Why the association with the NEAA is important to TR Fastenings
Originally published by Manufacturing and Engineering Magazine September 2023
TR Fastenings, a Trifast Group Company, is once again exhibiting at the NEAA Expo held at the Beacon of Light in Sunderland.
We continue to enjoy and benefit from a long-standing relationship with the NEAA, which now spans 7 years. Their platforms have been instrumental in opening doors and introducing TR to key Tier 1’s around the globe. Our membership has created valuable opportunities for us such as generating business in the North East and also via trade missions to Japan and Mexico.
TR’s location in Newton Aycliffe, which has been established for over 27 years, is in a prime location to service this region. Initially TR was the supplier of choice for Black and Decker and Electrolux managing their high-volume production providing a DLF system with product lineside. Both companies however relocated to Eastern Europe and TR regrouped and focussed on the growing opportunities that Nissan created. The skills learned in high volume supply of quality product, coupled with a lean build approach to the supply chain ensured that TR met the criteria required by the Tier 1’s supporting Nissan.
Designed in Fasteners
Fasteners may sometimes be seen as lower down the food chain, but the NEAA has recognised that TR can bring value to the Tier 1’s not just on product supply but in providing technical and design support at a local level. Often fasteners have the highest numbers of parts on a customer’s BOM, so the demand planning must be at the highest level. For example, if we failed to supply one part to a seat manufacturer then the impact on Nissan would be felt within two hours and would seriously disrupt their production line. Using the seat example there can be as many as 30 fastening components in a car seat. This ranges from safety critical parts called marriage bolts, to seat belt restraint fasteners and plastic cable management parts. Today, we are a key supplier globally to multiple sites of a number of Tier 1’s including those based in the UK. Using a seat manufacturer again as an example we can be supplying the same components in Asia, Europe and N. America to more than 30 sites of the same company. Early design involvement is key to these relationships, and we operate at corporate level not just with their commercial teams but also with their design engineers.
Evolving EV and EVB market
As we embrace the pace of change in the EV sector our technical support is in more demand. This is especially true as new startup companies enter the marketplace particularly in EVB production. The requirements for different materials and electrostatic coatings are just one area where we have provided support. We have recently commenced trials on forging copper components in our Italian factory TR VIC to develop parts for one battery manufacturer. Our Italian teams have developed other new products, and these are showcased in this YouTube video. This includes footage of the £5 million pound investment in an extended manufacturing facility, a warehouse with 12,000 pallet storage and new multistage forging equipment. This investment was made to meet the growing demand for near-shoring and the introduction of CBAM which comes into effect in the next few years.
We have reflected the extensive products that TR are capable of manufacturing and supplying in the graphics on the walls of our exhibition stand at the NEAA Expo. We are on hand to have technical discussions on the day, and we are hoping to have a very interactive dialogue with the attendees and productive follow up meetings.