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Cologne International Hardware Exhibition – What Were People Talking About?

Norbar has been going independently to the ‘Cologne Fair’ for about 27 years now and probably for 20 years before that sharing a stand with our distributor so we have seen a lot of changes.  The significant change this year was the drop from four days to three for the event.  Strangely, we still started on Sunday; it was the Wednesday that was dropped!  Whether the three day show was a good decision was certainly something that exhibitors and visitors were talking about.  From a visitor’s point of view the show is significantly smaller than it was 20 years ago and it no longer takes four days to do it justice.  On the other hand, they would have found stands busier and may have had to wait longer to speak to the people they needed to.  There was talk amongst exhibitors of possibly having to take more staff and having more stand space in order to cope with the concentration of visitors down to three days and this would largely offset the cost benefit of exhibitin ...

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Good customer service is at the heart of Norbar's philosophy

It goes without saying that excellent customer service is a vital part of a successful business and at Norbar this is no different. In fact, we pride ourselves on delivering the very best service to our customers at every stage. We don’t just see the customer service team as a group of people who deal with complaints or who are called upon when people have an issue that needs resolving. Exceptional customer service starts from the first contact that is made with the customer to the last, and our staff are trained to always ensure that each and every one of our customers receive the very best service from any member of the Norbar team they encounter. This customer focused ethos is part of Norbar’s philosophy, something that we instil in all of our staff from the moment they join us, and something that we continually strive to uphold. Our Customer Relations Manager, Stephen Maxfield, has blogged about the mantra that his team upholds: Good customer service is about giving the customer an e ...

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Mathew Hodgkins - Technical Sales Engineer

I have been with Norbar Torque Tools for nearly seven years, with my first role being a Trainee Sales Engineer. I have worked my way up through the company to my current role of Technical Sales Engineer. The primary objective of my role is to support the internal Customer Relations team, who deal with the day-to-day order entering process and are the first point of contact for customers. I also support the network of distributors that we have, and the end users that contact us on a daily basis. The Technical Sales Engineers are essentially the ‘safety net’ for when something goes wrong or when a customer has a technical enquiry. The role involves a lot of interaction with the distribution network that has been set up to enhance maximum productivity for customers. It involves daily support via email and telephone about potential applications for Norbar products. However, our support offering for customers doesn’t end there. We regularly visit end users to evaluate applications and sol ...

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A massive step forward with T-Box technology

For the first thirty years that Norbar manufactured torque measuring instruments we were not too concerned about what people did with the data that the instrument produced. Of course, the earliest versions did not even provide a means of electronically transferring the data from the instrument to any other device, so the provision of RS-232 in the 1980s seemed like an advance, but a costly one, because we charged over £200 extra or the privilege. Also, it took so much space in the lid of the instruments (TWA and ETS) that you could not have RS-232 and an internal battery pack.  Those were the days! The real Norbar instrument geeks will remind me that RS-232 was not our first means of data transfer – that was Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) on the ETTA instrument of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but I am going to gloss over that! Thankfully, RS-232 became standard on instruments from 1994 although there is now a question of whether new generation products should include it because ...

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Vibration White Finger: More care needed when choosing tools

Around 300,000 people in the UK suffer from Vibration White Finger (VWF) – an industrial illness caused by the use of vibrating tools and equipment. Traditionally a miners disease, widespread use of modern vibrating apparatus means workers across other sectors are now being diagnosed. The commercial vehicle industry is one such sector and concerns are being raised about how much is being done to fully protect staff in this area from the effects of VWF. Commercial vehicle garage workers are often expected to use an impact gun on a regular basis, but we’d suggest the use of a torque wrench instead which is not only more accurate but also protects the operator from the effects of this unpleasant condition.    If impact has to be used we would say use it sparingly and only to tighten bolts to a specific point well below the required final torque. Using a properly calibrated torque wrench beyond this point will finish the job without the dangerous vibrations. Intelligent purchasing ...

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Taking a steer on shipbuilding

Recently I was fortunate enough to embark upon a visit to the ship building region of South Korea. The south east region of South Korea, around the cities of Ulsan, Busan and Geoje Island, is home to three of the largest shipyards in the world – Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Daewoo Ship and Marine Engineering (DSME).  These yards dominate the towns and landscapes that they occupy, the HHI yard for example covering an area of 1,780 acres.  Amazingly, this dominant position in world shipbuilding has been reached in just 40 years,  HHI’s yard having been commissioned in 1974. The visit provided us with an invaluable insight into what our customers are experiencing in this market, their needs and how important a role torque tools and solutions play in modern marine engineering. What became clear is that a shift has taken place in South Korean shipbuilding towards high value, high sophistication vessels.  While they may still be building contai ...

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Torque and angle explained

If we asked a handful of maintenance engineers what exactly they are trying to achieve when they tighten a bolt, it’s likely that we’d receive a wide range of answers. Strictly speaking, when we tighten bolts we’re trying to stretch the bolt enough so that the elastic tension within it clamps the assembly together. That’s right - it’s one that’s easier done than said! In a perfect world we would always recommend measuring the tension in the bolt, as opposed to the torque, because the tension is what we really need to know. In the real world, torque is the simplest way of achieving control in threaded fasteners but it is only an indicator of the tension. Unfortunately there is no cheap, easy, reliable way to directly measure tension in a bolt but application of known torque gives sufficient control in the majority of situations. It is widely accepted that the majority of torque we put into a threaded fastener goes into overcoming friction in the assembly as only between ...

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Torque wrench calibration

When it comes to torque wrench calibration, I often get asked “When should I re-calibrate my torque wrench? And should I wind it back to zero after use?” In fact, these two questions might well be the most frequently asked of all frequently asked questions and are rightly a subject of genuine concern for production and quality managers. To misuse the old wartime propaganda slogan a little, “Careless torque can cost lives.” When it comes to matters of recalibration, I always refer back to the standard BS EN ISO6789 – “Assembly tools for screws and nuts – Hand Torque Tools – Requirements and test methods for design conformance testing, quality conformance testing and recalibration procedure”.  Unsurprisingly, most of us refer to it as “the torque wrench standard”! In 1992, ISO 6789 was very much a document covering the design and manufacture of torque tools and the requirement was that the tool should be tested at maximum capacity for 500 ...

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Vodka, Swearing and Camel Milk: What you need to know about doing business in Russia and CIS

After five years working as a sales manager in Lithuania and Latvia, I am now facing the challenge of being Business Development Manager at Norbar Torque Tools in Banbury, Oxfordshire, responsible for Russian speaking countries and the Baltic States. While working in Lithuania and Latvia, I learned a lot about the ways of doing business in both Baltic and Russian cultures. In the last 8 months I have acquired plenty of experience travelling in Russian speaking countries - particularly Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The knowledge I have gained here has been fascinating and sometimes very challenging.   Take for example the business dinner (which in my opinion is one of the most important parts of my work). What do you think the dress code is there? Pretty formal? No. In Russian and Baltic cultures there are no dress codes! People can come to a business dinner just wearing shorts and t-shirt and feel very relaxed about that. However, if it is your first meeting, or a meeting with the board, they wou ...

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EvoTorque – Why it’s the torque of the town

Norbar’s research revealed that traditional electric torque tools were giving vastly different results depending on the joint type.  The torque delivered to a hard joint could be more than double the torque that the same tool with the same settings would deliver to a soft joint with great potential to leave bolts under or over tightened and potentially dangerous.  In developing our own electronic torque tool we decided that we needed radically different motor technology and control software to eliminate these issues. Our solution needed to be accurate, efficient, ergonomic and intelligent. It needed to deliver the exact amount of torque required during the tightening or joint verification process of bolts, across a range of joint types and applications - from the commercial vehicle sector to wind energy. Our extensive technical studies and development trials revealed the ideal formulation of motor technology, software and exterior design features required to deliver a state-of-the-art elect ...

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Product Selector

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Details of Norbar’s extensive range of torque wrenches, multipliers and equipment for measurement and calibration can be downloaded in our comprehensive online product catalogue.

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Norbar Videos

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Norbar News & Updates

Read about Norbar’s news and developments in the UK and across our international network for the latest updates on the fascinating and fast-moving world of precision torque engineering.

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Download Our Apps

Norbar apps are available free for download on Android and iPhone and are invaluable tools for engineers.

Our Torque Unit Converter provides instant conversion across Metric, SI and Imperial units.

The Torque Extension app calculates the exact torque wrench setting value for required level of torque to be applied.

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Precision torque engineering is a wide and complex field which is critical to many sectors of industry and poses many questions to those seeking information about its features and practical applications.

Here are some of the key queries we regularly encounter.

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Use Our Calculators

Norbar has devised easy-to-use online calculators that support the correct application of torque in three key areas:

  1. Unit conversion to assist international measurement definitions.
  2. Torque extension for setting correct values
  3. Torque tension to identify precise levels of torque to be applied for individual applications.


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Norbar Torque Tools Inc. 36400 Biltmore Place, Willoughby, Ohio 44094, USA