Pictured: New state-of-the-art inspection equipment, designed to support 'zero defect philosophy'.
The year has seen the Asian business develop well. PowerSteel, in particular, has been successfully integrated into the Group and is now benefiting from new opportunities outside its traditional market. Its customer base has increased and dependency on one major customer has reduced.
It has also been a challenging year due to the global slowdown in the electronics and telecommunications sector, but at TR we have managed to overcome this with new business wins in other sectors, mainly due to the flexibility we can offer the market with our six Asian factories – which have the combined ability to manufacture a wide range of sizes and specifications from micro screws for disc drives to long engine bolts for automotive.
New investment in production and state-of-the-art inspection equipment for the Singapore and Malaysia manufacturing plants has meant that these plants have adopted 'zero defect philosophy', giving them a significant advantage over competitors. The Taiwan sites will also be moving in the same direction during 2014.
The Taiwan facility has reached maximum output, which means that we require further investment in plant and machinery to satisfy customer demand. As a result, we are reviewing the possibility of a new facility to bring under one roof all the plants that are currently multi-sited.
Due to our increased focus on the automotive industry, it has become necessary to obtain licences to manufacture patented parts and parts with trademarks.
We have recently added Philip's complete range of drive systems which include the newly patented Mortorq Super, and Acument's Strux clinch system to our range of proprietary products. We already have licences for Torx, Torx-Plus, MA Thread, Totsu-Pra and Quadrex, and we own the Pozidriv trademark. More licensing agreements are being negotiated in our strategic objective to be able to manufacture the most common globally available fastener designs that offer technical advantages to our customers.