Hidden Technology

Design for screw is being awarded

Screws are one thing above all: a fast, safe and above all economical means of fastening. The range is huge and choosing the right screw is not always easy. Recently, one Fischer product stood out from the screw range: the PowerFast II model was awarded three design prizes.

Jun 07 2021

Is a screw just a screw? 

The subject of screws can be challenging. Which type of screw is the right one for a particular application? What effect do thread types have on utility? What is the difference between a wood screw and a metal screw?

Especially in structural timber construction, they are efficient and economical alternatives to conventional fasteners. To stand out from the mass of suppliers, a screw has to convince the user. Fischer's PowerFast II chipboard screws have done just that.  

PowerFast II: Successful in 2020 

Chipboard screws are very common and widely used. In 2020, the company Fischer launched the new chipboard screw, which has won several design awards since its market launch: From the head to the tip, the screw's technical features blend into a coherent overall design. This also results in the diverse application possibilities as well as the high load-bearing capacity and ease of installation of the fastener. 

The PowerFast II can be used for all wood-wood and wood-metal connections as well as with tested loads in plastic dowels. It ensures high holding forces and speeds up installation with its quick bite and short screwing time. Splitting of the workpiece is almost impossible, even with small edge and centre distances.  

Ralf Bäuerle, Product Manager Business Unit Wood Construction at the Fischer Group, explains why the screw won three awards last year. 

A screw is a complex element and an essential component of a fastening system. How difficult is it to develop such a component? What do you have to consider?  

In order for ideas to become successful products, it is important to develop them close to the customers and markets - taking into account the necessary approvals and assessments as well as the current rules and regulations of construction technology. Our company offered us all the appropriate framework conditions, facilities and equipment for the development of our PowerFast II - from the first sample parts to individual material technology to market readiness and in-house production of the screw. 

This included, for example, 3D printers, testing facilities, test setups and machines. This went so far that we were able to conduct approval tests for our wood screws in-house for the first time - for example, we stored wood test specimens in a specially air-conditioned container under the influence of temperature and humidity. 

But our company also created suitable conditions for the development of our PowerFast II through the capacities of our employees and external partners. We incorporated know-how from colleagues, universities, institutes and suppliers across borders, focusing on the market and customers in Europe.  

You recently received three awards for the PowerFast II chipboard screw. How can you win renowned design awards with a screw? 

The decisive factor here was the high degree of innovation of our PowerFast II. For the first time, a chipboard screw covers such a wide range of applications. The PowerFast II has an ETA (European Technical Assessment) for wood-wood and wood-metal connections and is also suitable for tested loads in our fischer plastic plugs - this is unique on the market so far. 

In addition, our new generation of partially threaded screws scores with its high load-bearing capacity as well as quick and easy installation. These advantages are made possible by the well thought-out screw design. All technical features, such as the thread, shank milling and bottom head geometry, are optimally coordinated with each other. 

How long did you work on the development of the screw until it fulfilled all the features that a chipboard screw has to fulfil for you? 

In the case of the PowerFast II, the development took several years. The PowerFast II is a completely new development. None of the features from the previous version FPF I were taken over. We have left no stone unturned. A separate team of developers worked on the product development process, focusing exclusively on the screws. 

How would you describe the geometry of the screw in a few words? What makes the screw so special?  

From the head to the tip, the Power-Fast II is cleverly designed to achieve particularly high load-bearing capacity and ease of assembly, as well as to cover a unique range of applications. All technical features fit into a coherent overall design that has been awarded the German Design Award 2020, the Red Dot in the "Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020" and the "Focus Open 2020 - International Design Award Baden-Württemberg".

Our PowerFast II ensures high holding forces and speeds up assembly with its fast bite and short screw-in time. Splitting of the workpiece is almost impossible, even with small edge and centre distances. Thanks to the clever geometry of the PowerFast II with its specially designed screw head, tearing of surfaces is reduced. 

Ralf Bäuerle has been working at Fischer for eight years. As a trained carpenter, master carpenter and state-certified construction technician, the 42-year-old has the necessary professional experience to support customers in product development and consulting in international product management today. 

Author: Bernadette Trepte

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