Powerful expansion for a safer world 03 July 2018

Nord-Lock Group is a pioneer in innovative bolting solutions, with advanced technologies spanning bolt securing, bolt tensioning, expansion bolts and expanding pivot pins. The Group’s ability and willingness to adapt to market changes ensures strong growth across all its technologies and markets in the future.

Recent years have seen a huge shift in Nord-Lock Group’s products and practices. The Group has undergone a radical transformation, from a conventional manufacturing company, with a focus on European markets, to a high-tech powerhouse, offering multiple technologies and services to a global community of customers and industry experts.

Anybody that has been following the Group’s journey will not be surprised by this transformation; Nord-Lock Group has always been at the forefront of bolting innovation and prides itself on its dedication to listening to customer needs. This powerful combination has enabled the business to position itself as a leader in the industry, as well as solve challenges experienced by its customers. Rather than a simple strategy, the Group has adopted this outlook as a necessary step to continue prospering in an increasingly complex, demanding and fast paced industry.

The bolting industry is constantly evolving – as are customers’ needs. Downturns affecting certain segments, development of new technologies, and growing demands from a global customer base, are all challenges that Nord-Lock Group has embraced and – through its flexibility – has been able to provide continuous solutions.

In a rapidly developing world, one thing remains the same; the need for safe bolted joints across all applications and industries. Bolt loosening does not only pose a threat to critical applications exposed to severe vibration and dynamic loads, it affects all applications that require secure bolts. Nord-Lock Group is acutely aware of this, thus, it is always ready to tackle any challenge with quality solutions produced to meet its customers’ needs.

One thing the Group knows only too well is that the integrity of any industrial application is only as reliable as its most vulnerable link. Jeopardising this long-lasting reliability significantly increases maintenance time, replacement costs and the risk of accidents. It’s no wonder then, that the Group’s quality assurance policies are second to none. The first Nord-Lock Group test laboratory was opened in 2008, but testing its own products, no matter how rigorously, was not enough. The business wanted to ensure that its solutions would perform as expected from the moment of their first installation until the end of their intended lifecycle, so it began collaborating with independent institutions and external laboratories.

In 2017, after thousands of hours of field testing in the most demanding trial environments, Nord-Lock Group was ready to unveil what it had been working so hard to achieve – a full Lifetime Warranty for all of its technologies.

Experts within all industries
From Boltight hydraulic bolt tensioners that secure wind turbines to Expander System pivot pins that prevent lug wear in heavy machinery – Nord-Lock Group manufactures products to suit all major industries. The Group’s in-house experts play an important role in its success. Not only do these experts support the development of industry specific products, they also have in-depth knowledge of the industries and their ever changing demands. Combining product and industry perspectives has allowed the Group to understand the specific needs and challenges of its customers and offer them a variety of bolt tightening and securing solutions that are quick and easy to install, without the need for frequent checking or retightening.

Emphasis on innovation and development
Nord-Lock Group is extremely proud to be the original creator of its own technologies, but is determined to build on its existing high-quality offering even further. Innovation and development have always been a priority and over the years the Group has paid close attention to its customers’ feedback. This has fostered many collaborative relationships that have contributed to the creation of more advanced products. Collaboration has also come from within the bolting industry itself and the Group has paid close attention to industry trends and used this knowledge to shape development, as well as to adapt products. Modern industries are facing a myriad of challenges, meaning that customers now expect more than just a product. Nord-Lock Group is acutely aware of this and is always willing to provide customers with the personalised services they need.

Global reach with a local touch
Part of this personalised service includes being as close to customers as possible. Nord-Lock Group currently has six manufacturing plants around the world in order to maintain high standards for its global client base. This emphasis on geographical proximity to customers allows the Group to work alongside them for the duration of projects – from the conceptualisation phase to the installation of the final product. Delivery times are extremely efficient as products are stocked in key markets as well as at manufacturing bases.

Nord-Lock Group is currently experiencing a period of growth in all major markets, signalling an exciting new chapter in its story. In order to take advantage of these new opportunities, it is investing in new sales offices as well as upgrading existing sites. Its largest market, Europe, is growing steadily, and the Nord-Lock GmbH headquarters in Germany recently moved to a brand new facility – purpose-built to support continued expansion. This enhancement will provide excellent product availability and delivery performance across Europe, offering even more flexibility and efficiency to customers.

Asia is an important market for Nord-Lock Group and it currently has sales offices and distribution centres in Japan, China, Korea and Singapore. A brand new office has recently been established in Mumbai, India, in order to provide customers in the country with localised knowledge, as well as to shorten product delivery times in South Asia.

Embracing digital tools for improved customer service
The digital world is developing at an extraordinary rate and is changing the way the industrial community does business. During the last couple of years, Nord-Lock Group has embraced this digital transformation to increase interactions with its potential audience, and to provide an even better customer experience. Social media has now become the ‘go-to’ channel to share company news to its global audience. Positive engagement from followers has encouraged the Group to create personalised content for customers, in order to answer their most pressing questions. The Group’s videos have proved successful, due to their ability to explain even the most complex bolting problems in an engaging way.

Enhancing the productivity of customers through digital tools has become easier than ever before. Recently, the Group launched its torque calculation application called ‘Torquelator by Nord-Lock’. The web application calculates pre-load and corresponding torque for bolted joints secured with Nord-Lock washers. By selecting the bolt size, the bolt grade and lubricant, the user can find the correct torque value for their application. The web application runs on mobile devices as well as laptops and tablets – allowing users to access the information they need on the job.

Nord-Lock Group has also launched a ‘Fastener Dimension Guide’, which facilities the gathering of fastener data while performing bolted joint calculations. This web application is extremely practical, as instead of trying to find the right measurements from a table in standards sheets, engineers can simply enter the size and length of a bolt and find all the dimensions that conform to ISO standards. Both these applications were developed with Nord-Lock Group’s customers in mind, adding to its already long list of customer-centric services.

Digitalisation doesn’t only refer to social media and Apps. The Group is currently in the midst of a digital renaissance, which is transforming processes across the board – including at production facilities. The Group’s engineering centres use 3D scanning and CAD simulations to develop customised solutions for specific applications. The introduction of 3D printing has also enabled the development centres to utilise rapid prototyping in order to deliver samples to customers much faster than before.

Although the business’ digital journey has just begun, the initial success of this endeavor, as well as many others, promises more exciting advancements to come. Without a doubt, Nord-Lock Group will continue its powerful expansion for a safer world.

Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 814 450

Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.

Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.