Locks to suit arduous service conditions

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FDB supplies robust, low-cost latches for use in demanding conditions to a short timescale

FDB has successfully dealt with a Middle East-based enquiry from a client requiring locks for 18,000 galvanised steel boxes designed to house water meters. The specification called for a securing of the enclosure door with a plastic clip-in, quarter-turn latch – simple to fit and, bearing in mind the quantity, relatively low in cost.

However, the enclosure manufacturer sought guidance from FDB Panel Fittings and, says Terry Cantle, Managing Director of FDB, “We felt that the proposed plastic latch would be unsuitable for the service conditions that were likely to be encountered by the boxes.” Therefore a small but very robust diecast lock with steel cam was suggested by FDB for evaluation by the client. Terry Cantle continues: “In order to stay within the budget constraints we proposed that the lock be supplied zinc-plated rather than its usual chrome-plated finish.” FDB then supplied sample locks to incorporate into the prototypes and subsequently to gain the approval of the client to proceed.

FDB then set to addressing the logistical supply chain problems to meet the short timescale required, as the box manufacturer had been given only three months to complete the contract and, with a fixed completion date in place, had set up additional facilities in order to meet the production schedules. Terry Cantle explains: “There could be no slippage on delivery of the locks as 12, 40-foot containers had been pre-booked for the shipment.”

FDB began to deliver at the required rate of 1500 locks a week but after four weeks increased this to 2000, thus facilitating completion of the contract in 10 weeks. As the delighted manufacturer stated: “We invested a considerable amount of time and money in planning and producing the enclosures at the required rate so it was vital that the supplier of the locks was able to keep up with the schedule and FDB did not let us down.”

Further information on FDB Panel Fittings products and services including the plastic clip-in, quarter-turn latch may be found at:, and find the latest information and news on the FDB blog –

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