He served in the South Pacific during World War II and and graduated from Indiana University, after which he earned a masters degree from Long Island University.
Rosenstein started his post-college career as a school teacher.
“The experience of learning to be a teacher” was excellent training for his career in fasteners, Rosenstein told GlobalFastenerNews.com in 2007.
His first fastener job was with Globe Bolt & Screw Co.  He then joined Stevens Socket Screw Co., which was later bought out by MSL Industries and became a part of Heads & Threads.  Rosenstein then became a VP of Heads & Threads.
Stanley Sevell and Rosenstein founded Best Socket Screw Co. in New York City in 1965.  Three years later they formed Brighton-Best Socket Screw when they acquired Brighton Screw Co. of Cincinnati and merged the names.  Brighton-Best grew to a major supplier of inch and metric hexagon alloy socket screws.
After retiring in 2008, Rosenstein gave even more attention to his foundations.  He told GlobalFastenerNews.com he donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to support the arts in New York, New Jersey and Ohio.
“We support the arts – especially those by ‘people with beliefs, color or gender which are out of the mainstream.’”
In 1983, Rosenstein founded the Puffin Foundation, a Teaneck-based progressive non-profit that he self-funded to provide over 400 grants for the arts and culture.  He also created the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, which preserved the history of Americans who fought against Franco and fascism, and started an awards program that recognized individuals and groups that impact human rights.  The Puffin Gallery for Social Activism is a permanent exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.
Puffin reportedly provided $100,000 annually to the National Associates for a creative citizenship award.  Recipients included Reverend Barber, Ben Jealous, Colin Kaepernick, the Parkland Students, and the Sunrise Movement.
Another Rosenstein favorite foundation, Teaneck Creek Conservancy, turned garbage dumps into parks or wetlands where birds return to nest.
His philanthropy was all a part of “giving back” from his successful career and in fighting global warming and pollution, he told GlobalFastenerNews.com.
Click here to visit the Facebook page created by the Puffin Foundation to celebrate Rosenstein’s life.

 

Agrati CEO Identifies 1st Known Fastener COVID-19 Death
Agrati CEO Paolo Pozzi wrote that 44-year-old Pasquale Gallace of Agrati logistics in Italy died March 27, 2020, of COVID-19.  His father had died a few days earlier.
At that point, Italy had 12,428 deaths and 105,792 infections, Pozzi wrote.
Agrati formed a task force in January to guide the Italy-based company through the COVID-19 crisis.  Web: Agrati.com

 

Washer Repurposed As Mask Nose Band
Rome Fastener Corp. owner Howard Reiter has repurposed a steel washer to serve as a noseband on medical face masks, the Hartford Courant reports.
He said he’s shipped 150,000 in two days from the Connecticut-based company.
Rome Fastener’s work is part of a statewide effort by hundreds of manufacturers to make surgical gowns, face masks and other equipment and components to help stop the spread of the pandemic, according to the Courant.  Web: RomeFast.com

 

Rotor Clip Expediting Products For Medical OEMs
Rotor Clip Co. is dedicating time and resources from engineering, supply chain, production, QA, and logistics to expedite parts to customers producing medical equipment such as ventilators or filtration systems.
OEMs and Tier 1 customers are using the expedited process.
 “During this crisis, Rotor Clip Company currently is open and has full manufacturing capability to support our customers with our full range of products,” stated co-president Craig Slass.  “We will put our full resources behind any customer producing components for essential medical devices needed to combat and treat the Coronavirus.”
In order to facilitate those needs, Rotor Clip has setup a specific webpage for those customers to start the expedited process.
Founded in 1957, New-Jersey-based Rotor Clip manufactures retaining rings and hose clamps.  Web: RotorClip.com 

 

Böllhoff Braces For Surging Demand From Medical Sector
Böllhoff Group is preparing for a surge in fastener orders from medical supply companies, the company announced.
Germany-based Böllhoff supplies fasteners for hospital trolleys, beds and trays, all now in significant demand as governments establish field hospitals in various locations.
“To cope with the demand, the company’s management says it has taken steps to ensure that it can provide continuity of supply to the manufacturers concerned,” Machinery reports.  “The company’s Rivnut, Amtec and Snaploc fasteners, used extensively for speedy and secure fastening into the aluminum sheet and section used so widely in trolleys, beds and trays,” are in high demand.
“Like everyone else at the moment, we remain keen to do our bit in whatever way we can” stated manager Clive Brown. “Our colleagues at plants in Willenhall and Germany, as well as the team here in Hull (producing Helicoil threaded inserts), are working flat-out to ensure that demand is met for this vital equipment.
“We all want to see the new hospitals operational in double quick time, and we remain indebted to our own suppliers and their staff for keeping us supplied with the essential materials we need to make the fasteners.”
Böllhoff is a global fastener group with 45 companies at 36 locations in 24 countries.  Web: Boellhoff.com

 

BBI USA Adds Plexiglass To Will-Call Counter
“The BBI warehouses added safe guards, plexiglass to the will call for the safety of the drivers and employees.” #SafetyFirst #COVID19 #brightonbest #bbi

FINdex Plummets Amid Pandemic
Reversing strong results in 2019, the FIN Fastener Stock Index fell 30.3% in the opening quarter of 2020, compared to a 22.4% drop in value for an index of related industrial stocks.
U.S. stocks dropped sharply in the first three months of the year as worries about the global coronavirus pandemic and its impact on businesses and the economy grew, CNN reports.  The Dow recorded its worst start to a year in history, down 23.2% for the quarter.|
The FINdex gained 33.7% in 2019, besting a 24.4% increase by an index of related industrial stocks.
No publicly traded fastener companies increased their stock value during Q1.
Fastener companies losing 30% or more in value during Q1 included Arconic (down 47.8%); ITW (down 47.1%); Lawson Products (down 48.7%); MSC Industrial (down 30%); Nucor (down 36%); Park Ohio (down 43.8%); Stanley Black & Decker (down 39.6%); and Tree Island Steel (down 40%).
For the last decade of financial coverage, FIN Subscribers can visit the FIN Stock Review section of GlobalFastenerNews.com.

 

Orbitform Building Sanitizing Machines for Medical Masks
Orbitform is re-purposing their facilities to produce sanitizing machines for medical masks, WKHM reports.
Owner Mike Shirkey said the Orbitform machine, which still requires testing before being put into production, will improve the use of the masks and help conserve inventory.
“The development of this sanitizing machine will not only prove valuable to the medical industry but helped give the Orbitform team a purpose during a difficult time,” WKHM reports.
Jackson, MI-based Orbitform designs and manufactures orbital forming riveting machines and forming, fastening and assembly automation equipment.  Web: Orbitform.com

 

NEFDA Postpones Training
New England Fastener Distributors Association president Mike Lentini of Spirol International announced the April Fundamentals of Fasteners class has been postponed due to COVID-19 and will be rescheduled.
The deadline for scholarship applications remains May 15, 2020.  Web: NEFDA.com

 

Stanley: No Pac-West Events Pending Pandemic
Pacific-West Fastener Association president Ron Stanley announced there would be no events pending the COVID-19 situation. “We do not know when we will be able to get back to business as usual.”
Pac-West is providing COVID-19 information to members, including legal counsel on guidelines for “essential business” and a blog for members to share best practices in the current environment.  The information is available in the members section of Pac-West.org.

 

SFS Scaling Back Production
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to protect the health of its employees, SFS is temporarily adjusting its operations,” the company announced.
SFS is introducing short-time work at several sites, mostly in Europe and North America.
“This action is also being taken in response to the temporary production plant shutdowns or drastically reduced operations of several important customers.”
Switzerland-based SFS supplies the construction, automotive, electronics, aircraft, medical and other industries.  The company reports 10,231 employees at 80 worldwide locations.  Web: SFS.biz

 

BUMAX Supplying Ventilator Fasteners ‘At Cost’
Swedish stainless steel fastener manufacturer BUMAX has offered to provide ventilator manufacturers and all medical equipment OEMs with “at-cost premium fasteners for their devices.”
“We have already offered at-cost fasteners to companies manufacturing ‘basic’ breathing machines that can be rapidly produced on a large scale to cope with demand and save lives,” stated managing director Patrik Lundström Törnquist.  “This is an open offer to all companies around the world who are developing and producing ventilators and other critical medical equipment to deal with Covid-19.”
Premium fasteners play an important role in a range of critical applications.  BUMAX said it’s working to maintain the supply of its fasteners to ensure Covid-19 has minimal disruption on the global supply chain.
“We already maintain a large stock of our products that are ready for shipping – including both standard BUMAX products and some custom products,” explained Törnquist.  “We have also set up our production teams in Sweden to minimize the direct impacts of Covid-19 on our production.”  Web: Bumax-Fasteners.com

 

Bisco Industries Increasing Supply To Ventilator OEMs
Ventilator manufacturer orders for critical components have jumped more than 10-fold in quantity, according to Bisco Industries.
Ventilator manufacturers face three main issues:

  1. Demand is increasing at an extremely high pace
  2. Availability of raw materials for production
  3. Availability of staff to keep production running

Click here to read Bisco Industries’ blog on their supply efforts.

 

Bufab Executives Take Pay Cut
Bufab’s CEO and other management members implemented a voluntary 10% reduction in salary to cut costs during the pandemic, the company reported.  Many subsidiary managing directors and other senior managers have followed this example.
“Bufab’s primary concern is keeping our staff and partners healthy and safe,” stated CEO Jörgen Rosengren.  “We will then focus on continued uninterrupted supply to all customers worldwide.”
Bufab said it expects sales and orders to be impacted “at least during April, and it is currently difficult to say how long it will last.”
“Most subsidiaries are already implementing short-time work schemes according to the rules in each country.  This will make it possible to reduce cost to meet a potential fall in demand.”
In addition, the company is accelerating existing cost savings programs and the board has suspended dividends.  Web: Bufab.com

 

Fastener Fair France Postponed
The 2nd Fastener Fair France has been postponed from its May 2020 schedule due to the COVID-19 escalation.  A new date has not been announced.
Nicola Hamann, managing director at Mack Brooks Exhibitions, said that “after many weeks closely monitoring the evolving situation around COVID-19 and the notices issued by the World Health Organisation as well as the French Government and in close coordination with all partners involved, we have decided to postpone the exhibition.”
The FFF team will work with the venue, Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles, customers and partners over the coming weeks to find new dates.  Web: FastenerFairFrance.com

 

CBP Drops Plan To Delay Tariff Payments
Bowing to pressure from domestic producers, the Trump administration rescinded its proposal to allow importers more time to pay tariffs during the coronavirus pandemic, Law360 reports.
“Just six days after CBP told importers it would consider delaying tariff payments on a case-by-case basis, the agency issued a new bulletin to ‘notify the trade community that CBP is no longer accepting requests for additional days for payment,’” writes Alex Lawson of Law360.
Any owed duties that were not paid in the wake of CBP’s initial tariff delay reportedly will be due to the agency by March 27.
On March 20, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued communication #42097586 through the Cargo Systems Messaging Service noting that CBP will grant on a “case by case basis additional days for payment of estimated duties, taxes and fees due to this emergency.”
The CBP notification further indicated that a more comprehensive, longer-term policy may be forthcoming through the CSMS.  However, the notice doesn’t specify how long any reprieve from tariff payment would last.
U.S. steel producers were quick to reject the policy shift.
“Any efforts to delay or reduce the collection of duties on unfairly-traded steel imports or imports that threaten to impair U.S. national and economic security will ultimately hurt U.S. workers and businesses during this unprecedented moment,” the American Iron and Steel Institute and other domestic producers stated in a March 24 letter to CBP.
Trump has publicly dismissed the idea of tariff reduction as part of his coronavirus strategy, while White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has floated an executive order that will strengthen “Buy American” government procurement rules for drugs and medical devices as a means of reducing the government’s reliance on imports.
President Donald Trump’s original duty on fasteners from China was applied in September 2018.  Trump imposed 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports six months earlier. 

 

Guangdong Province Boosts Tax Rebate To Support Chinese Producers
On March 20, the South China province of Guangdong increased tax rebate rates for more than 1,000 types of exports, Xinhua News Agency reports.
“The administration lifted the export tax rebate rate for 1,084 categories of exports including porcelain sanitary wares, new plastics, knives and scissors, construction accessories and auto parts from 10 percent to 13 percent, that for another 380 items such as plant growth regulators to 9 percent, and that for agricultural products and fresh meat products from 6 percent to 9 percent,” according to Xinhua.
The rebate adjustments are projected to contribute 1.31 billion yuan (US185.5 million) of export tax exemption funds to 12,000 enterprises in Guangdong.
The tax rebate adjustments cover US$6.17 billion worth of export commodities for Guangdong producers hurt by shrinking demand due to the coronavirus outbreak, Xinhua reports.

 

Beaulieu: Economic Trend Ahead Not a Great Recession Redux
Several states have issued shelter-in-home orders and shut down “nonessential” businesses.
“This is going to contribute to a wave of layoffs and create a level of uncertainty that we had not adequately built into the forecast you saw ITR Economics present last week,” stated CEO and economist Brian Beaulieu.
“This is not turning into a redux of the Great Recession. News accounts advocating that the world is teetering on the brink of a Great Depression are inflammatory at best.”

The changes:

  • We have universally lowered the outlook for 2Q20.
  • We are building into our GDP and US Total Industrial Production forecasts a 3Q20 low in the quarterly data. Their 12/12 rate-of-change and 12MMA lows will occur in early 2021.
  • Retail Sales are now expected to slip below the year-earlier level through the remainder of 2020.

The constants:

  • The trend ahead of us is not a redux of the Great Recession.
  • The downturn remains relatively normal in duration.
  • A recovery trend is probable for 2021.
  • Not all businesses will be impacted the same way and/or on the same timeline.
  • The size of the monetary and fiscal policy stimuli will no doubt help.

“The orders to shut down businesses and the shelter-in-home mandates will likely be debated for a long time. The reasonableness of these actions will forever be a function of your perspective. A debate at this time is moot. It is incumbent upon business leaders to work the plan to not only navigate the near-term decline, but also position their businesses for maximum performance in the next rising trend.” Web: itreconomics.com

 

NORMA Group CEO Receiving Treatment For COVID-19
NORMA Group CEO Michael Schneider “is currently receiving medical treatment for the respiratory disease COVID-19 due to a coronavirus infection,” the company announced.  “He will not be able to perform his tasks for the time being.”
NORMA Group has initiated measures to protect its employees and is in discussions with the health authority regarding further steps.
COO Friedrich Klein is temporarily assuming Schneider’s tasks, supported by an international management team who have been working from home for more than a week.
“We wish Dr. Michael Schneider all the best and a quick recovery,” stated Klein. “Thanks to the excellent support of the management team and the close cooperation with the Supervisory Board, I am confident that together we can cope with this difficult situation.”
Several weeks ago, NORMA Group established teams at the global, regional and local levels to respond to further developments in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and regional and local authorities. In addition to preventive measures and guidelines, such as travel restrictions and hygiene measures, emergency plans are being implemented.
NORMA Group will announce its final results for 2019 this Wednesday, March 25.
“The impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 financial figures has yet to be determined.  They are expected to be below the latest known market expectations.”
Germany-based NORMA Group manufactures joining products in three categories (clamp, connect and fluid) and offers more than 35,000 products to 10,000 customers in 100 countries. Web: NormaGroup.com

 

Supply Chain Update From Earnest Machine
“As everyone in the fastener industry has been watching the news, questions may have risen regarding the health of the supply chain. In an ongoing effort to be transparent with our customers, we want to share any updates we have:”

California
“Earnest’s primary inbound port is in California at Los Angeles/Long Beach. As you may already be aware, California’s governor issued a mandate for all California residents to remain in their homes. However, under the Essential Business Clause, key businesses and services deemed essential are still functioning, which includes the port. Our freight forwarder has and will continue to advise us on any change in status to the port.”

Unbrako
“Unbrako’s Distribution Center is located in Los Angeles, California. However, Unbrako USA also falls under the Essential Business Clause and is open today. They are able to ship and freight companies are still functioning.
Earnest Machine provides a weekly inventory report on the products available in our DCs as well as what’s available in Unbrako’s LA location. This email is distributed on Mondays. If you would like to sign up to receive these reports, click here. ”

US/Canada Border
“You may have seen articles circulating regarding the US/Canada border closing. This is in regards to non-essential business. Cargo is still moving across the border although we should expect some delays due to congestion. This will apply to shipments arriving from Asia through Port Rupert in British Columbia and orders we are shipping to Canadian customers. Know that delivery could be delayed. Our freight forwarder has reported some confusion and congestion at the borders.”

Pennsylvania
“Most recently the State of Pennsylvania closed all non-essential business. Our third party logistics provider is located in Pittsburgh, but has fortunately moved to a full work from home scenario in anticipation of this change. They are FULLY functioning and directing freight as needed and they are available via phone and email.
At present, this bodes well for our overall supply chain, but please be aware this situation is fluid and is subject to change. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.”

 

Fastener Companies Continue To Operate As ‘Essential’ Businesses
Advance Components: “All our operations will remain open and we will continue to ship to our customers who are supplying, producing or distributing to many of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors ‘whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.’  (U.S. Department of Homeland Security Presidential Policy Directive 21, PPD-21).  These sectors include medical products, communications, critical manufacturing, energy, food and agriculture, information technology, transportation systems and water/wastewater systems and others.”

Abbot Interfast: “Abott Interfast is considered an ‘Essential Service’ manufacturer/supplier providing many products to critical industries, including but not limited to Medical, Food, Energy, Transportation, Water & Public Works, and Communication.  These industries are among others which are critical to maintaining the USA infrastructure and our economy.  Consequently, it is our responsibility and our plan to remain open during these trying times.”

 

MWFA: Illinois Governor Orders “Non-Essential Businesses Must Stop Operating”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a “stay at home” executive order from March 21 through April 7.
The order states that “All non-essential businesses must stop operating.  All public and private gatherings are prohibited except for very limited purposes.  Places of public amusement, indoors and outdoors, shall be closed to the public.  All travel is prohibited unless for essential business or operations.”
The Mid-West Fastener Association responded to requests for definition of an “essential service company.”
MWFA cited the following section  of Pritzer’s executive order: Page 7, Section 12.t  of the Executive Order states: “Manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services in and for industries such as pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, healthcare, chemicals and sanitization, waste pickup and disposal, agriculture, food and beverage, transportation, energy, steel and steel products, petroleum and fuel, mining, construction, national defense, communications, as well as products used by other Essential Businesses and Operations.”
MWFA noted companies “self-determine” if they are “essential.”  No permit is required from the state.
For a more in-depth explanation of essential critical industries you may refer to CISA website: cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce

 

Fastener Fair USA Postponed to July
“After extensive internal and external consultation and monitoring of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to postpone Fastener Fair USA to July 13-15, 2020, at the Charlotte Convention Center.”
The third Fastener Fair USA was scheduled for May.
Show management also announced any money paid for the May trade show “will rollover for participation to the July 2020 edition.”
The show suggested participants modify hotels, flights and any other arrangements.  Multiple airlines have dropped change fees.
For more information, contact Fastener Fair USA.  Email: inquiry@FastenerFairUSA.com  Tel: 203 840-5652  Web: FastenerFairUSA.com

 

STAFDA Webinar: Small Business & COVID-19
The Small Business Legislative Council presented a webinar for STAFDA members on March 24 on issues facing companies due to COVID-19.
The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association is posting frequent updates online for members based on information from the SBLC, the National Association of Manufacturers and consultants CliftonLarsonAllen.  Web: STAFDA.org
The one-hour webinar starting at 12:30pm Eastern time “will provide an overview of new and existing laws businesses need to navigate during this unprecedented time.”  There will be extended time for questions. STAFDA members were emailed information on registering.
SBLC provided STAFDA with information sheets for employers, facts for employees and a summary of the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which takes effect April 2, 2020.

 

U.S. Fastener Industry Sheltering In Place Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Industrial fastener companies in the U.S. have cut travel and limited face-to-face interactions with customers in an attempt to keep employees safe and minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
Impending problems from the coronavirus beyond production include freight constraints on lifts or trucks.  There is also concern about lower inventories of raw materials and backlogs in the finishing process.

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