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EU prescribes captive fasteners for protective guards: SAVETIX® safely solves the problem

EU schreibt Maschinenbau unverlierbare Schrauben vor: Mit Savetix auf der sicheren SeiteIn time for the start of the new year, Rafflenbeul, a fourth-generation family firm based in Hagen, Germany with over a hundred years of experience, is able to offer engineering firms throughout Europe its Savetix captive screw technology. The new EU Machinery Directive has been in force since the start of 2010. Amongst other changes, this Directive requires fasteners – that is, screws – to remain attached to the protective guards or corresponding parts when they have been removed from the machine, in other words, it must not be possible for them to fall off into the machine, which often happened before during repairs.

EU prescribes captive fasteners for protective guards: Savetix safely solves the problem

This ingenious solution provided by Rafflenbeul means that customers can quickly and easily secure screws in such a way that they are attached to the protective guard and cannot fall off. This ensures that every protective guard is fully intact after every repair or maintenance job, including all the fasteners. Rafflenbeul offers its captive screw technology in three different forms: As a simple metal component or as one of two variations equipped with adhesive, based on our "Montix" self-adhesive washers, developed a year ago. The new EU Directive states that no machine may be brought to market in the EU and bear the CE mark if the fasteners on the protective guards can be lost. This applies, of course, also to machines imported into the EU.

Source: Südwestfälische Wirtschaft newspaper

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EU prescribes captive fasteners for protective guards

Rafflenbeul's Savetix safely solves the problem

Small and unobtrusive: Rafflenbeul's captive screw technology, “Savetix®”
Small and unobtrusive: Rafflenbeul's captive screw technology, “Savetix®” (Photo: Rafflenbeul)
Hagen, Germany. (ME, 02.01.10) Steve is a 26-year-old fitter. One of his tasks is the daily maintenance jobs on a number of machines. As one would expect, one of the key tools he uses all the time is the screwdriver which he needs for opening up various assemblies. Steve is a qualified tradesman and is well in control of his job, but even so maverick screws have been known to get lost as he removes parts, and sometimes they are irretrievable. This is not only annoying for him, it can also have serious consequences if such small metal parts end up somewhere where they really should not be…

This issue has been discussed as far away as Brussels. Bureaucrats at the EU have responded to such issues by including a passage in EU Directive 2006/42/EC, the Machinery Directive which came into force at the beginning of this year. "The EU has been talking about this new Machinery Directive for some years, but it is still not well known in all fields of industry," points out Martin Rafflenbeul. The Managing Director and qualified engineer of this traditional engineering firm in Hagen, Germany, explains the connection: "Amongst other things, this EU Directive requires all machine housing covers, hatches and doors that need to be opened to perform maintenance tasks or load the machine to be fitted with captive screws." The emphasis is on their being "unlosable". In other words, the minor problem faced by Steve every day must now never happen.

Understandably, the first German manufacturers have been analysing the Directive - one of these is Rafflenbeul, an engineering firm that has existed here for over a hundred years. "We see this Machinery Directive as a new opportunity - firstly to create an appropriate secure system to meet the needs of German engineering companies and, secondly, to expand our presence in the engineering field." Understandably, this modest-looking metal washer will have the added effect of securing jobs at the factory on Eilper Strasse in Hagen. "Rafflenbeul did not dismiss any employees during the recent crisis and that's the way we want it to stay," stresses the Managing Director.

Rudolf Rafflenbeul, a fourth generation family-run firm, specialises in blanked and cold-formed components and has often proved its skills as an innovator - back in the 1920s the company developed and marketed a key component for the railway industry worldwide: a rail securing system known as Fe6. For decades, the Fe6, a ring-shaped spring used to link rails to the sleepers, was used and over 300 million of them were sold. The company also demonstrated that it has its finger on the pulse when, a year ago in 2009, Rafflenbeul created a stir in the automative and engineering sectors with its self-adhesive washer system, Montix (this newspaper reported exclusively), which has also aroused the interest of American customers.

In time for the start of the new year, Rafflenbeul is able to offer engineering firms throughout Europe its Savetix captive screw technology, which fully meets the new demands of the EU Machinery Directive. "There may be other ways of manufacturing captive screws, but our solution is simply the easiest and the best", enthuses Martin Rafflenbeul confidently. The statement was not actually coined by him but by a number of renowned engineering companies that have already trialled the product.

In keeping with the slogan "Fit fast, hold fast", this captive screw system, named Savetix, has been on the market for several weeks. Martin Rafflenbeul describes the benefits of Savetix: "With our solution, all our customers will, in future, be able to secure their screws quickly and easily and ensure that the screws stay attached to the cover, door or guard for ever. This ensures that every door is fully intact after every maintenance or installation job, including all the fasteners. This prevents machine failures and protects end users because, in the food processing industry, for example, no fastener can fall into the food any more."

Christoph Rafflenbeul-Dormeyer, Technical Managing Director since 1 April 2009, continues: "Our first mass production orders are being included in engineering projects - but the range of sizes is still a bit restricted. As soon as we possibly can, we will be extending the range to include all the standard screw gauges. At the latest from the beginning of February 2010 we are expecting considerable demand for these products." Understandable, because by then, the importance of the new provisions in the EU Directive will have done the rounds in the engineering sector…

Source: Wochenkurier

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Rudolf Rafflenbeul, firmly established company in Hagen, Germany, has its finger on the pulse.

In time for the start of the new year, Rafflenbeul is able to offer engineering firms throughout Europe its captive screw technology.

The EU has been talking about this new Machinery Directive, which came into force on 29.12.2009, for some years. Amongst other changes, this Directive requires fasteners to remain attached to the protective guards or corresponding parts when they have been removed from the machine. We see this Machinery Directive as a new opportunity - firstly to create a new product and, secondly, to expand our presence in the engineering field.

With our solution, all our customers can secure their screws quickly and easily and ensure that the screws stay attached to the guard as captive fasteners. This ensures that every protective guard is fully intact after every repair or maintenance job, including all the fasteners. So no more screws can fall into the ketchup in the food processing industry, for example. Our first mass produced batches will soon be fitted to the machines serviced by Steve and those machines are food-processing machines for worldwide distribution.

We offer our captive screw technology in three different forms. As a simple metal component or as one of two variations equipped with adhesive, based on our self-adhesive washers "MONTIX®". The new product, by the way, is called "SAVETIX®". SAVETIX® captive screw technology will appeal to every engineering company since the new EU Directive states that no machine may be brought to market in the EU and bear the CE mark if the fasteners on the protective guards can be lost. This applies, of course, also to machines imported into the EU. They have to made "unlosable" before the machines are sold here. We are pleased to be able to offer our customers in this new field a patented solution."

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