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Distributor's Link Magazine Summer 2018 / Vol 41 No3


142 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK GLOBALFASTENERNEWS.COM MATTEN: EUROPEAN FASTENER DEMAND STRONG from page 58 Did The Tariffs Work? “There is little evidence that EU fastener makers switched back to production of standard fasteners,” Matten observed. “Most investment has been targeted at higher added-value special parts.” “The reality is most of the business switched to other Asian sources,” Matten commented. And China of 2018 “is not the China of 2007,” he added. China’s fastener production costs are higher. Beijing’s “tightening grip on air and water pollution” ismaking wire rod prices volatile and closing plating facilities – at least temporarily.” “Taiwan and China are both committed to the higher added-value path.” Looming Problems European wire rod prices surged in early 2018, along with utilities. “There are real concerns about how the barriers are going up around the world – more so now, as a global trade war appears to loom,” Matten observed. ¤ Low cost imports from China “have long been a concern – especially in Italy,” Matten noted. ¤ “There is a sustained challenge for attracting young talent” into fastener manufacturing to succeed the aging skilled work force, Matten said. ¤ “How far can the distributor pass on price increases before the customer goes out of the market?” Automotive Market The European car demand has grown for four consecutive years, Matten noted. Commercial vehicle demand rose 3.3% in 2017. The several years of strong automotive market has resulted in “strong investment in the technologies and systems vital to sustaining future profit growth.” Europe produced 16.9 million cars in 2017 – adding Turkey and Russia increases it to 19.6 million. “It’s worth noting how significant car production now is in Turkey and how that is transforming the fastener manufacturing sector there,” Matten noted. A decline in diesel car sales and acceleration of Alternative Fuel Vehicle demand affects automotive suppliers. “For all European markets, now, diesel has become the headache,” Matten finds. The diesel share of new car sales plunged to 31% in Germany during March “as cities readied to ban at least older diesel cars,” Matten commented. Car makers must achieve fleetwide CO2 targets via improved technology and incentives. Thus far, alternative fuel vehicle market share has grown to 5.8%. EVs need two to three times more fasteners – though most fasteners are small, lower grade and lower complexity, Matten noted. That is not good for European fastener manufacturers “that need high valued added product.” Matten noted that China, “with its massive air pollution problem, has the greatest incentive to get Alternative Fuel Vehicles right.” UK Market Even Great Britain’s ‘Brexit’ has not dampened manufacturing, Matten finds. “We’ve shaken off the immediate plunge of concern after the 2016 referendum and benefited substantially from the short term fall in sterling,” Matten explained. “Manufacturers have won export business, although ironically most of it is coming from the EU market, we’re apparently trying to get away from.” The UK construction market has been “rattled by the uncertainties that still surround Brexit.” “Civil engineering new business is weak – major projects are being held back,” Matten told the inaugural U.S. Fastener Fair. Matten said a fastener distributor told him “there’s next to no demand for holding down bolts or for anything above M24 diameter. The small stuff is flowing reasonably, but we can feel the freeze on big projects.” Matten finds the best UK construction sector is housing. Consumer confidence fell, “but the UK has an underlying housing shortage that continues to drive demand.” GLOBALFASTENERNEWS.COM

THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 143 ZaGO Manufacturing’s sealing hardware protects data centers from environmental threats - high tech companies in the US and overseas are discovering that ordinary fasteners are not sufficient to protect high value assets. Data centers house servers that are part of our critical infrastructure and cannot be left vulnerable to the contaminants that can seep through unprotected fastener openings and clearance holes. Environmental contaminants, moisture and humidity are a constant challenge to the security and safety of our economy’s most valuable assets. ZaGO self-sealing fasteners and components are designed with a groove and o-ring to seal out both internal and external environmental contaminants. ZaGO hardware limits the incursion of internal hazards including gases, electrostatic dust and cleaning chemicals and external threats such as pollution particulate, pollen, sea salt, construction dust and exhaust. In addition, ZaGO’s sealing fasteners are the best possible method to seal out moisture and humidity which are two of the top threats to valuable servers housed in data centers. Additionally, ZaGO sealing hardware and components protects the environment from potential contaminants leaking electronic equipment. ZaGO fasteners comply with all national and international standards for the restriction of hazardous substances including REACH, ROHS and California’s Prop 65 and so are the best choice for protecting our environment and protecting data centers and other high value assets from environmental threats. For more information contact ZaGo Manufacturing by Tel: 973-643-6700, Fax: 973-643-4433, Email: or online at


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