One of the things we think makes us different than other manufacturers is that we don’t just spit out quotes when our customers want to know how much something will cost and how quickly they can get it.

On the surface, that may sound crazy, but given the nature of our business we think it makes perfect sense.

After all, hinges are often an afterthought in the manufacturing process.  And while our customers know what the hinge needs to do, they usually have some flexibility in how it’s accomplished.  That’s where our skills as “custom” manufacturers come into play.

With that in mind, here are some tips for getting a good, accurate quote on a custom hinge project:

Choosing Between Stock and Custom Ordered Materials

One of the finer points of being a custom manufacturer is deciding when to recommend custom parts and materials versus when to use materials we keep in stock.

Estimates given to customers who want custom materials used will require charges for the entire sheet of custom materials as well as require extra time to get the materials in, even if the job will only use a part of it. Using stock materials will generally give you a better lead-time and better prices for your projects.

In these cases, our team will normally offer a quote on both methods if the materials and tooling will both get the job done.

Understanding Tolerances

One of the most important factors in determining price and lead time is having clearly defined tolerance call-outs. If the tolerances are tighter, the end cost will be higher. It is important that you don’t ask for a .005” if you only need .015” tolerance. If you want a part designed with smaller tolerances than are actually required, this could result in a higher quote for the project.

However, when it comes to tolerances, tighter isn’t always better.

Challenges Specific to Spring Hinges

Spring hinges seem to be something of a unique product.  Many customers do not really know what they want when they shop for spring hinges. In fact, one of the most common issues we run into is trying to define the differences between light duty and heavy duty.

In order to get a price on a custom spring hinge order, it’s important to understand things like the material thickness you need, how frequently it will open/close, the pin diameter as well as the force and torque.

Spring hinges are not kept in stock. Each one is specifically designed to meet a customer’s needs.

Customizing Each Order

Just because Midlake products are specialty and custom-made does not necessarily mean that they are more costly or expensive. In fact, our design engineers take pride in researching and presenting the most cost effective ideas for building each order.

You can submit your plans or drawings to our engineering team, and we will show you how we are able to provide the precise hinges you need at the best possible price and the shortest possible lead times.