TR Group majors on the design
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, TR Fastenings is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of mechanical fasteners. It supplies over 150 million components every day, majoring on the design, manufacture and distribution of mechanical fasteners on a global basis to OEMs, their subcontractors and other fastener distributors.
This competitive combination has fuelled sales and geographic expansion over the past two decades and today the TR Group has over 5,000 customers and has attained ‘Preferred Vendor’ status with over 30 global customers; offering a cradle to grave solution, from design through to VMI logistics service and aftercare.
The electronics sector
has been the key growth area of TR’s business for many years. This sector encompasses a wide range of manufacturing industries and is often best described as ‘a product that ends up being connected by a plug into a power supply’; from a PCB assembly, enclosures for telecoms
and servers, fire and smoke alarms, screws for disk drives through to ATM machines
. To support this diverse product TR has developed new designs and thread forms and acquired licences for products that are used in new materials or give more efficient drive torque and speed of assembly.
The TR Group has 14 hub sites globally supported by smaller satellite locations. Seven of these are manufacturing, of which six are in Asia. Having manufacturing within the group is a distinctive advantage, as the inherent knowledge of materials, capability, processes including heat treatment, different finishes and electronic sorting to ensure final quality, is available to our teams. This also assists with quick turnaround of enquiries, product trials and testing. TR has also increased the numbers of application engineers who rely heavily on this support to provide for the growing needs of our customers. This is not just on new design but also for VA/VE initiatives.
Recent licences from the Phillips Screw Company and Acument have added to the growing portfolio of products and solutions on offer. The Mortorq® Super Spiral Drive recess from Phillips is the most recent of the licences acquired, and is a unique drive solution which reduces the head height without any loss of torque and takes the weight out of the product – a critical factor for many companies.
During the last 12 months TR has expanded the range of plastics and cable management product, branded as ‘a clear alternative’, that compliments the other products we supply to the end user. The core range is extensive and we have increased this by proving our value when requested to assist in the design and manufacture of specials. We have the ability to tool up and supply samples in 5 weeks, which is significantly better than the competition.
A comprehensive matrix of this product range is on the TR website making it easier for designers to access this and their fastener needs from one source. We provide samples so that the integrity of the product can be verified or for use in trial builds.
Within the UK we are seeing a growing number of new start-up electronics companies emerging following the demise of businesses that have transferred to low cost countries. Skilled engineers and new entrepreneurs are finding there are still opportunities within the UK and Europe to open niche businesses. We are keen to support these and have business models to cope with both small and large companies offering the same level of service to both.
The TR self-clinch range of fastenings is widely used in enclosures and telecoms cabinets, and this includes panel fasteners
, product for PCBs, clips
and plastic components
. The Antennae telecoms product is another niche area for which TR has perfected the supply of product. This varies from fixing kits to the complex tuning screws used in microwave filters, and designs for special screw thread forms into magnesium castings. Micro screws, miniature parts and screws for specialist plastic applications are also showcased on our website.
Global supply chain
It is not just about great product design; the logistics of serving the multi-nationals is vital too and the TR global footprint is key. Originally products for the electronics industry were designed in America and Europe. But with the shift to lower cost countries, such as China, and the ASEAN Region we are seeing the emergence of ODMs and design centres in these locations. Finding a good manufacturer in Taiwan or China is one thing but getting the same product to the production line in Mexico, Hungary, USA and Thailand needs additional skills from a company that manage the logistics and give a lean supply chain. TR can therefore provide a holistic supply capability that is particularly attractive to the corporate teams of the multinationals. We are expanding the manufacturing sites increasing capacity and opening new locations in Thailand and Pune in India in response to the growing needs of our clients.
Working together on fire safety products
Celebrating 50 years of manufacturing excellence in Ireland, E.I. Electronics is an acknowledged market leader in residential fire safety products. One of Ireland’s largest indigenous electronic companies, E.I. Electronics employs over 400 people and produces over 5 million smoke alarms and 600,000 carbon monoxide detectors a year, which are sold throughout Ireland, Europe and Australia.
Long-term partnership with TR Southern Fasteners
E.I. Electronics has achieved continuous growth through the development of a stream of innovative new products manufactured on state of the art process technology, delivered to the highest customer service standard. One of its key supply partners is TR Southern Fasteners, with which it has worked closely for many years. TR Southern Fasteners, which is based in Mallow, is wellpositioned to supply E.I. Electronics with a vast range of essential components for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
TR Southern Fastener’s extensive product knowledge enables it to work closely with E.I. Electronics at every stage, from product design to the production line, and it is on hand to provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Furthermore, TR is one of Europe’s largest providers of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) solutions, so, it has been able to design and implement a specific supply system for E.I. that saves the company time and money.
“The combination of continuity of supply and high quality of service that we provide E.I. Electronics gives us the competitive edge,” explains Dara Horgan, general manager at TR Southern Fasteners.
Gerry Murphy, purchasing manager at E.I. Electronics, adds: “E.I. Electronics and TR Southern Fasteners enjoy a mutually beneficial partnership. It has been a long standing relationship where we have received a high level of service as we expanded over the past 20 years, and we look forward to their support in the future.”
Global reach, local presence
As part of the TR Fastenings group, TR Southern Fasteners is supported by extensive global resources and manufacturing operations in the UK and Asia. This combination allows TR’s Irish locations to supply a vast range of fasteners and associated components to small, medium and large Irish manufacturers and engineering subcontractors while meeting each individual company’s needs. Customers come from many different industries, electronics, automotive, IT, home appliances, security, medical, agricultural farm machinery and general industry.