TOOL MANUFACTURING: KMR & BeA on automation and pneumatic growth

German tool manufacturer Behrens Group serves customers across the world, supplying nailers, industrial staplers and powered screwdrivers which are sold under either the BeA or KMR brand. Torque quizzed Paul Shepherd, National Sales Manager at the Behrens Group…

What are the big trends in the tools market at the moment?
The Behrens Group manufactures cordless, mains powered and pneumatic tools and one of the main trends we’re seeing is a shift towards a greater use of products in the latter area. We attribute this increasing popularity of pneumatic products to the pressure on UK housing stocks.

The need to build new properties ‐ and quickly – has helped to drive growth in offsite  construction. Pneumatic tools are ideally suited to the factory‐esque environments where this type of prefabricated building takes place and invariably contributes to better performance and increased production volumes.

Following on from this, we are also seeing greater use of our tools within fully automated fastening systems. The Behrens Group, through our BeA Autotec brand, has been a leader in this area for some time but demand has certainly surged of late. These automated solutions are again ideally suited to use in offsite construction.

What are the biggest challenges for tool manufacturers right now?
One of the biggest challenges for tool manufacturers is an enduring one – the need for continued improvement. The tool market is a crowded and competitive arena and no producer can afford to rest on their laurels.

Taking our business as an example, the Behrens Group offers tools which are renowned for their reliability and we’ve sought to build on that by seeking out areas where enhancements and refinements can still be made. For instance, we are increasingly using brass components because brass holds lubricant for longer than other materials contributing to better tool performance for extended periods of time.

To help inform our focus on continued improvement and our on‐going product development programmes, we stay as close as possible to the market in order to understand the evolving needs of end‐users. This enables us to accommodate and often anticipate new trends and keep apace of demands. As a case in point, we’ve recently developed a new 200mm staple for use in our tools which is better suited to fixing the thicker insulation being installed in modern homes.

How has your brand implemented automation into the production process?
Automated production technology has for some time been used by the Behrens Group to produce both our BeA and KMR tools. Doing so, helps support our success as one of the last major tool manufacturers that actually offers end‐user products made in mainland Europe.

Automation also ensures a myriad of further benefits such as better product consistency and ultimately increased tool reliability. In addition, it gives us greater control of cost and enables us to offer high quality, high specification products at a more competitive price.

KMR has recently officially launched in the UK and Ireland, where it is available from select retailers and distributors.

Read our interview with fellow tool manufacturer Wiha. 

This article was originally published in the February 2018 edition of Torque Magazine. Read the full magazine online here or subscribe for free

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