Never ones to stop thinking about how to do stuff better, we’ve listened to feedback from installers in the field about how to make our product easier to install and maintain.
One thing that came up is - while a jig is useful to quickly mark the position of where the latch should go on a levelled door - when there are thousands of doors to install then the best option is to pre-drill the latch holes in the factory.
But pre-drilling latch holes doesn’t leave much room for error when aligning the latch with the mouth of the lock after levelling doors onsite.
We were always aware of this - our current latch design has about 5mm of tolerance on vertical plane in either direction as does the mouth of the lock, it can be adjusted up and down before screwing in the final screw to align with the lock mouth. That means you can pre-drill 1 of the latch holes, and then manually adjust the latch position and screw in the final screw(s) once the door is level.
But what if you could pre-drill top and bottom latch holes onto doors, fit both locks and latches in the factory knowing that after levelling doors the latch would still open smoothly. Enter the Smartalock floating latch set - which subject to passing some abusive testing - should become our standard latch from November onward.
With the floating latch, the steel staple is sprung to be able to move up and down within the latch enclosure, meaning it always will align with the mouth of the lock, even if its a whopping 14mm out!
Installers can now pretty much eyeball where to screw the latch on and it should still work (not that we recommend doing that!). It also means that subsidence over time of doors, hinges or the whole building shouldn’t result in multiple callouts to fix sticky latches on locker doors.
Our spring has been designed to withstand staying in a fully compressed position for upto 10 years and still bounce back every time. The design also allows for a grub screw to still lock off the final position should the installer want certainty of the latch position.