Interview with Lars Holm, Managing Director of BUMAX - FASTENER EUROPE MAGAZINE
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Interview with Lars Holm, Managing Director of BUMAX

Please tell us about BUMAX.
BUMAX is a leading producer of premium stainless steel fasteners for the most demanding applications – where standard fasteners are simply inadequate. We have the most comprehensive range of stainless steel fasteners on the market that combines a wide range of properties, from high strength and corrosion resistance to temperature resistance and magnetic permeability.

The majority of our fasteners are cold forged at our own facilities in Sweden where we have made cold forged stainless fasteners since 1926. Cold forging provides a superior product with increased strength and enhanced fatigue resistance. We source stainless steel from premium suppliers in Europe according to rigid specifications on chemical composition, a low content of trace elements, as well as low inclusion and slag content.

Where are you active in the world?
We are most active in Europe but cooperate with a global network of distribution partners to serve customers all around the world. All our fasteners are made in our own facility in Åshammar in the Swedish ‘steel belt’ in central Sweden.

How does BUMAX differ from its competitors?
What differentiates us from other suppliers is our comprehensive range of premium stainless steel fasteners, the unparalleled quality of our products and the way we collaborate with our customers. This enables us to provide solutions that meet the specific needs of our customers while promoting sustainability and reducing lifecycle costs. We are sometimes the only supplier on the market that can fully meet the needs of our customers for their most demanding applications.

How can premium stainless steel fasteners promote sustainability and reduce lifecycle costs?
As premium stainless steel fasteners typically optimize a product’s lifecycle by offering improved product performance and minimizing maintenance requirements, they reduce lifecycle costs and environmental impact. In addition, approximately 80% of the stainless steel we source is derived from recycled raw materials and our products are easy to recycle at their end of life.

How has BUMAX coped with the pandemic and other recent issues?
The last couple of years have been challenging in several different ways – including managing staff in different regions that were subject to differing Covid policies and continually changing situations. However, we have adapted to the ever-changing situation and managed to continue pretty much without any long-term adverse effects on our business. We achieved excellent sales in 2021, with an 18% increase in turnover despite the challenges related to the pandemic.

As with most businesses, we now have some supply chain issues, are subject to increased steel prices and even shortages of auxiliary materials and supplies. But what differentiates us is our flexibility, adaptability and agility as a small company with a great culture that enables us to cope with challenges.

What are your goals and expectations for the future?
BUMAX is a stable company with a long-term commitment to product innovation, and continued growth and expansion. Our production is currently running at maximum capacity to keep up with the continued strong demand for our products. Given the new customer projects we currently have in the pipeline and indications regarding ongoing business from our existing customer base, we anticipate strong growth to continue throughout 2022. We continue with our investment plans as we move forward with our ambitious target to double our turnover over the next five years.

What are your target markets going forward?
Our key geographical markets have traditionally been in Europe, but with distribution partners all around the world. Going forward, we plan to further develop our coverage of key European markets as well as increasing our presence in the US and Asia. We are increasingly drawing on our network of Bufab sister companies and our global network of distributors to further improve our offering around the world.

What events do you plan to participate in 2022?
Many of the exhibitions that BUMAX will be attending in the coming months will be focused on our key industry sectors with much of our traditional customer base. We plan to exhibit at several exhibitions throughout Europe in industry sectors such as marine, offshore, renewable and nuclear energy, industrial process equipment and fasteners.

What do you think is the key to continuous and consistent success?
I would say – quality and innovation. In the premium stainless steel industry, quality is everything and our customers appreciate the fact that high-quality BUMAX fasteners minimize variation as they are manufactured the same way and to the highest standards.

Our proactive approach to innovation to meet the most demanding customer application is also key to our success. In recent years, we brought BUMAX® Ultra to the market, which is recognized as the world’s strongest fastener.

We recently launched BUMAX® DX129 duplex stainless steel grade, which is a very reliable and high-performance alternative to 12.9 carbon steel. Despite its high strength, it still retains superb ductility, exceeding that of 12.9 carbon steel (and even that of generic A4-80 fasteners). BUMAX® DX129 can be a high-performance alternative to coated high-tensile carbon steel bolts and a more affordable alternative to nickel or titanium alloys.

Another recent addition to the BUMAX high strength product family is BUMAX® NITRO 109, which is designed to achieve both excellent corrosion resistance in marine environments as well as delivering high strength, equivalent to 10.9 at diameters up to M36.