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Bolt and Engineering explains the ‘humble’ fastener’s huge role in creating strong, durable structures and cladding

A far cry from the utilitarian ‘boxes’ of old, modern buildings are now beautiful architectural statements and brand extensions down to the finest fastening detail. Bolt and Engineering Distributors (B.E.D.) Group CEO Mike Giltrow explains how the company is contributing to meet the rising demand for quality cladding system solutions.

Mike Giltrow, CEO
Bolt and Engineering Distributors (B.E.D) Group

Buildings and structures of all types – from shopping centres to industrial warehous- es – have changed. Cladding is playing more of an aesthetic role than ever – and so too is the ‘humble’ fastener. Fasteners are extremely important in the construc- tion industry, including in the design and construction of cladding. While fasteners may be regarded by some as a more minor (and therefore less important) cladding requirement, this could not be further from the truth.

Mike Giltrow, CEO of the Bolt and Engineering Distributors Group, explains: “Fasteners must hold the cladding together – and indeed the structure as a whole – thereby ensuring its integrity and longevity, while also playing a critical role in keeping the cladding intact and able to withstand harsh weather elements over time.”

The B.E.D. Group is synonymous with safety and quality, enjoying longstanding relationships with its customers and showcasing an impressive portfolio of products from leading global and local suppliers. As such, B.E.D. bases its operations on trust, integrity, continuous improvement and the ‘100/0’ ethos of taking 100 percent responsibility and accountability – to help customers ‘find the perfect fit, fast’.

Wide-ranging construction services

Giltrow clarifies that construction projects have varying specifications and requirements with regards to holding together materials in the final designed structure. The use of industrial fasten- ers – including bolts, nuts, washers, screws and plating – is essential for completion of the structure.

“While nuts and bolts are often overlooked and may not seem important, you cannot hold any structure together without them,” he explains. “Likewise, washers are essential in ensuring effective sealing, preventing leakage and water ingress. It is by paying attention to the so-called ‘little things’ that we take care of the big things, ensuring excellent products, solutions and customer service.”

Aesthetic glass roof with steel frame

In addition to offering fastener solutions to the industrial steel and construction sectors, B.E.D. also offers bearings, welding and cutting technology; as well as support and repair services.

“B.E.D. has been supplying the construction and engineering industry with quality tools and fasteners since our establish- ment in 1983,” adds Giltrow. “Today, we have many different industrial products – from fasteners to welders and bearings – and a distribution capability which extends throughout South Africa and into sub-Saharan Africa. We are familiar with the role of fasteners throughout the construction process, from the foundations through to the main body of the structure and into the roofing.”

Cladding and quality

“Fasteners are tremendously important in keeping cladding robust at all times, and quality is critical. The screws used in cladding must be correct and to the highest standards in protecting the structure, for example against extreme weather conditions such as high wind shear levels, which can potentially lift a roof right off,” notes Giltrow.

“However, it should be noted that supplying fasteners and indeed any tooling or equipment based only on price – and not quality – can potentially cause serious construction issues. At B.E.D, we go to great lengths to ensure that we are compliant at all times – safety and quality in this regard is absolutely critical.”

B.E.D. and the SAISC

Giltrow says B.E.D. is very pleased to be a member of the SAISC, and was excited to return as a sponsor of the annual SAISC Steel Awards in 2022, having played this supporting role in previous years also.

“The local steel industry and value chain is an important economic contributor, as well as improving people’s lives through construction and infrastructure projects. B.E.D. is passionate about structural work – including the overall aesthetics of the finished building – where cladding plays an important role,” he enthuses.

“With the approach of ‘it’s our business to know your business’, B.E.D. is here at all times to cater to the steel and construction sector’s fastener, tooling, bearings and welding equipment requirements, with a turnkey supply for the foundations all the way to the roof. We are able to assist in keeping your materials of construction cut, welded, fastened and working as they should!” he concludes.

Steel panel facade with windows
(L-R) Vivienne Fouche, writer at Kendal Hunt Communications, Mike Giltrow, CEO at Bolt and Engineering Distributors Group, Kendal Hunt, Owner and MD of Kendal Hunt Communications, Amanuel Gebremeskel, CEO SAISC and Denise Sherman, management consultant SAISC

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