TR Timeline

TR Fastenings was established in 1973 by Mike Timms and Mike Roberts, and has since grown into a multinational company with locations around the world. 

1973 Established

1973 - TR Fastenings Ltd founded by Mike Timms and Mike Roberts

TR Fastenings Ltd was founded in 1973 in a rented room of a listed historic house called Hooke Hall in Uckfield. Mike Timms, Mike Roberts, their wives and a van driver were the only employees when the Company started. The founders had gained their business knowledge through previously working as managers in the fastener industry...

1975 76 UK manufacturing

1975-76 - The first UK manufacturing facility was established, and the Hank® name purchased

In 1975 the current Executive Chairman, Malcolm Diamond joined TR and in 1976 Jim Barker, TR’s former CEO, along with the current European Managing Director, Geoff Budd, joined the Company. In 1976 TR set up its first UK manufacturing facility and relocated its offices into a small converted industrial unit in Uckfield. Here TR started the in-house manufacture of threaded sheet metal fasteners.

1982 Binx nut

1982 - Acquired the rights to the Binx® nut

In 1982 TR acquired the rights to become the sole manufacturer of the Binx nut globally. The Binx nut, a great British invention originally designed in the 1960s, has been refined and developed by TR Fastenings to an all-metal self-locking nut suitable for use in various industry sectors. Dimensionally no bigger than a standard full nut, the Binx nut's ingenious design incorporates two opposing cantilevers which lock into the mating part with inward and downward pressure minimising thread wear and enabling the nut to be removed and replaced repeatedly whilst retaining torque resistance. 

1982 92 Six new TR sites

1982-92 - Six new TR sites opened across UK

TR saw huge growth during the 80's and the early 90's with distribution sites being set up all over the UK, starting with Belfast and then Scotland, Manchester, Newcastle, Wales and Cambridge.

1992 VMI

1992 - Launched & introduced Vendor Managed Inventory to the fastenings industry

Getting high volume, low cost components to the production line involves administration costs and time. TR’s innovative VMI system practically eliminates these processes, reducing customers overall costs using logistical supply systems. These are tailored to customers needs and range from a simple KanFax system to supplying full Direct Line Feed to high volume customers via remote bar code scanners.

1993 Acquired Southern Industrial Fasteners

1993 - Acquired Southern Industrial Fasteners Ltd in County Cork, Southern Ireland

TR Southern Fasteners supplies fasteners to companies throughout Ireland. They are the market leader in the production of B7 studbolts that are made to customer specifications. The company specialises in servicing customers in the electronics and engineering sectors.

1994 London Stock Exchange

1994 - Obtained a full listing on the London Stock Exchange

Trifast made the natural transition from a private to a public company in 1994, which enabled the company to raise funds through the markets which contributed towards the expansion of TR with aqcuisitions of other companies. 


1996 - Acquired Magne Bjorlo (Norway)

Magne Bjorlo was already a distributor of TR's sheet metal fastener range. The acquisition enabled TR to target existing automotive business in Norway and led to the development of an award winning aluminium bumper nut.

1996   Charles Stringers

1996 - Acquired Charles Stringers

This was an important acquisition for TR Fastenings as this was it's first automotive site – TR’s automotive inception point.

1997 Acquired Singapore

1997 - Acquired Formac Technologies Singapore 

In the summer of 1997 TR Fastenings continued its growth by acquiring Formac Technologies in Singapore.This helped to boost TR’s manufacturing capablities within the electronics sector. Formac Technologies now trades as TR Formac.

1998 99 Acquired Holding

1998 - Acquired Lancaster Fastener (UK) and Samson Industries (USA)

Lancaster Fastener, a specialist stockist servicing the distribution market, stocks a wide range of catalogue products including fasteners for plastic, self tapping screws and machine screws. Samson Industries was acquired due to it's location in Los Angeles near to the Silicon Valley in pursuit of numerous global customers.  

2000 Set up Hungary

2000 - Set up greenfield distribution in Hungary

TR opened the greenfield distribution site in Leshegy, Hungary in 2000. The same year also marked the end of a ‘golden decade’ for TR, with meteoric growth in sales revenue from £23m in 1994 to over £100m in 2000, accompanied by a share price that increased from £2 to over £12 in five years.

2001 Acquired SFE

2001 - Acquired SFE in Taiwan

2001 was also the year of the global collapse in demand for telecoms hardware, the era known as the DotCom crash. This decimated TR’s profits by 80% within three months, as this sector made up a large percentage of the business. The Company had to act quickly to reduce its costbase as a result.

2002 Set up China

2002 - Set up greenfield distribution site in China

TR Formac (Shanghai) Pte Ltd was opened to support existing and potential multinational customers. A network of distribution locations has now been established across china with TR Formac Shanghai having an output of over 600,000 parts per day.

2003   Acquired a globally recognised trademark

2003 - Acquired a globally recognised trademark

2003 saw TR acquire the trade name PoziDriv from Phillips. TR Fastenings has always prided itself on being an innovative company and introduces new drives into its manufacturing capabilities to increase the ability to service its customers throughout all industries.

2005 Acquired Serco Ryan

2005 - Acquired Serco Ryan (UK)

In 2005, CEO Jim Barker led the acquisition of Serco Ryan, a large UK distributor that had little reliance on the electronics sector. This was a move to recover turnover and profit levels close to the performace achieved prior to the DotCom crash in 2001.

2006 Set up site in China

2006 - Set up greenfield manufacturing site in China

This manufacturing location was introduced with a focus on producing high volume, smaller diameter screws for the electronics industry. 


2009 - Returning to TR; Malcolm Diamond & Jim Barker 

By early 2009, when the full impact of the global recession was becoming clear, several major shareholders initiated a move to make substantial changes to the Board. Malcolm and Jim were asked to make a return as Executive Chairman and CEO respectively, in order to restore stakeholder value.

2011 Acquired Power Steel

2011 - Acquired Power Steel & Electro-Plating Works (Malaysia)

Power Steel and Electro-Plating Works (PSEP), has over 18,000m² of manufacturing space and produces precision and quality components using cold-heading processes. This acquisition added to TR's manufacturing capabilities and opened new market opportunities.

2013 40 Years

2013 - TR Celebrates 40 Years of Trading

2013 was a landmark year for TR Fastenings as it celebrated 40 years at the forefront of the fastenings distribution and manufacturing business. From small beginnings, TR Fastenings has now grown into a £150 million business, with global distribution, manufacturing and sales networks.

2014 Acquired VIC

2014 - Acquired Viterie Italia Centrale Srl (Italy)

VIC predominantly manufactures and distributes fastening systems for the white goods industry. This market presents high entry barriers due to the strong loyalty of customers who require tailor-made solutions and a highly efficient logistics service.

2015 Acquired Kuhlmann

2015 - Acquired Kuhlmann Befestigungselemente GmbH & Co. KG Germany (“Kuhlmann”)

Based in Verl, close to Bielefeld, Germany, Kuhlmann was founded in 1996 and employs 18 staff. It is a well-respected highly efficient distributor of industrial fastenings within the domestic German market.



2016 - TR Fastenings Espana

In November 2016, TR Fastenings expanded its global logistics and customer technical support resources with the opening of a new distribution facility in Barcelona, Spain.

2018 PTS

2018 - Acquired Precision Technology Supplies "PTS"

In April 2018, TR Fastenings expanded its distribution product range through the acquisition of PTS, a key supplier and distributor of stainless steel fastenings in the UK, holding one of the widest product ranges of any supplier in Europe.

TR 45th

2018 - TR Celebrates 45 Years of Trading

In 2018 TR Fastenings celebrated 45 years of 'Holding the world together'. The Group continues to go from strength to strength, all thanks to our dedicated and skilled management and staff who, from humble beginnings, are now c. 1,300 colleagues working in 31 divisions in 18 countries across three continents

2018 Gothenburg

2018 - TR Launches Technical and Innovation Centre in Gothenburg

TR Fastenings opened a new Technical and Innovation centre in Gothenburg, the heart of Sweden’s automotive industry in May 2018. The new facility is located in the Lindholmen Science Park, which is home to many of the key players developing forward-thinking solutions for the automotive market, including Electric Vehicle (EV) technology. From major OEM firms and IT software developers to technical and engineering teams from Tier 1 manufacturers, Lindholmen is fast becoming a hub for automotive innovation in Europe.


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