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Nov 24, 2021
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They hammered the bolt: Take care of the old Soviet fasteners, there will soon be no alternative to it

They hammered the bolt: Take care of the old Soviet fasteners, there will soon be no alternative to it

Photo: Eric Romanenko / TASS

There is a shortage in the Russian market of fasteners, there are no such prices anywhere in the world. Some positions are completely absent – you can’t buy for any money. The shelves are rapidly emptying, and domestic manufacturers are in no hurry to provide the population with vital bolts and nuts.

Store “Krepmarket” – until recently it was possible to buy anything here. Almost any bolt-nut – ordinary, high-strength, stainless, inch, even non-ferrous metals. But now the trays are empty, in some places in whole rows. What is the problem?

“They did not bring stainless steel at the end of last year, high-strength, too, and an inch. In general, the assortment has sharply narrowed. No, there are no М10 × 45, take М10 × 40 or М10 × 50, you don’t even need to look for 45s – the central warehouse is also empty. There are no imports, and nothing is produced in Russia, ”says the seller with the Andrey badge on his shirt.

He is not quite right about “nothing is being produced”, but more on that below. However, what is sold in stores and on construction markets is really 100% import. China, and the lowest quality. With the help of two wrenches and four nuts, a solid-looking hairpin with a thickness of 12 mm is first twisted, then burst. You don’t need to be Hercules – the efforts of the average person are enough. “Steel MG2” – twice as softer than G., as the people call these products. There are also terms “plasticine fence bolts” etc. Although it is embossed on the hats that these are quite durable products.

“In certain segments of the fastener market, the share of counterfeit products reaches 80%,” explains the director of the Parallel Oryol group of companies (production of fasteners) Andrey Kurov

Perhaps all trade has moved to the Internet, and quality products are sold there? Those that are not on the shelves. Personally, I need high-strength M12 × 25 bolts – black, which are hardened, strength class 10.9, thread pitch 1.5 mm, a regular hex head for a wrench. Until recently, they cost 15-40 rubles per unit, depending on the greed of each particular seller.

The site of a large online store selling tools and everything else, yes, the bolts I need are in stock. 717 rubles FOR A PIECE! Everything, as usual – “Russia is the birthplace of the brand, China is the country of production.” For comparison: they are on Aliexpress, taking into account delivery to Russia (as if “free”), are sold for 330-350 rubles per set of 20 pieces, and the strength class is even better – 12.9.

And now it’s worth talking about our fastener market in general. The volume of the market for fasteners in the Russian Federation as a whole is more than 500 thousand tons per year, this includes both retail and organized deliveries of this product to factories and construction sites. Import predominates, domestic products – only 150 thousand tons.

Moreover, 200 thousand tons from imports is the so-called “non-overlapping assortment”, something that is not produced in “erefia” in principle. For example, the same stainless bolts for an internal hexagon or inch. And high-strength fasteners are also mostly imported. In the USSR, all this was, but drifted away.

The problem is primarily steel. In the summer of this year, the all-Russian conference “High-quality fasteners – reliability of machines and metal structures” was held in Moscow, its materials are in the editorial office of “SP”. Participants in the form noted that “there is a shortage of domestic steel grades for various types of high-strength fasteners”, “rolled metal for the production of weather-resistant fasteners and high-strength fasteners remains expensive.” Metallurgists are ready to produce only large quantities of steel, etc. In other words, it is impossible to organize profitable production under these conditions.

“I have a friend, he works in the government of the Chelyabinsk region, once worked in production, a metallurgist by education. Thanks to him, I am able to RETRIEVE normal steel. Not the same assortment that is sold everywhere, namely real branded steel. By pull, albeit for money! Without him, I would have had a hard time. We take not only rolled products, but also a hexagon and a bar. We cut the bolts and studs ourselves – we have a lathe. Yes, this is the “stone age”, but there’s no other way – what is being sold does not stand up to criticism. And we don’t need problems with customers, ”says the owner of one small production facility.

But there are also large metallurgical companies, where everything is of its own, first of all, metal. More precisely, their divisions for the production of hardware, including fasteners. For example, MMK-Metiz, NLMK-Metiz and Severstal-Metiz.

They work and even seem to be developing somehow. But if you look at their product catalogs, it becomes clear that they are focused exclusively on cooperation with big business. Small fasteners (the most popular – M5, M6, M8, M10, and so on) are either not produced at all, or exist in the price lists “for show”. There are no prices, while on the same Chinese resource “Alibaba”, where manufacturers exhibit their products, they are, indicating how much, depending on the size of the ordered batch of goods.

Various bridges, pipelines, and other engineering structures for the raw materials industries and state programs are, in fact, being erected using domestic fasteners. Although not everyone takes it and not always – Chinese is cheaper.

Including because in the PRC there are state programs to support production, and in “erefia” one can only dream about it.

“In order for production to be efficient and products to be competitive, it is necessary to maintain the production of high-quality products,” says the production director of Krepezh Pro LLC. Semyon Volkov

But there are no standards, do what you want – the problem. Soviet GOSTs were canceled, new frankly “curves”, nothing monitors production and trade at all, complete chaos is going on. What the department is doing is generally not clear.

“The existing regulatory framework does not fully cover the entire range of products consumed in the Russian Federation,” a representative of Rosstandart RF justified at the conference. Alexander Sokolov… The problem has been around for many years, but things are still there.

Large enterprises that are part of large corporations have a clear advantage in the form of inexpensive raw materials and other cost savings. But small hardware factories are practically dying out. Like a class. And no one in the fastening “erefia” needs them. Meanwhile, it was the small businesses that worked for retail, and what is happening at the construction markets and in stores testifies better than any words to the current situation.

“We haven’t seen domestic products for a long time, there is only China where we buy in bulk. And our suppliers also do not have the opportunity to purchase something Russian, they asked more than once. Theoretically, you can buy, but the price is absolutely cosmic, and the parties – almost a million tons. An advance payment of 100%, and the delivery time can be delayed as they please. So there is still no alternative to products from China. And, yes, something bad is going on with the supplies from there. In general, take what they give, ”- after talking, explains the owner of a hardware store near Moscow, Sergei.

In large chains along the row, the position is also a rolling ball, it is enough to go to the hardware department of the same Leroy Merlin. Extremely meager assortment, a year and a half ago it was much larger.

“Buy what you have, and soon it won’t be,” – this is how the sellers of the French shop react to the indignation of buyers. By the way, in the same chain of stores, the absence of a number of positions has already led to the fact that other goods are not sold, so to speak, “connected”. And the light at the end of the tunnel is somehow not visible …

And what about a simple consumer? First of all, you really need to prepare for the worst – the sellers in the market and in stores are right. The quality of products is steadily declining, the assortment becomes scarce, prices are rising.

In order not to buy frank “plasticine”, it is worth going to a car shop, the prices there are not much higher or the same. And instead of “intake bolts” buy fasteners from VAZ, GAZ or KamAZ. There, the quality of products is incomparably better, there is enough domestic products, the steel is more or less normal. Otherwise, nothing, otherwise the car will simply fall apart on the go.

It is also worth rummaging around in the old garages of relatives, friends, acquaintances. Until recently, pots with Soviet fasteners were not needed by anyone, sometimes it looks unpresentable – dirty and slightly rusty. But in the realities of the “developing erephy” of the beginning of the XXI century, these deposits of old bolts and nuts become a real treasure. Because they are made of good steel, this quality cannot be found today.

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