Not Just Nuts and Bolts
For some fasteners may be synonymous to just bolts and nuts. But it is much more than that. It has huge variety under this head. These fasteners differ from each other in many different ways and have different applications. In a basic sense they differ in their material of construction, type, size, surface finish.
Industrial Fasteners is a field of study by itself. The subject is very deep and requires a blend of theory, practice and experience. ‘Continuous process of Learning’ may be an apt manner to say in a few words.
In this opportunity we would focus on High Tensile market of Industrial Fasteners in India. This market like the other markets has many small and a few big names. There are two major brands in this market, TVS and Unbrako. TVS is the preferred brand for quality conscious users. It may not have the lion’s share in the sector, but drives it.
At the forefront this market may seem to be a niche. Automobile Original Equipment Manufacturer based brand TVS with an international standing was quick to realise the potential of this market working with Rama Trading Company, Visakhapatnam. They formed an industrial marketing division in a company that leads the overall fasteners market due to its unparallel hold in the auto segment.
Placing the limelight on TVS and Rama Trading Company, TVS manufactures fasteners under eight thousand part numbers for this category. Rama Trading Company stocks about two thousand part numbers, from M3 dia to M48 dia in its centralised warehouse in Visakhapatnam to serve immediate need of its customers. Rama Trading Company is a channel partner that caters to corporate private and public sector industrial clients. Some of the big public sector clients include Indian Railways, HPCL, NTPC, NALCO, SAIL etc. It has been serving this dedicated field for the last 35 years.
The commonly used types of fasteners of this category are:
- Hexagonal Head Screws and Bolts
- Socket Head Cap Screws and Bolts
- Socket Countersunk Screws
- Socket Low Head Cap Screws
- Socket Button Head Screws
- Socket Set Screws
- Flanged Head Screws and Bolts
- High Strength Friction Grip (HSFG) Fasteners
- Anchor Fasteners
- Hex Nuts
- Nyloc Nuts
- Weld Nuts
- Flanged Nuts
- Socket Keys (Allen Keys)
This is a specialised field of activity and supplier credentials form an essential part. Part time supplier or general order supplier may not possess adequate knowledge to provide accurate solution to the buyers’ fastener requirement. This field may not be catered well supported by ‘Jacks of all trades and master of none’.
There are many critical elements in choosing of fasteners that fall in this category. The diameter, pitch, length, coating, specification, thread length, load-bearing etc matter in selecting the fastener to be procured. In any incorrect application, a low costing fastener may cause a major capital breakdown or expenditure.
- Import of fasteners cost significantly lesser than a non – branded fastener. One cannot escape by saying than the imported good is low in quality and that is why it costs less. There are well known foreign manufacturers that export quality products to India and their products are recognised in Indian markets.
- Import of equipments from different parts of the world has led to tremendous increase in the range of fasteners. These machines have customised designs. This leads to new products to be added in order to serve the erection and maintenance these machine operators.
- Fasteners are considerably low value item. It is not always feasible to take up production or serve low volume business. Odd items take a very long lead time and hence inventory places a role. In this scenario small industries are major sufferers who require fasteners in very low quantities even if they add up their future requirements.
- Like other branded products in other segments, there are lot of duplicate and sub-standard products in the market. In high tensile fasteners their market share is significant. The appearance of the product is deceivable quite easily and testing may not be possible for each piece everytime. This is the reason why a trusted supplier is an essential part in Industrial Fasteners.
If one wants to find examples for different case studies, Industrial Fasteners market in India has most of them. This market has seen big giants fall within no time, lesser known companies transform into market leaders with just few bold moves at right time, prospering entities default and seasoned players burn fingers or could be said even hands.
There are some ready references and resources available on www.tvsfasteners.com which is continuously updated for data regarding fasteners. In case any further information is required, we would be pleased to assist you through the same.
The author Vidur Kedia is Marketing Executive with Vishakhapattanam based Rama Trading Company. He is a Gold Medallist from GITAM University and an Alumnus of The London School of Economics and Political Science.