Evolution of a fastener 27 November 2013

GBK UK Limited, formerly known as Tech-Fast.com Ltd, designs and supplies technical plastic fasteners, closures and components for customers active in all major market sectors, including building and construction, electrical and electronic, furniture, shop-fitting and point of sale, and transportation.

GBK’s customers include small regional businesses, major global businesses, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and technical distributors throughout Europe, North and South America and the Indian sub-continent. Product volumes range from 100 pieces to millions of units being used by the customers in their products.

The core product ranges are divided into the following groups – panel fasteners, panel access fasteners, panel access latches, motion control dampers, point of sale, cable management, cable and panel protection, and fluid control.

“At GBK we consider our core product range to be central to the assemblies they are used within and refer to them collectively as ‘DNA for assemblies’ literally the building blocks of those products,” comments Peter Green, managing director at GBK UK Ltd.

Peter Green explains that often a single part can develop several versions for different applications and markets. For instance the 47018 – Pine Tree Clip originally started as a standard Pine Tree Clip, which had an unusually thin head thicknesses of 0.8mm, but a 19mm head diameter. This made it ideal for automotive and furniture applications. The fixing hole size required is 6.4mm (¼ inch) with a panel range of 2.7mm – 7.3mm.

GBK produced the tooling for the 47018 – Pine Tree Clip in such a way that it could have ‘version changes’ produced at very little cost. This was exactly what GBK decided to do, producing the 47058 – Looped Tree Clip and subsequent to that the 47059 – Latched Tree Clip. These version changes were specifically targeted at using the very effective fixing, but enabled the part to have cable ties, purse locks or cable fastened to or through the head of the part. GBK points out that these two items are currently the only lightweight fixings approved by a major construction product company for managing pipe or cable in their installations.

From there GBK developed the standard fastener further to produce the 47120 and 47121 Hook & Loop Clips, which are effectively the standard item with a Velcro coin of either hook or loop material attached to the head of the part. This gives not only a panel fastener, but also a secondary fixing point for material or other media in either automotive and furniture trim or point of sale applications.

The next step of development saw all of these standard moulded items being produced in a crystal clear material, making them ideal for point of sale signage or hanging applications, adding to the significant quantity of clear fasteners already available. These fixings can be used in steel, brick, block, wood, glass or plastic, as well as other base substrates.

Over recent years GBK UK Ltd has seen significant growth and product development, which has in turn led to a new e-commerce website, as well as other key strategic business decisions. “All of these developments have enabled us as a company to provide customers with ‘engineered solutions to everyday problems’, and we will continue to do so into the future,” adds Peter Green.


Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 743 889

Having spent a decade in the fastener industry experiencing every facet – from steel mills, fastener manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, as well as machinery builders and plating + coating companies, Claire has developed an in-depth knowledge of all things fasteners.

Alongside visiting numerous companies, exhibitions and conferences around the world, Claire has also interviewed high profile figures – focusing on key topics impacting the sector and making sure readers stay up to date with the latest developments within the industry.