Choosing A Quarter-Turn? Here’s 5 Things You Need To KnowArticles, Quarter-turns
So, you’re thinking about purchasing a quarter-turn latch.
If you’re reading this, that means you want to do the appropriate research into these locking mechanisms before you make any purchasing decisions.
Quarter-turn latches (also known as cam latches or cam locks) are not only easy to use, but they are simple to install and have a near-endless range of possible applications.
This is why quarter-turn latches have been trusted to secure doors, access panels, and more on countless pieces of equipment for decades.
So you’re making a good choice in selecting a quarter-turn for your application.
But before you decide on a latch to seal the deal, there are 5 things you need to consider:
- Does the application have specific requirements?
- What are the security and ergonomic requirements?
- In what environment will the quarter-turn be used?
- How will the quarter-turn be installed?
- Is consumer preference a factor?
Cam latches can easily be overlooked by standard consumers, but the truth is they play an integral role in the performance and security of various industrial applications or products.
With such a wide range of quarter-turn solutions to choose from, how can you be sure you're choosing the right quarter-turn for your specific application(s)?
Let’s get into it.
1. Does the application have specific requirements?
One of the first things you need to think about when selecting a quarter-turn is if the application has any specific requirements, such as a specific key type or perhaps any environmental or industry standards that must be adhered to.
Specific key types are very common in industries that use these mechanisms to protect critical equipment, such as technology and equipment. These keys are to ensure the equipment is only accessible by authorized service personnel, who regularly operate, inspect, or repair said equipment.
Just as common, certain application instances will need to meet specific safety standards set by the industry. These safety standards have a huge impact on what quarter-turns can be used specific applications, as said standards can determine locking, material, and dimensional requirements.
2. What are the security and ergonomic requirements?
Next, you have to consider the physical application in which the quarter-turn is to be installed. There are 3 questions you should consider:
- How will the quarter-turn be operated?
- How will the panel or door that the quarter-turn is attached to move?
- Is there another handle to assist in opening the enclosure?
Quarter-turn latches can be opened with a simple twisting motion by hand, or with a custom key, depending on your preference.
However in secure environments, it is most common to limit enclosure access to only authorized individuals.
While a basic quarter-turn can meet basic security requirements, it can also be used in conjunction with various locking mechanisms, whether they be simple or more advanced, for additional security.
3. In what environment will the quarter-turn be used?
Now that you’ve thought about security and space in the enclosure, you need to consider the physical environment that the enclosure exists in.
This is a critical question when considering the general strength and construction of the quarter-turn, as it will greatly affect the choice of material.
You need to think about how frequently the latch will be used, as well as the weather conditions the latch may have to face, such as sun and wind exposure.
If a latch has to withstand tougher weather conditions or great amounts of force during its intended normal operation, then we recommend selecting a quarter-turn made of a stronger material like stainless steel or zinc.
4. Is consumer preference a factor in choosing your quarter-turn?
How is it going to look, when it’s all said and done?
Let’s be honest, consumers care less about the internal components of a lock, and more about the aesthetics of the entire knob.
Will the quarter-turn be visible to the customer? If so, is there a certain aesthetic they prefer?
Asking yourself these questions will help you choose both a finish and the material of your quarter-turn.
5. Is my supplier established and trustworthy?
Finally, the last and (arguably) most important question you should consider when selecting a quarter-turn.
It is critical to make sure your hardware is produced by a respected and established supplier that has the means to work in conjunction with you to identify the specific needs of your application.
Since enclosure applications are by nature very specific and often need some level of customization, it’s important that your supplier has the capacity to collaborate effectively and efficiently.
Here at DIRAK, not only do we meet industry standards for reliability, safety, and weather-resistance, we pioneered it.
Read more about how our founder invented the modular quarter-turn, and continued to pioneer the industry by crafting custom hardware with precision.
DIRAK offers some of the most revolutionary and innovative quarter-turns in the industry today.