After 30 years of providing effective bolt securing systems to the world, the Nord-Lock Group is now more dynamic than ever. Combining three technologies and companies into one Group has enabled Nord-Lock to offer a broader product range and deliver a unique package for customers.
“We recognised that there was an opportunity to further strengthen our offer and the value we can bring,” says Graham Souter, Sales Director for the European region.
“It was around 15 years ago when Nord-Lock Ltd joined, amongst others, Nord-Lock Inc as fully owned subsidiaries and that was the starting point for the company becoming the international group it is today. Since then we’ve continued to expand in more territories and this has been an important part of growing key relationships and bringing value to our customers and partners.”
THREE COMPANIES’ WORTH OF EXPERIENCE
Nord-Lock Group now has a broad range of expertise at its disposal thanks to the companies, technologies and knowledge vested in the people behind them. Nord-Lock began in 1982 when the company first developed the world-renowned Nord-Lock washers, manufactured in remote northern Sweden.
“Our products are designed to be used where failure is not an option,” says Kurt Persson, Nord-Lock Senior Advisor. “Developing these wedge-locking products with the customers’ application in mind makes us different – it has allowed us to excel at helping our customers and we continue to perfect it.”
In 2011, Nord-Lock Group acquired Superbolt, which dates back to the 1970s in the steel city of Pittsburgh, USA. Rolf Steinbock revolutionised the principle of jackbolts by replacing conventional nuts and bolts with multi-jackbolt tensioners and in the process eliminated many common bolting problems experienced by heavy industry in the area. The business grew and by 1988 Superbolt opened an additional site in St Gallenkappel, Switzerland, to accommodate demand from other industries. The similarities between Superbolt and Nord-Lock were many – including being the original developer of the technology, a strong focus on finding solutions even for the most challenging conditions and offering focused project engineering skills.
The story of Boltight, acquired by Nord-Lock Group last year, was initially the tale of Fred Heaton, who was involved with the development of hydraulic tensioning technology, near Birmingham. In 1999, Heaton started Boltight and, with a focused team, developed hydraulic bolt tensioning tools that are lightweight, compact and easy to use, and now used globally on many industrial applications. With much experience in meeting their customers’ requirements with state-of-the-art hydraulic tensioning, Nord-Lock Group had again found a suitable match for expanding its offering.
PRODUCT INNOVATION WITH SAFETY IN MIND
According to Andreas Maile, Nord-Lock Germany MD, the broadened product range (see below) is a key development.
“We are in a niche market where we need to have competence, experts and educated people,” he says. “Different industries demand different priorities, and having multiple product lines that meet the demands of the toughest applications is essential. Take product maintenance on a wind farm for example, or providing bolting solutions for acidic environments or extreme heat.
“The industries we serve are fast-developing and it is important to stay close to our customers, working together in these knowledge partnerships is vital for the mutual benefit and as the portfolio grows we can always find the right solution to any challenge.”
Nord-Lock Group says its product range is in tune with the marketplace’s latest developments. Its bolting solutions are available in the widest range of materials and sizes and it has often taken additional steps onwards from the original technology, such as the multifunctional wedge-locking technology of the X-series washers and the radial sleeve incorporated in Superbolt Expansion bolts.
European Sales Director Graham Souter explains: “Wedge-locking washers are the origin of our company. Both mechanical and hydraulic tensioning systems have their own strong advantages, so by offering the flexibility afforded by the additions of Superbolt and Boltight, we are able to meet our customers’ challenges head-on and deliver a complete package.”
With bolting solutions from Nord- Lock Group being fitted on millions of applications worldwide, safety is of upmost importance. The Nord-Lock Group is involved in sharing bolting knowledge daily, offering on-site and remote support, combined with the technical verification from in-house laboratories to ensure secure and optimised solutions for its customers.
Nord-Lock original washers: The original wedge-locking solution, which secures bolted joints with tension instead of friction. The trusted solution has full traceability and includes technical support.
Superbolt multi-jackbolt tensioners: Joints can be tightened with high accuracy without requiring specialised skills and using solely hand tools. The tensioners improve the bolt design, ensuring reliable operation and facilitated maintenance procedures.
Boltight hydraulic tensioning systems: Hydraulic tensioners with strong and robust designs ensure durability and long operating life. They offer standard and custom built tooling, supported by a range of ancillary equipment such as high volume pumps, flange pullers, nut splitters, hoses and fittings.