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Rapierstar Ltd

Rapierstar Ltd Contact Details

Telephone
Click to view
Fax
01260 223 399
Contact
Andy Holland
Email
Address
Star Business Park
Congleton Road
Macclesfield
County Cheshire
SK11 9JA
England

About Rapierstar Ltd

Rapierstar – More than superior fasteners and fixings
For over twenty three years, Rapierstar has led the market in the design development and supply of technically advanced fixings and building maintenance solutions.

All Rapierstar products are designed and manufactured to exacting quality standards. This commitment to quality is further safeguarded within Rapierstar’s unique comprehensive in-house test facility - providing further benefit to all Rapierstar customers.

Rapierstar specialist branded fixings include STARPVCU carbon steel and corrosion resistant stainless steel window screws – which are specified on many leading PVCU, aluminium and wooden window manufacturing systems, STARFIX plug-free masonry fixings, STARTURN universal timber screws, STARDECK specially developed exterior decking screws, STARPIN and STARNAIL stainless steel polymer headed pins and nails.

Many of the specialist wood and masonry screws feature the unique STARFORM thread, which lowers drive in torque and reduces assembly time – without pre-drilling. Fixings are further enhanced with specialist head styles and superior corrosion resistant materials and coatings.

StarPVCU® Window Screws
StarPVCU products are the most comprehensive window screw range available, covering every application requirement for the fabrication of reinforced and unreinforced PVCU windows and doors. Threads are specifically developed for fast starting, fast insertion and exceptional grip. Head designs incorporate features that help to ensure secure fastening and trouble-free installation.
  • Extensive window screw range
  • Quality tested - Performance and Value
  • Stainless Steel options
  • Fast and reliable supply
StarFix® Masonry Screw
STARFIX masonry through fixing screw out-performs other types of plugless fixings in both performance and durability. The patented StarForm self tapping thread with spaced hi-lo thread form provides ultimate grip and allows for multiple re-fixing, without stripping the formed tapped hole. Precision T30 star drive gives optimum drive efficiency, improving grip and extending bit life.

No plug required in concrete, solid brick, sand-lime brick, pumice stone, honeycomb brick, natural stone, etc. - Permanent and secure in many applications including window and door frame fixing, timber beams, battens, wooden laths, facades, metal profiles and panels.
  • Self Tapping - no plug required
  • High Strength - stress free fixing
  • Efficient - 30% Less drive-in torque required
  • Universal for Masonry and Concrete
StarTurn® Woodscrews
The StarTurn universal woodscrew brand was developed in response to the demands of the timber industry, where a faster, more reliable and safer fastening was required. StarTurn screws are manufactured to the highest standard exceeding BS EN 14592:2008, and are plated to exceed all industry recommendations. As the thread begins at the very point of the screw, starting is virtually instant and the unique StarForm thread cuts a receiving thread into the timber structure, helping to reducing torque.
  • No Pre-drilling
  • Superior Holding Power
  • 50% Quicker Screw Penetration
  • 50% Less Drive-in Torque Required
StarPin™ Polymer Headed
Tough polymer headed pins and nails. Available in A2 and A4 corrosion resistant Stainless Steel, offer a colourfast, cost effective fixing solution for PVCU products.
  • Resistant to weathering with ultraviolet stable colours
  • Stainless Steel shank ensures high corrosion resistance
  • Resistant to chemical attack
  • Low profile head and maximum pull-out resistance
StarDeck™ Decking Screw
The award winning rapierstar StarDeck exterior decking screws offer many benefits over traditional countersunk wood screws, at a fraction of the cost of stainless steel options. A double countersunk head with underside ribs coupled with patented StarForm cutting thread, lowers drive-in torque and reduces splits in natural wood - without pre-drilling.
  • No Pre-drill or countersink needed
  • Superior holding power
  • 50% Less drive-in torque required
  • Exceptional corrosion resistance



Gallery

News
29/10/2019
Fastener upgrades lead fight against air pollution’s corrosive and destructive force

High levels of invisible atmospheric pollution across the UK could be undermining the long term quality of even the best manufactured windows and doors due to the wrong types of fasteners being used in their assembly, according to Rapierstar.

As Simon Monks, MD of hardware distributor VBH (GB) highlighted recently in an article, air pollution is a global problem, so no part of the UK can be immune to its effects. While the focus is usually on the serious dangers it poses to human health, wildlife and the environment, airborne pollution can have a catastrophic effect on certain grades of steel hardware used in windows and doors.

Specialist fastener supplier to the fenestration sector Rapierstar is already helping fabricators to reduce the risk of their windows and doors failing after only a short time in-situ because of preventable corrosion. And it is not just atmospheric conditions that pose a risk – contamination from cleaning fluids and building materials such as plaster will also accelerate corrosion if they come into contact with hardware long term.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar says: “High levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in our atmosphere, in combination with chlorides originating from the sea and even the road salt used in winter gritting, will cause rapid corrosion of carbon steel fasteners. These are routinely used in windows and doors away from coastal locations as the rusting effect of salty sea air is, thankfully, widely understood.

“Unfortunately, it is a misconception that it is only in coastal areas that we need to think of enhanced protection against corrosion – and that’s due to pollution from vehicle exhaust fumes and industry, which can be just as corrosive a force. Depending on the location of a given project, it may mean that fabricators need to upgrade their fasteners to austenitic stainless steel, or martensitic stainless steel for certain applications, to ensure their finished windows and doors are fit for purpose.

“It is vital to remember that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to fasteners. Other types of corrosion such as galvanic can also easily impact on longevity and performance. Seek the right advice and you can avoid the risks and ensure that the fasteners are right for every application.”

Rapierstar’s technical team, based at its Cheshire HQ and research and development (R&D) centre, has a combined experience of more than 150 years in fastener design and development, which means it is ideally placed to recommend the right grades of steel fasteners to use with friction stays, hinges, locking systems and all other hardware.

With a 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre near Macclesfield, where more than one billion items are held in stock, Rapierstar works with fabricators and installers across the UK and Ireland to provide a complete product range, competitively priced and delivered next day. The Rapierstar service is backed by an industry-leading technical support team and in-house R&D and technical centre which, in addition to testing every single batch of fasteners for quality assurance, helps industry manufacturers and fabricators to deliver safe, secure, high performing finished products.

For advice on how to avoid hardware corrosion call 01260 223311 or visit www.rapierstar.com.
22/10/2019
Abacus Agents expands Rapierstar range to serve growing quality demand

Scotland’s unique specialist distributor to the glass and glazing and door and window sectors, Abacus Agents, has added new Rapierstar high performance fastener options to its range to help customers upgrade the quality of their manufacture and installation.

Serving customers across Scotland and the north of England, Abacus Agents is unique in offering a range of products that covers all aspects of glass and glazing, as well as door and window manufacturing, installation and repair. Operating from its Dundee and Glasgow branches, the family owned and managed company has established a loyal and growing customer base since its formation in 1991, driven by its flexibility to go the extra mile to provide whatever a customer requires.

Abacus Agents’ range of Rapierstar fasteners for joiners, window and door manufacturers and installers, which already includes StarPVCU window screws, StarTurn woodscrews – including in stainless steel – and StarPin polymer headed pins and nails, is now boosted with StarFix plug-free frame fixings and additional specialist fixings such as baypole screws.

Bob Sturrock, Managing Director of Abacus Agents said: “We’ve built our success on being responsive, flexible and restricting our range to a narrow range of suppliers. This means we can offer a complete range of products for all areas of the glass and glazing industries, and high quality fixings that enable our customers to achieve the best result have to be part of this mix.

“Our existing range of Rapierstar fasteners has always proved extremely popular, which speaks volumes, so expanding this means customers can take full advantage of all that this quality fastener brand offers.”

Paul McAuley, Technical Consultant at Rapierstar adds: “We’re delighted that Abacus Agents has introduced an expanded range of Rapierstar fasteners and look forward to supporting their team and their customers to get the most out of our products. There is a strong demand throughout Scotland’s window and door sector for high quality fixings, so it is fantastic that Abacus Agents are now making it easier for fabricators and installers to access these products.”

Serving the whole of the UK and Ireland from its 100,000 sq. ft. warehousing and distribution centre in Cheshire, Rapierstar is the window and door industry’s leading specialist supplier of high performance fasteners. With its unique in house technical and R&D centre and highly skilled team, Rapierstar works closely with distributors, manufacturers, installers, systems companies and hardware producers to allow informed fastener choices to be made and enable today’s advanced window and door solutions to deliver on their potential.

To find out more about the range of Rapierstar fasteners now available from Abacus Agents visit www.abacusagents.co.uk. Alternatively call the Dundee branch on 01382 884000 or the Glasgow branch on 0141 556 0100.
30/09/2019
Plug-free StarFix® frame fixings enable better quality installation with less waste

With a design specifically for British wall construction, StarFix® masonry screws from window and door fastener specialist Rapierstar could help installers achieve a better all-round result in less time and without generating unnecessary plastic waste.

StarFix fasteners are designed for quick and easy installation, requiring only a 6mm or 6.5mm pilot hole through the frame, reinforcement and brickwork before the screw can be driven into place. This saves times as there is no need to drill to accommodate a plug or anchor and plastic waste is reduced too – a hot topic for consumers at the moment.

David Furness, MD at Rapierstar said: “Despite being a proven option for frame fixing, plug-free masonry screws are not always favoured by installers, usually in our experience as a result of a negative experience using poorly designed fasteners. This is because many of the plug-free frame fixings currently on the market are not ideally suited the traditional brick and block wall construction of UK buildings – instead many were designed mainly for use in honeycomb clay blocks widely used in continental Europe.”

The StarFix range of plug-free masonry screws is specifically designed for British style blocks with a ‘hi-lo’ thread form. This is a varied thread height to fulfil different roles as the screw is driven through the frame and into the masonry. A higher level thread cuts into the masonry and the alternate low thread allows for dust to be compacted. This ensures a secure fix by preventing the masonry, dust and debris build up affecting the grip and pull-out strength, and allowing for multiple re-fixing without stripping the tapped hole.

The hi-lo thread form also helps prevent unreinforced PVC-U frames ‘jacking’ or twisting as the frame fixing is driven through. Some fastener threads may grip too much, and this can easily cause distortion of the profile if it lacks lateral rigidity in the absence of reinforcement. The StarFix range’s thread design along the length of the fastener is optimised to cater for the contradictory requirements for the different material types – plastic, brick, metal, etc.

David Furness added: “Consumers are increasingly looking to their product and service suppliers to be as sustainable as possible. With StarFix frame fixings, which do not require plastic plugs at all, installers can take a simple waste reduction step, with the added benefit that the completed installation will be reliably secure for the long term.”

Like all window and door fasteners in the Rapierstar range, StarFix masonry screws are designed and manufactured to a consistently high standard to ensure optimum drive efficiency, safety and improved grip. The precision Stardrive T30 recess features across the StarFix range, which also helps to extend bit life for another cost-saving benefit.

The StarFix masonry screw range is available from window and door distributors across the UK and Ireland and is backed by specialist advice and support direct from Rapierstar.
22/07/2019
Fastener innovation delivers smoother, better quality casements

Sticking, scraping and binding friction stays could be a thing of the past thanks to the development of the new LFG low profile screw by window and door fastener specialist Rapierstar.

Following a comprehensive 12-month trial with several major fabricators and distributors across the UK fenestration sector, Rapierstar is extending the roll out this pan head fastener, which is specifically designed to attach friction stays to PVC-U frames. LFG was developed by Rapierstar at its NPD and technical centre in Cheshire in combination with a leading friction stay manufacturer in response to feedback from across the industry, but it has the potential to deliver better casements for fabricators using any hinge brands.

In certain circumstances, such as where a friction stay fastener is not inserted at a precise 90 degrees, or swarf causes slight misalignment of the screw as it is driven into place, the head will be raised slightly. This will snag the friction stay during opening and closing of a casement window and impact on its smooth operation.

Despite the tiny cost of this component, its impact can be significant. The fastener head snagging can result in customer dissatisfaction, along with more costly reputational damage for installers, particularly where a coated carbon steel fastener is used. The frequent opening and closing motion over time will scrape off a carbon steel screw’s protective coating, potentially causing premature corrosion and both the hinge and opening sash itself to become loose.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar, said: “Traditional pan head fasteners, like those in our StarPVCU range, fit the bill perfectly under normal circumstances, but we know that the limited clearance between the opening sash and frame leaves little margin for error. By engineering a fastener with a lower profile head, which has been achieved without compromising its technical performance, we can now offer fabricators another option to remove the risk of sticking, scraping and binding resulting in their casement windows over time.”

The LFG fastener is manufactured in austenitic stainless steel (grade 302) to provide enhanced resistance to corrosion, with a lifespan of at least 25 years guaranteed. It is one of a wide variety of high quality fasteners within the StarPVCU range, which provides fastener solutions for every element of a PVC-U window or door.

Detailed guidance on which fasteners to use is available in Rapierstar’s Recommended Fixing Manuals (RFMs), which are published for all the main PVC-U profile systems and can be downloaded at www.rapierstar.com.
11/07/2019
Fastener ‘Health Checks’ set sights on eliminating accident risks

Specialist fastener advice from Rapierstar on choosing the correct fabrication screws, and applying them in the right way, is helping window and door fabricators to maintain and improve their health and safety performance and eliminate accident risks.

The fastener supplier’s ‘Health Check’ audits, which offer a comprehensive review of and advice on the usage of fabrication screws throughout the manufacturing process, provide valuable insights into where production operatives could be risking serious injuries as a result of poor component choice. It is a service that Rapierstar customers are increasingly utilising as part of their health and safety strategy, to help address issues such as screws slipping during insertion because the drill point is poorly formed, and fasteners excessively wobbling or breaking during insertion.

The latest data from the HSE (2017-18) estimates that workplace injuries cost businesses in Great Britain around £5.2bn annually, 20% of which is picked up by employers and more than 57% by employees. The costs to employers go well beyond personal injury claims by employees, with the HSE estimating that the hidden cost of accidents can be up to 10 times greater than the insured costs. including lost time, sick pay, extra wages, overtime working and production delays. More serious reputational damage could also result if a prosecution case results and this is reported in the media.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar says: “Whist we don’t have current data on the extent of injuries in the UK door and window industry, we know from experience that some horrific injuries are caused because the fabrication screws are not fit for purpose. Making a few small changes in respect of the fasteners used for specific applications, supported by training for operatives, is something that we know can have a massive impact on safety.”

With more than 25 years’ experience as a specialist fastener supplier to the window and door industry, Rapierstar is uniquely positioned to offer technical guidance, training and support. Operating from its 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre near Macclesfield, Rapierstar works with fabricators and installers across the UK and Ireland to provide a complete product range, competitively priced and delivered next day.
The Rapierstar service is backed by industry-leading technical support team with a collective experience in the fastener market of more than 150 years. Customers are assisted further through the company’s in-house R&D and technical centre which, in addition to testing every single batch of fasteners for quality assurance, helps industry manufacturers and fabricators to deliver safe, secure, high performing finished products.

To arrange a Fastener Health Check call 01260 223311 or find out more at www.rapierstar.com.
21/06/2019
West Port’s fastener focus helps deliver assured fire door performance

Rapierstar’s specialist technical support has played a key role in helping West Port to achieve high performing fire rated door-sets, by eliminating the risk of failure during testing as a result of the incorrect choice and application of fasteners.

Rapierstar, which is the UK’s market-leading supplier of window and door fasteners, is recommending that fire door manufacturers follow West Port’s lead and not overlook the major role that these smallest of components play in a door-set’s structural integrity, durability and long term quality. West Port door-sets offer outstanding performance in either 30-minute or 60-minute options, providing installers with a trusted fire protection solution.

Andy Tyas, Operations Director at West Port says: “From the outset we wanted to create fire doors that offer performance that far exceeds the ratings they are awarded, demonstrated by our 30 minute fire doors actually achieving 42 minutes in testing. Our 60 minute fire door is another really important development which, like our FD30 option, is built using only technically superior components.”

Rapierstar, whose collective technical expertise in fastener design, manufacture and application totals more than 100 years, has provided West Port with detailed guidance on which fasteners to use throughout the door-set’s construction in order to achieve the 30 and 60 minute fire ratings. In addition to input at the design stage, this includes training to ensure fabricators use fasteners correctly, and regular auditing of the factory to maintain consistency in the quality and promised protection level in finished door-sets.

Paul Balfe, Technical Consultant at Rapierstar, says: “Any door is only as good as its weakest components, and all too often that turns out to be the fasteners as a result of choosing the wrong type of screws for the application or sourcing poor quality screws. With fire doors, it goes without saying that weak points simply must not exist, given that their role is to protect lives and assets. That’s why it’s vitally important that fastener choice is given the same attention and scrutiny as the glass type, the insulating qualities of the door slab, the intumescent seals, etc.

“A fire rated door-set is tested as a complete system, so there is absolutely no scope to substitute the components at a later stage, no matter how small. We can help eliminate the risk of fasteners being substituted through a process of regular reviews and monitoring to provide assurance to end-customers.”

To find out more about how Rapierstar fasteners can provide a reliable solution in fire rated door-sets, please call 01260 223311 or visit www.rapierstar.com.
31/05/2019
Rapierstar’s Paul Balfe takes on gruelling Lakeland climbs in 115-mile charity cycle challenge

Paul Balfe, Technical Consultant at Rapierstar, has completed one of the toughest challenges for amateur cyclists, fulfilling a long-held ambition and raising funds for MacMillan Cancer Support, the North West Air Ambulance and several other charities.

Covering more than 115 miles in around nine and a half hours and climbing 3,500m, Paul took part in the 2019 Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge, one of the most popular sportives in the UK which is famed as being particularly difficult. The route around the Lake District starts at Grasmere and takes in climbs of Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott and Wrynose passes, ranking alongside European events such as the Marmotte in terms of difficulty.

It was the cycle ride of a lifetime for Paul, who was keen to push himself to complete a route that far exceeds his usual level, with the motivation to raise funds for MacMillan in memory of family and friends whose lives had been tragically cut short through cancer. Paul raised over £200 individually and donations are still coming in, but the annual Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge will raise thousands collectively, an event which was originally organised in honour of the late Fred Whitton who was a great advocate for cycle sport in Cumbria and North Lancashire.

Paul says, “Many thanks to everyone who sponsored me – MacMillan Cancer Support and the Air Ambulance are very worthy causes for your hard earned cash. The support of the local people on the ride was awesome - it felt like being in a professional rider, I’ve never experienced anything like that before.

“The crowds of supporters on the route were amazing and really spurred me on. I spotted the MacMillan Cancer Support crew on the Whinlatter climb and that brought a lump to my throat! There were some tough moments going up the Hardknott pass but people just kept giving the riders encouragement. Even little messages people had written on the road like "dig deep" "nearly there" and finally "well done". It was an amazing experience and sense of achievement. Surprisingly my body feels fine - just shows how resilient the body can be with endurance events like this, it really is mind over matter.”

To support Paul Balfe’s fundraising efforts further, please visit https://www.macmillan.org.uk/donate
25/04/2019
Poor quality hardware in spotlight following Cumbrian flood door failings

With a recent BBC news report highlighting numerous failures in flood doors which were fitted into Cumbrian homes as part of a major flood resilience programme, Rapierstar is advising flood door manufacturers and installers to seek specialist guidance on the types of fasteners being used to ensure long term performance promises and customer satisfaction not compromised.

Flood doors are rapidly establishing themselves as a crucial product for making UK homes more flood resilient, in line with government strategy to cope with the increasing risks of flooding as a result of new building developments on flood plains and sea level rises. However, flood doors must be able to perform in the long term and, given the particularly challenging conditions the doors have to withstand, the quality of components, materials and installation methods must be flawless.

Whilst a number of the issues in the Cumbrian flood resilience scheme, implemented following the devastating Storm Desmond in 2015, relate to locking mechanisms, the potential for fasteners to cause the failure of a flood door is high unless austenitic stainless steel are used. Fasteners manufactured from this type of metal – usually grades A2 or A4 – offer the highest level of resistance to corrosion throughout a door’s service life of more than twenty years.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar says: “The flood door market offers excellent opportunities for growth when you consider that 5.2 million homes are considered ‘at risk’ of flooding in England alone, according to the Environment Agency. With so much potential, and significant investment already by a number of systems manufacturers and fabricators, we have to ensure there are no weaknesses that could mean a flood door fails to deliver on its promise - and that requires scrutiny of every component.

“Because the fasteners are the smallest components, it’s easy to take them for granted. But with flood doors being exposed to the harshest of environments, especially in areas with regular flood events, it’s vital that the most durable fasteners are used to avoid handles, hinges, locking systems and other hardware becoming loose or detached. This will help to minimise the risk of remedial work being necessary and protect the reputation of the flood door concept and their suppliers.”

As the UK’s largest supplier of specialist fasteners to the UK and Irish door and window industry, Rapierstar is uniquely positioned to advise doorset manufacturers on which fasteners to use for different applications. The company also supports fabricators in the development and testing of all types of doors to ensure they can achieve essential performance certification, including PAS 1188-1:2014 for flood doors.
23/04/2019
Rapierstar invests in training and NPD with new 2,500 sq. ft. Learning & Development Centre

Window and door fastener specialist Rapierstar is creating a new state-of-the-art Learning & Development Centre dedicated to boosting the essential technical skills and knowledge required by its customers and supply chain partners to achieve superior window and door quality.

Setting the standard for investment and innovation in the window and door industry, the new 2,500 sq. ft. facility, located within its head office complex near Macclesfield, will be the first of its kind by a UK fastener supplier in the sector. The expertise and resources available here will also help fabricators to manufacture more efficiently and profitability whilst staying compliant with the latest technical and legislative standards.

The Learning & Development Centre will play a pivotal role in enhancing fastener knowledge and application skills, putting Rapierstar’s 150 years of collective technical know-how at the heart of a hub that brings together window fabricators, profile extrusion companies, leading hardware manufacturers and other industry stakeholders, all under one roof. Its development is part of a wider programme of investment in the future by Rapierstar, which also includes new technology to enable 3D modelling and CAD design as part of the NPD process and stockholding.

The new facility will also be home to Rapierstar’s expanded Research & Development and quality testing centre. This will build on the success of the current facility, which has been supporting customers for 27 years to help them realise their new product development ambitions, including security design or long term performance specifications. In addition to the technical resources, the Learning & Development Centre will feature a trade showroom, complete with the full range of Rapierstar point of sale materials available to customers. These displays and marketing collateral will be manufactured on-site and can be tailored to specific requirements.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar says: “Fastener selection plays such an important role in the success of every window or door, which is why we are investing in the industry’s only learning and development resource of its kind. It is imperative that fabricators, installers, profile and hardware manufacturers can easily access expertise on the different types of fasteners and fixings available, helping them to avoid risks of failure and also to open up new opportunities to improve windows and doors. That’s what our new Learning and Development Centre will offer.

“It is easy to overlook the importance of the fastener because it is a tiny component within a finished window or door, but so many problems in the installed product are caused by incorrect fastener choice. The knowledge and resources available in our new facility will help to ensure these issues can be avoided, preventing costly call-backs and even more costly reputational damage.”

The project is supported by The Skills & Growth Company, who has worked with Rapierstar previously on a range of recruitment and training initiatives, along with the LEADER Programme, a part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development that supports enterprise and economic development in rural communities.

The new Learning & Development Centre is being constructed next to Rapierstar’s 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and central distribution centre, which holds a stock of more than one billion window and door fasteners. This lies at the heart of Rapierstar’s market leading service to fabricators and installers across the UK and Ireland who can benefit from access to a complete product range, competitively priced and delivered next day.
22/02/2019
Fastener focus offers complete supply chain assurance for Stevenswood customers

Trade customers of Stevenswood are benefiting from assured fastener quality in both the manufacture and installation of windows and doors thanks to a total supply chain partnership with Rapierstar.

Having supplied a wide range of its high performance StarPVCU® screws to Stevenswood’s window and door manufacturing operation Polyframe for more than three years, Rapierstar is now supplying its StarFix® range of plug-free masonry screws and StarTurn® universal timber screws to the company’s rapidly expanding network of trade counters. This gives Stevenswood customers complete assurance that only superior quality fasteners are used in the manufacture of the windows and doors supplied by Polyframe and for installation, thus eliminating fastener risk across the board.

Stevenswood has grown to become one of the UK market leaders in the trade sector. Its Polyframe manufacturing business produces all its windows, doors and conservatories using Rapierstar branded fasteners. These are available to order at its 37-strong trade counter network, along with a considerable range of building products and consumables for installers, including Rapierstar screws, roofline products, silicone sealants, tools and ancillaries.

Elaine Baird, Head of Marketing at Stevenswood said: “We’ve always insisted on the highest quality components and raw materials in our manufacturing businesses, which is why we rely on Rapierstar for their range of StarPVCU carbon steel and stainless steel fasteners. Our decision to stock frame fixings and timber screws extends the fabrication quality into installation, giving our trade customers total supply chain assurance and another major benefit by choosing Stevenswood.”

Paul McAuley, Rapierstar’s Technical Sales Manager for Ireland & Scotland, adds, “We’re delighted to be the key supply chain partner to Stevenswood for the full range of screws. With our range of frame fixings and wood screws now available at all its trade counters, Stevenswood customers are now in the unique position to get total consistency from the best available fasteners from a single source.”

As the UK’s largest supplier of fasteners to the fenestration sector with over one billion fasteners held in stock at its bonded warehouse in Cheshire, Rapierstar plays a key role in enabling fabricators to maintain high volumes of production and deliver consistently high quality finished windows and doors. Its expertise in new product development, sourcing, international trade, logistics and distribution ensures it can offer excellent reliability as a supply chain partner, with its current on time in full performance standing at 99.5%.
18/02/2019
Rapierstar looks ahead to sustained growth in 2019

Window and door fastener specialist suppliers Rapierstar are looking ahead to another year of sustained growth in 2019 as they forge ahead with plans to extend the technical and development facilities at their Cheshire Headquarters.

In the past 12 months, the company has experienced strong growth with year-on-year sales up by 18%, driven by organic growth, new fastener supply deals with a number of leading industry manufacturers and a continued focus on supply chain reliability and high quality products.

Underpinning Rapierstar’s growth during 2018 was its largest ever investment in stockholding, with over £3m+ worth of window fasteners taking its total stockholding at its Cheshire bonded warehousing to more than one billion screws! The company also invested in technology to reduce its carbon footprint and upgraded its systems to achieve the latest ISO 9001: 2015 certification.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar, said: “Window and door manufacturing would quickly grind to a halt without a reliable supply of fasteners, which is why we work hard to be the best in class on order delivery, providing the right fasteners to customers when they need them. Our performance in 2018 was a testament to the hard work of the whole team, a year in which we achieved our first £1m+ turnover month in September, and reached a market-leading on time in full delivery rate of 99.5%, reflecting the efficiency of our systems and processes.”

“This year won’t be without its challenges, of course, most notably the continued uncertainly around Brexit, global market conditions and China’s changing environmental policies. However, we will continue to work closely with our manufacturing and logistics partners to mitigate the effects of global issues and ensure we maintain our market-leading customer service.”

Operating from its 100,000 sq. ft. Cheshire bonded warehouse and distribution centre near Macclesfield, Rapierstar ensures fabricators and installers across the UK and Ireland can benefit from access to a complete product range, competitively priced and delivered next day. This service is backed by industry-leading technical support, which helps customers select the right fasteners for a specific application, with the Rapierstar team having a collective experience in the fastener market of more than 150 years, and further support provided by their in-house R&D and technical centre.
24/01/2019
Rapierstar’s ISO 9001 upgrade provides greater quality and service assurance

Window and door sector fastener specialist Rapierstar has invested in delivering further enhanced customer service and product quality by stepping up to the latest edition of the globally recognised management standard, ISO 9001.

The company, which is the largest supplier of high quality fasteners to the UK and Irish fenestration sectors, is now ISO 9001: 2015 certified, the latest incarnation of the standard awarded to the world’s best run businesses. Achieving the latest standard requires a comprehensive assessment of how a business is set up and operates, moving on from the 2008 version’s focus just on quality and resource management to cover the context of the organisation, and its leadership, planning, performance evaluation and improvement mechanisms.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar says: “Professionalism is so important as window and door fabricators seek total transparency, quality consistency and service reliability in their supply chain, and ISO 9001: 2015 is the globally accepted standard to demonstrate excellence across all these areas. The road to certification requires close independent scrutiny of everything we do as a business and it’s a rigorous process that shouldn’t be underestimated, so we’re really pleased to have made the transition from the previous 2008 version to the current standard.

“Ultimately being ISO 9001: 2015 certified helps us maximise the efficiency of what we do and ensure we are delivering excellent customer service. As our on-time-in-full delivery rate of 99.5% testifies, we are doing very well operationally, but we are constantly reviewing and improving as a business to keep ahead of the curve in an ever changing global market – and ISO 9001 is at the core.”

Rapierstar holds a stock of more than one billion fasteners at its 100,000 sq. ft. Cheshire bonded warehouse and distribution centre near Macclesfield, which ensures fabricators and installers across the UK and Ireland can benefit from access to a complete product range, competitively priced and delivered next day. This service is backed by industry-leading technical support which helps customers select the right fasteners for a specific application, with the Rapierstar team having a collective experience in the fastener market of more than 150 years, and further support provided by their in-house R&D and technical centre.
09/01/2019
DGS-Rapierstar offer ‘full system’ hardware peace of mind as Brexit looms

Leading hardware manufacturer and supplier DGS Group Plc and fastener specialist Rapierstar have combined their distribution expertise to provide real supply chain depth, helping window and door fabricators maintain production as Brexit trade deal uncertainty looms.

DGS can provide supply assurances thanks to a long-term strategy of building deep stocks of up to six months for all their window and door hardware, including all the essential fasteners from supply chain partner Rapierstar. The two companies have worked closely together to ensure fastener availability matches all hardware components, including DGS Elite, their exclusive European window and door hardware and their own UK-made friction stay range.

A privately-owned manufacturer and distributor employing more than 200 people, the DGS business has been built for over 40 years on excellent products and availability. Their logistics centres around 120,000 sq. ft. warehousing across the UK and Ireland and the DGS fleet of over 40 delivery vehicles.

Rapierstar fasteners have been a key part of DGS’s ‘full system’ solution for window and door hardware for several years now. They too have a strong track record in delivery reliability and a massive stock of fasteners held at their own Cheshire bonded warehouse; more than one billion screws in stock at any one time!

The synergies between the two businesses may well prove extremely valuable to customers during the period of Brexit uncertainty, according to David Aucott, MD and owner of DGS.

“With our on-time customer deliveries figure currently at 98.8%, our approach is definitely benefiting customers, but more importantly it means that we are in great shape to weather any Brexit storm,” says David. “No fabricator wants the headache of stock shortages caused by pallets being delayed at Dover or elsewhere, or because there are simply not enough delivery drivers available at the moment, now that many are returning to their native countries.

“The good news for our customers is that DGS is set up to cope well with events on the horizon as we have all the components in stock for the full hardware system needed on all types of profile and we can deliver to their door with our own fleet of vehicles and drivers. Rapierstar plays a crucial role here too, ensuring that it is not a lack of fasteners that brings our customers’ production lines to a halt!”

As the UK’s largest supplier of fixings and fasteners to the fenestration sector, Rapierstar enables fabricators to maintain high volumes of production and deliver consistently high quality finished windows and doors. Its expertise in new product development, sourcing, international trade, logistics and distribution ensures it can offer excellent reliability as a supply chain partner, with its current on time in full performance standing at 99.5%.
09/01/2019
DGS-Rapierstar offer ‘full system’ hardware peace of mind as Brexit looms

Leading hardware manufacturer and supplier DGS Group Plc and fastener specialist Rapierstar have combined their distribution expertise to provide real supply chain depth, helping window and door fabricators maintain production as Brexit trade deal uncertainty looms.

DGS can provide supply assurances thanks to a long-term strategy of building deep stocks of up to six months for all their window and door hardware, including all the essential fasteners from supply chain partner Rapierstar. The two companies have worked closely together to ensure fastener availability matches all hardware components, including DGS Elite, their exclusive European window and door hardware and their own UK-made friction stay range.

A privately-owned manufacturer and distributor employing more than 200 people, the DGS business has been built for over 40 years on excellent products and availability. Their logistics centres around 120,000 sq. ft. warehousing across the UK and Ireland and the DGS fleet of over 40 delivery vehicles.

Rapierstar fasteners have been a key part of DGS’s ‘full system’ solution for window and door hardware for several years now. They too have a strong track record in delivery reliability and a massive stock of fasteners held at their own Cheshire bonded warehouse; more than one billion screws in stock at any one time!

The synergies between the two businesses may well prove extremely valuable to customers during the period of Brexit uncertainty, according to David Aucott, MD and owner of DGS.

“With our on-time customer deliveries figure currently at 98.8%, our approach is definitely benefiting customers, but more importantly it means that we are in great shape to weather any Brexit storm,” says David. “No fabricator wants the headache of stock shortages caused by pallets being delayed at Dover or elsewhere, or because there are simply not enough delivery drivers available at the moment, now that many are returning to their native countries.

“The good news for our customers is that DGS is set up to cope well with events on the horizon as we have all the components in stock for the full hardware system needed on all types of profile and we can deliver to their door with our own fleet of vehicles and drivers. Rapierstar plays a crucial role here too, ensuring that it is not a lack of fasteners that brings our customers’ production lines to a halt!”

As the UK’s largest supplier of fixings and fasteners to the fenestration sector, Rapierstar enables fabricators to maintain high volumes of production and deliver consistently high quality finished windows and doors. Its expertise in new product development, sourcing, international trade, logistics and distribution ensures it can offer excellent reliability as a supply chain partner, with its current on time in full performance standing at 99.5%.
02/01/2019
Rapierstar’s fastener expertise supports VEKA’s testing and NPD

Leading specialist fastener supplier Rapierstar is helping VEKA’s technical team and its fabricators to create the most robust and operationally reliable new windows and doors by becoming an exclusive supply partner for its UK Technical Workshop in Burnley.

The Technical Workshop is a vitally important facility for VEKA and fabricators of its profile systems, allowing for indicative testing to be conducted on a wide range of customer window and door prototypes, as well as for VEKA’s own new product developments. As the workshop’s exclusive partner for fasteners, Rapierstar now provides window and door screws for all the prototype windows built by VEKA engineers, and it is providing expert technical guidance on fastener selection and application to any VEKA customer who is seeking to optimise their test outcomes.

Rapierstar’s support for the VEKA Technical Workshop strengthens its long standing relationship as a supply chain partner for fasteners. It has worked closely with VEKA since 1998, providing technical advice to help address common fastener issues and ensure fabricators deliver the best possible result with the finished window or door. This information is readily available in Rapierstar’s Recommended Fixing Manual (RFM) for VEKA profile systems, which can be downloaded at www.rapierstar.com.

Dave Jones at VEKA PLC said: “A window or door is only as good as its weakest link and all too often the importance of the humble screw is overlooked when testing for air and water tightness or enhanced security under PAS24. That’s why we ensure all our prototypes are built using the most suitable fasteners throughout, and we encourage our fabricators to adopt the same approach.

“Rapierstar’s support for our Technical Workshop helps us achieve consistency in our NPD programme and maximise the chances of testing success. More broadly too, it gives our fabricators access to their technical expertise whenever they need it – it’s a partnership that should ensure the fastener is never the weak link.”

Paul Balfe, Technical Consultant at Rapierstar, added: “We’re often approached by customers who are working on a new product for testing, or those who have experienced difficulty in achieving the performance required to pass a test, to investigate whether different fastener choices could make a difference. Supporting VEKA in this way is, therefore, a great way for fabricators to access our fastener advice and guidance at an early stage and avoid future – and potentially costly – setbacks.”

Operating from its UK HQ and 100,000 sq. ft. bonded warehouse and distribution centre near Macclesfield, Rapierstar is the leading specialist fastener supplier to the British and Irish door and window sector. With one billion screws stocked at any one time, and supporting sites in Belfast and Norwich, it is able to offer unrivalled supply chain reliability to fabricators and trade distributors in all parts of the British Isles.

Rapierstar’s branded products are designed and manufactured to exacting standards, with quality assured through comprehensive testing at both its manufacturing plants and extensive ‘in-house’ R&D test facility. This industry-leading regime enables Rapierstar to comply with all appropriate British, European and international quality standards and to improve product performance through innovation.
04/12/2018
Rapierstar duo scales new heights to help beat cancer

Managing director of Rapierstar, David Furness, and his financial and operations director colleague, Scott Rogers, have completed a demanding two-day trek up Mount Toubkal in Morocco to raise vitally needed funds for Cancer Research UK.

Driven by the sad loss to cancer earlier this year of their good friend and Rapierstar company accountant Jonathan Curwen, David and Scott trekked in unseasonably deep snow and blizzard conditions to a height of 4,000m close to the peak of Mount Toubkal, north Africa’s highest peak. They are 80% of the way towards their fundraising target which will provide support for Cancer Research UK and are still welcoming donations via www.justgiving.com/rapierstar - funds that they hope will help in the ongoing fight against cancer and prevent future suffering.

David says: “This trek was an amazing experience but certainly tougher than we’d envisaged. We wanted to do it for Jonathan who was a healthy, talented and positive 42-year-old professional when he suddenly had to bravely battle his cancer diagnosis. Sadly, he was lost to his loving wife and young family this summer.”

The duo started their fundraising trek from their Imlil village starting point with a six hour ascent to ‘the refuge’ at 3,200m. They woke early the next day at 5:30am to trek to the summit in the dark, with only head torches to illuminate a treacherous route in knee-deep snow that was ultimately curtailed due to the harsh weather.

David explains: “It was hard and slow going with crampons and ice axes required, but thankfully our Berber guide navigated us safely up to the top ridge at 4,000m and only 65% oxygen levels. Extreme weather conditions meant all the Berber guides denied access beyond the ridge, as it was simply too dangerous to attempt the very summit; with winds over 70mph, minus 27 degrees wind chill, almost no visibility and freezing snowfall.

“Our return down was even more hazardous, regularly falling and sliding in the now waist deep snow. We were so relieved to see the refuge again! Once dry and re-charged, we descended slowly back to the village in deteriorating weather, thankful for our walking poles and with the pressure on to get back to the lodge in Imlil village before nightfall. Exhausted but elated, we all agreed that the experience was not to be forgotten.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has so kindly donated already and should anyone else wish to donate, please visit out Just Giving page – www.justgiving.com/rapierstar.”

David and Scott are directors of Rapierstar, the leading supply chain partner for specialist fasteners to the UK and Irish door and window industry.
03/12/2018
Rapierstar’s environmental drive to shrink carbon footprint

Window and door sector fastener specialist Rapierstar has embarked on a number of new initiatives to help reduce the environmental impact of its operations and further strengthen its credentials as a responsible supply chain partner.

Implemented as part of its latest environmental strategy are a series of changes at its Star Business Park HQ, warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire. Here, better management of waste water has been prioritised with the installation of three new water treatment plants, which will turn waste water from the complex into drinking quality water for release into a nearby brook. An additional new oil capture tank that recycles brown water for further treatment from the large car parking area has also been installed.

Inside the building, Rapierstar has installed a dynamic lighting solution throughout its warehouse – where more than one billion window and door fasteners are stocked – and packing area. This has provided an energy saving of over 90%, by operating at only a sub 10% background lighting level before responding immediately to any vehicular or personnel movement and switching to full luminaire level. And, packaging now utilises recycled packing chippings in all customer orders that are despatched, helping to reduce reliance on new packaging materials.

With transport being one of most significant contributors to carbon emissions, Rapierstar’s environmental strategy works to both inspire behaviour change and utilise new technology. Staff are already getting involved in car sharing and, for those who live locally, cycling to work is being actively encouraged.

As electric vehicle technology advances rapidly, Rapierstar has ensured that drivers of 100% electric vehicles – visitors and staff – can now charge up whilst on site with the installation of a new rapid charging point. This has also enabled the company to add a plug in electric vehicle to its fleet, which will be used to provide emissions-free transportation on the final leg for the many visitors to Star Business Park who travel via Manchester Airport or mainline railway stations.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar said: “Every business in the supply chain can play a part in minimising carbon emissions by making incremental environmental improvements, which collectively add up to make a significant global difference. As a business located in the rural south Cheshire countryside, we never lose sight of the role we must play in maintaining our local environment. It is fantastic, therefore, that many of our new initiatives will have a positive impact on our surroundings, as well as adding value for customers who are increasingly seeking the most sustainable supply chain partners.”

As the UK’s largest supplier of specialist fasteners to the fenestration sector, Rapierstar plays a key role in enabling fabricators to maintain high volumes of production and deliver consistently high quality finished windows and doors. Its expertise in new product development, sourcing, international trade, logistics and distribution ensures it can offer excellent reliability as a supply chain partner, with its current on time in full performance standing at 99.5%.
08/11/2018
Growing Etag Fixings strengthens 14-year supply partnership with Rapierstar

Leading UK and Irish fastener distributor Etag Fixings is driving ahead with its ambitious growth plans with the support of masonry and timber screws supplier Rapierstar.

Following its successful expansion into the UK market by establishing a London operation in 2011, Etag UK recently expanded its warehouse in Thames Gateway Park, Dagenham, Essex to 20,000 sq. ft. providing more off the shelf high quality products. There has been huge growth for Etag in recent years, moving from their original premises in Bermondsey to Dagenham in November 2016. This move allowed Etag to grow the business further due to the logistical benefits of East London.

Etag has also upgraded and expanded its main distribution centre in Ireland with a move into a new 33,000 sq. ft. building in Dublin. Accommodating three new warehouses and its head office functions, the new base for Etag underpins its plans to grow market share for fasteners used in all aspects of construction, engineering and right across the industrial sector.

At the heart of Etag’s success and strength is its strategy of partnering with the market’s leading distributors and manufacturers, amongst which is Rapierstar with whom it has partnered since 2004. It supplies Etag with its StarTurn wood screws and StarFix masonry screws, which give customers access to consistently high quality fasteners that are subjected to the most demanding testing regime, both at manufacturing source and in Rapierstar’s UK test centre.

Paul Bonner, Managing Director at Etag Fixings said: “We’ve really differentiated ourselves by becoming the go-to distributor for fasteners and fixings across all technical disciplines, sometimes surprising ourselves with what we can supply. That’s what comes of investing time and effort in developing a great network of trusted suppliers, within which we include Rapierstar, who have made a really positive contribution to our success.

“Rapierstar products are extremely popular with our customers as they seek fasteners that allow them to complete their work easily, safely and to a high standard. Our expert team have a great knowledge of all our products, and Rapierstar have always supported Etag with their high quality screws. We look forward to a continued relationship with Rapierstar as both companies continue to grow in the UK and Ireland.”

Etag started life in 2004 as a small distributor of fixings, hand-tools and safety equipment, but it has since grown to offer the most comprehensive product range of its kind in Ireland. These span numerous product divisions including access panels, building supplies, ceiling and drywall, masonry, concrete, formwork, M&E, power tools, roofing, carpentry, signage and protection, and it is already well on the road to replicating its success in the UK from its Dagenham site.

David Furness, founder and MD of Rapierstar adds: “It’s fantastic to see Etag expand and grow and we are delighted to be working closely with Paul and his team to provide customers with the best possible products for the application. With our focus on the UK and Irish markets too, there are strong synergies between Rapierstar and Etag which ensures reliability of supply and means we are both fully in tune with the needs of our markets.”

Operating from its UK HQ and 100,000 sq. ft. bonded warehouse and distribution centre near Macclesfield, Rapierstar is the leading fastener supplier to the British and Irish construction market. With one billion screws stocked at any one time, and supporting sites in Belfast and Norwich, it is able to offer unrivalled supply chain reliability to customers in all parts of the British Isles.

Its own branded products are designed and manufactured to exacting speed of insertion, strength of drill point and high plating standards, with quality assured through comprehensive testing at both its manufacturing plants and its ‘in-house’ R&D test facility. This industry leading regime enables Rapierstar to comply with all appropriate British, European and international quality standards and to continuously improve product performance through innovation.
19/10/2018
Rapierstar reveals top three fastener failings

Analysis of data from over 250 customer factory audits by window and door fastener specialist Rapierstar has revealed that most fabricators suffer quality, productivity and health and safety problems because of the same three basic fastener selection mistakes.

Rapierstar have now been running their Fastener Health Check audit programme for over a quarter of a century and have amassed a wealth of real-life fabricator feedback during this time, enabling them to offer unique insights into product quality and manufacturing efficiency.

The three most common mistakes that Rapierstar’s Technical Consultants find on fabrication lines are:

The wrong type of screws being used to attach friction stays in 72% of audits.
Screws being used with the wrong type of drill point for specific materials in 64% of audits.
Screws made from the wrong type of metal being used for a particular application in 52% of audits.
The consequences of making these mistakes can be far-reaching, costly and potentially damaging to a fabricator’s reputation. Finished windows and doors can quickly develop problems, which results in expensive call-backs and reduced customer satisfaction, but the costs can mount up in the factory too as productivity suffers and the risk of injury to operatives heightens.

David Furness, MD at Rapierstar says: “In over 25 years we have never seen a fastener health check come back with a perfect 100% score. That suggests that every fabricator can improve their business simply by taking a step back and thinking about whether the various fasteners used throughout window and door construction are the best ones for the job.

“Fasteners may look like small commodity products, but their importance should not be overlooked. They are engineered components that have been designed to complement today’s advanced window and door materials, and help deliver on performance goals, production processes and the highest health and safety standards.”

In addition to its Fastener Health Check programme, Rapierstar offers a wide range of technical guidance to fabricators and installers, including free to download Recommended Fixing Manuals (RFMs), which have been compiled in cooperation with the leading PVC-U and aluminium profile systems. Its fastener specialists also work closely with fabricators, hardware suppliers and systems manufacturers to develop bespoke solutions and advise on the specification for fasteners required to pass specific safety, security and performance tests.
04/10/2018
Twelve year supply chain partnership helps Dessian keep quality on track

A long term commitment to choosing only high quality Rapierstar window and door fasteners is helping leading REHAU fabricator Dessian to deliver on its promise of superior performance in-use and minimal future call-backs.

The company, which operates two trade fabrication plants in Belfast and Cumbernauld, has now been using Rapierstar fasteners in the manufacture of its wide range of PVC-U doors and windows for twelve years. These components are an essential part of a carefully considered specification for Dessian’s REHAU Tritec (60mm) and REHAU TOTAL70 (70mm) system windows and doors, which are tested to BS7412 and PAS24 to offer enhanced security and achieve the Secured by Design standard.

Stephen Thurley, Production & Technical Manager at Dessian Products says, “Everyone at Dessian has worked hard over the past three decades to create a culture built around service and product quality which exceeds customer expectations. That’s why we leave no stone unturned when it comes to the components and raw materials that we use in the manufacture of our windows and doors.

“We understand the need for technical excellence in every aspect of the window or door’s construction and that includes the smallest components – the fasteners. That’s why we value the products supplied by Rapierstar, which we know we can depend on technically, and the company’s delivery reliability is crucially important to help us maintain efficiency and productivity across our factories.”

Paul McAuley, Rapierstar’s Technical Sales Manager for Ireland & Scotland, adds, “It’s satisfying to think that the Rapierstar fasteners used to manufacture Dessian windows and doors back when we started supplying them in 2006 are still there today, doing the job they were supposed to do. Dessian’s excellent reputation in the market demonstrates that they are delivering a quality finished product and we hope that Rapierstar fasteners will continue to make a positive contribution here for many more years to come.”

As the UK and Ireland’s largest supplier of fasteners to the fenestration sector with over one billion fasteners held in stock at its bonded warehouse in Cheshire, Rapierstar plays a key role in enabling fabricators to maintain high volumes of production and deliver consistently high quality finished windows and doors. Its expertise in new product development, sourcing, international trade, logistics and distribution ensures it can offer excellent reliability as a supply chain partner, with its current on time in full performance standing at 99.5%.

Find out more about Rapierstar at www.rapierstar.com.
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