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According to a survey by Populus, and commissioned by the campaign group A Plastic World, 9 out of 10 people welcome supermarkets introducing a ‘plastic-free aisle’.


The British Plastics Federation responded with a reminder that a major retailer tried selling cucumbers without plastic packaging. The retailer gave up due to the vast amount of wasted food that resulted.


The BPF went on to say, “Typically, food waste in stores increases by a third without packaging, so cutting out plastic packaging in areas within supermarkets would actually cause harm to the environment because the energy used to produce food is much greater than in the packaging protecting it. Plastic packaging uses less energy to produce than alternatives, reduces transport costs and CO2 emissions because it is lightweight, and significantly reduces the amount of food wasted by protecting it in a hygienic environment and extending its shelf life.


“Avoiding the protection of plastic packaging would also increase food waste during transit and once it reached the home. Plastics are a reusable resource that needs to be disposed of responsibly and recycled whenever possible — and focussing efforts on improving public understanding, reducing littering and enhancing the UK’s recycling infrastructure would be a better way of achieving a sustainable future.”


Lest anyone think the BPF is merely protecting its interests, the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. agrees. According to the EPA, more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single component of municipal solid waste (MSW).


The EPA explains, “The damaging environmental effects of wasted food start with food rotting in landfills, which releases methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.


“Thirteen percent of GHG emissions in the United States result from the growth, manufacturing, sale, transportation, and disposal of food. Additionally, large amounts of water and other resources are needed to grow and process food. More than a quarter of the total freshwater consumption per year in the United States is used to grow wasted food.”


Barry Turner, BPF Director of Plastics and Flexible Packaging, pointed out, “It is important that the public understands that plastic packaging is the greener option — it uses less energy to produce, reduces transport costs and CO2 emissions because it is lightweight, and significantly reduces the amount of fresh food wasted by protecting it in a hygienic environment and extending its shelf life.”


Turner also said that educating the public on their behaviour regarding issues such as the impact of littering was key to change.


In recent years, environmental awareness has gained significant momentum affecting almost all industries and business sectors, the engineering and manufacturing industry is no exception.


Manufacturers are constantly being asked how they can manage their businesses and develop products in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way. One of the products most commonly implicated by this is the fastener. A vital component in many engineering applications which can be used in an eco-friendly way by adopting a sustainable business approach.


Maximising the potential

The average modern vehicle requires approximately 50-200 fasteners, depending on the specifications of the vehicle. Manufacturers are constantly having to develop fastening solutions that meet all the demands of the necessary applications in the most efficient way. Given the huge number of fasteners being used at any given time, engineers must consider how a fastener should be used and where it is appropriate to find ways to reduce the number of required fasteners in any given product.


In most instances, engineers are not usually likely to consider the way each fastener is arranged. Therefore, it’s important to strategically install fasteners in a way which will ultimately minimise the number of fasteners required, thus cutting down the unnecessary use of raw materials for the entire project. Given that a “universal screw” for all applications does not exist, it is vital engineers map out their project in advance by choosing the right components for the application.

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For more advice about fastener and extensive range of our Products please call us on +60 36207 3333 or email [email protected]


Manufacturers face the pressure of developing innovative products in faster time-to-market deadlines, while delivering high levels of quality. While doing all of this, they have to minimise process waste, improve product quality or deliver breakthrough products that appeal to customers.


This is when you need to revisit your business model as it relates to product development. Actually, you have to go back to stage one: product design. Design has its own processes which need to be compressed while addressing manufacturing issues before problems arise at the factory.


How software can help

You can manage and standardise your entire design process, creating higher-quality products faster and less expensively with software You have plenty of choice: 2D or 3D computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer-aided engineering (CAE, and even a combination of all three.


To help you establish product platforms, software allows you to reuse a part or assembly as a template, which can dramatically reduce time and costs. This is especially helpful if your product contains fasteners.


It’s worth creating or buying a library of fastener symbols. You can then add these symbols to your drawing. From there, you can create a fastener by amending the size or shape. For example, you can adjust a screw’s diameter, change the length or amend the thread representation.


You can use specialised fastener software, such as Synocraft from Siemens, or rely on CAD technology that makes adding fasteners to your design a simple process. Some software lets you choose fastener variables and generate a fastener based on those specifications. Fastener software can allow you to choose your variables:


  • Type of screw or bolt
  • Type and placement of washers, if any
  • Type of nut, if any
  • Type of head, if relevant
  • Type of thread
  • Threading of holes or studs

Once you’ve given the information, a drawing is created based on your specification’s parameters. A library can also choose fastener assemblies for you, based on your target geometry. It can then constrain and position them in the design, making your job even easier.


It’s not just fasteners that design software can help you with, but every component and aspect of the job. If you haven’t yet, it’s worth checking out.

How do you manage and protect the cables your design requires?

We help you take on the challenges you face with an extensive range of cable management solutions, designed to make your design come to life and last longer. 


While aesthetics matter to the consumer market, cabling solutions also need to be easy to install for efficient production.
Enhance your latest design project with:

Quick-fit grommets – snap neatly and easily into place. Stands up to diverse temperature ranges
Cupped base cable tie holders – saves space while easily coping with high temperatures
Push mount ties – eliminates the need for separate cable holders. Accommodates bundles before or after mounting


Organise your cables and make them easy to access. With cables safely out of the way, you can also prevent accidents and the loss of data.
Give your design smart solutions:

Stand-off twist lock – easy to use and ideal when space is limited
Universal bushings – push-in design easily allows bushing to be assembled into holes that already contain a bundle
Hinged locking clamps – provides strain relief, protecting wires, cables and your product


Weather-proof solutions with guaranteed ingress protection – just what your outdoor enclosure needs to protect your cables and prevent costly repairs.
Protect your design project’s cabling with:

Nylon cable glands – secure cables to your equipment and keep them tidy. Colour choices let you colour code your cables
Cable clamps – Collate cables to keep them in place, neat and secure
Cable ties – tough, high-quality solutions available in a wide range of materials, sizes and colours


The perfect solutions for keeping automotive electrical wires bundled and protected from hot components and sharp edges.
Keep your design’s cables safe and secure with:

Heat-resistant cable ties – cost effective, strong, heat stabilised and flame retardant
Wire saddle – keep wires from tangling and moving around in vehicles
– easy-to-install protection from the sharp edges of unfinished sheet metal that can damage wires

With such a large variety of lock types on offer, it can be hard to select the perfect solution for your application. Our Top Tips Guide will explore some key areas for consideration and help to make your selection process easier.





The level of security you require for your lock depends on its intended use. An outdoor application that’s accessible by anyone will often require an extra heavy duty lock with an added push to close feature. A more controlled environment, such as industrial manufacturing, could use an easy to open quarter turn lock.

You can also consider the cylinder type, this will impact how the lock can be opened.

There are three main systems:

• Keyed alike – all locks opened by the same key

• Keyed different – each lock requires a unique key

• Master system – one master key can open all locks, even if they are keyed different

Understanding your security needs and who needs to access your locked application(s) is essential.



Your lock will be going into an application such as a door or panel that could be made from a number of materials. With each material there are different variables to consider.


 A wooden door is more suited to a furniture based lock with an anti-drill centre that could off er a higher level of security, which is necessary when bearing in mind that a wooden door is more susceptible to tampering.


For metal doors, it’s the depth of the door that impacts the lock you choose. Depending on depth, you’ll need to pick an appropriate housing that fits the application and offers the functionality you require. A cylinder cam lock offers a number of housing options as well as many style options.



The style of your lock has an impact on how it operates in its application. Think about how you would like to open and close your lock and if health and safety needs to be considered. If undergoing intensive use, then a lock with a ‘T & L’ handle or wing knob makes for smooth and quick operation.

When safety matters you can employ a flush fitting cabinet lock or paddle latch that will blend in seamlessly on a flat surface to help prevent accidental injury to the end user.



As important as your direct application, the external environment that you are functioning in plays a pivotal role in the selection of the right locking solution. The key factor affected by environment is the material you should choose for your lock.

Outdoor or harsh environments: These applications require added resistance to the elements, as such a material like Stainless Steel, which has a high resistance to corrosion1 should be used.

Indoor or stable environments: More standard and protected applications require less specific material features. A lock manufactured in a Die-Cast Zinc Alloy or Polyamide offers a more economical solution for times where a standard finished lock is acceptable.



Ease of use and ergonomics are paramount when getting the most out of your lock. Customer ease of use can be greatly increased by the presence of locking accessories and fixings. To help develop a favourable experience you could opt for a lock handle, which allows the end user to easily direct the locked device without wasting time in a busy working day.



If you’re looking to fix your lock in position, then adding a fixing ring can cheaply offer further protection against vibration, as well as preventing unnecessary movement in unsteady environments. In order to keep locks operable and functioning efficiently, a dust cap could be used. This is especially suited to a dusty or humid environment where locks are in constant operation. 


For more advice please call us on +60 36207 33331 or email [email protected]

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