Sheffield firm Gripple celebrates making one billion fasteners
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The Gripple is a simple spring-loaded fastener used to join wires - by ‘gripping’ and ‘pulling’ - but it has built a 900-strong company with six South Yorkshire factories, including three in Attercliffe. The first opened in Sheffield 35 years ago, when workers made 800 per shift by hand. Today, in the same time, machines make 25,000.
The firm had a genius breakthrough a few years ago when someone realised they could be used to hang things like lights and ceilings.
Kevin St Clair, UK managing director, said: “When I joined Gripple in 2002, we were based on one site and manufactured around 15 wire joiner variants at a rate of 20,000,000 per year. Here we are 20 years later with six sites, and in 2022 we manufactured 70,000,000 units across 100 variants.”