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Simple hardware switch delivers boosted benefits

A comprehensive audit of fastener usage by Rapierstar has delivered production, quality, stockholding and installation benefits for leading Hull-based window, door and conservatory manufacturer and installer Vulcan Windows.

These benefits have been realised following a Fastener Health Check conducted by Rapierstar earlier this year, which looks at a window and door manufacturer’s fastener use, how they are being applied, what the intended applications typically are and the stockholding approach. This thorough assessment can identify instances where switching to a different size or type of fastener could enable rationalisation of supply – saving time and money through simplified ordering and stockholding – and deliver improvements in safety and finished product quality.

Vulcan Windows, who are one of the largest Eurocell fabricators, have been serving customers across East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire for more than 40 years. The company is a major manufacturer and installer of PVCu windows and doors for the new build sector, as well as social housing, domestic and trade customers, with additional operations providing aluminium solutions and solar panels. Their success is built on continuous improvement and aligning the business with the best supply chain partners, which now includes Rapierstar.

Paul Walker, Vulcan Windows’ Operations Director explains: “We approached Rapierstar because we wanted to make sure that the right fasteners were being used across our PVCu factory and ensure our commitment to high quality products is not being undermined. With Rapierstar’s close working relationship with Eurocell and knowledge of their profiles, we recognise the value of their expertise specifically in relation to the systems we use.

“Their recently updated Recommended Fixings Manual (RFM) has proved to be a valuable reference guide, offering detailed guidance not only in the use of fabrication screws but in terms of installation. It is helping our fitting teams to choose the right screws for assembly of bays and couplers, and assess whether the right length masonry fixings are being used at all times.”

As was to be expected of such a well-established and successful fenestration business, Vulcan’s approach to fasteners was already robust according to Paul Balfe, Rapierstar’s Technical Consultant, who completed the Health Check. However, he identified some small changes that will make a big difference to Vulcan in the long term.

Paul Balfe says, “On the whole the selection of screws throughout the factory was excellent. But our Fastener Health Check is designed to assess every area in detail, which flagged up a few changes to the type of fasteners being used. With these small changes, it is possible to get better performance or make fabrication easier, and we also identified an opportunity to consolidate two sizes of screw and thus reduce their inventory.”