BIAFD fastener manufacturing day “100% spot on” 07 December 2018

The British & Irish Association of Fastener Distributors (BIAFD) held a one day ‘Introduction to fastener manufacturing’ at the UK manufacturing facility of Barton Cold Form, an Optimas company.

The day comprised of a one hour seminar on cold forming and thread rolling technology, presented by Phil Matten, followed by an introduction to Barton Cold Form, its plant layout and processes, from Zak Tolley, the company’s sales manager. After a light lunch, the twenty-eight attendees were provided with a guided tour of the manufacturing operation.

While the day was aimed at an introductory level the spectrum of attendees ranged from an entrant who had spent only six months in the fastener industry to experienced quality and general managers.

The day was part of a series of opportunities BIAFD arranges so distribution personnel have a first-hand opportunity to see and learn about fastener manufacturing processes. Previously BIAFD has also arranged tours of the British Steel wire rod mill in Scunthorpe, a rare chance to see the fastener manufacturing process from the beginning.

To continuously improve the provision of services to its members, BIAFD surveyed participants, with more than half responding. Attendees were from a range of quality, sales, purchasing and management roles from across the UK – with only half having previously visited a fastener manufacturing operation. On average respondents found around 40% of the information presented was new to them. New learning included: Grain flow, advantages of cold forming, SEMS manufacture, differences between thread rolling and cutting, the development of tooling and setting up of manufacturing equipment. One respondent commented: “From my basic knowledge level this course provided me with an understanding of the overall process and was presented in a way for me to understand.”

Another: “The session was 100% spot on for what we were there for.”

Other respondents provided valuable suggestions on how BIAFD could improve future events and the association is now working on additional reference material and the provision of tour headsets.

Overall, respondents gave the session an 88% ‘worthwhile day’ rating, with a 95% rating for the clarity of information presented. More than 90% would definitely recommend a similar day to colleagues.

BIAFD is extremely grateful to Barton Cold Form for providing its excellent seminar facilities and arranging the plant tour. These educational days are organised as a benefit of BIAFD membership, with only a small charge to cover lunch and refreshments. BIAFD membership starts at just GB£400 a year. For more information visit or email


Will Lowry Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 814 509


Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 10 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.

Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.