Aerospace Hinge Manufacturing – Machine Shop Versus Bandy Manufacturing

February 18th, 2020

Machine shop v. Bandy Manufacturing is not exactly Godzilla v. Mothra, but the fate of your program may hang in the balance if you choose the wrong side.

We at Bandy Manufacturing routinely get phone calls from machine shops begging us to bail them out after they have taken an order to make a hinge or a door with hinge line feature.  Procurement and supply chain specialists often lump complex hinges or components with hinge-like features into large machined component bid packages.  Machine shops follow their customers’ lead and quote on the parts in the package – including those with hinge line features.  Some lucky shop eventually wins a share of the work including the hinges.  Only after starting to engineer the process or – worse – after starting to make the parts, the shop realizes that they do not have the know-how to drill the hinge line to the required tolerances.

That’s when we get the panicked phone call asking for assistance.  Usually, the caller is pleading for delivery of a handful of parts in a day or two.  They are already late and usually have scrapped a few parts before making the call.

Which company bears the brunt of the late delivery and high scrap rate?  Usually the end customer.

The whole mess was entirely avoidable.  Why put your supply chain at risk?  Why put your vendors into a no-win situation?  Why jeopardize your schedule?  Procurement specialists don’t learn your lesson the hard way.  When getting quotes for hinges or parts with hinge-line features – go to the professionals.  Bandy Manufacturing started making hinges in 1953.  Our team has seen it all.  With a full suite of specialty hinge making equipment and its state-of-the-art CNC capabilities, Bandy will deliver high quality parts on-time, every time.

Case Study

One of the best CNC shops in Southern California recently called and asked us to drill the hinge line in a military aircraft door prototype.  They had already made the door and were faced with the unsolvable problem of putting in the hinge holes using CNC equipment.  They had no hope, so they made the desperation call to our team.

We received the first door and put in the hinge-line holes the next day.  We also assessed the relevant hinge features and found that the shop did not make the hinge nodes to the drawing.  This is a common problem with hinges and one that our team handles effortlessly.  However, a shop that does not routinely make hinges may easily fool itself into thinking that they have made the part correctly.  Small position tolerance errors get quickly multiplied as the number of hinge nodes increase.  In this case, the hinge line was relatively short – only 32”.  The Bandy team routinely handles hinges 14 feet long or longer, so a door with a hinge-line less than 3 feet long was easily managed and quickly manufactured.

Our customer was ecstatic.  Their customer was relieved. And Bandy will partner with the machine shop on the program for as long as they make the door.

When it comes to making HINGES – why take a chance with a generalist?  Buy from Bandy and get it right the first time.  Bandy’s quality system is AS-9100 revision D certified and we are approved suppliers to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Northrop, Gulfstream, Triumph, Textron and many other leading aerospace/aircraft manufacturers and their top suppliers.  We have relationships with outside processing houses throughout the U.S. enabling us to make any hinge or part with hinge features complete to your specification.  Our customers span the globe and have trusted Bandy for their hinges for over 65 years.

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