Torque Magazine dives deeper into the world of special fasteners with Owlett Jaton, SFC, Smith Bullough, Optimas and Hague Fasteners…

Owlett Jaton

Owlett-Jaton offers a comprehensive specials service that can be broadly split into five categories:

• Coatings • Thread patching • Machining • Inspection and tolerances • Bespoke to drawing

Coatings are generally used to improve corrosion resistance. These may be electroplated such as bright zinc plating, heat-based such as hot-dip galvanising or sheradising, or organic zinc flake coatings such as Geomet. In addition to coatings for corrosion, additional topcoats can also be applied to assist with torque tensioning control. Owlett-Jaton provides 18 different coating options to meet the needs of customers.

Thread patching can ensure that parts are securely locked into position after assembly, so assisting loss of clamp load due to vibration. Thread patches can also be used to improve sealing in gas, oil and other liquid industry applications. Owlett-Jaton offers a full range of patches, which may also be combined with coatings.

Machining of fasteners can range from simple drilling to allow the insertion of locking split pins or cutting to length and chamfering, through to more complicated modifications such as rethreading and shank diameter reduction. Machining services can also be combined with coatings and patches.

In some applications, the fastener may conform to an international standard but have closer tolerances for that application. This may require specific manufacture or advanced inspection techniques such as optical measuring and sorting to ensure the specification is met.

In some cases, a unique fastener is required and has to be specifically sourced to a drawing. Owlett-Jaton provides a fully bespoke service to meet these unique requirements of manufacturing and finishing.

Owlett-Jaton’s specials service covers all of these aspects and provides Country of Origin and full batch traceability to all of its special products, backed up by its ISO 9001:2015 quality systems and ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system. As special fasteners often end up in demanding applications, they may require additional certification such as Initial Sample Inspection Reports (ISIR) or Production Part Approval Process (PPAP). ISIR and PPAP up to level 3 can be provided by Owlett-Jaton.

Owlett-Jaton can help with all customer requirements and provide the technical and documentary back up needed to be a reliable partner in this area. Any enquiries should be directed to Owlett-Jaton’s sales offices or Field Sales Team.


SFC (Europe) Ltd is a customer-focused manufacturer and stockholder of bolting, for use in a variety of sectors covering Oil & Gas, Subsea, Petrochemical, Defence, Nuclear and Renewables.

Its Midlands-based facility combines manufacturing, stockholding, and distribution centre in one location. All products are Fully Certified and Traceable, with all processes controlled under the auspices of the company’s ISO-9001:2015 & PED 2014/68/EU accredited Quality Management Systems.

SFC Europe strives to maintain and, where possible, exceed its client’s expectations with regards to product requirements, manufacturing processes and testing procedures.

Thanks to sponsors, Aker Solutions ASA, the latest development within SFC (Europe) Ltd is the achievement of securing the prestigious manufacturing accreditation of NORSOK M630 2020 D60 / D60L. This achievement enables SFC (Europe) Ltd to be included on the Equinor TR2000 approved manufacturers list. This approval enables the company to manufacture studbolts, headed product and nuts in UNS S32760 SA from ½” (M12) to 2.1/2” (M52) diameter.

To strengthen its position in the supply chain, SFC Europe Ltd has invested substantially in raw material from its nominated and approved mills, as per its Manufacturing Summary, SFC-MS-001, document. Part of this has been used to manufacture the core stock of studding, rolled in house, ready to be cut, chamfered and marked, with a large range of nuts being manufactured in parallel, in order to satisfy clients urgent demands for studbolt assemblies. A large proportion of this material will remain as round bar which, by utilising the on-site processing capabilities, will be devoted to the production of hexagon bolts, setscrews and socket product, as per the QTR.

The SFC Europe Ltd client base covers a broad range of global end user and distribution networks, including oil & gas operators (both upstream & downstream), OEM equipment manufacturers, fabrication, pipework, and installation applications.

As well as the above NORSOK product range, its core stock also includes studding, studbolts, headed product and nuts, in both finished and semi-finished forms as per the ASTM/ASME grades.

Holding large stocks of raw materials, including Duplex, Super Duplex, and the high Nickel alloy series such as Monel, Inconel, Incoloy and DEF-STD grades, enables the company to offer fast track delivery of non-standard items.

Additionally, the well-equipped manufacturing division enables SFC to provide a comprehensive service to produce Special Engineered Fasteners and Precision CNC Machined Parts to customer drawings or specifications, supported by ancillary requirements for Non-Destructive, Mechanical and Impact Testing, all under 3rd Party Witness upon request.

Products can be supplied with a variety of coatings including Zinc, Zinc Nickel, PTFE, Hot Dip Spun Galvanised.

"SFC Europe strives to maintain and, where possible, exceed its client's expectations with regards to product requirements, manufacturing processes and testing procedures."

Smith Bullough

A rising force in the market of bespoke fastener manufacturing, Smith Bullough is constantly expanding its production capabilities with new staff, machines, and methods of work.

To give some insight into the sort of projects currently being taken on by the company, here are a couple of examples of recent finished products ready to be sent out to the customers:

Here we see a fully-custom turned piece for a valve manufacturing company. These components were fully CNC-machined from round bar to their final state – with some final finishing work to ensure the parts are safe for handling. Precision-machined from EN24T steel and to a tolerance of 0.05mm (0.002”), each part coming out of the CNC systems is identical to the one before, ensuring consistency for the end customer.

While these parts came with some awkward features to machine, Smith Bullough’s team of CNC operators were able to rise to the challenge. The cross-drilled tip at the end of the threads and the requirements for a thin, curved profile at the other end of the part made this design wholly unique for the Smith Bullough team.

Next, these threaded flange bolts with a specified undercut were made using a variety of techniques:

With blanks forged in-house with Smith Bullough’s forge presses, shanks and heads turned down on CNC systems, and rolled threads– these custom pieces demonstrate the wide variety of manufacturing techniques available to Smith Bullough in creating fully-bespoke parts and non-standard fasteners.

Comprised of standard features arranged in non-standard fashion, these parts have been manufactured in large quantities to customer requirements. Plenty more pieces just like this are currently in the works for Smith Bullough, and the company hopes to take on more complex and challenging projects going forwards.


Boasting an already impressive capacity list, Barton Cold-Form’s vast array of cold heading, secondary ops and thread rolling machines, have been bolstered with the addition of advanced Nedschroef NH518L and NH515 five die cold formers, Smart NG W40 SEMS thread roller and a Smart NP 24-DD pointing machine.

With this technology, Barton can produce quality fasteners with an increased range of dimensions (6-175mm length, 2-18mm diameter) and in even greater volumes, yielding upwards of 7000 fasteners per hour.

This machinery ensures Barton can provide a diverse and comprehensive range of services including integrated engineering, rapid prototyping and quality testing capabilities for quick turnarounds and full-scale production.

Furthermore, Optimas provides >

• Superior quality fasteners (bolts, nuts, rivets, and screws) • Cold Forming (Length 6 – 175mm, Diameter 2 – 18mm) • Licensed drive types (including Remform®, MATHhread® and Taptite 2000®) • Rapid prototyping and full-scale production • World class engineering • Cost-effective, supply-chain stability

Optimas substantially increased capability and capacity - ready to meet any fastener requirements that customers might have, no matter the complexity.

Hague Fasteners

Hague Fasteners has announced that it has manufactured and donated new wheel studs to help in the refurbishment of a classic Guy Victory Coach originally built in Wolverhampton in 1960.

The restoration is one of many projects undertaken by the Aston Manor Road Transport Museum, which is entirely volunteer-run and self-funded. With the charitable manufacturing wheel stud donation by Hague Fasteners, the project continues which will soon see the classic vehicle back on the road.

The Museum started over 40 years ago as the West Midlands Vintage Vehicle Society, a group of owners of preserved buses who needed somewhere to keep their vehicles, and who rented a barn just north of Wolverhampton.

When Birmingham City Council found they had a redundant tram depot needing occupation, the WMVVS stepped in and the Museum was born, changing the name to Aston Manor Road Transport Museum accordingly.

Jon Hague, Managing Director of Hague Fasteners, said: “We are proud to have made the wheel studs as a charitable donation to ensure a piece of classic Wolverhampton and Great British manufacturing preserved for future generations to see and enjoy. Whilst we work extensively with modern technologies and futuristic projects is fantastic to continue supporting classic restorations and the hard work of time hardened British Engineers. The Guy Motors plant is a piece of Wolverhampton fine manufacturing history and it’s great to give a little back and ensure its great history is preserved.”

The Victory was an export only chassis, and was popular in Belgium, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, and this coach is a reminder of the large number of vehicles exported from the UK, and the Midlands in particular; now, no new coach chassis are built in the UK and most UK coaches come from exactly the same areas as Guy Motors used to sell to – Van Hool from Belgium, VDL (DAF) from the Netherlands and Scania and Volvo from Sweden.

The bus was bought from new by Franky Tours, a small coach company based in Bruges, and had a very futuristic locally built body by Jonckheere. Unfortunately, in 1965, it rolled into a ditch in Germany, distorting the body so badly it was beyond repair, so a new, all-steel welded body was fitted by Van Hool, in a record turn round of 14 working days.

Despite having the engine running within a few weeks of its arrival, restoration has not been as straightforward as the museum had hoped, with the trials of the coronavirus prolonged lockdown not helping, but they are now looking at making serious progress. The museum continues to seek the support of local businesses to help in their numerous restoration projects and anyone who would be willing to donate their time or products are invited to get in touch.

Hague Fasteners is a manufacturer of all types of fasteners in small quantities, supplied with rapid breakdown deliveries. The company produce a variety of all bolts and nuts, from a one-off single prototype, through 5pcs, 10pcs, 25pcs, 50pcs and so on up to a large Special production run of several hundred components.