Visiting Simpson Strong-Tie’s production facility

Visiting Simpson Strong-Tie’s production facility

Professional Builder’s Lee Jones visits the Tamworth production facility of a company with all the right connections

When it comes to manufacturers of metalwork for wood connections, one company stands pre-eminent and that’s Simpson Strong-Tie. Amongst the more than 1,000 lines in the catalogue its Engineered Wood Hanger (EWH) is an industry stalwart. Simple to install and a universal solution, it can be adjusted on site to accommodate a range of joist heights. Elsewhere, the site-adjustable Valley Truss Clip (VTC) is trusted by builders when connecting valley trusses to common trusses. In addition, the company is rapidly expanding into the cross laminated timber (CLT) sector.

The Simpson Strong-Tie Tamworth factory consumes up to 60 tonnes of steel a week and produces more than 1,000 individual products

Simpson Strong-Tie has called Tamworth its UK home for the last 25 years and the site is now the location of a substantial manufacturing and distribution facility. The heavy-duty metal bashing of the material belies the intricacy of design and development that is the basis for these precision products. These are solutions that fulfil a structural function and that’s reflected in the emphasis on quality, consistency and reliability.

Similarly, the symphony of industrial noise that reverberates from Simpson’s 22 presses speak volumes for a major investment in machinery, with the latest units achieving 130 strokes a minute in a factory that can process up to 60 tonnes of steel in a single week.

In addition to its connectors, Types 2, 3 & 4 stainless-steel masonry to masonry wall ties roll of the production line, as well as a whole range of stainless-steel beading. It’s not just stock items either. Special parts in quantities of anything from 1 – 30 can be supplied on a bespoke basis. If the order is received before 2pm these can then be fabricated and despatched for next day delivery.

Tamworth also houses a vastly experienced technical department that makes its contribution to a global team, bringing the company’s solutions from conception to finished product. As a result, they are best placed to answer any questions from contractors. Need to know how many nails/screws are required to hold up a joist to carry a specific load, for example? Then give the connector boffins at Simpson Strong Tie a call.

Continued growth

The number of products that this Staffordshire manufacturing hub is producing continues to grow. In 2024, a major focus in terms of sales via builders’ merchants will be the innovative Design Series, as well as the unique Solid-joist Notch Reinforcement Kit (SNRK) for the refurbishment market. The latter will be utilised in the likes of bathroom installations, where it reinforces solid timber joists when they have been notched to allow pipes and cables to pass through the floor.

Either retrofitted to existing floors or installed in new ones, a steel reinforcement bracket with an adjustable leg can easily be installed around existing services and onto the joist to help strengthen it at the notch point. As well as that, the top plate covers the notch helping to prevent the screws used to fix the flooring to the joists from penetrating the pipes or cables beneath.

Design Series

When the Design Series of decorative wood connectors was first launched in the US the demand proved extraordinary, making its introduction across the Atlantic inevitable. Introduced in April of 2023, its creators are confident there’s nothing like
it on the market. Ever since the pandemic confined us to our homes there has been an appetite for outdoor living which builders can satisfy with all manner of garden structures, and the Design Series is making all the right connections.

Screws and connectors fit seamlessly together, improving strength and rigidity in anything from a patio table to a pergola. If you already have a project planned this extensive range of decorative hardware for garden solutions will have all the solutions you need. Alternatively, if you’re looking for inspiration, Simpson Strong-Tie itself has a whole host of ideas, complete with exactly the right lengths of timber required and what connectors need to be specified where.

The powder coating and arched structures make the products as aesthetically powerful a design statement as they are structurally strong. In addition, with features like the hex-head washer and structural screw combination, there’s no need for pre-drilling – simply drive the screw through the hex-head washer and straight into the timber.

The portfolio is, indeed, growing apace, often driven by the demands of tighter and more stringent regulations on site. An innovative new restraint strap will be able to join trusses to gable panels at any angle, rather than the 90º angle they’re currently required to be fixed at.

Simpson Strong Tie’s Engineered Wood Hanger (EWH) is an industry favourite

It all began in far more humble surrounds, however. When the eponymous Barclay Simpson was asked by a neighbour if he could make a product to connect the end of 2x4s to a roof, the seeds of what would become a multinational company were sown. That was in Oakland, California back in 1956. Today, the parent company, Simpson Manufacturing, is listed on the US Stock Exchange. Simpson Strong-Tie is firmly established as a global concern, with factories, offices and warehouses in more than 20 countries. What connects it all together is a commitment to supplying high quality, dependable and precision made products.

Quik about it!

In addition to its extensive connector range, Simpson Strong-Tie is also the manufacturer of the Quik Drive collated screw system. The tool is compatible with most major brands of screw guns and allows a high volume of large structural screws to be quickly deployed from the comfort of a standing position. Whether it’s plywood, timber decking, steel decking or drywall – and a good many other materials besides – it saves time and puts less pressure on your body, especially in jobs where there’s large numbers of repetitive fixings.

For further information on Simpson Strong-Tie visit Simpson Strong-Tie (

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