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Clufix Launches Third Generation Assembly Process Fastener

CLUSES, France, January 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Ground-breaking Leankeasy  single step blind rivet bolt comprises screw and nut, results in dramatic cost savings

Clufix, which designs, develops and produces fixing and assembly solutions for sheet metal and plastic parts, has launched a new fastening device that looks set to revolutionise the assembly process in the automotive industry, and a range of other manufacturing sectors. 

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The Leankeasy blind rivet bolt is a single, ready-to-set, pre-assembled component comprising both a screw and a nut. The product is completely unique, as crimping the nut and screwing the screw occur in the same step, providing a wide range of benefits, including significant cost savings.

Éric Massebeuf, director of Clufix, which is based in the fine mechanics cluster area in the city of Cluses, in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, explains that the launch of Leankeasy represents a new era for assembly process fastening products. "The first generation of products comprised just basic nuts and bolts," he says. "The second generation - which emerged in the 1920s, became more widely used after 1945, and is still here today - has involved engineered fasteners (self-clinching nuts, cage nuts, blind rivet nuts, weld nuts, threaded inserts…) preparing the metal sheet support by setting a threaded component, but still using nuts and bolts separately. The third generation has now arrived with the launch of Leankeasy."

The key change is that, whereas using second generation products involves not only two components - the separate nut and bolt, but also two steps - the pre-setting of the nut and the final assembly - by contrast, with Leankeasy, only the one component and one simple step is required.

Massebeuf adds: "Leankeasy is the first truly game-changing innovation in this field for about 90 years. That is why this product is wowing people."

Leankeasy  is simple and easy to use, and requires no setting equipment and comparatively few assembly items and parts. And, crucially, costs are reduced dramatically. Due to the extent to which it simplifies the setting process, all the costs associated with this process, including labour, are reduced by more than a half when Leankeasy is used, resulting in an average total cost saving of 35%.

And for some applications, the cost saving is even higher. A manufacturer of tractors has reported a cost saving of 33%, while an elevator manufacturer that uses panels of up to two metres in length has said that its costs have been reduced by as much as 70%.

Since the start of 2013, as part of the validation process prior to its launch, Clufix has tested Leankeasy with around ten different customers, including tier one and tier two suppliers to the automotive industry, as well as manufacturers of elevators, tractors and electricity generators. Clufix began developing Leankeasy towards the end of 2010.

The key markets at which Leankeasy is initially being targeted are France, Germany, Italy and the UK. Clufix plans to begin selling the product to the US automotive industry from 2015.

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Clufix designs, develops and produces fasteners and fastening parts that act as fixing and assembly solutions on sheet metal and plastic parts.

The company, which is based in the fine mechanics cluster area in the city of Cluses, in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, provides its customers with turn key product and process solutions that offer a range of benefits, including significant cost reductions. It works closely with its clients, offering a project-oriented and highly customised service that results in real differentiation for the customer.

Clufix supplies a wide range of industries, with the automotive and railway sectors each accounting for 25% of turnover, telecommunications energy 15%, trucks and trailers 8%, construction and agriculture 5% each, and other markets 17%. Around 65% of Clufix sales are exports, with the leading markets Europe, China, India and the USA.

Clufix employs around 60 people, comprising a team of specialist application industrial engineers, as well as a customer-oriented R&D team, and production and purchasing teams.

The company has a high level of manufacturing know-how, specialising in cold forming and bar turning, heat treatment and surface treatment, and focuses on integrated manufacturing for controlled quality. In order to enhance its customers' competitiveness, innovation is central to Clufix's philosophy, and it has applied for more than one patent over each of the last five years.

Media contact : Eric Massebeuf, +33-4-50-98-13-13, [email protected]

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