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CONSTRUCTION FIXINGS


The company defines its target fields as: screws for universal use, for wood construction, for use in concrete and solid masonry; and less significantly the supply of special screws. It is fundamental to the company’s philosophy that its products


are all developed, produced and branded by HECO. “HECO is and will remain a screw producing company,” says Andreas Hettich. “This is very, very important to us. We do not want to secure the future of our company by transferring production to a low cost economy in the Far East. We want our company to develop and provide innovative screw solutions to the market – you could say, to make the business more and more intelligent.” A series of innovative product introductions over the last twenty


years underline the point very clearly. In 1990 HECO launched the HECO-FIX-plus®


, which in spite of the subsequent launch of new


screws with distinctive performance characteristics remains an active range programme. “In contrast to other manufacturers we believe it is correct to retain our original production series,” explains Andreas Hettich, “otherwise we would lose the ability to service some of our customers’ applications to the best of our ability.” HECO-FIX-plus, for example, continues to offer optimum performance when using a nylon plug. 1995, though, saw what appears, at first sight, to have been


a major departure from HECO’s woodscrew heritage. Within two years of its launch the patented MULTI MONTI®


screw anchor


was awarded a coveted innovation prize presented by the state of Baden-Württemberg. At ‘first sight’ because MULTI MONTI moved HECO firmly into the concrete, stone and brickwork fixings sector. “In reality,” says Andreas Hettich, “MULTI MONTI was an extension of the tooth design of HECO-FIX-plus® its potential universality we tried HECO-FIX-plus®


. In exploring in concrete


and brickwork – and it worked. Typical, you could say, of HECO we thought if we can do it in brickwork and concrete then we must optimise the performance in these new to us materials.” That heritage can be clearly seen on the starting threads of MULTI-MONTI where the teeth fulfil the same function of cutting the thread into the material. “From time to time,” Andreas Hettich continues with a


somewhat wry smile, “it is good not to know what you have to expect when starting a new product programe. If we had known how much money, how much work and how much resource we would invest in developing this screw, in obtaining the approvals and in convincing the market of it is effectiveness we might very well have never started.” Two very significant elements of that commitment were the necessity of developing calculation software to support users as well as achieving, as far as HECO was concerned, crucial approvals and certification for the product. The HECO Calculation Software is a powerful tool for precise planning, developed in-house and subsequently reworked and improved. User friendly and interactive its interface is well structured and precise – and now in seven languages. New three-dimensional graphics make planning easier and enable detailed presentation of construction plans. HCS is based on DIN 1052:2008-12 and will shortly be complemented by calculating capabilities conforming to Eurocode 5. For those not wishing to make the calculations themselves HECO also provides a calculation service, which aims to respond to customers within 24 hours.


“MULTI-MONTI achieved a series of firsts,” says Andreas Hettich.


“It was first to have the M10 diameter approved; it was the first with single approvals for cracked and for non-cracked concrete; the first with an ETA approval (ETA - 05/0011); and the first in stainless steel (ETA - 05/0011).” “Today, all the experience


we had in developing this screw, in developing the software calculations, in obtaining the approvals, is very, very helpful – because we know how to do these things and what to expect from the designers and the users.” It is an experience most recently resulting in the development of the MULTI-MONTI® -TimberConnect. The innovative soleplate anchor combines the patented concrete thread with a HECO wood thread. In this way, the MMS-TC (pictured right) guarantees simple and safe joining of wood elements to solid masonry and concrete as well as joists on concrete. Back to 2000 and the market saw for the first time the


HECO-TOPIX® -delivering, through revolutionary shank and point


geometry, performance and speed, and backed with building regulation approvals for both steel and stainless steel variants. Subsequent development saw the launch of HECO-TOPIX-T®


. for


securing soft roof insulation without damage through compressive force. 2007 saw the launch of HECO-TOPIX-CombiConnect®


Described by Andreas Hettich as a “typical example of offering innovative solutions and technical excellence” HECO-TOPIX-CC is a double thread screw for the wood construction sector, enabling transmission of high traction and compressive forces and carrying approvals for general construction applications. In 2010, though, HECO brought to market arguably its most


distinctive performing wood screw. HECO-UNIX is a patented full thread screw featuring a variable thread pitch, decreasing from the tip of the screw to the head, which creates a contraction effect, drawing together timber components and eliminating the need for clamping or other measures. Any number of words could be written about HECO-UNIX but a couple of simple demonstrations speak infinitely greater volumes and are utterly convincing in the performance and value of this new screw. By now it is questionable whether it need be said but quality


in all aspects of its business is an imperative for HECO. Actually imperative might be a rather lacklustre expression. “Safe and Secure” is not so much a slogan but - as a day in the company of its management and a unrestricted tour of its production, quality and training facilities irrefutably demonstrates - a way of daily life. Not that anyone in HECO finds that exceptional.


92 Fastener + Fixing Magazine • Issue 71 September 2011


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