So, what is Contract Lock Manufacturing? The simple answer is where a customer has a lock manufacturer build a lock just for them.
It is a lot more complicated than the “Simple Answer”. It usually does not only involve the design of a new lock, but also a locking mechanism. A lot of the time a engineer designs a product for his/her company, but fails to design an off the shelf lock into this new product. At this point it is often cheaper to get a manufacturer to design a lock and mechanism, rather then redesigning this new product again.
Most manufacturers must have commitment for a large number of locks or high dollar amount. At that point, a contract is usually made between the company and lock manufacturer. From here the engineering will begin which will end with design samples for fit and function. Then production samples will follow. When the company signs off on the new lock and or mechanism, production will begin.
How it gets from design to production is usually a long process and involves many details such as:
- Agreement as to the quantity of locks and price.
- Who pays for any tooling costs.
- What is a reasonable quantity of design and production samples.
- Material and security level of these new locks and/or mechanisms.
- Is there any electronics involved in the new products.
- Does the new lock and/or mechanisms need to communicate with the new product.
- Delivery dates of this new lock.
- Quality control throughout the process.
As you see this process is not an easy one. This is a reason why many large lock manufacturers will not go through this process unless the quantities are extremely large. However there are many smaller manufacturers that specialize in “Custom Lock Manufacturing” One such company is Locking Systems International, they have the ability to design these locks and/or mechanism is the United States, then manufacturer in their factories is Asia. There still must be enough quantity to make the process worth while for all those involved. However, they can deal with lower quantities as their overhead is usually smaller.
If your company needs a custom solution to your locking and product security, you should first decide what type of locking mechanisms that you need, and the quantity needed. When you have a clear understanding of what you need then start to contact manufacturers.