U.K.-based Gripple, a manufacturer of wire joiners and tensioners for agriculture and suspension solutions for the construction and solar industries, is celebrating the production of its one billionth fastener.

With 85% of Gripple’s fasteners going to export markets, the company’s products have been used in a wide range of agricultural and construction applications since production started at the original factory in Sheffield 35 years ago. The company currently has six manufacturing facilities in Sheffield. Over the past three-and-a-half decades, production at Gripple has advanced dramatically from hand assembly in the early days producing 800 per shift to becoming semi-automated to make 3,000 per shift to many variants now being fully automated and manufacturing 25,000 per shift. 

The company’s own Automation division is currently developing an 80 fasteners-per-minute machine, which will further speed up production and the checking process.