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The definitive guide to custom hinge manufacturing

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Our E-book "The Definitive Guide to Custom Hinge Manufacturing" was created to give customers a close up look at what custom industrial hinges are, how they are made, what equipment is used in the …

Our E-book "The Definitive Guide to Custom Hinge Manufacturing" was created to give customers a close up look at what custom industrial hinges are, how they are made, what equipment is used in the process as well as some practical advice about what to look for in terms of craftsmanship as well as important topics such as tolerances. You can find out more by visiting our website http://www.midlake.com/.

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  • 1. Copyright 2012 Midlake Products & Manufacturing. May not be re-produced without permission.
  • 2. Table of ContentsIntroduction ................................................................................................................... 3 Customizing Your Work ........................................................................................................4 Ways of Building Custom Hinges .........................................................................................5 Using Traditional Technology ....................................................................................................... 5 CNC Turret Presses ..................................................................................................................... 6 Incorporating Skill and Craftsmanship .......................................................................................... 7 The Most Popular Types of Custom Hinges .........................................................................8 ATM Hinges ................................................................................................................................. 8 Butt Hinges .................................................................................................................................. 9 Concealed Hinges...................................................................................................................... 10 Continuous/ Piano Hinges .......................................................................................................... 10 H- Hinges................................................................................................................................... 10 Inset Hinges ............................................................................................................................... 11 Latch Hinges .............................................................................................................................. 11 Lift Off Hinges ............................................................................................................................ 11 Marine Hinges............................................................................................................................ 12 Non-Mortise Hinges ................................................................................................................... 12 Off-Set Hinges ........................................................................................................................... 13 Removable and Slip Joint Hinges ............................................................................................... 13 Security Hinges .......................................................................................................................... 13 Spring Hinges ............................................................................................................................ 14 Staked Hinges ........................................................................................................................... 15 Strap Hinges .............................................................................................................................. 15 Hinge Finishes ........................................................................................................................... 15 A Few Words About Tolerances.........................................................................................17 The Impact of Lead Time ...................................................................................................17 Quality Manufacturing ........................................................................................................18 About Midlake Products .....................................................................................................18Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 19 2
  • 3. An Introduction to Custom HingesHinges – for some companies, hinges might be the last thing you think about whenconstructing a new product or trying to improve an existing one, but if you ignore theselittle pieces of metal it can make life quite difficult! The goal of a custom hinge is tointegrate a separate hinge application into two components of the finished product whilemaintaining functionality of the moving part(s). Custom hinges allow for the eliminationof a hardware hinge and often can reduce the overall manufacturability of the partswhile significantly improving performance and reliability. What you will find in this bookis that hinges are not merely parts for functionality; they are also closely related todesign.People who are building a specific product must pay close attention to design. Thequality of the design is just as dependent on good craftsmanship as it is on choosing thedecoration of the product. Although custom hinges are generally used in an industrial orcommercial setting, the process for designing and building one is not that different fromany type of hinge. For instance, a good carpenter is not going to grab a bunch of shelfproduct hinges from a hardware store to fit your doors, cabinets, windows andcupboards. He is going to discuss with you exactly what you want, how you wish your 3
  • 4. partitions and accessories to function, whether the hinges should be decorative orunobtrusive, and even considerations to the type of building material you wish used,such as steel, stainless steel or aluminum.With all the different types of products, doors, machinery and industrial productsavailable, there is a great need to find the right specialty hinges for particular designlayouts and functions that you just can’t find by visiting your local hardware store, orordering generalized mass-produced hinges from a factory. For these purposes, youneed custom manufactured hinges.There are a number of specialty hinges. In this short eBook, we will take a closer lookat the most popular types of custom hinges, as well as the fundamentals of using themin manufacturing. So let’s get started with the first section!Customizing Your Work 4
  • 5. Specialty hinges need to be sized to exact specifications in order to produce theirhighest degree of effectiveness. Whether you are doing the manufacturing phase ofyour project on your own, or have hired an outside contractor, consult a sales engineerwho has the technical background necessary to understand the requisites for eachproduct, and its expected performance.There are many considerations involved in choosing the materials and design of aspecialized hinge, such as weight, durability and thickness. Once a sales engineerunderstands your expectations, and how the product is expected to perform once it’sattached to the other parts, he can work with you and give you recommendations andsuggestions based on past experiences.Other considerations include configuration, design features, types of materials used,welded pins or machined pins and caps, and use of the product. The hinges used for asteel safe are not going to fit the same requirements used for an automatic door in adoctor’s office.Ways of Building Custom HingesUsing Traditional TechnologyThe punch press is a wonderfully efficient piece of technology, making it possible toperform many secondary operations on the turret press as well as standardizedpunching, saving time and reducing machine downtime. In many cases, the use of apunch press will eliminate some of the additional equipment and part handling oftenneeded for a customizing a hinge product.Secondary operations for fashioning a custom hinge include using special applicationshandling with a turret press. A special punch tool can produce self-locking, spring-loaded tabs that snap securely into pre punched holes, eliminating the need for weldingconnecting parts. 5
  • 6. The technology used in the punch press application has come a long way since firstintroduced, but the initial machinery was only able to produce single shapes, with holespunched in the exact same place with each application. Today’s machines are moresophisticated and able to accurately and consistently produce goods to specificrequirements, especially in the hands of a skilled craftsman.CNC Turret PressesIn keeping with the advanced technology inherent to the punch press, is thedevelopment in versatility for the turret press. Turret presses are used to cut holes instrong, dense materials, such as brass or steel. Turret presses are used for highvolume production because of the ability to process large workloads without losingaccuracy.Traditional presses are operated manually, which made them time consuming tooperate, as well as somewhat limited in the type of manufacturing performed. The term“CNC” stands for “Computer Numerically Controlled” and it refers to the way the turretpress is operated. CNC turret presses operate according to pre-programmedspecifications, creating a product that is both accurate and uniform, according tospecifications.A CNC turret press is far more versatile than a standardized punch press. With itsadvanced, computerized machinery it is capable of creating a number of productsincluding:  Embossed holes  Forming  Extruded holes  Tapped holesWhether a manual or a CNC turret press is used is largely dependent on the type ofwork that needs to be done. 6
  • 7. Incorporating Skill and CraftsmanshipPrecision products demand a great deal of skill no matter what type of machinery orequipment is being used. And while machinery automates much of the labor,craftsmanship is defined by the ability to produce quality design and flawlessengineering.The devotion of a good craftsman is one of pride and integrity. Skills involve not onlyknowing how to run machinery efficiently, but also knowing which type of technology isappropriate for getting the job done right. There are times when high-end machinery isnecessary for optimum performance, and times when only the craftsmanship of manualoperation will produce the type of product that caters to your specific needs. Thispersonal basis of manufacturing is what makes the production of custom-made productsso valuable. When you want only the best and precision is your goal, then look for aquality craftsman with the skills to do the job right and the integrity to produce withmaximum efficiency and minimal lead-time. 7
  • 8. The Most Popular Types of Custom HingesConstruction and manufacturing depends on hinges. Look around at your everydayobjects, and you will see the number of hinges involved, from your laptop computer tothe thick metal plates on the doors, trunk and hood of heavy machinery. Each type ofhinge takes a special consideration as to the weight of the object, distribution of weight,strength, durability, materials, use and design. The hinges you choose in yourconstruction and manufacturing can be the deciding point in the quality of your product.ATM HingesThese incredibly sturdy hinges are built specifically for the banking industry for use inATM kiosks or built-in ATM machines. The unique feature of this maximum strengthhinge is that it runs the entire length of the door. One of the leaves and knuckles areintegrated into the door, and the other into the stationary machine, creating a fixed,nearly seamless component for high-security use. This type of hinge design is 8
  • 9. particularly beneficial for ATM machines and other structures that need to maintain highsecurity levels and cannot afford any gaps or potential forced entry points in theirconstruction.Because of its strength and resistance to corrosion, stainless steel is the most commonmaterial used for this type of hinge. American steel and aluminum, however, are alsosometimes used depending on the type of project.There are many types of finishes used to complete the look, feel or aesthetic quality ofan ATM hinge. Options include powder coating, passivating, mass media blasting andtumbling, plating, E-coating and anodizing.Butt HingesButt hinges are the most typicalchoice for mounting the doors in ahouse, building or other non-specific needs structure. Butthinges are generally six inches orshorter in length and are used inmultiples for installation. They areusually comprised of two matchingleaves; one attached to the movingelement or door, the other mounted to the fixed structure. When the door is shut, thetwo leaves are flush, exposing the “knuckle”, which is the curved barrel of the hinge.Butt hinges made from stainless steel are able to withstand marine abuse or harshenvironment and are routinely used by marine industries. Additionally, they aregenerally the choice of fittings for cabinets, internal doors, fire doors, external doors, lidsand many other products. Along with stainless steel, the materials offered in themanufacturing of butt hinges include cold rolled steel, hot rolled steel, aluminum,galvanized steel and galvanized steel. Preferences for finish include powder coating,passivating, anodizing, plating and E-coating. 9
  • 10. Concealed HingesThe practicality of concealed hinges is their use within closed or confined spaces.These hinges are not visible when the door is shut, which is why they are referred to asconcealed hinges. Their configuration allows the door to swing out and clear of theframe when it is opened.Concealed hinges are most commonly used when the design calls for a smooth,unbroken surface, such as metal cabinets, storage lockers, ATM machines, office andmarine applications, the overhead compartments of airplanes and for automobiles. Youcan customize your concealed hinges from steel, stainless steel and aluminum,selecting a finish in a variety of colors and textures.Continuous/ Piano HingesContinuous hinges are popular due in large part to the technology of how they aredesigned and built in a manner which distributes weight and stress in a uniform fashionacross a long distance and are very easy to install. One of the main reasons they arealso called piano hinges is because you will most commonly see them used hingingpiano door covers into place. The weight distribution allows the heavy lid to be openedwith ease, without straining the perfect and delicate construction of the piano. They arethe ideal choice for simple applications with cost restraints. Other applications whereyou might find this type of hinge used is in barn doors, warehouse doors, blast doors,electrical doors and toolboxes. The most common materials for continuous hingesinclude steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. All three materials can come with themetal finishing of your choice. Secondary operations i.e. cut to length, add holes to theleaves, stake the pin, or add forms to the leaves, can be applied to the continuous hingeto further customize the desired final part.H- HingesManufacturers often forget to include the specifics of the amount of weight involvedwhen creating a product. The end result may be using hinges that are too light for thespecific application – a sure fire recipe for product failure. H-hinges are designed to 10
  • 11. hold up to several hundred pounds when correctly installed. In order to receivemaximum weight properties, your project may require more than one for more evenweight distribution, however H-hinges are very easy to install, are versatile and can beused in a number of applications. This type of hinge is identified by a strap that formsthe letter, “H”, which is attached to the joint over the crossbar, reinforcing the ability ofthe hinge to support heavy weight. H-hinges come in steel, stainless steel, aluminumand your choice of metal finish.Inset HingesInset hinges are very much like concealed hinges, in that both sides of the hinge aremounted on a single side of the frame, giving a seamless appearance. However, insethinges have an additional advantage. Depending on the requisites of the project, aninset hinge can be used to move both horizontally and vertically. Materials used forthese hinges are usually steel, stainless steel or aluminum. The finishes arecustomized to suit the environment where the hinge will be used.Latch HingesLatch hinges do exactly what the name implies. It is a hinge with an in-built latchmechanism which allows it to function as a single piece of hardware. Generally, latchhinges have a spring release, but they can also be built without them. When combinedwith a spring hinge, it will have a single handle or set of handles that are loaded with thesprings. This set of springs will release the door when pulling it toward the center.When produced without the spring hinge, the latch will normally have a simple slot thatcan be easily installed with screws or rivets, although it’s recommended that for bestefficiency, the latch is welded. Custom made latches are offered with a variety offinishes according to the most appropriate for your application.Lift Off HingesFor a product that receives a lot of wear and tear and requires frequent maintenance,there is nothing more convenient than lift-off hinges. Lift off hinges are especially 11
  • 12. designed for easy removal of doors that suffer routine damage. You just lift it from thehinge and repair it. Lift off hinges are incredibly versatile in the style and type offered tosuit your product needs. They include loose joint butt hinges, stainless steel lift-offhinges, flag lift-off hinges, take apart hinges, drive in hinges and hatch hinges.Marine HingesThe harshest condition for any metal equipment is constant exposure to moisture andsalt water. For this reason, marine hinges must be manufactured to the tightesttolerance and highest-grade materials for withstanding the corrosive conditions thatinvite rust, salt and grit, and hampers the ability of hatches, doors and openings tofunction correctly. Primary safety concerns dictate that this cannot afford to happen.Marine hinges will also be found in use for lights and electronic mountings, seating, boatboxes and windshield attachments. Only state of the art technology is acceptable inmanufacturing hinges for this - the most demanding of all environments.Non-Mortise HingesWhen would you use a non-mortised hinge? It’s most practical use is in the applicationof bi-fold doors, wrap-arounds, shutters, screens and cabinets, and as a lift-off non-mortise hinge. Its great advantage is that it does not require the additional work andprecision of a mortised hinge. It sits on the surface of the face or jamb of the door andcan be easily adjusted if out of line by simply re-drilling the mounting holes.Furthermore, it leaves only a small gap between the door and the frame; however apoorly mounted non-mortise hinge might require filing, sanding and a re-cut to make thehinge fit correctly.Some types of non-mortise hinges include a hinge with a finial tip, flag style hinges,tipped, non-mortise, steeple tipped, bell tipped, shutter hinge, lid hinge and locking bi-fold hinge. 12
  • 13. Off-Set HingesOffset hinges change the swinging pattern of the unit as the two components attachedto the hinge open and close. The most common places you will see offset hinges areon the lead-lined doors in hospitals and clinics, on the bathroom doors of airplanes andfor medical equipment. In an offset hinge, either one or both of the leaves are formedaway from the pin. This allows for a decrease of leaf width as well as a decrease ofopening width. This makes the hinge useful when space is limited. It also insures thatthe hinge does not corrode or become damaged by the knuckles rubbing against thehinge. Common types of offset hinges include offset butt hinges, offset pivot hinges andoffset strap hinges.Removable and Slip Joint HingesRemovable, slip joint or take apart hinges asthey are also known, are very similar to lift-offhinges in their application; that is doors can beremoved easily for repairs and maintenance.Only the technique is different. Instead ofsliding the door off its hinges, the hingesthemselves are removable. This allows forspeedy and efficient door removal and re-installation without compromising the integrityof its motion and path.While removable hinges are generally built from steel, stainless steel or aluminum, thereis a great deal of variety in your choice of finish. These choices include silk screening,passivating, anodizing, E-coat, powder coating, mass media blasting or tumbling andzinc plating.Security HingesSecurity has become a highlight on everybody’s list; especially for banks, high-endindustries, technology companies and office buildings. Security hinges are built to 13
  • 14. prevent doors from being opened from the hinged side. They are especially resistant tobreaking and can be designed to prevent or discourage removal.Security hinges come in a wide assortment of sizes, materials and functions based onthe application for which they were designed. Examples of security hinges are thosedesigned to allow electricity to a door in a hidden manner, or the ability to self-close.Others may feature a non-removable pin, which incorporates a screw in the barrel thatis accessible only when the door is open. Other types of security hinges include aninterlocking security stud pin, a secured hinge pin, or a hinge pin set screw type.Various types of continuous hinges can provide extra strength to a weakened area anddo not allow a gap between the door and the jamb.Spring HingesThe unique feature presentedby spring hinges is that theyuse the energy of a spring toreturn an opened door to itsoriginal position. Springhinges can also be used tokeep a door locked into anopen position without thenecessity of doorstops orprops. Spring hinges reducethe costs of installing door-closing devices on industrial, commercial, institutional andresidential applications. They are used in hotels, apartments, dormitories and otherpublic service construction where doors are required to be self-closing.Typically, the materials used for spring hinges include cold rolled steel, stainless steel,or aluminum, with choices in anodized, plated or passivated finish. Otherconsiderations involved in choosing the spring hinges for your project are the amount oftorque required, whether the spring will be normally closed or open, the spring’s life 14
  • 15. cycle and the operating arc. You may also wish to know if the spring can be replaced ifit fails to give the maximum performance required.Staked HingesStaked hinges have a fixed or staked pin. This is a cost effective way of ensuring thatthe pin stays in place and will not be affected during the course of normal use. Eitherstaked or loose pins spun on both ends are particularly useful in very unstable or highvibration environments such as in the use of industrial machinery. Staked pins are oftenused in many products and applications where the hinge pin needs to stay in place andwhere removing it is not advantageous. You will often find staked hinges in verticallymounted equipment where the critical the pin does not fall out.Strap HingesStrap hinges are a very traditional type of hinge but remain popular for a number ofreasons. A typical strap hinge is made up of two unequal hinge parts, where one islonger than the other. The larger part, called a leaf, creates a mounting surface for thesmaller leaf, which is used as the opening mechanism. Strap hinges are advantageousbecause they can be used for full surface mounting to wood, metal or structural steel,and the design can be industrial or more ornate, lending aesthetic appeal. Strap hingesare often used for gates or enclosures, as they are able to support a great deal ofweight. Heavy-duty strap hinges are able to stand up to a great deal of use and withtheir versatility can be fashioned into many attractive designs.Hinge FinishesTake some time to consider the finish you wish to add to the hinges you have chosen asthis final touch can increase the value of your product in a number of ways. It can addan attractive touch, protect the hinges from corrosion or tarnish, create chemicalresistance, modify electrical conductivity, remove burrs and other surface flaws andcontrol surface friction. Protect your investment and add the personal touch bychoosing a compatible finish for the hinges you will be using. 15
  • 16. Types of Metal Finishing Available for Custom Hinges:Powder Coating is applied using a free-flowing dry powder and does not require asolvent for keeping the binders and fillings in a liquid suspension form. Appliedelectrostatically, powder coating creates a very hard finish that is tougher thanconventional paint.Silk Screening is a decorative finish and is used to add graphics to metal parts. Ittransfers artwork, directions, and images, such as logos, directly into the completedproduct.Aluminum Anodizing protects your product with an electrolyte process used toincrease the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts.Anodizing increases corrosion and wear resistance and is most commonly used but notlimited to, aluminum alloys. While clear anodizing is the general choice, it can also beused in your choice of paint colors.Passivating removes the iron particles from a stainless steel component. Theadditional use of citric acid in the passivating process improves the corrosion resistanceof the stainless steel part.Plating comes in two types - electro plating and zinc plating are typical requirements forsteel and stainless steel. Electro plating is used on steel parts to clean, brighten, polish,and add to the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. Zinc plate finishes are offered inclear, olive drab, yellow and black chromate coatings. Environmentally friendly Trivalentclear chromate finish can meet or exceed your salt spray requirements.E-Coating (or electro-coat) is an electrically applied paint that provides good coverage,corrosion resistance, and adhesion. It can be used on any metal that conductselectricity, such as aluminum and steel. E-coating can be used as a base paint, topcoator single coat cover.Mass Media Blasting removes metal, strips paint, de-burrs or provides a satin coat toyour finish. This process also improves the coating adhesive prior to painting. 16
  • 17. Mass Media Tumbling is a different technique from mass media blasting, but the effectis the same. Mass media tumbling is used to de-burr, burnish, descale, polish or cleanparts during the finishing process.A Few Words About TolerancesThe tolerance level of your hinge is highly dependent on the strength of the pin used. Aweak material can warp and deform a pin during a pull test. The deformation of the pinserves to concentrate the loading at the very edges of each hinge segment. If the hingematerial is not able to withstand the stress of external forces, or local use, the pin willbegin to deform. Precision hinges with high load bearing capacity are dependent on allmetal construction and the use of thicker pins for heavy load bearing capacity.Also, oftentimes companies may set their tolerance limits too tight simply for the sake ofa tight tolerance and under the idea that tighter must be better. Remember that thetighter the tolerance, the more difficult the manufacturing becomes and this canpotentially slow down the process or make it more expensive. Our recommendation isto speak with a sales engineer that can help you evaluate what the most effectivetolerance would be for your particular product or application.The Impact of Lead TimeLead time is the delay between the initiation and the execution of a process, andincludes the time required to ship the parts from the supplier. The manufacturingcompany needs to know when the parts will be available for material requirements timeand planning. Sometimes, the lead time also includes the time it takes for a company toprocess and have the product ready for manufacturing once the materials have beenreceived. It is important to get a good understanding of what the lead time will be forany given order. At Midlake, we measure lead-time in days not weeks. 17
  • 18. Look for Quality In Manufacturing With the advent of globalization and instant communications, the manufacturing industry has become much more competitive in recent years. Manufacturers have found it necessary to stay focused on finding new ways to design, produce, sell and deliver their products.For a manufacturing company to have true success, it must integrate the qualities ofcraftsmanship with an intimate knowledge of state of the arts technology andmachinery. It must ensure quality products at every level, and maintain sensitive andknowledgeable understanding of customer needs. Leaders in manufacturing provide an active support group of technicians and sales representatives to guarantee customer satisfaction with their products. One of the ways top manufacturers accomplish this is by committing to the principles of “lean manufacturing” as established by the guidelines of Six Sigma. Additionally, ISO Certification is another strong indicator that an organization is committed to quality. Look for a manufacturing partnerthat can provide you with details about the impact of Six Sigma on their operations aswell as a copy of their current ISO Certificates.About Midlake Products Established in 1987, Midlake Products first developed our reputation in the manufacturing of products that found their way into boats; no small feat as our company started in a one-car garage, and marine parts are the most challenging of all manufactured parts, due to the strenuous environmentalfactors of constant exposure to moisture. Despite its humble beginnings, Midlake nowoperates around the clock in a 55,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Louisville,Ohio which is approximately one hour south of Cleveland. We continue to do business 18
  • 19. within the marine industry, but now focus heavily on medical, transportation, security,storage, alternative energy and self service industries.We attribute much of our success to showing sensitivity towards customer needs, withquality custom made parts to assure the flawless integrity of a planned project. We areISO certified and follow the principals of Six Sigma.Beyond the work of skilled technicians and implementation of quality control processes,Midlake takes tremendous pride in our commitment to community. With a strong focuson the local Community Cupboard, we also support local youth by providingopportunities to participate in team sports like baseball, football, soccer and track. Wealso support education with monetary donations, new computers and equipment forlocal schools, preschools and after school programs.A good business acknowledges that its success is due to the satisfied customers thatsupport it. Midlake Manufacturing gives back to the community that has engineered itssuccess, and that’s just good business.ConclusionWe hope you have enjoyed reading “The Definitive Guide to Hinges.” If you have anyquestions feel free to visit our website at http://www.Midlake.com where you will find ourcontact information as well as a free, custom request quote form. Thanks for readingand good luck on your next commercial or industrial project! 19

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