Fastening Systems

Growth in a mixed market environment

Clear focus on innovation and efficiency gains in the supply chain are the recipe for success in today's challenging markets.

Good growth achieved with industrial customers and in North America

Fastening Systems achieved solid growth of 4.9% in local currency, which is faster than the rate reported for both the previous year and the first half of 2015. The general business environment remains mixed. Markets in northern Europe and, especially, North America were again buoyant. Europe’s southern markets displayed signs of a recovery, but this has not yet substantially carried through to reported sales. Unfavorable currency effects diminished the profitability of the Fastening Systems segment, bringing the EBITA margin to 6.8% (previous year: 7.6%). Various projects to improve operational performance made an important contribution to the improvement in underlying results.

Construction division

Slight growth achieved in a mixed market environment

The Construction division continues to operate in a challenging market environment. The action plans conceived to improve operational performance includes a narrowing of the product range and the relocation of finishing operations from Switzerland to the Czech Republic which was successfully concluded. Major potential is also seen in the partnership with HECO (Ludwig Hettich Holding GmbH & Co. KG), a leading provider of innovative fastening solutions, especially in the expanding field of timber construction. As part of the partnership agreement, SFS acquired a 30% interest in HECO via a capital increase.

In the coming year the Construction division will intensify its product innovation efforts and implement further performance-enhancing measures. A key aspect here will be the sharpening of production strategy.

Riveting division

Growth momentum increased over the year

After a subdued start, demand for GESIPA® products turned increasingly positive as the year progressed. This growth was supported by the growing order volumes from existing customers and the launch of key new products. The most important new product launched last year was AccuBird® Pro, which was well received by the market. This new generation of battery-powered blind rivet installation tool offers significantly faster setting speed, up to four times faster than that of comparable tools offered by competitors. Considerable progress was made in the market for electronics applications.

Next year the Riveting division will continue its innovation drive to differentiate itself better from the competition. Its focus will be on the automation of setting processes through the use of high-performance installation tools and premium-quality fasteners.

Key figures Fastening Systems

Highlights

AccuBird®Pro: Productivity increased with a pioneering spirit

GESIPA® has been a leader in battery-powered blind riveting tools for more than 20 years.
AccuBird® Pro is in a class of its own, offering a setting speed up to four times faster than competitors’ products. It was also designed with improved ergonomics. Other advantages for users include its light weight, rapid recharge time and improved illumination of the fastening point.

Operating efficiency increased

Close contact with customers and continuous operational improvement have always been the driving forces behind the internationalization of our business activities. The relocation of finishing operations to the Czech Republic and France is a case in point. Thanks to the new logistics hub located at a major transport network junction, we are able to respond much more quickly to customer queries and reduce costs at the same time. The 45 employees in Switzerland who were affected by the relocation have been assigned other duties within SFS. SFS’s production plants in Switzerland are focusing even more on knowledge and capital-intensive processes.

Better efficiency with better fastening systems

“Creating added value” is SFS's credo. At our fastening systems operations, this means developing faster fastening techniques while making the fastening process more reliable and ergonomic. Success in this business depends on the perfect interplay between the fastening elements and the fastening devices, and the integration of the fastening systems wherever they may be used – in con­struction or manufacturing, for example. By offering 100% riveting quality control, we make the fastening process more efficient and reliable.

Installation tool and fastening element are often designed as an integral system in fastening solutions for lightweight manufacturing applications.