Fastening excellence 24 March 2021

Based in Bergara, Spain – 50km east of Bilbao, the Fastening Excellence Centre (FEX) is an alliance of Spanish businesses from along the value chain for fastening technology, who are looking to integrate their interests and promote the fastener sector.

Juan Bautista Ayerbe, director of FEX, explains: “The creation of the Fastening Excellence Centre came from several Spanish companies wanting to promote the transformation and competitiveness of the fastener industry, with a medium/long-term vision. All the companies agreed that the fastener industry is not very visible and is poorly connected with the end user markets. They therefore decided to join forces and collaborate to change the situation and that is how FEX was born.”

FEX was established in Bergara (Basque Country), due to the very high concentration of fastener companies in the town – all specialised in different activities along the value chain. This includes manufacturers of fasteners, nuts and washers, suppliers of raw materials, suppliers of machinery, knowledge providers, as well as treatment and coating companies.

In total 18 companies have become associates of FEX.

The preliminary objective of FEX is to offer specialised support to companies in the value chain of fastening technology and to generate value in the areas of product and service – driving the transformation of the associates from process companies to product/service companies. The associates will also gain a comprehensive perspective on both product technology and the markets – allowing them to anticipate the risks and opportunities for the industry in the medium to long-term, as well as gain visibility and recognition before customers.

“Our vision is to become a benchmark for fastener companies and to achieve a level of brand recognition at an international level that facilitates dialogue with leading clients,” states Juan Bautista Ayerbe.

After almost three years developing the original idea, and the group of associates, FEX has defined the following strategic objectives:

  • Promote the interests of companies: Increase the participation and influence of FEX associates within sectors and forums.
  • Access to specialised technology and knowledge services: Introducing and making available to associates existing capacities in the RVCTI network and from other external specialists.
  • Access to end customers: Enhance visibility and dialogue with customers in the final end user markets.
  • Generation of knowledge: Generate knowledge for associates about products and applications.
  • Image: Project the brand image of FEX and the fastener sector.
  • Collaboration: Facilitate collaboration and the use of synergies between associates in the value chain.
  • Knowledge of clients and markets: Serve as an antenna for the identification of risks and opportunities in the medium to long-term.
  • Support for new businesses: Encourage and support initiatives aimed at generating value and supporting business development on products and associated services.

“In addition to having the commitment and involvement of the partner companies, FEX has also identified an initial group of key strategic collaborators, among which Miguel Altuna Institutoa takes a special relevance for its expertise in cold stamping and knowledge of the industry,” points out Juan Bautista Ayerbe. “Thanks to Miguel Altuna Institutua, FEX also has access to Tknika, a research centre of professional schools.”

Other important collaborators are the main technological centres in the area, including Tecnalia, Tekniker, Lortek and Azterlan. FEX will also continue contacting other associations and centres not just in Spain, but also in Europe and around the world, such as REC, CETIM, DSeV, amongst others. Seeking to collaborate in projects of common interest.

Essential support is also provided by the two institutions of the Gipuzkoa territory. Firstly, the Bergara town hall, where FEX is located, and the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council.

“FEX is already in the market and we are looking forward to developing our knowledge about finished products through the help of our partners, as well as looking to align the needs of the different industries that our companies aim to satisfy,” concludes Juan Bautista Ayerbe. 

Content Director

Will Lowry Content Director t: +44 (0) 1727 743 888


Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 12 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.