Since 1981, Bodegraven Metaal NV has been producing threaded rods and associated products from the North East of Belgium, in increasingly
Housed in a production site that covers 30,000m², the company exports across Europe and further afield, with warehouses in Italy and Dubai as well as Belgium and the UK. Specialising in the production of DIN 976-1, Bodegraven Metaal uses automated machines for reliability in terms of quality and delivery times.
At the start of the spring season, Torque quizzed Mr Martijn Wirken, Managing Director of Bodegraven Metaal NV on the technology and on the secrecy around production at the facility.
What can you tell us about Bodegraven Metaal’s offering to the industry?
Everything on Earth would like to get back to its original state. Steel threaded rods will be influenced by corrosion and manufactured
according to a standard, in our case DIN976-1 (the old DIN975). The standard of DIN976-1 is developed to give the assurance that quality is guaranteed. But what really happens is that a lot of manufacturers can’t compete with a commodity product, as in our case of threaded rods. They have found an easy way to reduce the cost of a threaded rod.
Let me explain – costs are cut by some manufacturers by reducing the topangle of a threaded rod, which should be 60 degrees. They reduce this angle which makes the core diameter smaller to reduce the use of steel, so what you actually buy is less steel. Put your threaded rods on a scale! You can understand that this reduces safety in construction. I have seen hanging constructions which have collapsed due to the use of a 50 degree topangle or less – less than 60 degree topangle is very dangerous!
Is quality the main strength of BOMET?
We deliver constant quality and we only manufacture 60 degree topangle according to the standard DIN976-1. Our customers can rely entirely upon this. We also have a high service level with short delivery time due to a massive stock of threaded rods. We have approximately 3,500 tons of finished threaded rods in our warehouses. Due to this our customers can reduce their own stocks and rely on our performance.
There are rumours that you don’t let everyone into your production area…?
Ha, yes once a customer had to hand over his purchase job to a new experienced colleague and he told him: “There are three great secrets in life; Who killed John F Kennedy? Is there extraterrestrial life? And how does BOMET produce threaded rods?” That was really fun to hear! But it is correct that no-one is allowed to visit our production area. Our 30,000m² site is fully automated, and machines are engineered by us. It is always a necessary point when we set up a new vendor that they check the production facility. We have to disappoint even the biggest customers – even quality managers are not allowed.
We are able to compete with manufacturers from China with our commodity product, due to our efficient production.
And you have had a warehouse and office in Dubai since the beginning of 2017?
Yes, to increase our service level in the Middle-East we had to set-up a local warehouse.
Because this market is very difficult to understand we had to open an office there. We have set-up BOMET Middle East FZE where we have chosen Dubai for the main office. Now our new sales manager is taking care of the Middle-East market and we will see how we can further develop in this region. But a little closer to home we have also set up a warehouse in Birmingham to supply the United Kingdom. Who knows what the next step will be?
You mentioned corrosion earlier – does zinc-plating take place at your facility?
Duroc NV located in Antwerp is also part of our company and it is there that we have different zinc-plating lines and apply other kind of surface treatments like zinc-flake coatings, (in)organic- and teflon coatings.
These are dedicated to fasteners like bolts and nuts and other manufacturers and wholesalers bring their material to that facility for surface treatment. Also in this combination you see more and more requests coming from the Middle-East to have high-end corrosion resistance coatings for fastener applications.
What about the future for Bodegraven Metaal?
In the short term we aim to increase our service level further to help our customers at an even higher level. As for other developments…you will have to wait and see.