Having worked with the building trade for more than 40 years, there’s one thing we know for sure and it’s that a reputation counts for everything. From the initial quote through to the finished work it’s all important and that’s why every screw, fixing or power tool accessory we provide has been stringently tested to ensure it meets the quality that our customers expect.
As you can imagine that’s a lot of testing, particularly considering we have more than 5,000 products lines in stock (let alone the various sizes and derivatives). Every day we spend hours testing the products we receive to ensure they not only meet the British BSEN6001 standards, but also our own. Only at this point are they released to our customers.
We’re naturally proud to have many quality accreditations including BSI BS5750 and ISO 9001 which demonstrates our commitment to quality and a company culture of right-first-time, but what does this mean in real terms? To begin with, all areas of quality and consistency are looked at by the supplier before dispatch and, upon arrival, we set to work retesting in order to comply with our quality accreditations.
The process starts with a simple visual test; is it what it says it is, is it the right colour or simply is the screw or nail straight? Does the product meet the right dimensions and the specifications of the detailed drawings and has it been packaged and labelled correctly? If the product passes this it’s then put through its paces in our own dedicated quality control laboratory.
Again, we run a number of additional tests which range from measuring the plating thickness – which needs specialist equipment that’s capable of measuring anything between 5 and 8 microns (that’s a 1000 of a millimetre for each micron!), through to a speed of insertion test.
The tests then get even more stringent and include a ‘torque test’ which looks at how much the screw can take before it breaks, and one of our favourites, the ‘force test’. We all know that not every nail or screw is inserted exactly straight, so we even test how the product performs if inserted at an angle!
As we principally supply fixings, it’s also important for us to test the product’s yield. For example, how much can the screw hold before it’s pulled out and, conversely, how much can it take before it’s pushed through? The information is analysed against expectations and passed or failed accordingly.
The good news is that, by regular testing, we are able to innovate and add improvements to existing product lines. One such example is the recently launched a new multi-purpose screw, the C2, which achieves a 43% quicker screw time with half the torque of other screws. The screw’s been tested to deliver a consistent performance in multiple materials from a range of woods to sheet metal and plastics, and is also protected against rust for 20 times longer than a standard zinc plated screw.
Through testing, we’re able to have confidence in the quality our products and ensure that nothing is left to chance. Building a reputation for quality is critical to our business, and by doing these tests, we not only protect our reputation, but yours as well.