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Micro solutions to massive growth - Fastener and Fixing Technology editorial
Electronics light the way.
India’s economy has been booming leading to growth in a wide range of industry sectors. As a result India has become an exciting innovative marketplace for fastenings. Jeremy Scholefield, Director of Strategic Business – Electronics Sector, TR Fastenings, explains.
Despite the recent rise in inflation, India offers great business opportunities. Asia’s third largest economy still has sound growth, favourable demographics and domestic demand, with a huge population of an estimated 1.2 billion to satisfy. Over the last ten years India’s economy has been booming, much of this may be attributed to India’s reputation as an information technology superpower but the country also has a long tradition of manufacturing.
One manufacturing area which is showing particular growth at the moment is the electronics sector. A buoyant economy and rising disposable incomes is leading to a dramatic demand for electronic consumer goods in India. Meanwhile, India’s electronics export market is also rising. As a result India is now considered one of the two largest markets for electronics products in the World.
At the end of June the Indian Government’s confidence in its electronics market was illustrated with news of subsidies for the sector. At a strategic electronics summit organised by the Electronic Industries Association of India (ELCINA), Ajay Kumar, joint secretary in the Department of Information Technology, revealed that the Indian Central government has proposed to give one trillion Rupees of investment subsidies to significantly boost the country’s electronics industry. This incentive is set to generate four trillion Rupees of investment in the sector and also create 20 million jobs over the next ten years.
This confidence is also shared by large multinational electronics manufacturers with major firms setting up in India after recognising the massive growth in the healthcare, lighting and lifestyle sectors. This migration of manufacturers to India has created a demand for reliable, quality components. These global firms need suppliers they can rely on, suppliers that tick all the boxes when it comes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. TR Fastenings is a company that does just that.
A global manufacturer and distributor of fastening products TR Fastenings has always had a strong involvement in the electronics sector including IT, telecoms, business machines, healthcare, lighting, audio/visual equipment and enclosures through OEM, CEM and EMS customers. The company typically supplies a customer base where their products utilise a large number of fasteners or rely on them for specific functionality. Most of TR Fastenings customer base is managed or approved through an AVL (Approved Vendor List) process thus illustrating TR’s high standards and reliability.
TR Fastenings’ key locations and manufacturing facilities have been audited by several global OEM customers which specifically examined TR’s CSR, sustainability, health and safety, Reach and RoHS capabilities. Large multinational customers are increasingly requiring details regarding the Corporate and Social Responsibility of their supply base, which are often brought into question when they drill down into their supply chain to local or “suspiciously” low cost suppliers. As a PLC, TR has a responsibility to its customers, shareholders and staff to ensure no corners are cut.
TR Fastenings prides itself as a pioneer in vendor managed inventory for small parts and components, offering services ranging from direct line feed to stock replenishment on demand that are designed to strip out costs and administration for customers. The combination of almost 40 years’ experience, particularly in sheet metal applications, and recent stronger commercial performance, is driving a business transformation at TR Fastenings. With an established reputation in innovative fastening technology and the completion of its re-organisation, the company looks set to take full advantage of market opportunities.
TR’s global footprint and logistics capability allows the company to deal with large multinational firms and their manufacturing or sub contract locations all over the world. In recent years a specific focus has been developing TR’s Indian customer base with great success. TR Fastenings now has bases in both Chennai and Bangalore with the sites offering sales and technical support as well as managing logistics. As Indian businesses and the economy continue to grow, TR will be able to support and grow with it.
TR’s customers receive the highest quality parts and service whether they require the company’s core product range of TR Self Clinch fasteners for sheet metal, Micro screws and Thread forming screws for metals or plastics, or more customer specific requirements such tuning screws for filter and power amplifier products.
Due to the growth in the electronics sector there has been great demand for self clinch products. TR Self Clinch items are typically used in applications such as ATMs, enclosures, cabinets, housings, computers, servers, home appliances, TVs and other electronic consumer goods. Generally these fasteners are inserted by sheet metal fabricators using presses such as Haeger.
TR’s Self Clinch range is well established with a proven reliability. In the early 1990s the Hank Clinch Fastening range was introduced. This product has a large market globally. From humble beginnings, offering just clinch nuts, stand-offs and studs, the TR Hank Self Clinch range now has an annual turnover of £10 million, including 750 different parts and is sold to numerous customers, both large and small.
The existing Self Clinch range includes a number of different product groups but TR Fastenings is now ready to invest in expanding on this further during 2011 offering our customers in India a wide choice.
The new Self Clinch product ranges include:
Concealed head studs and standoffs – Idea for applications where a totally smooth and hidden finish is required.
Aluminium nuts and studs – expanding on the standard steel and stainless steel ranges.
Hardened stainless steel nuts, studs and standoffs – to be used when installing into stainless steel plate.
Low displacement studs – can be inserted as near as 2.8mm to the edge of sheet metal.
In total, there will be a 35% increase in the number of self clinch products that will be offered to our customers, thus providing a raft of fastening solutions to meet the Indian market growth.
As well as electronics, telecommunications is also growing significantly in India thanks to Indian consumers driving a demand for mobile phones which is boosting the industry. With over 15 years experience of manufacturing and supplying tuning screws to the major global telecommunication companies and their sub-contact base, the company is well placed to help with this increasing demand.
Tuning screws are used in microwave filters and power amplifiers and are part of base station and antenna systems predominately for the mobile telecommunications network. As networks expand and data rates increase these units play a very important role.
Generally brass with a silver plated finish, tuning screws have a fine pitch thread plus a matching brass locking nut. Stainless steel is also used in certain applications. The size of tuning screws can vary in both diameter, thread size, thread pitch and length depending on the application and space constraints. Different drive types such as Slot or Torx are most common and the “nose” design of the tuning screw is also a very important feature for ensuring precise tuning capability and stable signal/power performance.
New developments for faster and easier tuning functionality have led to self-locking possibilities being implemented in certain applications.
TR also specialises in the other fastenings associated with this industry sector such as high performance thread forming screws that clamp the lid of the aluminium filter housing to eliminate any RF leakage. This all helps to ensure we have the fasteners to meet the growing needs of the accelerating Indian market.
Working closely with TR India Sales Manager Victor Cheong and his team of sales engineers located in the main regions and cities, TR is already extremely encouraged by the massive growth plans that its key customers have in India for the future. TR can bring a wealth of fastener experience and knowledge through our European, USA and Asian operations.
This TR Fastenings article is in the July edition of Fastener & Fixing Technology, cover story pages 10-11.