Global Fastener News

LISI Aerospace Sets Up Smart Fastener Facility

LISI Aerospace Sets Up Smart Fastener Facility
March 01
14:28 2021

LISI Aerospace and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) jointly secured £975,000 (US$ 1.34 million) in funding from the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) to “unlock productivity gains, new markets and reduce waste in the fastener industry” through the integration of Industry 4.0 technologies.

The pilot production line for high-precision aerospace fasteners, at BAI UK’s Rugby facility, will help define the “smart factory” by pioneering the use of machine learning, data analytics, indirect fault detection and other cutting-edge digital technologies.

The goal is to deliver a smart, dynamic manufacturing line that minimizes waste, improves worker safety and efficiency and sets a new benchmark for productivity in the aerospace fastener industry.s

“The investment shows that BAI UK are committed to advancing the fastener industry with a unique and impactful approach; the award of ATI funding adds credibility to that ethos,” said Mark Capell, general manager of BAI UK.

The company is part of LISI Aerospace – the third largest supplier of aerospace fasteners globally, who are searching for proactive steps they can take to lead their industry through innovation in the face of international competition, tighter margins and an aging workforce.

“The project goes far beyond the technology, it serves as an investment in the remarkable manufacturers in the UK, the fantastic workers we employ, and does so in a more environmentally sensitive way,”Capell added.  “The project will reduce wastage and operator interaction; ultimately aiming to provide an all-round better manufacturing process.”

Part of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, the AMRC is a leader in manufacturing research, with specific expertise around Industry 4.0 technologies at its flagship Factory 2050 in Sheffield.

“This project shows the value of Industry 4.0 to all levels of the UK supply chain and has the potential to break down barriers to technology adoption which can push UK manufacturing into a new era,” stated Gavin Hill, project manager at Factory 2050.

“Implementing these technologies is also a chance to reduce environmental impact by reducing waste and providing the data for LISI to understand where they are wasting energy and where they can get better life out of tooling and consumables in a more sustainable way.”

BAI UK and the AMRC will work with machine builders and tooling providers throughout the 27-month program to streamline the technology introduction process, as well as investigate how these technologies can add value to both aerospace and the manufacturing world.


ABC Marks 40th Year of TruFast Brand
During 2021, Altenloh, Brinck & Co. US, Inc. is marking the 40th anniversary of the TruFast brand, which was founded in the farm fields of rural Ohio.

ABC manufactures TruFast for exterior building envelopes and facades and Spax engineered fasteners for construction.

The story of TruFast is chronicled in founder Duane Spangler’s book, The Journey.  TruFast initially produced fasteners for the commercial roofing industry.  

TruFast was acquired in 2005 by German-based Altenloh, Brinck & Co.

ABC’s acquisition led to a 33,000-sq. ft. expansion and modernization of the Bryan, OH, manufacturing facility in 2011 and a 50,000 sq ft expansion of its heat treat facility in Pioneer, OH.

CEO Nikolas Dicke of ABC observed that the two companies had “similar brand traits: customer focus, persistence, high quality and reliability of both our products and people.”  

Spax brand president Jim Winn said, “TruFast is the foundation that the Spa brand was built on. The family environment of ABC has never been “more evident than during the global pandemic of 2020. We make high quality, highly engineered products but the quality and longevity of our people are what set this company and its brands apart the most.”

TruFast president Jason Beals noted the manufacturer has added 200 jobs and acquired additional brands including Rodenhouse.  “We will make and sell more than one billion screws this year,” Beals predicted.

Beals recalled $10 million once “would have been a great year,” but now ABC U.S. sees $10 million in a month.”

ABC has distribution facilities in Michigan, Texas, Florida, California and Ohio, and is headquartered at 2105 County Rd. 12C, Bryan, OH 43506-8301.  Tel: 419 636-6715  Web: or


Sachs: ‘Perfect Storm’ Creates Container Shortage
“The cost of the containers have increased dramatically over the past 12 months,” Bob Sachs of XL Screw said.  The shortage is due to a “perfect storm” created by a list of reasons for container shortage.

“The steamship lines are really taking advantage of the situation and they are reportedly making record profits,” Sachs said.  “They are very happy.”

Reasons for the container shortage include “empty containers sitting all over the world waiting to be shipped back to the Far East.  Not enough cargo to be shipped back to the Far East,” Sachs explained.  “This creates a lack of container availability to ship back to the USA.”

 • The pandemic also contributes to the container shortage: “Because business slowed down so dramatically last year, I heard that the companies that make new shipping containers cut way back on their new production,” Sachs noted.  “Now they can’t keep up with the demand.”

 • Demand for container space had increased toward the end of 2019 with the economies of the world doing well, Sachs pointed out.  “Companies needed to replenish their inventories due to improvement of the demand for product worldwide.”

 • PPE products are especially in demand now and “governments are paying a hefty price to the steamship lines to move the PPE cargo.”

Sachs termed giving PPE cargo priority “understandable.”

 • Sachs’ fourth reason for the container shortage is steamship lines “cutting way back on their vessel sailings to create a demand on container space thus taking advantage of the situation and being able to raise their prices.”

“Shipping costs change daily,” Sachs finds.

 • Also the upcoming Chinese New Year “always creates a push for available container space,” Sachs added.

The public holiday runs from February 11 – 17, though some companies observe the New Year until February 26.

 • Sachs observed “there are so many ships sitting outside the USA West Coast Ports waiting to unload their cargo.  This is creating long delays.”

All of those reasons combined have “created the Perfect Storm!” Sachs declared.

When will the container situation ease?

“I have no idea when container availability will improve and when shipping costs will stabilize,” Sachs explained.  “There are so many factors created by the Pandemic. These are very unusual times with many unanswered questions.”

“In the past, shortage of container space and large increases in shipping costs typically come and go pretty quickly,” Sachs has found.

“I am afraid to say…not this time due to the uncertainty of the Pandemic and the trade war with China.  You just need to come up to the plate and keep swinging.”  Web:


Hariton Machinery Went Global From Its Start 50 Years Ago
Hariton Machinery Company Inc. has completed 50 years by being global from the company’s start in 1970.

Mark and Sue Hariton

The Connecticut-based fastener machinery supplier was “internationally focused,” while competitors limited themselves to the North American market, founder Mark Hariton commented.

Hariton started in the Mexican market and then as the UK was closing fastener plants, he began shipping containers of machinery back from Europe.

He and his sales people continue to make “four, five or six trips a year to Europe, Asia and South America.”  Hariton says half of company’s business comes from overseas.

Indeed, his standard “Best regards” closing on his email adds: Atenciosamente, Cordiali Saluti, Saludos, Freundliche Grübe and Bien cordialement.

Including the multiple languages demonstrates “we care about them,” Hariton said.  “We respect them.  We appreciate them.”

Mark Hariton’s first job was as a technician for AT&T, where he appreciated that the company paid him while he trained.

But after four years he was “bored” and sought another outlet for his mechanical aptitude.  He ended up with a small family company led by three brothers.  He was assigned different jobs, including handling lathes and presses.  Beyond that he had to find his own niche within the company.  While looking for potential business, Hariton found a screw company selling used cold headers.  That led him to contact the J.L. Lucas business, which handled fastener machinery.

He decided he could do the machinery business on his own and in 1970, Mark Hariton and wife Sue opened Hariton Machinery in the basement of their Long Island, NY, home.

A year later they rented an office and next bought a 6,000 sq ft warehouse and office in Oceanside.  In 1991 they bought a 80,000 sq ft industrial building in Bridgeport, CT – where Hariton Machinery remains today.

While metal cutting has “revolutionized,” cold forming and hot forming has “evolved,” Hariton observed.  That allows used machinery to hold value vs. becoming obsolete.  He still sells used Waterbury Farrel machines built over 40 years ago.

“There are machines from the 1920’s and 1930’s that are still functioning,” Hariton noted.  “Manufacturers worldwide are still buying and using them.”

Of course Hariton sells new machines as the exclusive USA agent for SACMA Machinery of Italy; Shimazu Tapping Machines from Japan; and Tecno Impianti wire drawing machines from Italy.  Hariton Machinery is the international agent for Jehren Industries of Rockford, IL.

Tough spots along the way?  “Every 10 years or so there is a recession and recessions are always a challenge,” Hariton observed.  Surviving requires being “creative, tough and optimistic.”

Will operators be able to work from home or be replaced by robots?  Hariton doesn’t see that happening.  “There is an art to it in cold forming.  There is a lot of skill involved. Operators need the ability,” Hariton explained.

However, there will continue to be more computerization, he predicted.  Customers want machinery that is easier to setup, change over and higher speed production.

Change ahead?  Hariton advised the fastener industry to keep its eyes on electric vehicles.  As the world gravitates to more electric vehicles, be aware that electric motors that drive the vehicles require fewer fasteners than the internal combustion engines, Hariton pointed out.

Mark Hariton has his 50+ years in the business and his son, Alan Hariton, and nephew, Michael Coda, have more than three decades each with Hariton Machinery.  Also Michael Carelli has more than 30 years.

“We’re very proud we survived and ready for a new generation,” Mark Hariton told

Hariton Machinery Company Inc. is located at 810 Union Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06607-1137.  Tel: 203 367-6777  Web:


BAIFD: Freight Container Shortage Causing Fastener Price Hikes
Last December, the British & Irish Association of Fastener Distributors warned that a shipping container shortage at major global export ports was limiting fastener availability in the UK and Ireland, hiking container freight costs three-fold.

BIAFD sees little chance of significant improvement in availability or freight costs until the second quarter of 2021, director Phil Matten said.  

Freight cost increases combined with rising steel and stainless steel raw material costs mean fastener costs will increase significantly, he predicted.  The current situation is significantly worse. 

“The problem is global, and not directly related to the UK leaving the EU,” Matten told the BAIFD.  “That said, issues at Felixstowe Port, which knocked onto other UK ports, have exacerbated an already critical situation.”

The escalation of Covid-19 infections in the UK now also means shipping lines continue to avoid British ports, preferring to off-load in Northern European, which adds a two-week delay in goods arriving in the UK, Matten added.

The latest reports from BIAFD importing members show Asia-North Europe container freight costs have jumped five times higher than mid 2020, Matten reported.  For a container of standard fasteners with a low value per weight, the freight cost now equals a third of the value of the consignment.

Some BIAFD members have decided it is too expensive to import now, “even though current inventory is rapidly eroding to support increased demand from construction and manufacturing,” Matten reported.  Most fastener importers are competing against high value consumer goods for scarce containers and being forced to pay massive premiums.

There are additional charges of several hundred dollars to ensure a container is collected in time to be loaded for shipping.

There are signs of limited improvement in container availability in key Asian exporting ports as shipping lines reposition empty containers while container manufacturers struggle to supply new boxes, Matten reported.  However, there is “little immediate prospect of major improvement,” with the 16-day Chinese New Year beginning February 12.  The holiday means a surge of export activity ahead of factory closures, increasing pressure on extremely limited container capacity, followed by several weeks of catch up, once factory, haulage and port operations return to work.

As early as the second week in January, freight agents told BIAFD importers that there was no possibility of their containers being shipped before the Chinese New Year.

While governments may be losing patience with shipping rates and supplementary charges, “threats of capping shipping costs or competition authority investigations are currently doing little more than shaving the very tip of the iceberg,” Matten concluded.

The British & Irish Association of Fastener Distributors represents 85 UK and Ireland fastener importers, wholesalers and distributors.  Web:



Fastener Fair Stuttgart 2021 Postponed
The 9th International Exhibition for the Fastener and Fixing Industry has been postponed from May to November 9-11, 2021, in Stuttgart, Germany.

“This decision was taken in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and following conversations with all exhibitors and visitors that have taken place over the past weeks and months,” show owner Mack Brooks Exhibitions announced in a press release.  “Uncertainties around continued travel restrictions were also a contributing factor to this decision due to the truly international character of the Fastener Fair Stuttgart show.”

Liljana Goszdziewski, portfolio director for the world’s largest fastener trade show, said  “extensive conversations with all participants” led to the postponement.  “Based on the current international developments due to the Covid-19 pandemic, covering further lockdown and travel restrictions, we believe that it is the most responsible decision at this stage to postpone. This early announcement will hopefully allow time for the impact of COVID-19 across the world to stabilize and when safe to do so, ensure that the event can continue its critical role in bringing the global fastener and fixing industry together again.”

Last week Fastener Fair USA was postponed from June to dates that will overlap with Stuttgart: November 8-10, 2021, in Cleveland.

Mack-Brooks announced it will delay Fastener Fair Italy, scheduled to take place during the same dates in November.  

The Fastener Fair Stuttgart team “will communicate closely with customers and partners over the coming weeks and months and thank their exhibitors, partners, suppliers and visitors for their support during this challenging time.”

Fastener Fair Stuttgart is part of a series of trade shows in Italy, Turkey, France, India,  Mexico and the U.S.  Web:


2021 Fastener Trade Show Schedule
The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed 2020 and 2021 fastener trade shows to the second half of 2021, creating a crowded schedule.

Here are the latest 2021 dates for North American trade shows:

Mid-West Fastener Association
August 16-18
Monday 75th anniversary event at Venuti’s in Addison, IL; 39th Table Top on Tuesday, Belvedere Banquets, Elk Grove Village, IL; 68th Golf Outing on Wednesday

Metropolitan Fastener Distributors Association
September 11-13
Opening reception on Saturday; golf on Sunday; and Table Top on Monday.  Ballyowen Golf Club & Crystal Springs Resort.

International Fastener Expo
September 21-23, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Golf, conferences and opening reception on Tuesday; trade show Wednesday and Thursday

Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association
November 7-9,  Charlotte Convention Center
Conferences and opening reception on Sunday; Keynote and State of the Industry addresses on Monday;
Trade show Monday and Tuesday.

Fastener Fair USA
November 8-10, Huntington Convention Center, Cleveland
Conferences on Monday, trade show on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There are fastener trade shows worldwide during this period.  Among them: The world’s largest is Fastener Fair Stuttgart, which is still slated for May 18-20, 2021, in Germany.  Currently Fastener Fair Mexico is still scheduled for June 29-30.  The Taiwan International Fastener Show has been postponed from 2020 and is now scheduled for September 1-3, 2021.


Fastener Fair USA Postponed Again
Fastener Fair USA is being postponed again, this time from June 2021 to November 8-10, 2021, in Cleveland.

“After extensive consultation and ongoing monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made this decision with the wellbeing of all our customers and partners as our highest priority,” said Marie Brown, group VP for Reed Exhibitions.  “We are developing additional channels and digital tools to complement the live event in order to serve the industry, support our loyal exhibitors, and to ensure our attendees have access to find the solutions they need.”

Fastener Fair USA was first held in Cleveland in 2018, followed by Detroit the next year.  The third Fastener Fair USA was originally scheduled to be in Charlotte in 2020.  The pandemic forced postponements and eventually the 2020 show was dropped.

Fastener Fair USA includes exhibits for manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and suppliers of fastener and fixing technology.  

Earlier Fastener Fair USA had announced that the International Fastener Manufacturing Exhibition is joining the 2021 trade show.  Web:

The trade show launched Connector365 last year as a year-round online platform, a repository of thought-leadership, and industry expertise.  The platform can be used to search the show directory of leading suppliers, stay up to date on fastener industry news, and hear the latest from our industry partners. 

“In the coming months, Fastener Fair USA will feature more 365 digital promotional opportunities and a significantly enhanced Connector365 platform for attendees and industry professionals,” event director Bob Chiricosta said.

In addition to exhibits, there are technical conferences, demonstrations and networking opportunities.  For information:  Email:  Tel: 617 417-0351

Fastener Fair USA is owned by Reed Exhibitions, which conducts 500 events in 30 countries across 43 industry sectors, attracting more than seven million participants.  Reed is part of RELX, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.  Web:


Cohn Sells Duncan Bolt to ESOP
Andy Cohn announced the sale of Duncan Bolt to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

Founded in 1953 by David Duncan, the Southern California-based fastener distributorship is now headed by general manager Steven Somers, and the team of Norris Glantz, Andrew Bengis, James Socrates and David Glantz will lead the distributorship.

Duncan Bolt president Andy Cohn and vice president Virginia Cohn are retiring.

Andy Cohn started in the fastener industry at ground level: Sorting hex nuts with his New York neighborhood friends for $15 a keg for his importer father Eric Cohn of Allied International.

After graduating from Case Western Reserve University, Andy had no intention of a fastener career. He went off to the Bay Area in 1974, but after several months of unemployment, Andy “caved and let Eric help him find a job.” That put Andy at Bay City Screw & Bolt in San Carlos, CA. He started as the “kid” who packaged and filled orders. He graduated to answering telephones.

Those were the days when distributors would buy either domestic or imported Grade 5, but Grade 8 had to come from Lake Erie Screw or the new domestic manufacturer, Nucor Fastener, Cohn recalled.

Andy “got hooked” on the fastener industry, and in 1976 Eric called to say Allied International was opening an American Eagle branch warehouse in Denver. Andy accepted the role of Rocky Mountain regional sales manager.

While with American Eagle, he met and married Jeannie Walker of Fasteners Inc. and went to work for John Walker at Fasteners Inc. for six years until divorcing.

Cohn moved back to New York and, after Allied International was acquired, he was asked to relocate to Allied’s Southern California operations.

That was at a time when the early importers were expanding and diversifying.

“lt was a time of ‘fast change’ for importers,” Cohn recalled.

He also met and married Virginia, daughter of Luke Sullivan of Sullivan Bolt.

By 1986 Cohn had set a goal of becoming a distributor – “to get into the distributor business and live happily ever after,” he smiled.

Cohn heard Dave Duncan – who had recently remarried at age 81 – wanted to retire. Cohn called and Duncan suggested, “Come talk to me.”

“It jelled,” Cohn recalled. “We put together a good deal, with good terms.” The Cohns took over in 1988. Duncan veteran Marlene Mathieson stayed over with the new owners.

At the time, Duncan Bolt was located in a 20,000 sq ft metal building in Huntington Park, which was the industrial sector south of Los Angeles. Half of the customers were OEMs and the other half were distributors.

Duncan Bolt succeeded at stocking Castle nuts and other C and D items some importers “sneered at,” Cohn recalled.

Duncan Bolt grew and moved to a larger space 9.6 miles away in Santa Fe Springs – a newer industrial area –  in 1999. By 2010, Duncan Bolt took over a neighboring building.

A year ago, four key employees approached Cohn about an ESOP.

Cohn noted that ESOPs usually don’t provide the seller with top dollar, but there are capital gains tax advantages.

And there is something that “feels good” about selling to employees who helped build the distributorship, Cohn emphasized.

“It is less brutal than selling to the highest bidder and announcing to employees, “Oh, by the way, you now work for Fred.”

During his 46 years in the fastener industry, Cohn was the 2001-2002 president of the Western Association of Fastener Distributors, a co-founder of the Fastener Education Fund and a board member of the National Fastener Distributors Association.

Duncan told FIN that the biggest change in the fastener industry during his career was the sourcing of imported fasteners from Japan to Taiwan to China. He watched as the world moved away from domestic fasteners.

As he departs the fastener industry, the major question of 2020 started with “Are they making bolts in China this week?” to “Will there be vessels arriving with bolts?” Inventory on the shelves has gained value, Cohn pointed out.

Cohn will continue as a Duncan Bolt board member. Messages may still be sent to him:

Duncan Bolt opened a branch in Phoenix in 2003 and is headquartered at 8535 Dice Rd., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670-2509. Tel: 800 798-1939 Web:


Container Shortage Impacting Fastener Supply Chain
A shortage of shipping containers at major global ports is now seriously impacting fastener availability in the UK and Ireland, the British & Irish Association of Fastener Distributors warns. The crisis is also forcing up container freight costs three-fold and exacerbating other cost drivers to fuel sharp product inflation.

Container shortages are currently the biggest disrupter according to specialist supply chain media The Loadstar1 on 1st December. BIAFD importer members say they now have major backlogs at factories, which cannot be shipped to the UK and Ireland due to the lack of containers.

The CAx, an index of container availability, is now at record low levels. A reading below 0.5 indicates a deficit of containers. For week 49 the reading for Shanghai Port was just 0.03 – compared with 0.53 ten weeks previously, and 0.66 in week 6 of 2020. The indices for other global – and also European ports – show plunging container availability over recent weeks.

“The container shortages are an indirect consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic,” according to BIAFD. “Emerging early from the pandemic, Chinese factories recovered production and recommenced exports to global markets.

“More recently, export shipments increased ahead of the Chinese National Day holiday in October, further ratcheting during the peak season run-up to Christmas.”

Container return times to ports in all import markets have significantly increased due to coronavirus-related shortages of vehicles and drivers.

Container shortages have also been exacerbated by the volumes of personal protection equipment being imported, BIAFD reports. Many of these containers have now been moved to inland storage points but the containers are unlikely to be released for many months and potentially longer.

“With finances hit hard by the collapse of global trade, resulting from the pandemic, shipping lines radically tightened capacity on most routes. Lack of capacity and low backhaul profitability has meant containers returning to export markets far more slowly.”

More lucrative transpacific routes to American markets have also taken priority for both container ships and containers over European routes.

While container manufacturers have increased production, output lags well behind demand, with the knowledge that the container market will eventually rebalance a disincentive to further ramping up output.

“All the indications are that it will be several months before equilibrium is restored. With backlogs rapidly growing at exporters and an early Chinese New Year putting further pressure on capacity, it looks improbable the situation will return to any level of normality until the end of quarter one 2021.”

Some carriers have applied substantial port congestion surcharges, further adding to importers’ costs. BIAFD importers report container freight costs tripling, without factoring in port surcharges or costs of rerouted shipments. This means an effective on-cost to products often in excess of 10%.

Other inflationary pressures on fastener costs were already becoming evident.

“Asian steel prices have increased sharply in the last month, with further increases predicted, as supply tightness is compounded by a serious accident in a major Korean steel plant,” BIAFD reports.

European steel lead times have also extended sharply, for some wire grades tripling to more than twenty weeks, and steel producers are expected to introduce substantial cost increases early in 2021.

The British & Irish Association of Fastener Distributors represents the interests of more than 85 United Kingdom and Ireland fastener importers, wholesalers and distributors. Web:


IFI to Mark 90th Anniversary At October 2021 Meeting
The Industrial Fasteners Institute has scheduled its annual spring meeting for March 6-9, 2021, in Scottsdale, AZ.

Managing director Dan Walker acknowledged the IFI would normally have celebrated its 90th anniversary at its spring meeting, but he anticipates attendance “will be hampered by virus fears,” so the 90th will be marked during the October 3-5 meeting at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis.  

Walker said he is hopeful the COVID situation “will be under control” by October and “our attendance is suitable for the celebration.”

If necessary, the spring meeting will be switched to virtual, Walker said.

The 2020 autumn meeting planned for Memphis was held in virtual format instead.

The IFI also conducts automotive and aerospace division meetings and member-only training events.  For IFI information: Tel 216 241-1482  Web:


2020 Cybersecurity Threat Trends For Business
Supervisory Special Agent K.C. Bixby of the FBI summed up 2020 with this statement:

“It feels like the entire world has changed,” he told Mid-West Fastener Association members during a video conference on cybersecurity in November.

But some cyber tricks and scams remain the same, stated SSA Bixby, who runs a global cybersecurity squad from his office in Chicago.

“Cyber is integrated into all the different threats we see (at the FBI).”

Those threats include terrorist attacks, foreign intelligence, cyber attacks and high-tech crimes, and public corruption.

“Cyber criminals are active and they are everywhere,” SSA Bixby explained.  “They are trading malware.  They are collaborating to get the most money for themselves.”

There’s a lot of data loss and lots of money being stolen, especially among the 40 – 60+ age group.

“You’re the target,” SSA Bixby emphasized.  “You’re the one with the money that they’re going after.”

In 2019, the FBI reported $3.5 billion in victim losses.

“These are the numbers that are reported.  If you’re a company and lose $400,000, you’re gonna report that.  If you’re a small mom & pop shop hit with ransomware for $1,200, you’re probably not gonna report it.”

Business email and ransomware are the most prevalent types of attacks, with 95% of computer infections coming through email.

“The way that the bad guys get into your system is through email,” SSA Bixby sated.

Hackers only need one person in a company to click on a suspicious link in an email, so SSA Bixby urged MWFA members to be careful of external links in emails.  Users are twice as likely to click on a link than download an attachment.

To protect your business data, it’s also important to keep your antivirus software up to date.

“If a bad guy wants to get into your system, all it takes is time.”

SSA Bixby, who has a masters in clinical psychology and is also an FBI hostage negotiator, said that frequent data backup can help prevent you from paying cyber ransoms.

“When people have live hostages, they will negotiate.  With ransomware, they just don’t care.  Once that key is gone, your data is gone.”

Just because your computer doesn’t shut off immediately after you click a suspicious link does not mean you haven’t been infected.

“It’s not always enterprising criminals,” SSA Bixby explained.  “Sometimes it’s nation states trying to disrupt international commerce.”

In the event your company is hacked, the FBI does not support paying a ransom.

“There’s no guarantee you’ll get your data back, and once you pay, the FBI is not able to get your money back.”

To prevent ransomware attacks, it’s important to research the source of every link and go directly to the source instead of activating the link, which could allow hackers to infiltrate your computer.  In addition, never download files from sources you don’t trust.

Other tips include:

  • Robust patch management;
  • Two-factor authentication for any remove access to your network;
  • Don’t use the same local administrator password across all systems;
  • Make regular data backups that are stored on a separate network;
  • Have a complex 15-character password and keep it.

“The old advice of changing passwords every 90 days led to people creating simpler passwords and writing them down.”

New cyberthreat trends including BYOD – people bringing personal devices to work.

“It’s no longer an ‘if.’  It’s just a matter of time before your company is targeted.”


Hughes to STAFDA: Underdogs Can Win
Can small distributors compete against Amazon? the president of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association asked in his 2020 virtual State of the Industry speech.

“We. Are. The. Underdog,” emphasized Greg Hughes, president of Kinnunen Sales & Rental. “Well, I’m here to tell you: Our. Dog. Bites!”

The Oklahoma distributor’s mascot is a dog.

“I love being the underdog,” Hughes declared. “I love the challenge of someone saying that I can’t. And in our industry the Big Boys are telling us just that. That we can’t keep up with their ability to attract and keep this next generation of buyers.”

“What the pandemic did was force our brick-n-mortar customers to find ways to ‘per – fect’ their internet buying skills, Hughes said.

The customer base is growing younger and “their online love affair grows stronger each day, subsequently kicking our counter-and-field-based customer service to the curb, and the big box stores have increasingly aggressive B2B programs.”

“Our customers may be convinced they don’t need us anymore. Are they correct? I mean, we can’t out-Amazon, Amazon. Right?”

After college in Oklahoma, Hughes learned direct selling of fastening-related products to end users with a German-based company. Within two years he became an outside salesperson.

“The next few years I learned the art of selling, and I started developing key relationships, one of which was with a hard-working and determined gentleman by the name of Ray Kinnunen,” Hughes recalled.

Kinnunen, a concrete contractor by trade, “had grown tired of driving so far to obtain rental equipment and supplies.  So with a $400,000 loan and a 4,000 sq. ft. building, he started Kinnunen Sales & Rental, offering a few pieces of rental equipment and some concrete related supplies, including the shots, pins, anchoring and drilling products my company offered.”

“I call these my ‘Tailgate Years’,”  Hughes described working with Kinnunen. “He’d always ask me to sit on the tailgate and have a talk. Eventually he started visiting with me about taking a sales position with him to grow his company.”  Hughes recalled being reluctant to leave the sales job he was doing well at, but “Ray cast a vision about what the future could look like. He was passionate about my future, and as he saw it, that future should be with his company.  Ray made the dream come to life; he convinced me to make another change – another decision that would alter my life forever. I accepted his offer.”

  Hughes and Kinnunen attended STAFDA and World of Concrete trade shows, “begging vendors to take a chance on us.”  “But over the years we built a business from the ground up.”  In 2013,  Hughes and his spouse bought the distributorship from Kinnunen.

“Our slogan at Kinnunen Sales & Rental is – ‘Getting You Back to Work’ – and we’ve built a business on that promise.”  That required getting the customers and retaining them  when they “have the option to purchase our products not only faster, but also in some cases, cheaper from Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, and whomever pops up online overnight.”  “We’ve accepted the fact that in the next five years nearly 75% of our customers  – those people we depend on to stay in business – will be Millennials and Gen Z-ers.  We’ve ditched the old-guy gripe about how we hate change, or how we hate how these youngsters think…and we’ve made change after change after change, to simply….keep up with change.”

Hughes said “opportunities to buy from someone else are only going to continue to multiply as we’ve seen happen at lightning speed in 2020. We’ve got to have reasons for not only our customers, but also our vendors, to hang with us.”

One way the “Kinnunen underdog bites back is by building strong relationships with our vendors.  Let’s all agree – our vendor partners have a responsibility to their companies, their employees and shareholders to produce results. To that end, servicing the big box stores and various online platforms due to their sheer volume is an option they are unable to pass up, but you know what?  Our vendors love us and they know what we bring to the table. We’re the guys who will take the vendor to the jobsite and get their brain and heart involved in our projects.  No one at the big box stores or online giants are going to do that. We’re going to make sure our vendors know our partnerships with them are a huge part of our ability to succeed.  They are going to feel, see and understand how much we need them, appreciate them, and depend on them to help us take our market share back.  That’s just one way the underdog bites back.

Hughes noted many distributors saw sales skyrocket this year because of the surge in online buying.  “And how did they get so much business?  Because of their investment in online and social media platforms. Their willingness to follow the trends of younger buyers – and older buyers – wanting the buy-it-on-my-phone convenience.”

Now before everyone says, “Yeah, but I can’t afford a million-dollar website with apps,” hear me out, I’ve said that same thing for years. The answer doesn’t have to be that difficult or costly but doing nothing is no longer an option, just like doing nothing wasn’t an option in the formative years of your business,” Hughes advised.

“We can’t keep our holier-than-thou attitudes, thinking everyone should come to us because we have a beautiful store on Main Street where the shelves are dusted, the floor is swept, and our employees greet you with a smile,” Hughes said. “We’re going to keep providing those things, but we also have to accept the new religion of apps and online buying trends of this generation, and all future generations.”

“We have to reach a market who, for the most part, we don’t see,” Hughes said. “A market who doesn’t have the time or the desire to sit on a tailgate. We must innovate or dare I say it, become yesterday’s news.

Hughes advised distributors to “talk to each other, network and figure out what your options are.”  Use the STAFDA consultants.

“Get out of the ‘what’s the use’ mindset! Everyone listening to this speech has had those moments of, “You know what? The customer either has to walk in here, or call…that’s it.”

“We also have the ability to sell, rent and service a plethora of other things that aren’t available online,” Hughes declared.

“There are a lot of underdogs” listening to the STAFDA speeches.  watching this right now.  And whether it’s with a website, an app, an attitude or a tailgate…I want to tell you….I’m betting on us.  I’m betting on the 945 distributor companies, the 1,050 associate companies and the 280 manufacturer rep companies represented here.”


Johnson Tells STAFDA: Ban Paper in Front Office
Move your distributorship into the future by eliminating paper in the front office, Andrew Johnson advised the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association.  That includes everything from invoices to the fax machine.

Speaking at a 2020 virtual session of STAFDA’s 44th annual convention, Johnson said as long as there is paper in the front office, the warehouse will come up front to ask questions or for copies.  Instead, have them click on computers in the new wireless warehouse for answers from the front office.

Johnson, CEO of Shelfaware LLC and a multiple generation distributor, spoke on transitioning distributors to the digital world where they can reclaim “the edge back to small business.”

Distributors must have a programmer on the payroll to develop “automatic analytics,” Johnson said.  Distributors need a “data dashboard with alerts, triggers.”

“Own your data,” Johnson urged.

With data driven inventory, distributors can compete directly with Fastenal, Grainger and Home Depot.  The big chains already dominate search engine advertising.  Distributors need to “pick and choose” their online presence, Johnson advised.

But even websites may get outdated, Johnson cautioned.

“It is about the eyeballs,” Johnson said.  “What are they looking at? LinkedIn? Videos?”

But they can compete in their niche – such as furniture fasteners.

His own family’s distributorship specialized in O rings.  Traditionally the simple small rubber medical device was in boring grey.

“Americans want variety,” Johnson declared in touting success by offering colors such as purple, pink and blue.

To compete, a distributor can move into assembly and repair “bordering on manufacturing,” Johnson said.  Small distributors can offer customizing.

Not every idea will work, he acknowledged.

“There are going to be swings and misses.”

Part of his distributorship’s move into the future involved him and his brothers-in-law discussing what each one was good at and not good at.

That must be expanded in companies.

“Team members need to know what they are not good at,” Johnson emphasized.

Fastenal has grown in servicing safety & janitorial businesses.  Fastenal installed 100,000 vending machines in customers’ locations.

Small distributors need to “stick to what you do well.”  Attack competitors “where they are weakest.  Use a digital approach to carve out your market niche.”

Distributors must go digital: “Adapt or be acquired,” Johnson offered alternatives.

Johnson advised distributors to “become self aware.  Take stock of current people and processes.”  Once personnel understand what they are good at, then “stay in our lanes.”

“Set big goals, but start small” to build toward the big goals, Johnson said.   Set up a team to start the process.  “Budget time, not money for it.”

“Start simple for innovations wins,” Johnson suggested. Web:


Kelly: COVID-19 Effects To Continue “Well Into Next Year”
The effects of Covid-19 will continue “well into next year,” Larry Kelly of Buckeye Fasteners expects.

As a panelist in a 2020 International Fastener Expo virtual session on fastener manufacturing, Kelly said Buckeye’s 1905 plant is not easy to reconfigure for a pandemic.  It is hard to move heavy fastener manufacturing equipment.  But Buckeye has created more cellular environment for operators.  Operators often have two or more machines, giving them spacing and less operator interaction.

The pandemic has made IT personnel the most valuable, Kelly noted.

Most manufacturing can not be working from home, Kelly said.

Matt Boyd of Parker Fasteners said Parker was fortunate to be moving from a 30,000 sq ft building to 68,000 sq ft, allowing some spacing of equipment as part of following CDC guidelines, Boyd said.  Parker also spread out shifts.  And Parker added a cafe in the facilities so “no one has to leave to get food.”

No vendors come to the Parker facility, he said.

The pandemic has given the manufacturer “more time to look internally,” Boyd said.  “Where can we do better in business?”

Also through zoom calls he found they actually “got closer to the customer.”

What Parker would have spent on exhibiting at the IFE in Las Vegas could be spent in other ways, Boyd said.  In direct contact, Boyd spent more individual time with customers rather than being interrupted on a trade show floor.

Parker sales are up “just slightly” for 2020, Boyd said.

Charlie Kerr of Kerr Lakeside acknowledged he is “not a fan of remote work,” but added that “the way work is done is going to be different.”

 More than steel prices, has been currency exchange rates with the U.S. dollar getting weaker due to Covid restrictions, Kerr said.

Boyd finds trucking costs increasing more than materials.

Boyd said Parker has been able to hire 18 people this year.  Parker favors hiring people without experience and having the company train them.

Kerr Lakeside relies on temporary services for hiring, Kerr said.

Worse than finding employees is having a “plant full of people and no jobs to do,” Kerr said.  Web:


Delayed Wire Düsseldorf Cancelled
Wire Düsseldorf, which had been postponed from March 2020 to December, has now been cancelled for the year.

Messe Düsseldorf attributed the cancellation to Covid-19.  There has been a new wave of infections in Europe and elsewhere.

The biennial show will next be held in 2022.  

A fastener section was added for the 2020 trade show in Germany.

The U.S.-based International Fastener Machinery & Suppliers Association meets in conjunction with the event.

Prior to the pandemic, Wire Düsseldorf  projected 1,300 exhibiting companies from 50+ countries.  Messe Düsseldorf reported 38,000 exhibitors in 2018.  Web:


Beaulieu: Now Is Time To Invest in Your Company
The coronavirus pandemic makes it difficult to plan for business activities in the coming months.

But economist Alan Beaulieu offered some qualified predictions about the U.S. economy over the next year.

State governors are unlikely to shut down their economies in the coming months, Beaulieu told Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association members.

“There’s no data scaring me into thinking the governors want to shut down again,” Beaulieu explained.  “We seem to be doing a much better job of managing (the spike in cases) this time.”

The pandemic has caused concern among economists.  The federal deficit is at 135.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) – a record high.  And there is concern about a possible vaccine because “it’s being rushed to market.”

Congress ‘hit the nail on the head’ with the first sizable stimulus bill, Beaulieu noted.  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) was a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.

“I’m not a fan of government spending, but if you’re going to do it, go big,” Beaulieu said.

Overall, the economy is rebounding, according to Beaulieu.  That growth, coupled with historically low interest rates, makes it a great time to invest in your company through acquisitions, expansions and equipment.  If you haven’t invested in technology in the past two years, you’re falling behind, he said.

“Borrow,” Beaulieu advised.  “Invest in yourself.  Make an acquisition.”

Consumers are buying at an incredible pace, he explained.  While that’s great for your business now, Beaulieu does think it’s sustainable.

However, jobs are coming back at a very healthy pace.  The Federal Reserve Board of Governors is projecting an unemployment rate at 6% by the end of the year.  While that may sound high, it’s actually a normal rate of unemployment, according to Beaulieu.

“Things are going up,” he commented.  “Life (economically) is good on planet earth, especially in the United States.”

B2B activity is rising but it will take a little time to reach previous economic activity level, according to Beaulieu.

Industrial production is bouncing back.  And real estate investors are feeling good right now.  Low interest rates and higher vacancy rates means there are good deals out there.

“You’re busy and you’re going to stay busy through 2021.”

Dr. Alan Beaulieu is president and a principal of ITR Economics. Web:


Fastener Training Week To Be In-Person in Cleveland
The next Fastener Training Week will be in-person December 7-10, 2020, in Cleveland with masks, temperature checks and physical distancing.

The four-day Fastener Training Institute course leads to the Certified Fastener Specialist designation.  

Training includes manufacturing, secondary process and testing plant tours; plus interactive exercises and quizzes.

Topics include thread, material, process, dimensional and quality sites specifications; lot traceability; test reports; print reading and tolerances; thread gaging and dimensional inspection; and torque tension.

Instructors are Salim Brahimi, IFI director of engineering technology; Laurence Claus, NNi Training & Consulting; and John Medcalf, principal engineer, Peak Innovations Engineering.

Early bird registration rates end November 16.  There are discounts for members of several fastener associations.  Web:

FTI also has a virtual Fastening 101 training class on the Basics of Threaded Fasteners, November 17 & 18, 2020.  Claus will be the instructor.

Topics include: Fastener design & material options; head styles & drive features; heat treatment, plating and coatings; market segments; cost differences between fasteners; basic fastener engineering concepts; torque, tightening, tension, stress and bolt strength; thread forming in steel, light metals, aluminum, magnesium and plastic; types of thread pitches; and fastener terminology.


Virtual Meetings Dominate 2021 NFDA & Pac-West Schedules
Schedules for two fastener associations in 2021 show the results of the pandemic: 30 meetings, including 25 ‘virtual’ and only four “in person.”  The first in-person event is scheduled for June 2021.

  • The National Fastener Distributors Association has 14 virtual events set for 2021.  The 15th is a June 22-25, 2021, Executive Sales Planning Sessions in Minneapolis.
  • The Pacific-West Fastener Association has virtual roundtable sessions in November and December 2020, plus January, March, April and May.

Pac-West has a “To Be Determined” golf tournament penciled in for May 7, 2021.  There are “After Hours” social programs also slated as “TBD” for June, July, August, October and November.

Pac-West has an autumn dinner meeting and vendor showcase set for September 14 and its Holiday party December 2.

Pac-West has a joint conference with the Southwester Fastener Association in San Antonio, October 20-23.

For NFDA information:  For Pac-West information:

NFDA 2021
January 14  Monthly Event: Human ResourcesVirtual

February 11  Monthly Event: OperationsVirtual

March 11  Monthly Event: Sales/MarketingVirtual

March 18  CEO Breakfast RoundtableVirtual

April 8  Monthly Event: Human ResourcesVirtual

May 13  Monthly Event: OperationsVirtual

June 10  Monthly Event: Sales/MarketingVirtual

June 22-25  Executive Sales Planning SessionsMinneapolis

July 8  Monthly Event: Human ResourcesVirtual

August 12  Monthly Event: OperationsVirtual

September 9  Monthly Event: Sales/MarketingVirtual

October 14  Monthly Event: Human ResourcesVirtual

October 21  CEO Breakfast RoundtableVirtual

November 11  Monthly Event: OperationsVirtual

December 9  Monthly Event: Sales/MarketingVirtual


Pac-West 2021
January 29  Lunch Bunch RoundtableVirtual

March 12  Lunch Bunch RoundtableVirtual

April 16  Lunch Bunch RoundtableVirtual

May 7  Golf TournamentTBD

May 21  Lunch Bunch RoundtableVirtual

June 17  After Hours: Bay AreaTBD

July 22  After Hours: DenverTBD

August 19  After Hours: SeattleTBD

Sept. 14  Dinner Meeting & ShowcaseLa Mirada, CA

Oct. 7  After Hours: San DiegoTBD

Oct. 20-23  Joint Conference with SFASan Antonio

November 4  After Hours: Inland EmpireTBD

December 2  Holiday PartyLa Mirada, CA


Association Panelists Optimistic for 2021
“The global fastener market was only momentarily frozen and seems to be recovering,” panelist Jamie Lawrence of AVK Industrial Products reflected on 2020’s Covid-19 pandemic.

GDP plummeted 31% in the second quarter, Lawrence noted.  But he predicted the economy will largely recover by 2021’s Q2.

The panel was held online after originally being planned for a joint conference of the Southeastern Fastener Association, Southwestern Fastener Association and the Pacific-West Fastener Association in San Antonio in October 2020.

One effect of Covid-19 is an increase in Internet fastener sales, Lawrence said.  Grainger is now 67% digital, MSC 61%, Watsco 33% and Systemax 100%.

Covid-19 changed production demand, disrupted supply chains and impacted finances, Lawrence reflected.

The truck market dropped 48% during the early months and automotive output 50%.

Lawrence said fastener distributors “haven’t effectively balanced investments needed to stay relevant and grow their business with cost take-out programs to sustain profitability.”

Some distributors “were initially slow to evolve their business models because they have large fixed costs and organizational structures focused on winning in traditional ways—typically on price and delivery,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence said fastener industry changes due to Covid include holding more safety stock and buying within North America; shifting labor to America; and shifting labor-intensive work from China to Mexico and Central America.

The fastener industry will benefit as the latest chemical manufacturing equipment uses less energy and solvents, produces less waste, is less capital-intensive and is less expensive to operate.

Continuous flow manufacturing is a methodology to optimize minimum inventory.

“This is achieved by manufacturing a product, from start to finish, in one production line,” Lawrence explained.

As the cost of automation declines and people will see that robots can operate safely alongside humans and more kinds of work are being automated, Lawrence said.

A lesson for the industry?  Build a safety stock by buying North American manufactured fasteners.  And shift labor from China to Mexico.

Lawrence cited a forecast of a 4.1% growth in the global fastener market from 2019 – through 2025.

Bailey: Strong Rebound Coming
Panelist Mike Bailey of Nucor Fastener predicted a “strong rebound coming.”

“Nucor has been pretty bullish across most of their divisions and Nucor Fastener is no exception.  The current economic indicators “are green in their 2021 outlook,” Bailey said. “Regardless of who wins in November, the feeling is governmental spending is going to be large and that should translate to spending in the private sector as well.”

There has been a “lack of high profile jobs,” such as large bridges and stadiums in the non-residential construction market, Bailey observed.  But non-residential construction is “gaining traction” with infrastructure spending for roads, bridges and power lines.  Though there is a lull for fabricators and erectors now, they report “order books are strong for 2021-2022.”

Infrastructure spending “seems to have unilateral support on both sides of the political aisle.  Increased spending here would present a very fast path to job creation.”

Bailey noted the U.S. House passed a $1.5 trillion Infrastructure spending bill that stalled in the Senate.  The current White House budget for 2021 is $1.3 trillion.

“Expect infrastructure at the federal and state level to get revisited soon after the inauguration,” Bailey predicted.

  • The plunge in oil prices to April’s five-year low of $19.33 decimated the oil & gas industry, Bailey pointed out.

Oil is back to $42.45, but the “sweet spot” to support a vast majority of wells pumping needs to be $65 to $70, Bailey said.  “That may be late 2021.”

  • The heavy truck / automotive markets were “on life support in April,” but the subsequent “uptick appears to be gaining speed and will.”

The biggest speed bump in automotive is “supply chain impediments due to Covid-linked work outages and raw material availability, Bailey said.

Bailey noted the U.S. House passed a $1.5 trillion Infrastructure spending bill that stalled in the Senate.  The current White House budget for 2021 is $1.3 trillion.

  • MRO orders “stayed fairly strong throughout the pandemic as PPE sales increased dramatically,” Bailey reported.  “Many in the industry believe that this fact alone will have a lasting impact on their business as the virus, and its effects, will not go away quickly if at all.”

Bailey predicted 2021 “ puts us back on the path for sustained economic growth.  Maybe not a roar, but definitely not a whimper.”

Roberto: Nickel Is Leading Indicator of Stainless Pricing
After Covid spread around the world, the nickel price dropped to $5.07 by March 24, 2020.  Nickel came back to $7.14 by September, but fell back to $6.90 by this conference on October 15, Tim Roberto, president of Star Stainless Screw Company reported.

“Nickel is the leading indicator for stainless pricing,” panelist Roberto pointed out.

Nickel is 8% to 14% of makeup of a fastener, but 30% to 40% of price.

For the past five years the price of nickel has depressed the stainless market.  The five year average has been $5.45 and the previous five years averaged $8.56.

Nickel jumped to $8.39 a year ago due to speculation that Indonesia would bar exports.

After Covid spread around the world, the nickel price dropped to $5.07 by March 24, 2020.  Nickel came back to $7.14 by September, but fell back to $6.90 by this conference on October 15.

Nickel price variation has been lead by demand from China.

Copper pricing is the driver for brass fasteners as it is 60% of the overall cost.  Copper is 94+% of silicon bronze.

A year ago copper was $2.62/lb.  Speaking in October, Roberto noted copper was at $3.05 that day.

China uses 51% of the world’s copper supply.

Roberto pointed to consumer confidence reaching s 17-year high in September 2020.

Xu: The Fastener Industry Might Not Get Amazon’d But Might Get Tesla’d
The fastener industry might not get Amazon’d but might get Tesla’d, Jun Xu of Brighton-Best International suggested.  

An electric motor has one third fewer parts, he pointed out.

Advances in manufacturing to larger forged presses will “only reduce the number of components” and therefore number of fasteners, Xu added.

Fastener manufacturers will switch to more standard fasteners to keep production going, Xu predicted.

  • Xu suggested artificial intelligence is more of an assistance to inventory planning than a threat.  “Artificial intelligence is only as good as what you feed into it and “2020 has proven to be anything but historically accurate.”

Artificial intelligence can tell you what products are likely to be needed after a hurricane, but “after three hurricanes in a month, maybe not.  People might decide to move.”

  • BBI believes diversification is vitally important to its future.   Fastener companies can diversify through products, material types, measuring standards and by industries.

Watch to see how new products or industries “fit your business model,” he advised.  

Do you want to deepen exposure in your current industries or diversify across industries?  If you are in more than one industry you have more control of your business, Xu pointed out.

China was affected first by Covid-19 and thus is recovering first, importer Xu said.

Web: or or


Economist: ‘Miserabilism’ Is U.S. Economic Enemy
The true enemy to the U.S. economy is “miserabilism,” economist Chris Thornberg told a webinar.

“The economy is learning to deal” with the pandemic, Thornberg finds.  But new surges of Covid-19 are now the “wild card” of economic recovery.

Thornberg spoke in a virtual format replacing the live sessions originally planned for a joint conference of the Southeastern Fastener Association, Southwestern Fastener Association and the Pacific-West Fastener Association.  The sessions were scheduled for San Antonio in October 2020.

Thornberg called for “more targeted policies,” rather than broad pandemic stimulus.  He doesn’t want pandemic panic to lead to the federal government borrowing too much.

With 40 million people stricken by Covid-19, the economy has faced “close to the worst case scenario” that it could, Thornberg said.

Thornberg, from the Southern California-based Beacon Economics LLC, emphasized that the current situation is not an economic recession, but “a natural disaster.”  And the good news is that “natural disasters do not tend to have long consequences.”

The Taiwan fastener industry has done comparatively well during the pandemic.  Taiwan has been only 13.5% down vs. China 30.2% drop.

The Great Recession starting in the first quarter of 2008 and lasting to Q3 of 2009, was the result of six years of excesses and massive imbalances, Thornberg said.  There was a low savings rate, massive trade deficit and consumer debt, he pointed out.

In contrast the pandemic recession was “driven by consumer fear” rather than structural shifts.  That can lead to a “relatively rapid bounce back.”

The 32.9% plunge for Q2 2020 resulted from “pull backs in consumer spending,” Thornberg said.  That is temporary and it is “spending delayed, not cancelled.”  

The bottom of the pandemic recession was in April 2020.

There are problems slowing an economic recovery, Thornberg said.  “Disneyland can’t operate,” he said in reference to consumers spending again.

There needs to be control of the virus – through immunity or a vaccine, Thornberg acknowledged.

And there needs to be a political atmosphere where there can be “honest conversations,” he added.

When the virus is contained, many consumers have savings to spend – so much so that it could cause inflation, Thornberg observed. Accumulated bank deposits “will be spent when the virus is contained.”  

“People are not going to change their behavior,” he explained.

There are winners and losers.  The Internet is a winner and aircraft orders are lost with air traffic at only 40% of pre-pandemic traffic.  Travel and hotels are down, but health care is up – especially with postponed care.

People have suffered in losing their jobs and may have to change fields.  “There are job openings,” Thornberg pointed out.

Many small businesses have been forced to close, but small companies are always coming and going, he pointed out.

There could be a third surge of the pandemic, Thornberg cautioned.  “This thing is hard to get rid of.”

The pandemic changed the economy, Thornberg noted.  Pre-pandemic, some economists were predicting an end of the 2020 recession.

Web: or or


Optimas Solutions Opens PPE & MRO Facility in St. Louis
Optimas Solutions opened a 30,400 sq ft facility in St. Louis to distribute a new line of manufacturing products focusing on personal protective equipment (PPE) and MRO.

Scott McDaniel

The product lines and dedicated distribution facility in the middle of the U.S. will address urgent customer demands for indirect and consumable items, especially safety products due to COVID-19, the company stated.

“The goal of this strategy is to be laser focused on those products that are in urgent demand by our customers,” stated newly promoted CEO Marc Strandquist.  “We’ve listened to and learned that our customers don’t necessarily need full-line distribution right now, but instead need Optimas to meet their needs for common items in a dedicated, efficient manner.  With this new line and new distribution facility, our goal is to simplify product selection and quickly deliver what our customers need most at the best value possible.”

Safety products will focus on personal protection and sanitation products for the workplace, including face masks, sanitizers, cleaning products, hearing protection, hand protection and body coverings.

MRO offerings will focus on materials, equipment and production supplies, including adhesive, abrasive, tape and packaging materials, along with janitorial supplies and cutting, repair and hand tools.

Strandquist appointed 23-year fastener industry veteran Scott McDaniel to oversee the operation.  Strandquist worked with McDaniel at Würth Industry North America, where McDaniel served as national accounts manager.  During his career, McDaniel also served as CEO of Würth Addams.

“Our customers of our engineered fasteners can now take advantage of our ability to also supply them with a focused set of MRO and safety products, while reducing the number of suppliers and related administrative costs,” McDaniel stated.

Optimas was formed in 2015 when New York private equity firm American Industrial Partners acquired Anixter’s OEM Supply Fasteners division at auction for $380 million cash.

Glenview, IL-based Optimas provides fasteners and c-class components and services to OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in the automotive, agricultural, and medical equipment markets.  The company has 1,600 employees in 16 countries, and manufactures in Illinois and the UK.  Web:


Covid-19 Cuts Global Nickel Production
2020 global nickel production is expected to decline by 7.4% to 2,195 thousand tons (kt).

Temporary suspensions of mines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the advancement of Indonesia’s export ban, are expected to be major contributors to decline, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

Indonesia’s 2020 mine production is expected to fall 15%.

Vinneth Bajaj, GlobalData senior mining analyst, said Indonesian nickel mining companies have had trouble selling output to domestic smelters at low prices alongside inadequate capacity.

“Therefore, domestic miners have been either halting or curbing their output in the first three quarters of the year and this is expected to continue over the rest of 2020.”

Mine production in the Philippines is forecasted to fall by 9.3%, due to dual challenges of COVID-19 and weather disruptions. In April 2020, Nickel Asia Corp. and Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. suspended operations in the Surigao del Norte province, where most of the country’s mines are located, due to the COVID-19. Operations resumed in May with safety protocols.

“In contrast, despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, production in New Caledonia and Brazil is expected to collectively increase by 6.9% in 2020,” Bajaj said.

For 2021-2024 global nickel mine production is expected to recover at a growth rate of 4.2%. Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines and Canada will be the key contributors.


Matten: Rare Synchronicity & Chemistry Built Fastener Fair
“There are two powerful things in business that really cannot be engineered: Synchronicity and chemistry,” Phil Matten reflected on his fastener career as he retires as editor of Fastener + Fixing Magazine.


“Jerry, Jamie and myself came together at the right time, really by accident, to form a potently complimentary bond of skills.  Jerry was a serial entrepreneur, imbued with a sometimes breath-taking risk orientation.  Jamie was an outstanding salesman then and has become a highly competent director.  I contributed a more strategic marketing approach, a network of European fastener contacts, and, perhaps above all, the recognition that Fastener Fairs and Fastener + Fixing were nascent brands with huge potential.”

Matten was describing 2002 when he joined Jerry Ramsdale, publisher of Fastener + Fixing magazine, organizer and founder of the fledgling UK-based Fastener Fair.  

“It was entirely an accident that I became editor of the magazine,” Matten recalls. “Jerry’s editor, sales and production managers, left the business in an abortive attempt to set up a rival publication and show.  I’d known Jerry for several years, and he called me – to this day I still don’t really know why.  Following day, we had a beer and I started doing some freelance writing for the magazine,” Matten recalled.  “A few issues later, I found I was the editor!”  

Jamie Mitchell – now publications director at RELX Mack Brooks – came into the business at the same time.

“It was an extraordinary time for a small business that punched way, way above its weight,” Matten noted.


Matten started in fasteners in 1976 as a UK automotive aftermarket distribution group regional salesman.  He soon became the youngest branch manager and four years later moved to the head office to establish a marketing and promotional support service for the 50 branches.  He later took on purchasing and marketing management.

“I realize now that many talented managers invested in my development, through example, formal training and other opportunities to hone a skills base in sales, marketing, purchasing and general management,” Matten reflected.  “This is where I also developed an acute and enduring recognition of the strengths of branding, and in particular the core requirement to always deliver genuine value.”

Those skills led to joining a team developing a brand program of consumables and parts for the earthmoving aftermarket.  

Entry proper to the fastener industry was in 1990 when Heinz Storch determined to bring in ‘big company skills’ to the board of Fastbolt Distributors (UK) Limited.  Matten was appointed as Fastbolt’s sales and marketing director.

Fastbolt, an importer/wholesaler supplying distributors, was then supplying the UK and Ireland, but growing an export business.  Subsequently, owner Heinz Storch, returned to his country of birth, and established Fastbolt Schraubengrosshandels GmbH in Gronau, Germany, now the company’s headquarters.

Storch died unexpectedly in 2008.  

“A day I will never forget. Our relationship often crackled with tension but there was always underlying mutual respect and I learnt massively from Heinz and the Fastbolt experience, not least about the UK, European and global fastener supply chains.”

Storch’s legacy continues as Fastbolt has grown, under managing director Ekkehard Beermann, to be a European master distributor with logistics centers in Germany, UK and Portugal and quality assurance center in Shanghai.  Web:


Matten was headhunted in 1996 to become managing director and found a new UK subsidiary for German fastener manufacturer, Altenloh Brinck & Co. 

“It was a new experience for me, founding a small business from scratch, learning a new set of skills, supported by a truly remarkable company,” Matten told  “If ever proof is needed of the importance of genuine brand value it has to be SPAX.”

A few years later Matten joined previous colleagues in the Internet venture FastenerExchange.  Matten termed it “ill-fated” but described FastenerExchange as  “a thrilling, if short-lived ride, with a great team of people. It was simply too far ahead of its time.  I smile today to see developments in global online trading that echo the core concept of FastenerExchange.”


In 2010, Fastener Fair was acquired by Mack Brooks Exhibitions, which Matten termed “a rare but genuine win-win deal.”  Fastener Fair Stuttgart had established itself in the European fastener industry, and “grown beyond all expectations,” Matten said. 

“It was time for a new owner with the resources and skills to take it forward to become one of the great global fastener events. Look at it now!”  

Fastener + Fixing Magazine had also grown in page count, issues, readership and advertisers, providing “real brand value to readers and advertisers in the form of high quality editorial content” and by Matten as “being there.”  “I travelled the length and breadth of the European fastener industry, initially interviewing people I knew, and gradually gaining access to most of the major manufacturers, distributors or technology providers.”   Beyond Europe, Matten visited fastener companies in Asia, North America, Russia and South America.

“I stopped counting how many fastener companies I had visited some years ago but it is many hundreds!” was one of F+F’s first international news partners, followed by Fastener World in Taiwan.


What’s changed over Matten’s decades in the industry?   

“The big have got bigger, through acquisition and merger,” Matten responded.  “Some key European and North American companies are now Asian owned. To survive and hopefully prosper the smaller fastener companies have specialized, by geography, market sector or product range.

“Those trends will continue, maybe accelerate as a result of coronavirus, Matten predicted.”

“One thing is for sure, the pandemic has deeply impacted aerospace and automotive sectors, and the repercussions continue to reverberate through the fastener supply chain,” Matten said. “The short term imperative is to try to go back to how it was before.  Maybe that will happen.  However, we really are at a tipping point for the global environment so perhaps the time has come to recognize there is no going back.

“When I moved from automotive to fasteners it was like stepping backwards in terms of market structures,” Matten recalled.  “There is still a high level of family ownership in the fastener sector, wherever one looks – Asia, Europe or North America. Some of those family businesses have grown to be global leaders, others trade on at a smaller, perhaps more marginal scale.

“I’ve often called this a Cinderella industry, and it is.  Far too often, what is supplied is taken for granted, undervalued even denigrated,” Matten said.  “It’s only a screw” – sound familiar?  That is one thing that has not changed enough.”

Matten noted an increase in customizing fastening technologies to application, plus services such as VMI.

There have advances in fastening technologies, effectiveness and efficiency.  Matten cited how woodscrews now offer greater differentiation between performance features and real investment in brand recognition.

Fasteners don’t account for more than 1% of any finished product, combined with low unit value, “means a constant pressure towards commoditization.  That will never change but as an industry it has to be resisted, and constantly reinforced that fasteners are genuine, even if often miniature engineering I wince, when I hear an end-user buyer say “send me something that will do” with complete disregard for safety or standards. What is infinitely worse is when a fastener supply obliges.”


Matten has been general secretary for the British & Irish Association of Fastener Distributors for 20 years and director for six years.

“The coronavirus has demonstrated more than ever the importance in BIAFD ensuring its members are better informed,” Matten said.

Matten expects to continue to work with the European Fastener Distributors Association, of which BIAFD is a founding member.

For three years Matten has worked with the Confederation of British Metalforming to strengthen its fastener manufacturing sector.  Matten recently turned that role over to Derek Barnes, who has experience in cold forming manufacture of fasteners.


“If my grandchildren allow it, I’ll try to get in some freelance writing and maybe even some golf!”  Email:


White Advises Pac-West: Train Employees on Cybersecurity
The increasing number of employees working from home due to the pandemic has heightened a problem for Pacific-West Fastener Association members, a cybersecurity consultant said in a webinar.

“As employees work offsite, we are more vulnerable to cyber attacks,” Jeff White of WTC IT Services told Pac-West.

Indeed, Pac-West members have been attacked, White said without naming specific companies.  

The average cost to the business owner is $84,116, White said.  The City of Lafayette paid $45,000, while the University of California / San Francisco paid $1.14 million.

Ransomware is malware used to obtain and publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid.  Variations of ransomware have multiplied 50 times since 2017, White said.

Businesses are being attacked at a pace of once every 11 seconds.

So what’s a business owner to do?

“Train, review and test employees,” White urged.

The days of “one location, one owner” are past, White observed.  “I’m small, I can’t worry about that” rarely applies.

Conducting a Pac-West webinar on “What mask does your technology wear?” White cautioned Pac-West members that employees working from home increase security problems with multiple devices. 

“Protect everything,” White declared.

  • The most important step is to train employees on cybersecurity.  Identify spam and malware.  Employees need to understand “password hygiene” and “power down, power off electronics when not in use.”

It isn’t just their cell phone or laptop, White emphasized.  Today those are connected to smart refrigerators, thermostats and baby monitors.  Homes become “branches of your business,” White observed.

  • At the office, employees are near a shredder.  At home the same papers go into the recycling bin, White pointed out.
  • Employees’ phones or laptops might be used on a Starbuck’s patio or at a child’s dance class.
  • Conduct timely audits on electronics being used for your business, White advised.  Control those devices and connections.
  • Invest in appropriate firewalls.  
  • Monitor traffic and control or block access.
  • Businesses need a strong anti-virus program for all connected devices and an audit system for proper use.
  • “What backup system solutions do you have?  How many hours can you afford to be down?”
  • Update licenses for everything such as smart hardware, printers and fax machines.

Pacific-West member business owners cover a lot of platforms, White pointed out.  

While government is the most common ransomware victim, manufacturing and construction are next, White said.  Eight out of 10 ransomware demands are for money.

White advised paying attention to signs of trouble.  

“Things slowing down, can’t open windows?”  Web: or



FDI Sees Improved Momentum in September
September’s Fastener Distributor Index (FDI) showed “improving momentum after a steady August,” driven by sales and employment improvements.  The seasonally adjusted September FDI (52) returned to expansionary levels after a brief and moderate dip below 50 last month (49.2).

“The seasonally adjusted sales index, specifically, was the main driver of this improvement, coming in at 60.8 vs. 47.6 last month,” R.W. Baird analyst David Manthey wrote.

Pricing also moved higher, while the Forward Looking Index surged to its highest level in two years, reaching 60.6 for the first time since June 2018.

“We view this breakout as a positive sign looking forward, as low customer inventories, coupled with a slightly more optimistic tone around hiring, could bode well for near-term prospects,” Manthey added.  “We believe the FDI should see continued modest expansionary readings in the near term.”

Hiring sentiment also improved, with the employment index totaling 53.7 in September from last month’s 46.1.

Respondent commentary was “slightly more positive,” with “more respondent commentary indicating higher levels of activity and an improved outlook than those expressing dissatisfaction with current activity levels.”

“Markets increasing!” one respondent summarized.

“Some markets rebounding much faster/heavily than others,” another respondent stated.  “But overall customer demands have been increasing monthly.”

Improvements were not uniform, however.

“COVID has caused a substantial decrease in sales,” one respondent noted.

“Many distributors are ordering ‘hand to mouth,’ there is a concern that when the business returns, there will be a mad rush to refill inventory levels which will drive up lead times,” another respondent summarized.  “Distributors need to plan now.”

Attitudes about expected activity levels over the next six months compared to today are more positive than negative on balance, however, with

About 61% of participants expect higher activity levels in the coming six months, while 15% expect lower.

The FDI is a monthly survey of North American fastener distributors conducted by the FCH Sourcing Network, the National Fastener Distributors Association and Baird.  Web:


FINdex Growth Slows in Q3
The FIN Fastener Stock Index continued its 2020 roller coaster ride in the third quarter, gaining a modest 13.2% after rising 26.7% in the second quarter and falling 30.3% in the first quarter.  An index of related industrial stocks rose 8.1% in Q3.

Dorman Products achieved the greatest gain during Q3, climbing 36% in value during the period.

Other fastener stocks gaining share value included Chicago Rivet (up 3.5%); Bisco Industries (up 2.7%); Fastenal (up 5.3%); Grainger (up 13.5%); ITW (up 10.5%); Howmet Aerospace (up 5.5%); Lawson Products (up 27.2%); Nucor (up 8.3%); Simpson Mfg. (up 15.2%); Stanley Black & Decker (up 26.8%); and Tree Island Steel (up 4.5%).

Fastener stocks losing value during Q2 included Carpenter Technology (down 24.8%); MSC Industrial (down 13%); Park Ohio (down 3.1%); and TriMas (down 4.8%).

During the first nine months of 2020, the FINdex declined 6.3% compared to a 0.4% gain by an index of related industrial stocks.

Fastenal achieved the greatest gain in the first nine months, climbing 22% in value during period.

Other FINdex fastener stocks gaining share value during the period included Dorman Products (up 19.4%); Grainger (up 5.4%); ITW (up 7.5%); MSC Industrial (up 19.3%); and Simpson Manufacturing (up 21.1%).

Fastener stocks losing value included Carpenter Technology (down 63.5%); Chicago Rivet (down 16.2%); Bisco Industries (down 17.7%); Lawson Products (down 21.2%); Nucor (down 20.2%); Park Ohio (down 52.2%); Stanley Black & Decker (down 2.1%); Tree Island Steel (down 2.3%);  and TriMas (down 27.4%).

During the first six months of 2020, the FINdex lost 11.5% of its value, compared to a 7.1% decline by an index of related industrial stocks.  Carpenter Technology saw its share value decline 54% during the period.

During 2019, the FINdex gained 33.7%, besting a 24.4% increase by an index of related industrial stocks.  Bisco Industries achieved the highest percentage gain, improving 84% during the year.


STAFDA Creates Virtual 44th Annual Convention
Registration has opened for The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association Virtual Anaheim Convention and 24-hour trade show.

The virtual event replaces the traditional 44th annual STAFDA convention that was scheduled for November in Anaheim.

The virtual convention is slated November 9-10, 2020.

Virtual Anaheim begins with the traditional Monday morning general session with State-of-the-Industry speeches before keynote speaker, Silicon Valley icon, Guy Kawasaki, talking live from his office in Northern California.  Kawasaki is currently the chief evangelist for Canva, an online graphics design service.  He formerly held the same title with Apple.  He will focus on his book, Enchantment, and how to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people.

STAFDA’s 24-hour Trade Show will begin at 12:30 p.m. (Central) and run through 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday.  Beginning in mid-October attendees may schedule appointments with exhibitors via the Networking Center.  There will be live demonstrations and group conversations.  Distributors can visit a booth to look around, just like an in-person show.  Manufacturers will manage their own virtual booths to offer show specials, schedule Zoom meetings and upload demos and videos.

STAFDA offers a video on how the virtual convention will work:

Educational workshops include: STAFDA economist Alan Beaulieu discussing COVID’s impact on global markets and a time frame to economic recovery; Ken Brown, Sales Compensation Plans; Ian Heller, 10 Commandments of Distributor Marketing; Andrew Johnson, The Modern Distributor: A Digital Transformation; Daniel Lemon, Talk Triggers: Word of Mouth Marketing; Steve Martin / Greg Knight, Financial Strategies Post-COVID; and Jim Pancero, How to Accelerate your Competitive Advantage.

Workshops will be recorded and available to participants for 30 days.

Registration is on the members-only section of

For other STAFDA information contact Catherine Usher.  Email:  Tel: 262 784-4774


Economist Tells MWFA: Half Expect 2022 Recovery
It may be 2022 before the U.S. economy recovers, an economist told the Mid-West Fastener Association.

Thomas Walstrum, a senior business economist with the Federal Reserve Board of Chicago, said 8% foresee recovery by the end of 2021, 42% in 2022 and 8% not until 2023.

A key determinate in economic recovery will be public health, Walstrum told the MWFA’s Zoom meeting.  The health question of today is: “When will there be widespread testing and a vaccine?”

Walstrum pointed out that whenever and wherever there is an increase in Covid cases, “people stop going out.”

It took 14 quarters for the U.S. to recover from the Great Recession, which began at the end of 2007.

Now we have a “super nasty recession,” but it will be “hopefully shorter,”  Walstrum suggested.

In addition to Corona-19 testings and vaccine, more support is needed from the federal government for recovery, Walstrum said.

Beyond the economy, Covid brings multiple changes in American life, Walstrum said. There will be a short-term shift from city living to the suburbs and new houses will emphasize home offices.

Recovery is “picking up sooner than expected,” Walstrum observed.

In the Great Recession manufacturing was one of the hardest hit sectors, he pointed out.  But with this pandemic recession the leisure and hospitality sectors were stuck harder, thus hitting Hawaii and Nevada hard.

The pandemic caused a huge drop in employment everywhere, Walstrum said.   While the average employment was down 15%, Michigan dropped 24% vs. Washington DC ’s 9%.

Speaking to the Chicago-based MWFA, Walstrum noted Illinois was in the middle among the 50 states’ employment drops.  That was despite a bigger-than-average Covid outbreak, he added.

A factor was the intensity of Corona-19 outbreaks.  That is part of the reason Nebraska faired well vs. Michigan. Strictness of stay-at-home orders, affected the state economies.

Oklahoma experienced the smallest drop.

State-by-state recoveries will vary too. Nevada has a “bigger hole to get out of,” Walstrum observed. Michigan will enjoy a “big recovery.”  Currently Idaho is in best shape.

  • Walstrum pointed out that inflation has slowed, which indicates the demand shock appears to be bigger that the supply shock.
  • Congress added unfunded spending earlier this year, but bank deposits showed people were holding on to cash rather than spending.  Investments suffered too – such as oil and gas extraction, Walstrum added.
  • The pandemic has been an “unprecedented economic shock” that struck “far faster and larger” than the Great Recession.  “It is deeper and sharper.”   A “sudden drop in demand” added to the recession and unemployment.
  • A change for the Fed is in the past there were quarterly or monthly reports.  “Now it is weekly or even daily,” such as unemployment insurance claims, he noted.
  • “Leadership at the Fed is asking Congress to do more,” Walstrum said.  “We’re still in a deep hole.”


Fastener Fair Launches Match App
Fastener Fair USA announced a year-around online Connector 365 program to match fastener customers with suppliers.

“Match App” is a business connecting service to connect customers to vendors, event director Bob Chiricosta said.  It allows one-on-one meetings for people in the fastener industry.

Buyers will be able to view vendor profiles and then click on a “Meet” icon to connect.  The other party can accept and you can start chatting via message icon.

Registration information available at:

Fastener Fair USA’s third trade show was originally to be late May 2020 in Charlotte, but has been postponed three times and is now scheduled June 22-24, 2021, in Cleveland.  Web:


IFE Announces a Digital Version Of Traditional Las Vegas Trade Show
The International Fastener Expo will conduct a digital event to substitute for the pandemic-canceled 2020 trade show.

“This year, the pandemic and its resulting impact & restrictions have made it impractical to hold the live edition of the International Fastener Expo,” show organizers Emerald Expositions announced.  To continue “facilitating and deepening industry” connections,” a digital version – Match & Meet by IFE – will be held November 11-12, 2020.

The traditional in-person trade show was scheduled for late September in Las Vegas.

“It’s a shame that we won’t be able to see our peers on and off the show floor in a setting that we have become so accustomed to,” Emerald explained.  “However, we remain committed to supporting your business goals in the best possible way.

Match & Meet will be hosted on a new digital platform, show manager Morgan Wilson said.

“Buyers attend IFE to connect with their existing suppliers and develop new relationships all in one place.  This year’s digital offering will do just that, allowing you to meet industry peers and learn from industry experts all from the safe and secure environment of your own work desk.”

“We want to assure all our partners that we will be with you each step of the way and give you the right tools to make it easier to navigate this new platform – and our team is available to answer any questions that you may have.  We want to be sure that you get the most out of our first Match & Meet event!”

Exhibitors reserve digital booths to meet with current and potential customers.

There will be “e-booths” with product images and descriptions, demos, and staff members.  Exhibitors can also conduct virtual meetings at a time that suits both parties – all on the same platform.

“At the end of the show, exhibitors will have access to complete analytics related to the number, type and details of all leads generated,” Emerald said.

Digital booth bookings are open online:

“The platform’s artificial Intelligence capabilities will automatically match attendees with other users – exhibitors & attendees – and content that is uniquely relevant to them,” Emerald explained.  Both attendees and exhibitors can schedule and hold one-to-one meetings right in the platform itself.

Match & Meet includes conferences on technology, leadership and business management, and current market challenges and best practices.  There will be live conferences within the platform, without the need for logins to external streaming platforms. Nelson Valderrama, a 2019 speaker, is slated to talk about “how to stress-test your business in times of crisis” as part of the 2020 program.

Registration for Match & Meet is $50.

For more information participants can sign up for updates:

Founded in 1981, IFE has been conducted in Las Vegas since 1997.  Emerald estimates 70 product categories, 850 exhibitors and 5,000 participants from 30+ nations.

Before the pandemic Emerald was conducting 140 business-to-business events annually.  Web:


Fastener Fair Italy Is Latest 2020 Trade Show Postponed
Fastener Fair Italy has been cancelled for 2020 and will next be held November 10-11, 2021, at Fiera Milano City.
Mack Brooks Exhibitions announced the postponement of its third Italy trade show comes “after extensive conversations with exhibitors and partners over recent weeks and months who have expressed their preference not to hold the show in November of this year, in light of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.”
“We are all aware that this year has been a challenging one for both the exhibitions and fastener and fixing industries,” Mack Brooks managing director Nicola Hamann said.  “Many events have had to be postponed to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing travel restrictions, with many of our participants unable to attend the event this year.”
The Fastener Fair Italy team will communicate with customers and partners over the coming weeks and months.
Fastener Fair Italy is part of a series of trade events for the fastener and fixing industry, including in Turkey, India, France, Mexico and USA.  Mack Brooks’ flagship trade show – Fastener Fair Stuttgart – is scheduled for May 18-20, 2021, in Germany.  Web:
At least 17 fastener trades shows originally scheduled for 2020 have been postponed or dropped this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The only fastener trade shows still scheduled during 2020 are:

  • The 18th Fasttec International Trade Exhibition of Fasteners is scheduled October 27-29, 2020, in Moscow.  Web:
  • Fastener Poland is set for October 14-15, 2020, in Krakow.  At one point Fastener Poland was booked for November but was rescheduled to be part of the 12th International Fair of Processing, Storage & Transport of Bulk and Bulk Marials Symas and the 12th International Fair of Maintenance, Planning & Optimization of Production Maintenance.  Web:
  • Wire Düsseldorf was to start the last week of March and was postponed to December 7-11, 2020.  Web:
  • • The 19th Fastener Expo + Hand Tools Expo India was rescheduled from August to December 17-19, 2020, in New Delhi.  Web:


Fastenal Fastener Sales Stabilize Amid Shift in Operations
Fastenal Co. reported the decline in fastener sales that began in March due to the pandemic continued to slow in August, with sales down 7.3% compared to an 7.5% decrease the previous month.
Overall sales at Fastenal dropped 2.2% to $465.2 million in August, while daily sales rose 2.5% to $22.15 million during the month.
Sales in the U.S. improved 1.9%, while sales in Canada/Mexico rose 3.8%.
By end market, sales to manufacturing customers decreased 5%, and sales to non-residential construction customers were down 13.5% in August.
The company’s workforce decreased 8.6% during the month to 17,747 employees.Distribution personnel shrank 10.3% to 2,591 while manufacturing personnel declined 11.4% to 624 workers.
“The evolution of a market leader like Fastenal, now heavily invested in shifting to an e-commerce and omnichannel approach, represents where the industry is headed,” according to a Market Leaders report by Modern Distribution Management.  “Fastenal is closing locations, consolidating inventory, putting its personnel inside customer locations and moving toward e-commerce.”
Fastenal reported fastener daily sales declined 16.4% year over year in the second quarter of 2020 to $392.3 million (26% of total sales) as sales of safety equipment (PPE) surged 116.3% during the quarter.  Fastener sales declined 2.6% to $449.7 million (32.9% of total sales) during the first quarter of 2020.Web:


TR Fastenings Increasing Capacity for Medical Device Fasteners
TR Fastenings has increased capacity for medical device fasteners to meet rising demand driven by the coronavirus, DPA reports.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 created an unprecedented demand for medical products, a situation never before experienced on this scale,” writes Jeremy Scholefield.“In response to the outbreak, the world turned to medical companies for vital help, which has galvanized the industry into action and to work in uncharted territories.”
To alleviate shortages, manufacturers outside of the healthcare field have reconfigured to develop and produce medical equipment and supplies.
Critical medical products requiring fasteners and components include:

1. Respiratory equipment, such as ventilators;

2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as face masks and protective visors;

3. Diagnostic tests that identify those infected.

TR Fastenings responded to the UK government’s urgent request to support established medical equipment manufacturers and new companies diversifying into this sector.  With technical expertise, real time inventory availability, a wide range of fasteners and an intricate global supply chain already in place, TR has been able to accelerate time to market.
“Although fasteners are typically the smallest components in medical devices, they play an important role in the assembly, functionality and structural integrity of the device,” Scholefield writes.“Working directly with a knowledgeable fastener manufacturer early on in the design stage mitigates the possibility of a costly redesign after the product has been launched.”
The main products TR supplies are sheet metal fasteners, high-grade stainless steel fasteners, plastic and rubber products, and specially manufactured parts for ventilators, medical beds and furniture, ultrasound machines, medical imaging equipment, defibrillators, incubators, medical computer stands, volumetric pumps and infusion devices, and vacuum extractors, according to DPA.
TR has also developed two new products: the L-bow Handle, which allows doors to be opened hands-free, and a face visor kit.
Due to COVID-19 lockdown restraints, TR engineers have been communicating online with customers to provide service and technical support, Scholefield added.
Founded in 1973 by Mike Timms and Mike Roberts, UK-based TR Fastenings designs, engineerings, manufactures and distributes industrial and Cat C fasteners principally to major global assembly industries. TR has 32 business locations within the UK, Asia, Europe and the U.S., including eight high volume, high-quality and cost-effective manufacturing sites.  Web:


STAFDA Announces “Virtual Anaheim” Program
The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association announced “Virtual Anaheim” to provide members with multiple segments of its 2020 convention.
After its 44th annual convention and trade show scheduled in Anaheim in November 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19,  STAFDA began planning an online alternative.
The virtual program includes the originally-scheduled keynote speaker, Guy Kawasaki.  The Silicon Valley icon speaks about entrepreneurship, venture capital, marketing and business evangelism.  He has authored 13 books, the most recent is Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life.  He is currently “chief evangelist” of Carva, an Australian-based online graphic design service.  His career began at Apple.
The online program also includes Alan Beaulieu’s Economic Update, live chat with six workshop speakers, demos and meetings with exhibitors and a networking room.
The online programs will be available to members November 9-10, 2020.  Registration opens September 21.  Web:

Fastener Fair USA Rescheduled for 4th Time
The third Fastener Fair USA has been rescheduled to June 22-24, 2021, in Cleveland.
Originally scheduled in May 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic grew Fastener Fair USA was postponed until late July before being cancelled for the year.
There will be conference sessions on Monday June 22, followed by the trade show on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision to hold the next edition of Fastener Fair USA in June 2021 was made to ensure the highest likelihood that we can get back to business and reconnect as a global fastener industry, in-person,” event VP Kate Scott of Reed Exhibitions explained.
Event director Bob Chiricosta said “it feels important” to “choose a date where we have confidence” the industry can meet face-to-face.
First held in 2018 in Cleveland, Fastener Fair USA was in Detroit in 2019.  
Fastener Fair was acquired from Mack Brooks Exhibitions by Reed Exhibitions in 2019.  There are Fastener Fairs in India, Mexico, Turkey, Italy and France, and the world’s largest fastener trade show – Fastener Fair Stuttgart.  Reed has 500 events in 30 countries drawing seven million participants.  Web:
For USA information contact Chiricosta.  Tel: 617 417-0351  Email:  Web:


China Inaugurates Online Fastener Trade Show
MEDIA SPOTLIGHT  –  Online versions of the China Fastener Show and Zhejiang Haiyan Online Export Fair were inaugurated during August 2020, Fastener & Fixing announced.
The virtual trade show was to boost Chinese fastener companies in the global market and reduce the impact of Covid-19.
More than 200 fastener manufacturing, equipment and mould companies participated in the online exhibition, which drew 1,000 buyers from 35 countries and regions including the United States, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Japan, Turkey and Australia.
During the online exhibition there were face-to-face purchase meetings, keynote speeches, cloud factory visiting and live broadcasts. In particular the “1-on-1” purchase meeting reduced the impact of not being able to participate in traditional trade shows during 2020 due to Covid-19.
This new industry cloud exhibition integrating exhibition, negotiation, communication and learning may be the start of a new version of the trade show industry.
Zhang Liang, subprefect of Haiyan County Peope’s Government, explained to Fastener + Fixing that Covid-19 has swept the world and brought serious impact to the global economy, many offline exhibitions have been cancelled or postponed and thus blocking normal international economic and trade exchanges.
Haiyan County is a major fastener production base and is known as “Iron Haiyan.”  It has formed a supply chain of raw materials, mould and product production, surface treatment, product testing, equipment manufacturing, logistics distribution, domestic and foreign trade.
Haiyan has 700 fastener companies, including 30 companies with export value of more than US$5 million. Annual fastener export value is pegged at US$600 million – or 10% of China’s fastener exports. Fasteners are exported to 100+ countries and regions.
Sponsored by Haiyan County People’s Government, Jiaxing Municipal Bureau of Commerce, and organized by Haiyan County Commerce Bureau, Zhejiang Fastener Industry Association, and supported by, China Fastener Show (Online) aims to help Chinese fastener companies open up new channels, and build a new platform for Chinese and foreign fastener peers.
The Haiyan County government noted the “digital economy is the trend of the world and the opportunity of the times” and the government has implemented policies to encourage fastener companies to use digital and intelligent transformation, build a fastener innovation service, centralized procurement of raw materials, technology, financial services, and technical training, “so as to further enhance the quality control capabilities and corporate management levels of fastener companies.”
“It is hoped that companies will take this online exhibition as an opportunity to actively explore online sales channels, reduce the impact of Covid-19, and create new growth points,” the organizers stated.  “It also sincerely hoped that through the launch of the trade fair, all parties will build economic and trade cooperation in various forms in more fields so as to promote win-win cooperation and mutual development.”
Editor’s Note: Articles in MEDIA SPOTLIGHT are excerpts from publications that show the industry what the public is reading or hearing about fasteners and fastener companies.


October Joint Fastener Meeting Goes Virtual
Three associations that had planned an October 2020 joint meeting in Texas will now conduct virtual programs during the last two weeks of October.

The Pacific-West Fastener Association, Southeastern Fastener Association and Southwestern Fastener Association announced the following schedule:  

  • October 20, Tuesday: Economic update with Chris Thornberg, Beacon Economics.
  • October 21, Wednesday: “What’s New, What’s Next” with a state of the industry panel:  Mike Bailey, Nucor Fastener; Jamie Lawrence, AVK Industrial; Tim Roberto Jr., Star Stainless; and Simmi Sakhuja, LindFast Group.
  • October 27, Tuesday: “Crisis Management: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic” with panelists including Jake Davis, BTM Manufacturing, and David Palmquist, ND Industries.
  • October 29, Thursday: Zoom roundtable discussions.

Registration opens on September 7, 2020.  Registration prices range from $99 for member companies by October 5 to $349 for non-member companies registering after October 6.  Web:


Strandquist Unveils New Supply Chain Strategy For Optimas Solutions
Optimas Solutions is adjusting its supply chain to “deliver against an unstable manufacturing landscape affected by COVID-19 and other regional disturbances that have impacted the fastener industry.” Called “Manufacturing Solutions,” the revised strategy aims for “customer intimacy, service innovation, a new sourcing approach, advanced manufacturing, and faster speed in quote to order.”

Fastener veteran Marc Strandquist, president of the Americas for Optimas Solutions developed the approach.

“We’ve had to concurrently lead in this moment and get ahead of the curve by investing in our business to address fast changing conditions in our Americas marketplace,” Strandquist said.  “In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out new offerings, based on feedback from our customers, in the wake of this evolving landscape.”

In support of the new strategy, the company will make new offerings in manufacturing, manufacturing consumables, engineering services, e-commerce, and with its OptiTech and other technology-driven platforms.

Strandquist said customers are concerned about supply chain disruptions, the stability of suppliers, lack of visibility in parts availability, and a greater need for standard and engineered parts, inventory management solutions and quality services.

“While we are a distributor of industrial fasteners and component parts, we also have centrally located cold-form manufacturing to complement and exceed customer needs as a single source supplier,” Strandquist said. “With an increased emphasis on the customer intimacy, technology-enabled solutions, and speed to market, we think this new strategy is going to deliver huge dividends for our audiences.”

Another part of the strategy involves strengthening vendor relationships critical to the company’s ability to provide stability and product availability at optimal cost.

“We’ll be re-energizing existing offerings and rolling out new services in the coming months that will highlight how much customers are at the core of what we do,” Strandquist emphasized. “We want customers to know us for Manufacturing Solutions that support their production, product quality and financial goals.”

The strategy update comes weeks after Optimas promoted Randy Nelson to VP of supply chain and strategic sourcing, and Matt Kubbinga to supply chain director.

Fastener industry veteran Nelson has over 18 years of executive experience with Supply Technologies and Brighton-Best Intl.

Kubbinga spent five years as demand planning manager at Univar Solutions.

Glenview, IL-headquartered Optimas Solutions is a global industrial distributor of fasteners and c-class components. Optimas has 1,600 employees in 16 countries.  Optimas has 3,500 suppliers to distribute 130,000 SKUs to 10,000 customers in automotive, heavy truck, high tech, lawn & garden, medical, off-highway, power generation, powertrain, transportation and tunneling industries.  Optimas manufactures in Illinois and the UK.  Web:


Advance Components Distributing ARaymond Face Mask Comfort Straps
Advance Components has begun stocking and distributing a new kind of fastener that addresses the discomfort associated with face masks.  Face mask comfort straps by ARaymond Industrial were created at an ARaymond customer’s request.
The new strap works with the existing elastic straps on masks and can be produced quickly in large quantities.
The Raymond design team developed the strap with multiple sets of retaining tabs, for various head sizes, that were 3-D printed and tested with local medical professionals to confirm functionality.  The production team developed manufacturing processes and nine days later a mold was running parts.
“Stocking and distributing a fastener that brings relief to people who must wear a face mask for long periods of time, is both important and gratifying,” Advance president Gary Cravens said.
Advance and ARaymond Industrial have also worked together to ship seven million Palnut Push-Ons for use in the manufacturing of COVID-19 testing kits.
“Our solid partnership with ARaymond helped us expedite shipment of these parts that were, and still are, critical during this uncertain time,” Cravens said.  “We are happy to take part in the fight against the pandemic, and couldn’t have done it without the help of ARaymond.”
Advance Components is a Texas-based master distributor of fasteners and products for manufacturers and distributors in the industrial market.  Web:
Founded in Ohio in 1870 as the Tinnerman Stove Company, Tinnerman became the supplier of fasteners for 100% of WWII aircraft and later speed nuts for the automotive industry.
Founded in 1865, ARaymond served the glove, shoe, leather, textile, radio, construction and automotive industries.  Today Ohio-based ARaymondTinnerman provides plastic injection molding, metal forming and finishing.  Web:


Trade Shows in China, India, Russia, Poland, Germany Still Scheduled for 2020
Seven fastener trade shows are still scheduled for 2020:

  •   The 11th Fastener Expo China was first week of June in Shanghai and is now slated August 18-20, 2020.  Web:
  •   The Shanghai Fastener & Tech Show remains September 23-25, 2020.  Web:
  •   The August Fastener Fair India in New Delhi, was changed to October 9-10, 2020.  Web:
  •   The 18th Fasttec International Trade Exhibition of Fasteners is scheduled October 27-29, 2020, in Moscow.  Web:
  •   The 4th Fastener Poland remains as originally scheduled: November 25-27, 2020.  Web:
  •   Wire Düsseldorf was to start the last week of March and was postponed to December 7-11, 2020.  Web:
  •   The 19th Fastener Expo + Hand Tools Expo India was rescheduled from August to December 17-19, 2020 in New Delhi.  Web:

At least 15 fastener trade shows have been cancelled or rescheduled during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A few associations are still holding their December holiday event dates in hopes of the corona virus situation to improve.

  • North America’s largest fastener trade show, the International Fastener Expo, cancelled its 2020 trade show in Las Vegas.  The next scheduled IFE is September 21-23, 2021, at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
  •   The world’s largest fastener trade show, Fastener Fair Stuttgart, was not scheduled for 2020.  Held biennially in Germany, the 2019 trade show in Germany set attendance record of over 12,000 from 88 countries.  There were 987 exhibiting companies.  The 9th International Exhibition for Fastener & Fixing is scheduled May 18-20, 2021.  Show management reports 623 exhibiting companies have booked 80% of booth space for 2021.  Web:
  •   Fastener Fair USA’s third trade show was originally to be late May 2020 in Charlotte and was postponed until late July.  The 2020 show was eventually dropped and the next Fastener Fair is scheduled March 23-25, 2021, in Cleveland.  Web:
  •   The Mid-West Fastener Association’s 39th annual trade show was to be a mid-June Tabletop.  After considering postponement to later in the year, the MWFA board eventually cancelled for 2020.  The next Tabletop is being planned for June 2021.
  •   Since 2007 the Chicago-area trade show was Fastener Tech in odd-numbered years.  But that full-booth trade show has been dropped and 2021 will be MWFA’s traditional Tabletop.  Web:
  •   The North Coast Fastener Association 12th annual Distributor Social in early May was first postponed to September and then cancelled for 2020.  The next social is being planned for May 2021.  Web:
  •   The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association cancelled its November 2020 convention in Anaheim.  The next convention will  be November 7-9, 2021, in Charlotte.  Web:
  •   The biennial Wire Expo was to be the first week of June in Connecticut.  The Wire Association International suspended the trade show, which was a key part of what would have been WAI’s 90th annual event.  WAI switched its focus to the odd-numbered year’s Interwire scheduled for May 10-13, 2021, in Atlanta.  Web:
  •   The Taiwan International Fastener Show was planned for the fourth week of April, was postponed to October and most recently cancelled for 2020.  Web:
  •   Fastener Fair Mexico was cancelled for 2020.  Web:
  •   Fastening + Assembly Solutions and Technology traditionally held twice a year in the UK has no dates posted on its website.  Web:
  •   The 14th Wire Southeast Asia is September 21-24, 2021 in Bangkok, Thailand.  Web:


Penney: Vogelsang Remains in Production
Vogelsang Fastener Solutions remains in production during the COVID-19 crisis, national sales manager Nick Penney announced.
“We are available to service your production requirements.”
Vogelsang is a German-owned private U.S. & European based stocking manufacturer of tubular engineered fasteners with manufacturing facilities in New Jersey, Kentucky, Germany, Czech Republic, France and China.  Vogelsang products include compression limiters, tension bushings, MS parts, roll pins and coiled pins.  The U.S. operations are based at 1790 Swarthmore Ave., Lakewood, NJ 08701.  Tel: 800 526-2376  Web:


Taiwan Show Postponed to 2021
The 2020 Taiwan International Fastener Show has been postponed a second time; this time to September 2021.

The show sponsor, Taiwan External Development Council (TAITRA), cited travel restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic for the rescheduling.

Originally scheduled for April 2020, the biennial trade show was initially postponed to October 2020.

TAITRA said it had decided to postpone the event after it became clear that “stakeholders, including international exhibitions, visitors and media, may not be able to attend the show due to travel restrictions in their own countries.”

TAITRA will refund exhibitor payments.

TAITRA said it will integrate digital marketing resources and host online exhibitions, sourcing meetings, digital industry forums, online new product launches, webinars, its TTS Insights online series, and other new types of online outreach activities.  In May TAITRA conducted the Taiwan Excellence Virtual Hardware and Fastener Industry Press Conference to show international audiences innovative hardware and fastener products.  Web:


Fastener Trade Show Cancellations Continue To Grow
At least 15 fastener trade shows have been cancelled or rescheduled during the Covid-19 pandemic.
North America’s largest, the International Fastener Expo cancelled its 2020 trade show in Las Vegas.  The next scheduled IFE is September 21-23, 2021, at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
This is the first time since IFE was founded in 1981 as the National Industrial Fastener Show & Conference in Columbus, OH, that the trade show has been cancelled.

  • The world’s largest fastener trade show, Fastener Fair Stuttgart, was not scheduled for 2020.  Held biennially in Germany, the 2019 trade show in Germany set attendance record of over 12,000 from 88 countries.  There were 987 exhibiting companies.
  • The 9th International Exhibition for Fastener & Fixing is scheduled May 18-20, 2021.  Show management reports 623 exhibiting companies have booked 80% of booth space for 2021.  Web:
  • Fastener Fair USA’s third trade show was originally to be late May 2020 in Charlotte and was postponed until late July.  The 2020 show was eventually dropped and the next Fastener Fair is scheduled March 23-25, 2021, in Cleveland.  Web:
  • The Mid-West Fastener Association’s 39th annual trade show was to be a mid-June Tabletop.  After considering postponement to later in the year, the MWFA board eventually cancelled for 2020.  The next Tabletop is being planned for June 2021.
  • Since 2007 the Chicago-area trade show was Fastener Tech in odd-numbered years.  But that full-booth trade show has been dropped and 2021 will be MWFA’s traditional Tabletop.  Web:
  • The North Coast Fastener Association 12th annual Distributor Social in early May was first postponed to September and then cancelled for 2020.  The next social is being planned for May 2021.  Web:
  • The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association cancelled its November 2020 convention in Anaheim.  The next convention will  be November 7-9, 2021, in Charlotte.  Web:
  • The biennial Wire Expo was to be the first week of June in Connecticut.  The Wire Association International suspended the trade show, which was a key part of what would have been WAI’s 90th annual event.  WAI switched its focus to the odd-numbered year’s Interwire scheduled for May 10-13, 2021, in Atlanta.  Web:
  • Wire Düsseldorf was to start the last week of March and was postponed to December 7-11, 2020.  Web:
  • The Taiwan International Fastener Show was planned for the fourth week of April, but is currently slated for October 14-16, 2020.  Web:
  • The 11th Fastener Expo China was first week of June in Shanghai and is now slated August 18-20, 2020.  Web:
  • Hardware + Tools Middle East was cancelled for 2020 and is now scheduled for June 7-9, 2021, in Dubai, UAE.  Web:
  • The 19th Fastener Expo + Hand Tools Expo India was rescheduled from August to December 17-19, 2020 in New Delhi.  Web:
  • Korea Metal Week, which includes a fastener and wire section, was postponed from June to December 21-23, 2020.  Web:
  • Fastener Fair Mexico was cancelled for 2020.  Web:
  • The August Fastener Fair India in New Delhi, was changed to October 9-10, 2020.  Web:
  • The 18th Fasttec International Trade Exhibition of Fasteners is scheduled October 27-29, 2020, in Moscow.  Web:
  • Fastening + Assembly Solutions and Technology traditionally held twice a year in the UK has no dates posted on its website.  Web:
  • The 4th Fastener Poland remains as originally scheduled: November 25-27, 2020.  Web:
  • The 9th Wire China is still scheduled September 23-26, 2020.  Web:
  • The Shanghai Fastener & Tech Show remains September 23-25, 2020.  Web:
  • The 14th Wire Southeast Asia is September 21-24, 2021 in Bangkok, Thailand.  Web:


IFE in Las Vegas Cancelled for 2020
The International Fastener Expo cancelled the 2020 trade show in Las Vegas, show manager Morgan Wilson announced.
“Recent developments have made it impossible to bring our community together safely and successfully,” the announcement stated.
“This is due to the ongoing progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the latest government data, measures, and guidelines on phased reopening plans in the U.S.; the number of confirmed cases worldwide and domestically; current quarantines, containment areas, stay at home orders, and restrictions on congregating and large gatherings imposed by states and other government and public health authorities; the inability of IFE’s international community to travel to the show due to travel restrictions and bans; and the various company-imposed travel restrictions on employees affecting attendees and participating companies.”
The next scheduled IFE is September 21-23, 2021, at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
This is the first time since IFE was founded in 1981 as the National Industrial Fastener Show & Conference in Columbus, OH, that the trade show has been cancelled.
Hotel reservations booked through the official booking service, EventSphere will be canceled automatically with no charge, confirmed by email.  Hotel reservations outside of the official block will need to be canceled on their own.
“Though we won’t get to see you in person this year, our team is committed to finding new ways to keep the industry connected and we are in the process of launching an IFE online experience,” IFE announced.
“Our goal is to provide a platform where you can virtually meet customers you have been missing all year, have access to a proven match-making program, and learn from industry leaders and about current trends.”
Updates will be announced.
Wilson said the IFE team is working on logistics and policies due to the cancellation – such as registration fees.  Web:
IFE had surveyed show participants about postponing from late September to mid November, then announced it would keep the original dates.
The closing announcement came after the largest exhibitor, Brighton-Best International, canceled its 12 booths and the second largest, Lindfast Solutions Group, which had 10 booths in 2019, decided not to participate this year.
The decision is “purely as a safety precaution for our employees,” Lindfast announced.
Multiple other exhibitors had cancelled.  INxSQL Software (6 booths in 2019) dropped out, with president Bob Reynolds telling FIN: “In the end, lives matter here – not keeping the show going at all costs.”
“The reasons are obvious” for another double-booth exhibitor, Ken Forging, to pull back the exhibiting in 2020, marketing manager Joann Whetsell said.
The 2019 IFE had 650 exhibiting companies.
Mandalay Bay had reopened July 1.


STAFDA Cancels November 2020 Anaheim Convention
The Specialty Tools &  Fasteners Distributors Association cancelled its 2020 convention, CEO Georgia Foley announced.
“Due to the State of California’s shutdown on July 13,2020, reverting back to Phase 1 with no reopening date on the horizon, this unfortunate and unforeseeable circumstance is forcing STAFDA to cancel its November 8-10 convention in Anaheim.  The COVID-related conditions in California are beyond STAFDA’s control making it impossible for us to move forward with our meeting,” Foley said.
“STAFDA was taking every safety protocol to safeguard attendees’ health and well-being and we commend Visit Anaheim and the Anaheim Convention Center on being leaders in wellness and biorisk safety,” Foley noted.  “Both STAFDA and Anaheim officials took all the necessary steps to ensure our November convention would be a success.”
Foley said advance registrations “got off to an impressive start despite today’s uncertain environment.”
A virtual option is being developed and once the details are finalized, STAFDA members will be notified.  This would include workshop speakers, the keynoter from our general session along with the two State of the Industry speeches, and a virtual component to the trade show.
Members who booked rooms at the Anaheim Marriott and Hilton Anaheim are encouraged to cancel their hotel reservations.
STAFDA will refund registration fees.
Foley noted this is the first time in 44 years STAFDA has had to cancel its annual meeting.
“Let’s get through 2O2O and plan on seeing each other again ‘in person’ at STAFDA/Charlotte, November 7 -9, 2021,” Foley said.  Web:


Top Exhibitors Skipping 2020 IFE in Las Vegas
The second largest exhibitor at the 2019 International Fastener Expo has joined the largest in pulling out of the 2020 trade show.
Lindfast Solutions Group, which had 10 booths in 2019, has decided not to participate this year.  The decision is “purely as a safety precaution for our employees.”  Lindfast has canceled its block of hotel rooms at Mandalay Bay.
Last week, the largest exhibitor, Brighton-Best International, canceled its 12 booths for the September 28-30, 2020, trade show at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
INxSQL Software (6 booths in 2019) dropped out of exhibiting.  “In the end, lives matter here – not keeping the show going at all costs,” president Bob Reynolds explained.
“The reasons are obvious” for another double booth exhibitor, Ken Forging, to skip the 2020 IFE, marketing manager Joann Whetsell said.
“Obviously, pre-registered, paid exhibitors and management will incur some financial loss.”
“It will be interesting to learn how IFE handles the pre-paid booth exhibitors,” Whetsell added.
The 2019 IFE had 650 exhibiting companies.
There are other unannounced cancellations such as Vertex Distribution (2 booths).  One manufacturer’s rep told he is not attending and he has had three principals pull out this month.
Mandalay Bay reopened July 1.
On July 12, there were 755 new COVID-19 cases reported in Clark County (Las Vegas).  Nevada had reported 27,745 cases and 573 deaths.


IFE Lists Health, Safety Protocols
The International Fastener Expo lists multiple health protocols on its website for the 2020 trade show and will “continue to monitor this rapidly developing situation,” and post updates online.
After surveying the industry about a mid-November option, IFE owner Emerald Exposition announced it would keep the September 28-30, 2020, schedule at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
As of July 10, Nevada had 25,139 cases of COVID-19 reported to the CDC and 594 deaths.  There were 5,175 new cases reported in the past week.  Nevada at 828 had a lower case per 100,000 population than the U.S. at 947.
Emerald lists safety plans online including: Advance risk assessment, communication, hand sanitizing, signage and floor graphics, stanchions to minimize lines, wider aisles, physical distancing, staggered entry to meeting room, pre-wrapped concessions with no buffets and digital badges.  Web:
Mandalay Bay will be accredited to GBAC Star Venue.
Mandalay Bay owner MGM’s COVID-19 policies include: screening, temperature checks and employee training; mandatory masks; physical distancing, hand washing, increasing outside air used by HVAC, incident response protocols and contactless check-in.
For current COVID-19 information for IFE go to


Brighton-Best Won’t Exhibit at 2020 IFE
Brighton-Best International announced it will not exhibit at the 2020 International Fastener Expo in Las Vegas.
The 2019 IFE had 650 exhibiting companies.  With 12 booths, Brighton-Best took the largest space.
After surveying show participants about an alternative mid-November dates, or cancelling, IFE announced in late June it would hold to its original September 28-30, 2020 dates at Mandalay Bay Resort & Hotel.  Mandalay Bay Resort & Hotel reopened July 1.
“Brighton-Best will not be exhibiting at this year’s fastener show in Las Vegas,” the importer and master distributor announced.  “Thank you for your understanding and we hope to see fastener friends in 2021.”


12 Fastener Trade Shows Postponed or Cancelled
Mandalay Bay Resort & Hotel has reopened in Las Vegas completing one more step toward the International Fastener Expo being held.
IFE announced in June that it is holding to its original September 28-30, 2020, dates at Mandalay Bay.  IFE owner Emerald Expositions had surveyed show participants about changing to mid-November or cancelling for 2020.
Multiple fastener trade shows have been cancelled or rescheduled during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Fastener Fair USA’s third trade show was originally to be late May 2020 in Charlotte and was postponed to late July.  The 2020 show was eventually dropped and the next Fastener Fair is scheduled March 23-25, 2021, in Cleveland.  Web:
  • The Mid-West Fastener Association’s 39th annual trade show was to be a mid-June Tabletop. After considering postponement to later in the year, the MWFA board eventually cancelled for 2020.  The next Tabletop is being planned for June 2021.
  • Since 2007 the Chicago-area trade show was Fastener Tech in odd-numbered years.  But that full-booth trade show has been dropped and 2021 will be MWFA’s traditional Tabletop.  Web:
  • The North Coast Fastener Association 12th annual Distributor Social in early May was first postponed to September and then cancelled for 2020. Next Social May 2021?  Web:
  • The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association 44th annual convention has held to its original schedule for November 8-10, 2020 in Anaheim.   STAFDA announced the Anaheim Convention Center is preparing to reopen with GBAC accreditation. The STAFA registration information states members will receive 100% refund if the convention is cancelled by a government lockdown.  Web:
  • The biennial Wire Expo was to be the first week of June in Connecticut.  The Wire Association International suspended the trade show, which was a key part of what would have been WAI’s 90th annual event.  WAI switched its focus to the odd-numbered year’s Interwire scheduled for May 10-13, 2021 in Atlanta.  Web:
  • The world’s largest fastener trade show, Fastener Fair Stuttgart, has been held biennially in Germany.  Last held in 2019, the show was not scheduled for 2020.  The 9th International Exhibition for Fastener & Fixing is scheduled May 18-20, 2021.  Web:
  • Wire Düsseldorf was to start the last week of March and was postponed to December 7-11, 2020.  Web:
  • The Taiwan International Fastener Show was planned for the fourth week of April, but is currently slated for October 14-16, 2020.  Web:
  • The 11th Fastener Expo China was first week of June in Shanghai and is now slated August 18-20, 2020.  Web:
  • Hardware + Tools Middle East was cancelled for 2020 and is now scheduled for June 7-9, 2021, in Dubai, UAE.  Web:
  • The 19th Fastener Expo + Hand Tools Expo India was rescheduled from August to December 17-19, 2020 in New Delhi.  Web:
  • Korea Metal Week, which includes a fastener and wire section, was postponed from June to December 21-23, 2020.  Web:  
  • Fastener Fair Mexico was postponed from June to October 8-9, 2020.  Web:
  • The August Fastener Fair India in New Delhi, was changed to October 9-10, 2020.  Web:
  • The 18th Fasttec International Trade Exhibition of Fasteners is scheduled October 27-29, 2020, in Moscow.  Web:
  • Fastening + Assembly Solutions and Technology traditionally held twice a year in the UK has no dates posted on its website.  Web:
  • The 4th Fastener Poland remains as originally scheduled: November 25-27, 2020. Web:
  • The 9th Wire China is still scheduled September 23-26, 2020.  Web:
  • The Shanghai Fastener & Tech Show remains September 23-25, 2020.  Web:
  • The 14th Wire Southeast Asia is September 21-24, 2021 in Bangkok, Thailand.  Web:


COVID-19 Closes Iron Ore Mines
COVID-19 will reduce iron ore production 1.2% during 2020, according to
In addition to weather-related disruptions, iron ore auctions have been delayed and mines closed due to COVID-19.
Australia, the world’s largest iron ore producer, forecasts a 0.9% increase for the year. Cyclone Damien damaged rail, road and mining infrastructure in Australia.
Heavy rains in southwestern Brazil reduced Q1 production.  India’s production was hurt by auction delays. predicts iron ore production will grow at a CAGR of 3.5% from 2021 to 2024, with Australia, Brazil, Russia and India being the key contributors to the growth.


Economist Tells NFDA: Expect a Volatile Recovery
“Expect a volatile recovery,” Alex Chausovsky of ITR Economics told the National Fastener Distributors Association.  “Recovery will come,” he assured the NFDA in a virtual speaker summit replacing the association’s COVID-19 cancelled June meeting.
Chausovsky said 2020 is a “black swan-driven recession,” but expect 2021 to be in recovery and the business cycle to rise, followed by the “backside of the business cycle” in 2022.
For now he advised being “sure your cash flow modeling is reliable” and that you “take advantage of various lending programs and your lines of credit.”
Know how your suppliers and customers are doing and focus on the markets and customers based on their recovery rates, Chausovsky advised.  Develop your own rates-of-change, he said.  “Timing is everything.”
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell is urging consumers to spend more.  And Chausovsky observed that people are finding ways to spend even while homebound, such as “grilling, renovating and gardening.”
Chausovsky noted that Powell reassured the nation that there is “no limit to what the Fed can do”  and will use “new ammunition.”  But that is not likely to include negative interest rates.

Want to sell your fastener business?
Valuations were “out of control” in 2018, Chausovsky recalled.
In contrast, the low point in the cycle will probably be in early 2021 and the next peak is probably 2025 or 2026, Chausovsky predicted.
Tighten your belts right now and “be ready to pivot,” Chausovsky advised.
Know which suppliers and customers are doing well.  Focus on the markets and customers doing well in recovery rates.
Chausovsky said his “core message is that you’ve got to find a balance.”  That includes cashflow, inventory and other medium and long term factors.
Ask questions such as “How many customers will no longer take delivery?”
Eventually there will be a rising trend, he reiterated.
There are ways to take advantage of the current “low point” such as acquisitions and HR.  “The caliber of people in the labor pool” is high, Chausovsky pointed out.
There are “impartial, nonpolitical” measures of the COVID-19 situation – such as the death rate, Chausovsky pointed out.  June 21 – the day before his presentation – had the lowest death total since mid-March.  “That becomes a positive sign.  Are we past the worst?” Chausovsky asked.
The Fed “is prepared to do whatever it takes” to protect the economy.  New stimulus, not likely negative rates.
“Now is the time to borrow,” Chausovsky declared.
We can’t just measure the U.S., he noted.  Europe’s numbers are improving too, he pointed out.
On the negative side, signs from Florida, Texas and Arizona show coronavirus case counts rising.  “The next two weeks are important,” he said.
COVID-19 has turned around the U.S. economy where all the leading economic indicators were rising for the second half of 2020.  All 12 turned down, though some are returning to positive.  Chausovsky said what is needed “is two or three months of consistent rising” in the indicators.

  • A factor in the future of the U.S. economy is a shift from “lowest cost” to reliable “sourcing and short lead times,” Chausovsky told the NFDA.  
  • U.S. retail is down 43.9% vs. a 7.1% increase for discount stores.
  • Housing market will be strong with a “shortage of inventory,” Chausovsky cited.
  • Manufacturing is down 14%.
  • The oil and gas industry is troubled by suppressed prices.
  • Automotive manufacturing is “reeling” right now, Chausovsky noted.  April was down 99% from April 2019, but May improved to only 83.2% down from May 2019.  Heavy duty trucks were down 71.8%, heavy equipment down 42%, ship building down 12% and household appliances.

The U.S. appliances market is an example of changing due to “re-shoring.”

  • The housing market is down 19.3%, but it is “bent but not broken,” Chausovsky finds. However, nonresidential construction lags the economy by 12 months and will be down for two years.
  • Partially spurred by the work-from-home boom due to COVID-19, computers and electronics are off less than 1%, Chausovsky said.
  • MRO remains strong because “it is still required.”

Before COVID-19, ITR Economics was forecasting the first half would be a mild slowing, picking up in the second half.  ITR was then expecting a late 2022 recession with a soft landing in 2023.  Web:


Rotor Clip Prioritizing Clips for Essential Medical Devices
Rotor Clip Company announced it is giving “priority to any customer producing components for essential medical devices needed to combat and treat the Coronavirus.”  That includes retaining clips used in medical device pumps, the Rotor Clip statement explained.
“The core of the pump in this design is a series of rollers that are fastened to a wheel.  A tube containing the fluid comes in contact with the rollers as they turn.  The rollers pinch the tube in order to force the contents in the tube to move along.”
As the tube returns to its “un-pinched” state, between each roller, the force causes additional fluid to move through the passageway, thus keeping a steady flow through the what is called a “peristaltic pump.”  Common applications for peristaltic pumps include heart-lung machines to circulate blood during bypass surgery, and in hemodialysis systems.
In one application, designers were concerned about the extra costs associated with retaining eight separate rollers on their own shaft using traditional fasteners, like screws, nuts and bolts, Rotor Clip found.  Limited space was also a consideration along with the costs associated with assembling so many small components.
Rotor Clip’s E Retaining Ring offered less shaft preparation – no threading, tapping or drilling; reduced weight and size of finished designs; and lower costs of raw material and labor in assembly of components.
New Jersey-headquartered Rotor Clip operates in the UK, Germany, China, Czech Republic and the U.S.  Web:


Covid-19 Changes MWFA Newsletter
The Mid-West Fastener Association has posted its newsletter in a new format online.
“Due to many of our members working from home, rather than mail the spring newsletter to members and fastener friends, it is posted online in a new easy to read format,” MWFA announced.
MWFA’s 38th annual trade show and 68th annual golf outing planned for June 2020 were postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19.  MWFA will mark its 75th anniversary in 2021.
Still on the MWFA schedule for 2020 are an education program October 15; Scholarship and elections dinner meeting  November 5; and holiday party, December 17.  Web:


China & Taiwan Developing Online Trade Show Alternatives
The China Fastener Show will be held online August 10-13, 2020.
Show management said the virtual show is “taking advantage of modern technology” to become a “new mode new business opportunity.”
China Fastener Show Online is inviting 50,000 buyers to connect with 500 exhibitors without traveling.  Travel has become “difficult in the current global circumstances,” the trade show noted.
The online trade show would include “exhibition halls” with live video, real time negotiation, supply and procurement connection and real time transaction.
The China show projects 500 virtual exhibitors of fasteners, stamping and lathe parts or related products and services.  Web:
The trade show’s website note “COVID-19 blocks normal international exchanges, and exhibitions around the world have either been postponed or canceled. In order to break the limitation of space and make suppliers and buyers negotiate and close the deal smoothly online.”
The trade show “makes full use of 16-year experience in B2B platform operation and 11-year experience in Fastener Expo Shanghai, and devotes all efforts to organize the first China fastener show (online) in history.”
China fastener show provides all-weather data exhibition hall, live video, real-time negotiation, supply and procurement connection, real-time transaction, online activities and other scenes to create interactive and immersive shopping experience for visitors.
Exhibitors can give potential customers items such as E-business cards and E-catalogs.

  • Fastener Fair USA is surveying the industry asking questions that imply it may adopt virtual format.
    For example, FF USA asks survey participants to rate the suitability of a “digital alternative” to a traditional physical booth trade show.  The questions offer a range of 1-to-5 on suitability for networking, product seeing, negotiating and buying and content sharing with online streaming solutions.
    The survey asks participants whether a wide variety of traditional trade show face-to-face activities could be digital, such as gathering knowledge, connecting with a few specific people, viewing different exhibitors virtual stands, networking with new people
    The third Fastener Fair USA was scheduled for late May 2020 in Charlotte and then postponed to late July.  Subsequently the 2020 trade show was cancelled and the next date is March 23-25, 2021, in Cleveland.  Web:
  • The physical Taiwan International Fastener Show was postponed from April until October 14-16, 2020, in Kaohsiung.
    A sponsoring organization, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council – known as TAITRA, has begun conducting “contactless online trade missions.”  In May, TAITRA held Taiwan’s first contactless online trade mission and for 12 Taiwanese companies from the machinery, beauty, food, auto parts, hardware and medical sectors to meet international buyers in over 100 online meeting sessions. The online trade mission drew 70 buyers from Thailand and the Philippines.  TAITRA has scheduled two more events in June and September for buyers from India and Japan.
    “The coronavirus has been impacting the global economy since its outbreak in January 2020,” TAITRA noted.  “As countries continue to implement lockdown measures, physical international trading events have grinded to a halt.  Online business activities on the other hand have surged and are being embraced by more and more businesses worldwide.”
    TAITRA noted that as of May 22, there are more than five million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide.  Taiwan had only 441 confirmed cases reported and 40 consecutive days of zero domestic transmissions, 350 imported cases, seven deceased cases, 408 cases released from isolation, and the remainder hospitalized in stable condition.  Web:


NFDA Zoom Session to Honor Nowak
Wth its June meeting in Minneapolis cancelled due to COVID-19, the National Fastener Distributors Association will honor Don Nowak with a Zoom event June 26, 2020.  
Nowak is being given the NFDA Fastener Professional of the Year award.
There will be presentations by Giovanni Cespedes, Falco Fastening Solutions; Bill Derry, Field; Robbie Gilchrist, Capital Marketing; Tim O’Keeffe, G.L. Huyett; Jim Ruetz, AIS; Mark Shannon, Tower Fasteners; and Ron Stanley, Empire Bolt & Nut.
The NFA zoom session will start at 2pm EST.
To register:

For more:
NFDA Honors Nowak as Professional of the Year
Nowak began his fastener career in 1970.  He retired as owner of Falcon Fastening in 2018.


May FDI Rebounds From Record Low
The seasonally adjusted Fastener Distributors Index bounced back from April’s record-low reading of 40 to post a five-point gain in May, breaking a string of declines dating back to March, Industrial Distribution reports.
May’s FDI reached 45, while the forward-looking-indicator (FLI) improved 7.7 points to 43.9.
“Several participants commented that business activity seems to have leveled off or improved since April, implying a majority of respondents have perhaps already seen the bottom,” R.W. Baird analyst David Manthey wrote.
The May sales index more than doubled to 28.9, compared to 14 in April.
Hiring in May increased, with the month’s reading jumping to 40 from 26.8 last month.
Respondent inventories rose 1.7 points to 70, while customer inventories increased 1.2 points to 48.8.
Pricing dropped 5.8 points to 61.3, according to Industrial Distribution.
A slim majority of respondents (43%) expect higher activity in June, while 30% expect similar activity and 28% anticipate a drop in demand.
“Sales in May were not great, but definitely better,” one respondent noted.  “It seems like we are off the bottom and moving in the right direction.”
“Regarding revenue, April was down 11.25 percent month/month and our May figures flattened with the exact sales as April, so at least the bleeding has stopped,” another respondent commented.
Regarding headcount, 50% expect no changes, while 37% anticipate a decline and 13% predict employment in their business will grow.
The FDI is a monthly survey of North American fastener distributors conducted by the FCH Sourcing Network, the National Fastener Distributors Association, and Baird.  Web:


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:


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:


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  “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:  Web:


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:


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:

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:


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:  Web:


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:


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:


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


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


  • 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:


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:


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:


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:


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 ‘’”
“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:


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


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:


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 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 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
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:


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:


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: 


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:


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


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:


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:


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


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:”

“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’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.”

“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:


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:  Tel: 203 840-5652  Web:


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:
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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