Carpenters screwing together chipboard

Power-Fast II: No loose screws – guaranteed

21. September 2020

A faster bite, improved packaging, even higher maximum loads: fischer has launched its all-round upgraded chipboard screw that offers numerous advantages to tradespeople with the Power-Fast II. During our interview, Ralf Bäuerle from fischer’s international product management spoke about the screw’s advantages, the customer feedback that was incorporated into its development and why it required plenty of patience.

Mr Bäuerle, what makes wood such a fascinating construction material?

Ralf Bäuerle: Wood is a renewable construction material and no two pieces are the same. This means that I have to readjust the way I work with wood every single time. It’s completely natural, and its positive properties mean it is in high demand. There is a tremendous range of possibilities due to the great flexibility of wood.

It sounds as though wood could be the perfect construction material. Are there any pitfalls that should be taken into account?

Ralf Bäuerle: Due to the fact that wood is a natural growing construction material it has its weaknesses, of course. Tradespeople need to be aware of this and make sure that the wood doesn’t split when inserting screws close to the edge. They also need to watch out for branches and know how to properly handle fibres. The timber construction must also be adapted to weather influences.

Involved in new product developments: Ralf Bäuerle

Ralf Bäuerle has been working for fischer for eight years. As a qualified carpenter, master carpenter and certified civil engineer, the 42-year-old has the experience necessary to be able to offer high-quality customer support in the international product management department and to provide important input as the interface to the product development department.

How does the right fixings technology help overcome these disadvantages?

Ralf Bäuerle: The right screw makes it easier to install screws close to the edge, for instance. The speed at which the screw bites into the material is also an important criterion for fast and simple processing on the construction site. We work in close cooperation with our customers while developing our products in order to incorporate as many practical experiences as possible.

Can you name a specific example?

Ralf Bäuerle: We worked in close cooperation with tradespeople and DIYers while developing the Power-Fast II chipboard screw. We took the screw onto building sites in order to test it on location. This allowed us to test and compare it with other screws. We were given feedback that the screw had to be faster, that its bite required optimising and that the box needed overhauling compared to its predecessor. For this reason the Power-Fast II packaging now has a specialist waterproof coating which means it doesn’t soften as quickly when it rains. We also made the chute bigger which allows easier access to the screws. It may sound mundane, but this makes it significantly easier for tradespeople to work with. We also receive valuable feedback from our colleagues at the fischer Academy again and again, which means that a new and significantly improved chipboard screw was developed over the years.

Register now for the fischer Academy seminars!

The fischer Academy seminars offer all-encompassing specialist knowledge on innovative fixings solutions in wood construction. Our skilled training providers are pleased to pass their knowledge in this field on to you. For further information and to register, visit: https://www.fischer.co.uk/en-gb/training

Power-Fast II: For professionals and DIYers

How long does it take to develop a screw?

Ralf Bäuerle: The development process took several years in the case of the Power-Fast II. The screw is essentially an entirely new development. None of the features of the predecessor Power-Fast model were incorporated into the new version. We left no stone unturned. Here at fischer we have a specialist team of three employees for this process that exclusively deals with the development of screws.

Three members of staff to develop one screw – wood construction appears to be an important field for fischer.

Ralf Bäuerle: We are one of the market leaders for screws in the Nordic countries, and this area is growing rapidly in Germany. Our innovative fixings technology products have been on the market for years, and more will follow over the coming years, especially since ecological construction is becoming increasingly important.

Chipboard is also a growing trend alongside ecological construction. What do you make of this development?

Ralf Bäuerle: OSB, or oriented strand board, has in fact become increasingly common. This is due to the fact that modular construction, prefab houses, multi-storey timber construction and the aforementioned ecological construction are becoming more and more important. We have to adapt to that as a company, which we have already done with the specialist development of the Power-Fast chipboard screw and will continue to do with additional innovative products in future.

What advantages does the new screw offer compared to the previous version?

Ralf Bäuerle: We made sure that the coating no longer contains any chrome VI, as this is carcinogenic for the employees of the electroplating firms that manufacture this type of coating. We therefore wanted to avoid this at all costs. And there are many aspects we optimised in terms of handling: The screw not only bites into the material faster, it is also significantly easier to screw in than the Power-Fast I. The screw can also carry heavier loads and can be used for various plugs as well as for metal components. This makes the Power-Fast II more versatile and an interesting option for DIYers.

See the advantages in our video now!

The screw won multiple awards even before it officially launched. Tell us how proud this makes you.

Ralf Bäuerle: We are really pleased about this. As I already mentioned, it takes several years to develop a screw. These awards show us that we are on the right track with the product. At the same time, the award demonstrates that our work was really worth the effort and that the lads in the development department did a great job.

Want to find out more about the new Power-Fast II and its diverse range of applications? Click here to go to the innovative chipboard screw!

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