Haemers NV, a manufacturer of washers, non-standard nuts and presswork according to customers’ plans and models, has spent the last two years making some significant investments in its machinery and buildings in order to meet the growing needs of its customers.
A fourth generation family business, Haemers is a specialist in flat washers in all kinds of material – covering 5,800 dimensions and all to DIN, NFE and ISO norms. Another segment within its capabilities is presswork according to plans or models, with thicknesses up to 20mm and coil widths up to 600mm in different types of materials – such as steel, stainless steel and aluminium.
“Our machine park consists of 23 eccentric presses ranging from 30 tonnes to 400 tonnes, which can be used to press parts in all kinds of ferrous and non-ferrous materials – according to the customer’s plans or models,” explains Haemers. “Our machine park allows both small and large series with fully automatic lines with coil supply, but manual handling is also possible if necessary. For the goods we produce we can also provide threading, chamfering and welding. Deep drawing is also one of our options.”
Throughout its production capabilities, quality is of paramount importance for the Belgian company, which has been ISO 9001:2015 accredited since 2016. “With an average seniority of 23 years, we have a driven and highly experienced team that is able to reliably and consistently produce the high-quality products that we have become well known for within the industry,” states Haemers. “There is also one area where we try and deliver even more quality and that is the relationship with our customers. We do this by ensuring we do what we promise and deliver what our customers need when they need them.”
This commitment is underlined by Haemers’ recent investment strategy, which has seen it invest in its machinery and buildings over recent years. “For our flat washer range we have more than 5,800 dimensions and we have barely any tool costs in this segment, which means we can be very competitive in non-standard washers. We of course also following the trend for working with high strength steel, but the biggest challenge is more in the custom parts segment. It is in this sector that we have been investing in new machines so that we can produce products even faster and more accurately. At the end of this year we will also introduce an additional fully automatic line from coils, which will give us even more capability and flexibility when it comes to meeting customers’ needs.”
Working with customers on special parts and producing parts according to drawings or models is a key part of Haemers’ business and the company is convinced that even in the current Covid-19 pandemic there is an opportunity for this market to grow. “When Covid-19 broke out and China went into lockdown, our production got a huge boost – with new orders coming in regularly,” mentions Haemers. “However, when the pandemic broke out here in Europe, there were of course consequences. May was a very bad month for us but we stuck to our principles. Instead we looked to cut costs, lower stocks and mostly used the time to rethink our production flow.”
Haemers continues: “After our expansion last year, we had the necessary room to redesign production here and there, which led to a cost reduction and further production efficiency, as well as the set-up of a new modern toolshop. Working more efficiently not only ensures better cost control and shorter delivery times, it also motivates staff members as they start to think about how they can improve the processes.”
As for the long-term impact of Covid-19 on the market, Haemers believes that the balance between imports and European production may be better in the future. “A lot of customers were so focused on imports that they would sometimes forget to even make a comparison with European production to see if there were any opportunities,” points out Haemers. “I think the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdowns around the world have once again exposed the difficulties with Far Eastern imports – communication, transport, efficiency, etc – and companies are now starting to look at European production and the benefits this brings. Thanks to our recent investments we are in a very good position to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise in the future and can offer customers the complete range of washers, non-standard nuts and pressworks they need.”
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.