23 June 2014
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Opening new markets just takes a little imagination

Engineers possess many qualities: mathematical minds; the application of scientific principles; and the ability to see logical solutions to perplexing problems. One of the greatest attributes of an engineer however, is one that is rarely mentioned - and that is imagination. Management gurus call it "thinking outside the box", but notwithstanding how one labels an engineer's vision, it is an attribute that at times enables the blindingly simple.

One of Böllhoff UK's sales engineers, Will Davies, has been putting his imagination to good use in identifying new applications for SNAPLOC®. While the product has clearly found great success in automotive applications such as loud speaker mountings, Will could see all sorts of potential for the innovative fastener.

Three such applications, for which Böllhoff UK now supplies SNAPLOC® regularly, serve to illustrate the potential for thousands of similar uses in all sorts of equipment.

Food for thought
Inspection panels at the back of refrigerated food display cabinets create a sleek appearance, but more significantly, very quick and easy access for service engineers who must usually work fast if a food cabinet requires attention. The use of SNAPLOC® fasteners allows the engineers to simply pop the panel off, complete their work and snap it straight back on without the need to waste time removing and replacing the many screws that would otherwise be required to secure the panels.

The display cabinet manufacturer, Alan Nuttall Limited, from Dudley in the West Midlands of England, is a leading manufacturer of both standard and bespoke fresh foods display equipment for retailers.

Catering for supermarkets, food halls and specialist food stores, Nuttalls has a track record of investing in the latest technology to ensure innovative products built to the highest standards – including bespoke cabinets and displays.

No barriers to applications
A second application for SNAPLOC® is in the securing of an electronic control box for an automated vehicle security barrier. The fasteners secure the electrical control box within a tower located adjacent to the barrier.

The customer, Newgate (Newark) Limited from Nottinghamshire in the UK, has created a dog? housing in which the SNAPLOC® fasteners are located and then the SNAPLOC® pin is simply screwed into back of the control box. Both assembly and maintenance times have been reduced and the arrangement is both secure and elegant.

Newgate manufactures cost effective and reliable security gates, barriers, turnstiles, pedestrian gates, car parking and traffic control equipment to suit commercial, public and private premises.

Get a healthy return
A third application for SNAPLOC® comes from an unusual source that one would struggle to identify. Hospital power, equipment and instrument housings are found at every hospital bedside. Commonly described as hospital bedhead trunking, this is a huge marketplace and one that is growing as ever more sophisticated resources are installed in hospital wards.

The fascias of the horizontal Modus Supply Panels made by Static Systems Group PLC of Staffordshire in the UK, use SNAPLOC® fasteners to enable easy and nearly instant access to equipment for maintenance or upgrading purposes, yet present a smooth unimpeded face plate to the trunking. Existing bedhead trunking products tend to use screws, which apart from being a little unsightly, also present scope to harbour germs.

Static Systems also manufactures attractive vertical Modus Supply Panels capable of housing its patient entertainment and communication systems, but also instruments, sockets and other equipment.

A final tip
Will Davies explains, "I am always on the lookout for potential applications for our fastening solutions because most of them are versatile and can bring real benefits to applications beyond those for which they are predominantly used". He added, "Sometimes the solution just leaps out at you, while at other times it's a case of applying a little lateral thinking and imagining 'how would I do that?'".

The scope opened by the three applications mentioned is enormous. All are in prospering markets where there remains strong investment and good potential volume.

Bollhoff Fastenings

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