Motion Control Engineering & Manufacturing Resources

Making a Space-Saving Hinge Design for Your Heavy-Duty Application

Posted by Weber Knapp on Jun 22, 2020 7:15:00 AM

space-saving hinge design heavy duty - chickens on rotisserieToday’s buyers want more features integrated into their product. They also want something that doesn't take up a lot of space on their property or in their store. So, how does a product designer balance the two?

The right hinge will take care of both of these issues, plus a few more.

Let’s look at how your manufacturer can turn a heavy-duty hinge design into a space-saving hinge design -- all while saving you a few bucks:

Using Counterbalances in Heavy-Duty Hinge Design to Save Space & Costs

There are several cost and design benefits to working with mechanical motion control in a project that demands lid or door support.

  • Make a more compact design
  • Reduce material costs
  • Keep the aesthetic you want
  • Trim the product’s weight

Save Space

There are several reasons to take a space-saving hinge approach with any application.

  • Products take up less space at home
  • In a restaurant or other commercial spaces, floor space may be at a premium
  • More room to place additional features or components
  • Can more easily separate components you don’t want near each other (i.e. a sensitive component near the heat source of a grill)

It’s common that the request you make to a hinge manufacturer requires a custom solution. Work with a manufacturer that can incorporate any needed counterbalance springs directly into your existing system.

For example, in the same rotisserie project we included two different features inside the counterbalance hinge:

  • Bearing for the sprocket
  • Electrical switches

Building these features into the counterbalance can replace the structure you otherwise might’ve had to create. It makes it that much easier to make a sleeker, more compact design.

Note: Some motion control solutions providers may struggle with these types of features. Do your due diligence before putting your design in the hands of another manufacturer.

space-saving hinge design heavy duty - pile of sheet steelReduce Material Costs

Any time you can get away with using less material, it’s a big win for your project's budget.

Since your hinge manufacturer can build features right into your counterbalance component, you can eliminate parts of your final assembly. You simply mount it into your device, and skip the purchase of additional raw steel or finished components. A smaller and lighter product is also cheaper to ship, so this is actually a double win!

Keep Your Vision

Complex hinge design can help you better realize your initial vision for the project.

The more compact a counterbalance hinge design is, the more easily you can place it where you’d like. Hidden hinges are popular in many product lines that don’t want the bulky, industrial vibe of a hinge getting in the way of aesthetics.

Weight Savings

Cut the fat out of your design by including more compact, multipurpose components.

A reduction in material use doesn't just translate to saving space, it also means a lightweight hinge and an overall lighter design. A lighter product is easier to move for the consumer, and cheaper to ship for the seller.

The use of lightweight materials like aluminum can also reduce weight, although you’ll see reduced impact resistance and potentially corrosion resistance, depending on your other options.

Industrial Lid Support Meets Space-Saving Hinge Designs

Heavy hinge design often requires a custom solution. This is especially true when you’re trying to conserve space, because a smaller hinge is often more complicated than a conventional one. 

Plenty of industries and applications can benefit from a manufacturer that adds built-in value to its components:

  • Grill and smoker lid design
  • Medical devices
  • Food preparation tables
  • Other applications that require a heavy-load-bearing hinge

By following the standard hinge design guidelines for counterbalancing, you can create even more value -- safety, convenience, and longevity -- in your product. To learn more about these hinge design engineering shortcuts, ask an engineer your design question below.

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Topics: Applications, Design, Grill, Aesthetics, Food Industry, Cost, kitchen