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CONSTRUCTION DIRECTORY

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
29/09/2021
Rapierstar fastener guidance gives Liniar fabricators the edge

Liniar PVC-U window and door manufacturers can achieve the highest levels of quality and reliable long term performance in every finished product by following the latest fastener guidance from Rapierstar.

The window and door industry’s only specialist fastener supplier has published three Recommended Fixings Manuals (RFMs) which provide detailed guidance on which fasteners to use in all aspects of Liniar window and door assembly, including its popular bi-fold doors. All three are available to download free of charge in the Info Point at www.rapierstar.com.

One comprehensive RFM provides fastener guidance for the manufacture of the majority of Liniar windows - casements, flush sashes, fully reversible and tilt and turns – plus French doors/windows and bay windows. Each different element of the window or door is covered in detail, from attaching hardware to Liniar outerframes to baypole fixing, with diagrams indicating the correct fastener to use in coated carbon steel and stainless steel, plus product codes for easy ordering.

Two additional RFMs provide advice on fastener use for manufacturing Liniar bi-folding doors. These cover the standard Liniar bi-folding door and its Queen’s Award-winning ModLok™ bi-fold system which offers a level of robustness and strength to meet the enhanced security requirements of PAS24.

Mark Calpin, Technical Consultant at Rapierstar said: “The Liniar brand has grown rapidly and it’s no surprise that their PVC-U systems have become amongst the most widely used in the UK market. By ensuring the correct fasteners are used throughout Liniar window and door assembly, fabricators can get the best results every time with these technically innovative profiles – that’s why our Recommended Fixings Manuals can play an important role, complementing the industry leading technical support Liniar already provides.”

In addition to the Recommended Fixings Manuals (RFMs), Rapierstar offers a comprehensive range of resources on its website, including technical datasheets for all products, information on testing and other documentation. Bespoke practical assistance can be provided too, such as signage and labelling for workstations along the fabrication line to reduce the risk of the wrong fasteners being used in error.

Rapierstar’s technical consultants are also available to carry out Fastener Health Checks in window and door factories. These assess where opportunities lie for more efficient and safer working, and they often enable manufacturers to rationalise fastener use to potentially save money and reduce stockholding.

As the UK and Ireland’s leading specialist fastener supplier to the door and window industry, Rapierstar provides the widest range of products to distributors and fabricators of all the major profile systems. Operating from its HQ and 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire, where more than one billion items are held in stock at any time, Rapierstar’s team of technical consultants work closely with customers in all corners of the country to help them manufacture the highest quality finished products most efficiently and safely.

Find out more at www.rapierstar.com and discover the Liniar range at www.liniar.co.uk.
24/08/2021
Rapierstar hosts warm-up for GM Fundraising’s GMF Cup golf challengers

Window and door fastener specialist Rapierstar has helped golfers who are set to compete in GM Fundraising’s upcoming GMF Cup to prepare for the challenge by hosting a practice day at the prestigious Astbury Golf Club in South Cheshire.

Following the success of a previous similar event back in 2018, the Rapierstar team wanted to make a special contribution to GM Fundraising’s efforts during this Covid-affected year by arranging a day for GMF Cup competitors to finally get together and reach their A game in time for the big forthcoming event in Portugal.

Competitors for the postponed 2020 GMF Cup bring together representatives from some of the UK door and window industry’s best known companies, including software companies, extruders, hardware and machinery suppliers, as well as many leading fabricators. All are participating in the Ryder Cup style challenge, which takes place at the world-class international Golf resort of Quinta do Lago in Portugal on 14th to the 16th of September, as part of GM Fundraising’s ongoing programme to raise funds for Hope House Children’s Hospices.

The golfers gathered prior to their warm-up competition at Rapierstar’s new learning & development and conference centre, an extensive new building at its Star Business Park Head Office site near Macclesfield. This gave the players a sneak preview of this high specification new facility ahead of its formal opening in early 2022.

GM Fundraising Chairman Gary Morton, said:

“On behalf of everyone who took part in the Astbury practice event, I’d like to share our great appreciation for everything that ‘Team Rapierstar’ did for us. I doubt you could have done any more to have made it better – including organising the weather! Rapierstar is a lovely business which fully reflects the individuals who have worked so hard to make the business the success it is today.

“For anyone who hasn’t been lucky enough to visit Rapierstar to this point, they will certainly look at them in a different light after doing so; such is the scale and quality of their superb new conference facilities, Innovation Centre showroom, and extensive 100,000 square foot modern warehouse operation.”

The practice day was an important part of the preparations ahead of what is set to be good natured, but fiercely competitive fundraising event according to David Furness, Managing Director of Rapierstar, who organised the practice day at his local golf club.

David added: “GM Fundraising has done a tremendous job of raising money at a time when charities need our support more than ever, so we are delighted to support them by taking part in the GMF Cup. As with previous years, however, we will certainly all be giving the challenge our best shot, so getting together as we did at Astbury was the ideal preparation. Thank you to everyone who was able to participate.”

The mission of Hope House Children’s Hospices is to ensure that no one should face the death of a child alone. It costs £6.5 million every year to run its services and 86% of this is spent on care. Over 95% of Hope House’s annual costs are met through charitable donations and GM Fundraising is its largest single donor. Since it was established in 1995, GM Fundraising has raised over £2 million for Hope House Children’s Hospices.

To support GM Fundraising and the work of Hope House Children Hospices, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gm-fundraising.
06/07/2021
Which customers do you prefer?

Technical guidance from window and door fastener specialist Rapierstar could play a vital role in improving end-user satisfaction and reducing negative consumer feedback, given the findings of a recent survey by consumer champions Which?

The Which? survey of nearly 3,500 buyers of double-glazing in the past decade found that the most common faults in installed windows and doors stem from poor hardware choices or assembly. Issues to do with locking systems, hinges and friction stays account for most of the problems that develop – substantiating for the first time anecdotal evidence reported by many installers.

According to researchers, 30% of householders reported that their windows or doors had become difficult to open or close at some point over the past 10 years. One fifth said a window or door had dropped over time so it no longer fitted as well, and 15% of respondents said they had experienced a problem with locks not working.

Andy Holland, Technical & Marketing Manager at Rapierstar says: “Whilst damage in use or ‘user error’ could account for some of these reported faults, it does suggest one or both of two things – using poor quality hardware or not fitting hardware correctly. In the case of the latter, we can help fabricators prevent these issues with our advice on which fasteners to use to get the right hardware result every time.

“Often, it’s something as simple as using a fastener with a different head style – in many cases using a pan head rather than a countersunk screw – or a different size screw can make a big difference. But it may also be that we can advise on the best type of metal to choose, especially where an enhanced resistance to corrosion is needed, or the ideal products to use with a specific profile system or type of reinforcement.”

As part of the technical support for the UK and Irish door and window industry, Rapierstar produces Recommended Fixings Manuals (RFMs) for all the most popular PVCu systems. Available to download free at www.rapierstar.com, these easy to use guides clearly show which fasteners to use for different window or door constructions, helping to reduce the risk of quality issues with the finished unit.

Following the RFM ensures the right head styles, threads and sizes are used so every hardware element has a secure fix. This is particularly important for enhanced security windows and doors to the Secured by Design standard, where a tiny weakness resulting from the wrong fastener being used could undermine an advanced hardware solution that the end-user may well have paid a premium for.

Rapierstar also provides a Fastener Health Check service. This is a comprehensive audit of the window factory undertaken by Rapierstar’s technical consultants to assess where positive changes can be made to the types of fasteners being used during fabrication and assembly. It can deliver multiple benefits including better quality finished products, improved productivity, fewer errors and reduced risk of health and safety incidents.

To access any of Rapierstar’s technical support for window and door fabricators visit www.rapierstar.com.
16/06/2021
Rapierstar helps Cairngorm Group to reach peak condition

Producing windows and doors fit for the UK’s harshest environments is all in a day’s work for Inverness-based Cairngorm Group, whose focus on using only high-quality components throughout its manufacturing, assembly and installation is paying dividends as it keeps its long-term growth plans on track.

The company serves retail, trade and commercial customers across the north of Scotland from its 2500 sq. m HQ and main manufacturing plant in Inverness, plus additional sites in Thurso and Elgin. In addition to its PVCu window and door operation, the group includes two glass processing businesses – Inverness Glass and Grampian Glass – as well as divisions providing kitchens and solar panels.

Cairngorm uses Rapierstar fasteners throughout the manufacture and assembly of its PVCu windows, which it produces using the Veka M70 and Halo profiles. According to the company’s operations manager Robbie Benson, this is an obvious fit given that many installations are in areas of Scotland which are subjected to the most aggressive weather conditions.

Robbie says: “Properties in Scotland’s most northerly locations are subjected to more than double the average annual rainfall you’d expect in London, with more than 44 days per annum of air frost versus just 28.6 days in the capital. Choosing inferior quality hardware and fasteners, therefore, will seriously compromise the long-term performance and quality of our installed windows and doors and that’s a risk we absolutely won’t take.

“We’ve been producing and installing PVCu windows, doors and conservatories since 1988 and always given careful consideration to all the products we use. That’s why we partner with Rapierstar who ensure we have a reliable supply of the correct fasteners to maintain high quality and productivity, backed with any technical assistance as and when we need it. This is important to our continued success in delivering windows and doors that are built to last as we promise.”

Finished products from the Cairngorm Group all benefit from the superior corrosion resistance offered by Rapierstar fasteners, including its widely used carbon steel range, with performance assured through rigorous testing. And for enhanced performance in particularly aggressive environments, Rapierstar also offers a comprehensive range of stainless steel fasteners which are ideal for windows and doors provided with extended guarantees and complete end-user peace of mind.

The Cairngorm Group has recently increased its PVCu products output in response to higher demand as the home improvement boom continues, with an average of 500 units now produced every week to customers as far afield as the Shetland Islands and even an ongoing project in The Falkland Islands. This has also resulted in the creation of new jobs, with the company recruiting five new fabricators since Easter to bolster the team to around 100.

Robbie adds, “Like every window and door manufacturer, we are facing the ongoing supply chain challenges across the building sector plus unprecedented demand, but we also have a further issue in respect of recruitment. In our northerly location, far away from Scotland’s main population centres, finding good, skilled people to join is never easy, which is why we are so pleased to have attracted our recent new starters who give us that vital additional production capacity.”

Rapierstar technical consultant, Paul McAuley, works closely with the Cairngorm Group, advising on fastener use and application as well as maintaining supply consistency.

Paul says, “The Cairngorm Group’s forward-thinking approach to product specification and manufacturing is important in giving a competitive edge in terms of the finished quality of its windows and doors. Its longevity in the market demonstrates this extremely well and we are delighted to be helping them as their supply partner for fasteners.”
02/06/2021
Rapierstar’s fastener stock management expertise supports Glazerite’s growth

Comprehensive ongoing support by Rapierstar, including fastener stock management and guidance on correct fastener application, is helping The Glazerite UK Group Ltd to maintain its position as the UK’s leading trade manufacturer of VEKA and Halo windows and doors.

Glazerite’s strong track record of delivering finished uPVC products to a consistently high standard across its complete range of different window and door styles, has at is core a commitment to strong supply chain partnerships with market leaders in their respective fields.

The company has partnered with window and door fastener specialist Rapierstar for more than eight years. This long term collaboration has enabled the development of a bespoke stock management system for fasteners, as well as consumables such as tapes, silicone, PPE, drill bits and also bespoke special parts.

With state of the art production plants at Wellingborough, Peterborough and Bolton Glazerite prides itself on its ability to serve installers across the UK. Rapierstar supports these factories by ensuring that production lines are supplied with the correct fasteners for each of the assembly processes, eliminating the risks of product substitution or disruption to production in the event fasteners running out.

Chris Price, Group Procurement Director at The Glazerite UK Group Ltd said: “Our customers have come to depend on superior quality finished products which are delivered on time as planned, and working closely with the best supply chain partners is really important in maintaining our high standards in order to provide credible warranties to installers. We value the service that Rapierstar provides and the contribution they make to delivering on our vision by keeping production on track and ensuring our windows and doors utilise the best components, right down to the smallest fastener.”

Mark Calpin, Technical Consultant at Rapierstar added: “Our supply chain partnership with Glazerite enables us to provide a full consultancy service by supporting innovation, providing technical assistance and working with purchasing and operations to put the most effective logistics and supply processes in place. It is a service that is ideally suited to large volume window and door manufacturing and one that makes a positive contribution to manufacturing efficiency, product quality, customer service and good profitability.”

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 to fabricators, installers and systems and hardware manufacturers. Operating from its 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre near Macclesfield, Rapierstar works with customers 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 helps industry manufacturers and fabricators to deliver safe, secure, high performing finished products.

To find out more visit www.rapierstar.com or call +44 (0)1260 223311.
19/05/2021
Nova Group raises the bar on quality with Rapierstar

Leading window and door manufacturer for the retail and commercial sectors, Nova Group, has partnered with fastener systems specialist Rapierstar to strengthen the quality and performance of its PVCu windows and doors, and introduce an assured fire rated door solution.

The Altrincham based company, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, provides a wide range of PVCu and Aluminium solutions to retail trade installers, the commercial sector and social housing clients, including conservatories and secondary window systems. As a provider of both frames and sealed units, Nova Group has full control over supply which means it can apply strict quality control and put continuous improvement at the heart of its strategy.

Nova Group’s 95,000 sq. ft facility produces around 1,500 windows and doors every week for customers across the UK, many of whom are involved in new build and high quality trade window supply. This is a state-of-the-art production facility that has recently benefited from major investment in new machinery including a third machining centre with a new Avantek, Supercut 5 CNC, new corner cleaners, bead saws and in-line welders, and a further £500,000 of new machines and transport vehicles have been ordered for delivery in 2021.

One of the latest additions to Nova Group’s portfolio is a class-leading 30-minute fire rated composite door range, dual-certified for fire resistance and PAS24 enhanced security, which utilises the Winkhaus FireFrame®. This advanced door frame system has been rigorously tested to ensure it comfortably retains its integrity for at least 30 minutes in the event of a fire, whilst also accommodating the Winkhaus AV2 multi-point locking system, with the option of upgrading to automatic multi-point locking through the blueMatic AV2-E.

The introduction of this high performance fire door set provided an opportunity for Nova Group to partner for the first time with window and door fastener specialist Rapierstar. Its StarPVCU® fasteners are used throughout the FireFrame® fire and security door set, including screws for attaching lock keeps, thresholds and toplights, and its StarFix® frame fixings are supplied for installation along with very specific fitting guidance.

The success of this fire door collaboration inspired Nova Group to explore how it could use different types of fasteners across its PVCu window and door assemblies to enhance the quality and performance of the finished products. After a fastener health check was undertaken to audit how fasteners were being used throughout the factory, Rapierstar proposed a series of recommendations and new solutions to help Nova Group gain a competitive edge.

Simon Felstein, Managing Director at Nova Group said: “Having now completed five decades manufacturing windows and doors, our team knows just how important it is to be continuously innovating and looking for better ways to do what we do. Partnering with Rapierstar, therefore, has been an extremely positive move, giving us the opportunity to make some positive changes that will give additional quality assurance to our broad customer base.”

Rapierstar Technical Consultant, Paul Balfe, added: “Nova Group’s longevity in the market is a clear demonstration of how well they serve their customers and the quality of their products, so it’s exciting to be working with the team as their fastener supply partner. We look forward to supporting Nova Group further in all areas of manufacturing and testing to ensure the right fasteners will always deliver the right results.”

As the UK and Ireland’s leading specialist fastener supplier to the door and window industry, Rapierstar provides the widest range of products to distributors and fabricators of all the major profile systems. Operating from its HQ and 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire, where more than one billion items are held in stock at any time, Rapierstar’s team of technical consultants work closely with customers in all corners of the country to help them manufacture the highest quality finished products most efficiently and safely.

Find out more at www.rapierstar.com.
04/05/2021
Rapierstar consumables range hits the target with DART

Specialist window and door fastener supplier Rapierstar has boosted its range of complementary products for manufacturing and installation with the addition of DART power tool accessories.

DART is a rapidly growing global brand offering superior performance drill bits, screwdriver bits, saw blades and other daily-use consumables, plus equipment such as PPE gloves. Its ‘Your tool, but better.’ ethos sums up the DART approach to product design and quality, with a range that not only matches but often exceeds the performance of leading brands at a far lower cost. As DART themselves say, ‘If it’s the bit that does the hard bit, then add the right bit!’

Rapierstar is partnering with DART as their exclusive supplier to the door and window sector, offering a wide range including DART HSS ground twist drill bits, SDS (slotted drive system) masonry drill bits and high grade screwdriver bits.

Mark Calpin, Technical Consultant at Rapierstar said: “What any window fabricator needs their drill to do is create a clean hole hassle-free every time, so fastener insertion is as simple as it can be, and windows and doors can be manufactured and assembled with maximum efficiency. That’s why using a quality Rapierstar fastener after drilling with a DART drill bit represents an ideal combination.”

DART products are available for all Rapierstar customers to purchase along with their usual fastener orders, delivered from a single source for easier ordering, invoicing and stockholding.

Keith Johnston, UK Sales Director for DART Tool Group said: “Drill bits, driver bits and saw blades are crucial to the everyday manufacturing and installation of windows and doors so – as with fasteners – choosing the right products has far-reaching benefits. That’s why we’re delighted to be partnering with Rapierstar who share our brand values and dedication to great customer service, ensuring fabricators and installers can access DART everyday consumables with ease.”

DART accessories join a Rapierstar consumables range which also includes cleaning products, super glue with activator, handling straps, repair products, sealants and tapes. Everything in the range is designed to assist with the day-to-day manufacturing and fitting of PVCu and aluminium windows and doors, with the same delivery reliability as the rest of the Rapierstar fastener range.
26/04/2021
Window Ware-Rapierstar partnership continues to give customers the edge

Rapierstar’s 20-year partnership with leading distributor Window Ware has proved invaluable in ensuring fastener supplies to its fabricator customers have continued reliably, and consistently, throughout the exceptionally busy home improvement boom of the past 12 months.

Reflecting the value both companies place on long term supply partnerships, Window Ware and Rapierstar have worked together for over two decades to develop a deep understanding of each other’s businesses for the ultimate benefit of fabricators and installers.

Thanks to Window Ware’s extensive experience of supplying its loyal customer base and Rapierstar’s ability to increase supply to accommodate peaks in demand, the partnership has been able to accurately forecast customer requirements and maintain a high level of service. This has provided customers with much-needed supply dependability and peace of mind – just what busy firms need to help them meet increased levels of manufacturing and installation.

Ever since the company was established in 1987, Window Ware has chosen to invest in partnering with major brands across the window and door industry, to strengthen the last link in the supply chain for customers and ensure those brands are properly represented with passion and knowledge. Today the company stocks more than 5,000 lines, including Rapierstar branded fasteners such as the complete range of StarPVCU® screws for window and door manufacturing, StarFix® frame fixings and StarTurn® decking screws.

Window Ware serves customers across the UK with a clear ‘right products, right place, right time’ focus. This is reflected by its On Time In Full (OTIF) delivery rate which achieved 94.7% in February despite the challenges the pandemic created over the last year. Thanks to the company’s fabricator roots and over three decades in the industry, plus a strong sales team made up of ex-fitters and ex-fabricators, Window Ware understands the issues and pressures customers face and can offer a high level of technical competency as a result.

Window Ware’s Managing Director, Sam Nuckey said: “The home improvement boom of the past 12 months has tested building product supply chains across the board, but we’ve been able to protect our customers from major issues by having the right supply partners in place – like Rapierstar – who we can rely on to deliver.

“They also support us with specialist technical and product training, and provide guidance on all kinds of key topics including how the right fastener can support PAS24 testing. With Rapierstar’s help, our teams are always sharpening their knowledge and delivering sound advice so customers can be sure they’re using the right screw for the application every time.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a noticeable growth in the number of customers manufacturing premium systems and products, such as mechanically jointed PVCu windows, or upgrading the spec of their handles and other hardware. Rapierstar’s support has been invaluable here too, giving our customers confidence in selecting the correct fasteners for these innovative products so they deliver a superior quality finished window or door.”

Mark Calpin, Technical Consultant at Rapierstar added: “Window Ware shares our goal of ensuring manufacturers and installers have access to the technical information, resources and products they need to make the right decisions about the fasteners they use. It is important to realise that even though fasteners make up only a tiny proportion of the cost of a finished window, they can make a huge difference to the long-term performance of the product. That is why it is imperative to get these components right from the very outset.”

As the UK and Ireland’s leading specialist fastener supplier to the door and window sector, Rapierstar offers the industry’s widest range of products to fabricators of all the major PVCu and aluminium profile systems. Operating from its HQ and 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire, the company has stock of more than one billion items, including a wide range of consumables plus fasteners for timber joinery, decking and roofline.
22/03/2021
Quickslide optimises quality and productivity with Rapierstar

Leading window and door manufacturer Quickslide has partnered with specialist fastener supplier Rapierstar to help enhance its reputation for delivering superior quality finished products and raise the bar on manufacturing efficiency.

The West Yorkshire based company is one of the country’s largest and most respected producers of PVCu vertically sliding sash windows, which it offers as part of a wide range of PVCu and aluminium products. This acclaimed range supports the growing demand for premium windows and doors, including PVCu and aluminium flush casement windows and aluminium bi-fold and sliding doors.

Rapierstar has become Quickslide’s exclusive supply partner for window and door fasteners, meaning its products are now used in the assembly of its core PVCu product range. Following an initial fastener health check, which is a review conducted by Rapierstar’s technical consultants to assess the use and application of the many different fastener types across the factory, the company has supported Quickslide to implement changes that will rationalise fastener use and streamline assembly.

Ben Weber, Managing Director of Quickslide said: “Fasteners make such an important contribution to the overall quality of our finished products that we simply do not take any risks. We believe that skimping on these smallest but most important of components risks catastrophic failures.

“Poor quality, cheap fasteners that are not necessarily fit for purpose could ultimately cost us dearly, including reputationally, when they inevitably fail or spoil through corrosion for example. That’s why we value the quality of Rapierstar’s products, of course, but their wider support has been important too. In particular, advice from Rapierstar’s specialists on selecting the optimum fixings for each and every element of assembly has also helped us reduce production time and improve the overall integrity of our finished frames.”

Rapierstar’s practical support has included putting procedures in place to ensure Quickslide’s fabricators can easily identify and use the right fasteners in every aspect of assembly. This has included the production of quick-reference application charts for the factory and clearer labelling.

Improvements have also been achieved through Rapierstar’s stock management support and the creation and use of bespoke order forms. All these steps help Quickslide to manage fastener stocks more accurately to prevent the risk of supply shortages or unwelcome product substitution.

Mark Calpin, Technical Consultant at Rapierstar added: “We’re delighted to be working with Quickslide who, in particular, are at the forefront of quality in PVCu vertically sliding sash windows because of dedication to manufacturing with skill and precision. By maintaining a reliable supply of consistently high quality fasteners and providing the team with the specialist product and application support they need, we hope our perspective will enhance their quality standards across their window and door range.”

As the UK’s leading specialist fastener supplier to the door and window industry, Rapierstar provides the widest range of products to fabricators of all the major profile systems. Operating from its HQ and 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire, where more than one billion items are stocked, Rapierstar’s team of technical consultants work closely with customers in all corners of the country to help them manufacture the highest quality finished products most efficiently and safely.
08/03/2021
Rapierstar supports Eurocell and its fabricators with new fastener guidance

Window and door fastener specialist Rapierstar has developed a comprehensive new Recommended Fixings Manual (RFM) for all Eurocell systems in conjunction with the technical team at the market-leading PVCu profile manufacturer.

The publication of the detailed new guide is the culmination of over many years of close technical collaboration between the two companies, which extends into support for testing. As a result, every window and door tested in Eurocell’s learning and development centre, including new product developments, are assembled using Rapierstar fasteners to set a consistently high standard that fabricators can now replicate.

Available to download in the Info Point section at www.rapierstar.com, the new RFM is designed to help Eurocell fabricators achieve the highest quality, best performing windows and doors. With an easy-to-read new layout, colour coding makes it easier to identify screws for insertion into profiles and steel reinforced sections, as well as other screw types – all from Rapierstar’s StarPVCU® range.

The latest range of profiles is covered, including Modus and Logik systems, and Rapierstar will update the RFM to add new profiles as soon as they become available to Eurocell fabricators to keep it fully up to date and relevant.

Carl Storer, Senior Testing & Research Support Technician at Eurocell says: “It’s crucially important to use the right fasteners for the application which is why the Rapierstar RFM is such a valuable guide to help our fabricators achieve the best quality finished windows and doors. We work closely with Rapierstar during our research and design projects and product testing, support that we really value, as well as their assistance in resolving issues for fabricators when they arise.”

In addition to fabrication fasteners, the manual also offers guidance on the correct frame fixings to achieve the right installation. Rapierstar’s StarFix® range provides solutions here, with a complete range of plug-free, hi-lo thread fasteners available for installers at leading trade counters. The RFM also includes bay and couplings details for the different outer frames, which fabricators can share with their installer customers to make them aware of the correct assembly requirements to avoid costly call-backs.

Mark Furness, Rapierstar Sales and Marketing Director explains: “Eurocell systems are extremely popular in the industry for good reason but using the wrong fasteners during window and door manufacturing will prevent them from getting the best from these advanced profiles. That’s why we are committed to providing extensive technical support at every stage and making sure our knowledge and guidance amassed over nearly 30 years is accessible to all.

“Our existing RFM has become indispensable for Eurocell fabricators, many of whom already use the 2016 edition as an essential reference guide. By sticking to the recommended fixings, whether it is to attach hardware such as friction stays, keeps or letterboxes, or for retention of reinforcement, fabricators can have total confidence that the finished window or door will be robust, and function as well as can be expected during its service life.”

As the UK’s leading specialist fastener supplier to the door and window industry, Rapierstar provides the widest range of products to fabricators of all the major profile systems. Operating from its HQ and 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire, where more than one billion items are held in stock at any time, Rapierstar’s team of technical consultants work closely with customers in all corners of the country to help them manufacture the highest quality finished products most efficiently and safely.
12/02/2021
Hallmark turns the screw on fire door safety and security with Rapierstar

Window and door fastener specialist Rapierstar has supported Hallmark Doors & Panels on the development and manufacture of its new 2021 certified range of composite fire doorsets with both EN1634 30 minute fire protection and PAS 024 Enhanced Security performance.

The new dual certified FD30sa range from Hallmark provides social housing specifiers, housebuilders and end-users with an assured level of protection in both respects because of its advanced design and manufacture, which is backed by third party testing. In addition, Hallmark’s production is regularly audited to ensure high manufacturing standards are maintained and every last detail of the finished product is exactly to the approved specification – including all fasteners.

Key to success of Hallmark’s dual-certified doorsets is the use of Winkhaus UK's fire door frame FireFrame®, which accommodates the Winkhaus AV2 multi-point locking system, with the option of upgrading to automatic multi-point locking with the blueMatic AV2-E. Rapierstar’s StarPVCU® fasteners are used throughout this FireFrame®, Fire and Security door set, including the screws for attaching lock keeps, thresholds and toplights, and its StarFix® frame fixings are supplied for installation along with very specific fitting guidance.

Rapierstar’s technical collaboration with both Winkhaus and Hallmark ensured the most suitable fasteners could be selected and incorporated into an approved frame design. Hallmark is using this complete suite of Rapierstar fasteners for its doorset manufacturing to ensure there is no deviation from the original specification that successfully passed fire and security testing.

Paul Spencer, Sales Director at Hallmark Doors & Panels said: “Our FD30sa range is designed to offer peace of mind and remove any uncertainty about the promised level of performance and actual performance. No single element of the doorset can provide fire protection or security in isolation and that means the fasteners are as important as everything else in the assembly.

“The technical support provided by Rapierstar has been extremely important to ensure we successfully pass our testing and achieve the dual certification. And now we are in production, their support in terms of making fabrication and installation efficient, and ensuring supply reliability during an unprecedented period, is equally beneficial to us and our customers.”

Rapierstar is supplying all of the fasteners needed for the doorsets in colour coded boxes so each one is quick and easy to identify on the production line. It’s a practical step that makes it easier for fabricators to get it right every time and pass quality control.

Paul Balfe, Rapierstar’s technical consultant added: “Any weakness in a doorset designed to provide fire protection or enhanced security can be catastrophic and it is only going to be as good as its weakest link. That’s why we were delighted to support Hallmark and Winkhaus prior to any testing to help them achieve the right result and bring an extremely appealing product range to the market.”

Fire testing commissioned by Hallmark involved subjecting the doorsets to temperatures of up to 885 degrees Celsius, with fire exposure on both sides to achieve a ‘pass’ result. Both solid and glazed composite fire doors were tested, achieving a fire protection level on average 54% over the 30 minute requirement.

Independent security testing was also undertaken to ensure the new FD30sa doorsets comply with PAS24, and hence the requirements of Secured by Design as well as Approved Document Q of the building regulations. The resulting specification offers Hallmark customers peace of mind so they can make purchase decisions with confidence.

As the UK and Ireland’s leading specialist fastener supplier to the door and window industry, Rapierstar provides the widest range of products to distributors and fabricators of all the major profile systems. Operating from its HQ and 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire, where more than one billion items are held in stock at any time, Rapierstar’s team of technical consultants work closely with customers in all corners of the country to help them manufacture the highest quality finished products most efficiently and safely.
03/02/2021
Rapierstar's two-decade technical partnership delivers long term benefits for Senior

A twenty year partnership between Senior Architectural Systems and Rapierstar demonstrates how a continued focus on fastening systems is a key factor in achieving long term success for window, door and curtain walling systems.

Senior Architectural Systems is approaching 30 years in the market and is renowned for the continuous innovation which has delivered a technically superior range of UK designed and made aluminium systems. Amongst these is its SF52 system, which launched in 2015 and today is one of the most widely used systems of its kind for applications where the design seeks to minimise sightlines and maximise glazing.

Rapierstar worked closely with Senior in the original development of the SF52 to ensure the suite of fasteners recommended for the assembly of the curtain wall provides a robust, reliable fix for the duration of the installation’s service life and beyond. This included developing a bespoke screw to fix a cleat that was key to the success of the system, and five years on Rapierstar is supplying an average of between 60,000-70,000 of these fasteners every month.

Craig Turner, Purchasing Manager at Senior Architectural Systems says:

“Rapierstar has provided support to us for over 20 years and has played a key part in the growth and success of the company. From our early systems to the latest aluminium curtain wall systems, Rapierstar has been with us each step of the way providing excellent technical support, often developing bespoke design solutions which give our products the high level of quality, reliability and performance our customers expect.

“At Senior, our mantra is to ‘give customers what they want, when they want it’ but this is only possible when you have a reliable and trusted supplier like Rapierstar supporting you.”

Rapierstar fasteners have been tested with all Senior’s aluminium systems which gives any fabricator of SF52 and its other systems full confidence in the long-tern success of an installation. All fasteners are manufactured from austenitic stainless steel, the only material recommended for use with aluminium to eliminate the risk of galvanic corrosion, and every batch is subjected to seven different tests at Rapierstar’s UK technical centre before being supplied to Senior.

Mark Calpin, Rapierstar’s Technical Consultant adds:

“Fasteners play a crucial role in ensuring every window, door or curtain wall delivers on its promise and meets customer expectations, so it is important to ensure the right products are used consistently, an approach that Senior advocates and has benefited from. We look forward to working with the Senior team for the next 20 years and providing all the technical support they need to keep their systems at the forefront of the market.”

Operating from its 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre near Macclesfield, Rapierstar works with customers across the UK and Ireland to provide a complete range of high quality, competitively priced fastening solutions. The Rapierstar service is backed by industry-leading technical support with a collective experience in the fastener market of more than 150 years, helping hardware and systems manufacturers and fabricators to deliver safe, secure, high performing finished products.
28/01/2021
Rapierstar supports Malplas UPVC to hit record production in its 20th anniversary year

Northern Irish Kömmerling fabricator Malplas UPVC has successfully risen to the challenge of unprecedented demand for its PVCu windows and doors during 2020 by increasing production to its highest ever levels with the support of specialist fastener supplier Rapierstar.

Based near Dungannon and celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, Malplas UPVC has seen record demand for products since late Spring 2020 following the easing of the most severe pandemic restrictions.

It is now manufacturing between 300 and 400 units every week, up from its usual output by as much as 60%, a level it is has comfortably stepped up to without compromising lead times thanks to the support of its main supply chain partners including Rapierstar.

Malplas UPVC manufactures windows and doors using the Kömmerling C70 Gold profile system, which are supplied to a diverse client base including trade installers, housebuilders and social housing landlords. It has become renowned in Northern Ireland for its commitment to quality and the reliability of its service, which is one of the reasons all its products are assembled using Rapierstar’s StarPVCU fasteners.

Malplas UPVC’s Philip Mallon says: “Despite being closed for two months in 2020, the year actually ended up being a record year in terms of sales and volumes. Our whole team has worked extremely hard to keep customer orders on track in what have been some pretty challenging circumstances.

“Like many fabricators, in addition to having to adapt our working environment to ensure our team can continue working safely as the pandemic prevails, we’ve also had to ensure we mitigate the effects of the raw material shortages that we are seeing industry-wide, plus the Northern Irish Brexit arrangements. Thankfully, fasteners haven’t been an issue due to our long term partnership with Rapierstar, and we are confident that will continue to be the case regardless of whatever happens post-Brexit.

“Fasteners are so important to maintain our productivity and, ultimately, for our long term success, so we cannot afford to cut corners. We can depend on Rapierstar to deliver every time, with their excellent stock reliability meaning we always have the right window screws when we need them, backed by first-rate technical support that helps us maintain quality consistency.”

Paul McAuley, Rapierstar’s technical consultant for Northern Ireland and Scotland adds: “We are delighted to be the fastener supply partner to Malplas and congratulate them on their 20th anniversary. Philip and his team have pulled out all the stops during 2020 to keep service levels high despite the unprecedented challenges, and we look forward to continuing to support them in 2021 and beyond.”
04/01/2021
10-year IFI-Rapierstar partnership drives service, quality and choice

Leading UK hardware distributor IFI is celebrating a decade as a supply partner for Rapierstar fasteners, which are used for window and door manufacturing and installation, as well as in timber and general construction.

The Cambridgeshire based company, which is the longest established trading division of Rapidrop Global, has been supplying products to window professionals for over 25 years. From its 30,000 sq. ft national distribution centre in Peterborough, IFI delivers UK-wide on a next day delivery service, utilising its own delivery fleet and a network of national freight carriers, and supplies the complete range of Rapierstar products.

Jason Hutchings, IFI National Sales Manager, said: “IFI and Rapierstar have a shared ethos that is about going the extra mile for customers and that helps to explain why we have grown strongly together over that past decade. The Rapierstar brand has certainly helped us grow fastener and fixing sales year on year for 10 years and now makes us a key distributor for the brand in the UK.

“Our mission is to support customers with all the specialist products they need to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace, which is why we are dedicated to supplying products that give our customers marketing, technical and competitive advantages, backed up by industry leading brands service and support.”

Employing 90 people and annual sales of over £20 million, IFI is now one of the largest distributors of the Rapierstar range of specialist fasteners, including its StarPVCU and StarPin products that are widely used in the fenestration sector. It supplies around 100 million Rapierstar pieces every year to fabricators and installers, completing the link between Rapierstar’s main distribution centre in Cheshire and the factory floor or fitting teams.

Jason adds: “What we can always depend on is that Rapierstar never stand still and they are always looking for the next innovation. The fact that they use their own state of the art testing facilities gives our customers confidence that all fasteners and fixings are rigorously tested, and this ensures we are offering the best possible fastening for all applications with optimal performance and corrosion resistance.

“We have a wealth of experience and technical knowledge across IFI, backed up with a dedicated and loyal internal service team, that works with our customers closely to thoroughly understand their needs. As a result, we are very well positioned to be the supply partner of choice to window and door fabricators and installers.”

Rapierstar’s Technical Consultant Mark Calpin, who has worked continuously with IFI since he joined the company in 2010, added: “IFI continues to go from strength to strength because they invest time and resources in making sure they give window and door manufacturers and installers a superior quality range of hardware across the board – of which fasteners are a crucial element. We will continue to support IFI at all levels and look forward to working with them for the next ten years and beyond.”

As the UK’s leading specialist fastener supplier to the door and window industry, Rapierstar provides the widest range of products to distributors and fabricators of all the major profile systems. Operating from its HQ and 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire, where more than one billion items are held in stock at any time, Rapierstar’s team of technical consultants work closely with customers in all corners of the country to help them manufacture the highest quality finished products most efficiently and safely.
19/08/2020
Window and door fastener supplies first rate despite COVID-19 challenges

Despite reports of shortages of some raw materials in the window and door industry, Rapierstar’s deep UK stocks of specialist fasteners and 30 years of sourcing and supply chain experience has enabled it to guarantee supplies of fasteners to its fabricator customers and support the industry as it recovers from lockdown.

The company continues to hold £4m of window screw and fixings stock and more than one billion items at its 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire, from where it serves window and door manufacturers across Great Britain and Ireland, as well as growing exports across mainland Europe. By holding many months of stock, the warehouse absorbs the short term impacts of disrupted global trade of the kind caused by the pandemic.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar said: “There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has rocked global supply chains in every market and exposed the fragility of some of these which, with a rapid manufacturing bounce-back, now means some of our competitors are experiencing supply issues – but certainly not Rapierstar. We achieved 99.4% OTIF deliveries while smashing our best ever monthly turnover in July (up 23% YOY) and August is also flying.

“Our long term manufacturing partners are located in Taiwan, so our supplies were never particularly under threat even when the strict economic and social restrictions started. We continued to accept and pay for pre-ordered monthly deliveries from our respected supply partners during the COVID-19 shutdown, so our stocks have never been so healthy.

“This is why we have been able to provide a great service to our customers through the pandemic and why the immediate availability of Rapierstar's products remains unchanged with fabulous stock levels. Ultimately, our customers can have confidence that we can deliver because of the depth of stock we carry.”

Rapierstar has continued to invest throughout 2020, with stock value increased by £1m+ and construction of its extended R&D centre. This will incorporate a video conference suite to enable improved communication with suppliers and customers post-pandemic, as well as a large showroom for demonstrating its forthcoming innovative new product ranges, developed in-house with senior researchers in a turbo charged new product development programme.

Rapierstar has also invested in its people and operations, with new apprentices and employees recruited during August, supported by the latest upgrade of its fully integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, and further investment in its carbon-saving electric commercial vehicles and new on-site charging points.

Rapierstar is unique in being the only specialist fastener supplier of its kind to the UK and Irish window and door industry. Its products are available to fabricators and installers through the main industry distributors and trade counters, as well as directly for the largest fabricators, with a wide range of fasteners suitable for all PVCu and aluminium systems, as well as timber frames.
22/03/2020
Vulcan Windows in even better health after Rapierstar switch

A comprehensive audit of fastener usage by Rapierstar has delivered production, quality, stockholding and installation benefits for leading Hull-based window, door and conservatory manufacturer and installer Vulcan Windows.

These benefits have been realised following a Fastener Health Check conducted by Rapierstar earlier this year, which looks at a window and door manufacturer’s fastener use, how they are being applied, what the intended applications typically are and the stockholding approach. This thorough assessment can identify instances where switching to a different size or type of fastener could enable rationalisation of supply – saving time and money through simplified ordering and stockholding – and deliver improvements in safety and finished product quality.

Vulcan Windows, who are one of the largest Eurocell fabricators, have been serving customers across East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire for more than 40 years. The company is a major manufacturer and installer of PVCu windows and doors for the new build sector, as well as social housing, domestic and trade customers, with additional operations providing aluminium solutions and solar panels. Their success is built on continuous improvement and aligning the business with the best supply chain partners, which now includes Rapierstar.

Paul Walker, Vulcan Windows’ Operations Director explains: “We approached Rapierstar because we wanted to make sure that the right fasteners were being used across our PVCu factory and ensure our commitment to high quality products is not being undermined. With Rapierstar’s close working relationship with Eurocell and knowledge of their profiles, we recognise the value of their expertise specifically in relation to the systems we use.
“Their recently updated Recommended Fixings Manual (RFM) has proved to be a valuable reference guide, offering detailed guidance not only in the use of fabrication screws but in terms of installation. It is helping our fitting teams to choose the right screws for assembly of bays and couplers, and assess whether the right length masonry fixings are being used at all times.”

As was to be expected of such a well-established and successful fenestration business, Vulcan’s approach to fasteners was already robust according to Paul Balfe, Rapierstar’s Technical Consultant, who completed the Health Check. However, he identified some small changes that will make a big difference to Vulcan in the long term.

Paul Balfe says, “On the whole the selection of screws throughout the factory was excellent. But our Fastener Health Check is designed to assess every area in detail, which flagged up a few changes to the type of fasteners being used. With these small changes, it is possible to get better performance or make fabrication easier, and we also identified an opportunity to consolidate two sizes of screw and thus reduce their inventory.”

“We’re delighted to become Vulcan’s supply chain partner for fasteners and assist them in all areas. This has also included the supply of racks for their stores area and a set of labels to go with the rack. This makes it was easier for stores to put away fastener stock and to see at a glance when product is running low to avoid production disruption.”

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. 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.
10/02/2020
Rapierstar fasteners put Blairs PVCu quality in pole position

High-performance fasteners from Rapierstar are helping leading Scottish window and door manufacturer the Saveheat Group, to deliver consistently high quality finished products across its PVCu trade window and door portfolio, with its Blairs PVCu business now joining sister company Merlin Network in using StarPVCU® fixings.

Based at Greenock near Glasgow, Blairs PVCu is a rapidly growing force in the trade window, door and conservatory market in the West of Scotland. The business was launched by long-established Blairs Timber in 2019, enabling over 100 years of experience in windowmaking to be applied to the manufacture of KÖMMERLING O70 Gold system windows and doors.

Blairs PVCu complements its Saveheat Group sister company Merlin Network, who have been manufacturing PVCu windows and doors in Fife for more than 40 years. Benefiting from its strong relationship with Merlin Network and being able to apply its expertise and experience, Blairs PVCu has developed a quality specification which includes a commitment to using only market-leading hardware and components throughout its range.

Key to this is the use of Rapierstar StarPVCU® branded fasteners throughout the manufacture of all Blairs PVCu windows, doors and conservatories. These are used in accordance with Rapierstar’s detailed guidance provided through its KÖMMERLING O70 Gold system Recommended Fixing Manual (RFM), which can be downloaded from www.rapierstar.com

Joe Boyd, Operations Manager at Blairs PVCu Windows & Doors said: “Rapierstar fasteners are used in window and door manufacturing throughout our Greenock factory, in the same way our colleagues do at Merlin Network, for very good reason. Our trade customers demand quality that exceeds customer expectations and that can be easily undermined when poor quality or badly applied fasteners are used in manufacture. That’s why we really value Rapierstar’s product range and technical support, ensuring we can maintain a competitive advantage with our quality assurance.”

Blairs PVCu operates a 120,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Greenock which is optimised for the production of high quality frames, made right first time, on time. Robust Quality Control and Management procedures coupled with CNC computerised cutting, prepping and welding centres ensure only top quality products leave its factory to serve its growing customer base.

The company works closely with Rapierstar to ensure every fastener used is correct for the application, with all fasteners sourced directly from Rapierstar’s 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre in Cheshire.
27/01/2020
Shelforce boosts manufacturing efficiency and quality assurance with Rapierstar

Fastener specialist Rapierstar is providing extensive support to window and door manufacturer Shelforce to streamline fastener usage and ensure its workforce is fully supported to achieve the highest quality finished products.

The Birmingham-based manufacturer, which specialises in the supply of windows and doors to the social housing, new build and schools sectors, is already benefiting from a 25% reduction in the number of different types of fasteners it uses following a Rapierstar fastener ‘Health Check’. This identified instances where a single fastener type and size could be used for multiple purposes throughout the assembly, a move that has reduced fastener stockholding, made ordering easier and simplified manufacture.

Given the unique nature of Shelforce in its provision of employment for people living with a wide range of disabilities, its production lines are configured in a way that enables operatives to clearly identify which fasteners to use for each part of the window or door’s construction. Here, Rapierstar has helped by not only reducing the number of different types of fasteners being used – and thus the scope for selecting the wrong one – but also by producing colour-coded charts for every workstation so fabricators have a quick and easy-to-use fastener reference guide in front of them at all times.

Rapierstar is supplying Shelforce with an all-austenitic stainless steel suite of fasteners for the manufacture of PVCu windows and doors using Eurocell systems. By correctly applying these premium quality fasteners, which are designed to offer the highest level of resistance to corrosion, Shelforce has established a market-leading proposition, complete with a clear audit trail to give customers complete traceability and peace of mind.

Howard Trotter, Business Manager at Shelforce said: “The process changes that Rapierstar have helped us to implement have enabled us to further improve manufacturing efficiency and optimise quality, while at the same time multi-skilling workers so they are able to work on any part of the production line as required. This ensures we remain competitive in the market with a range of windows and doors that offer significant quality benefits, supported by technical documentation and test data that satisfies client audit requirements, which our loyal and growing customer base really values.”

Mark Calpin, Technical Sales Consultant at Rapierstar added: “We’re delighted that Shelforce have chosen Rapierstar as their supply chain partner for fasteners and we look forward to supporting them wherever we can as they develop and grow. Bringing fresh insights to their fastener usage, our technical support is designed to help Shelforce maintain its reputation for consistently high quality finished products, whilst at the same time delivering important productivity benefits.”

As the window and door sector’s specialist fastener supplier, Rapierstar is uniquely positioned to support manufacturers like Shelforce to implement a fastener strategy that ticks all the boxes. In addition to the corrosion resistance benefits that austenitic stainless steel fasteners offer, the products used by Shelforce are also all CE marked and every batch is tested against numerous performance criteria at Rapierstar’s in-house test centre to maintain quality consistency. Rapierstar is also supporting Shelforce’s development of its aluminium window and door range, including a bi-fold door option.

Operating from its 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre near Macclesfield, Rapierstar works with customers 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, helping hardware and systems manufacturers and fabricators to deliver safe, secure, high performing finished products.
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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