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All About Quality:

A Q&A with Midlake owner & president Jeff Rich

What does “quality” mean to Midlake?

For Midlake, producing high quality custom hinges is a given. We would not be in business for over 30 years if we did not deliver high quality hinges and service. What doesn’t work is when you apply a one-size-fits-all quality process to every customer or different applications.

We all know producing something has a cost – but in the long run high quality is more cost-efficient. It is common for good companies to regularly implement quality improvement programs and processes to be proactive in today’s rapidly changing markets.

Midlake implements a process that meets each customer’s specific demands for quality for their specific applications. Midlake focuses to understand what each customers requires and expects specifically to their application.

Heavy Duty Spring Hinge

This high quality, heavy duty spring hinge has specifically calculated spring torque tuned perfectly for the customer’s application.

What does “quality” mean to Midlake customers?

It means many things. We know that our customers are concerned about quality requirements specific to their needs and industry. They want to be assured that no matter which end of the spectrum they represent, Midlake has the width and breadth to manage their specific requirements.

Example: An agricultural OEM really doesn’t care if you are GE Certified, or a medical account will not recognize an automotive certification. They will look at individual certifications as positive examples of your company’s experience in managing specific quality systems, however they want the assurance of your company’s ability to successfully implement their quality requirements. They want their product on time, as expected. Without delay. At the price quoted.

How does Midlake meet the quality demands of customers?

As a quality hinge manufacturer, Midlake has extensive experience in building our quality process and system that meets or exceeds our customers’ expectations. We can go as high up the quality chain a supplier would like to go, but the key is in aligning ourselves with the customers’ specific quality requirements.

What certifications or awards pertaining to quality has Midlake received?

Health & Safety 18001 PMS3282 Midlake earned a Certificate of Registration in 2001 to certify that we operate within a quality system which complies with ISO- 9001:2008.

You have a strong opinion about ISO, don’t you?

Here’s the funny thing about ISO certification. A company can manufacture life jackets filled with cement and be ISO certified. This bothers me because this certification has become a marketing tool that has lost value over the years. I have a card that says I’m a YMCA member, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I exercise enough or at all. Likewise, just because a manufacturer hangs a certificate on the wall does not guarantee they are exercising their quality muscles on a regular basis. ISO used to help differentiate you from others, now not so much.

Nevertheless, I assure our customers that we have earned all the right certification and it is relevant to the custom hinges we make and the services we deliver. What keeps our customers coming back is our ability to take that knowledge and expertise to create the custom hinge that’s perfect for their application.

Describe the customers who look to you for solutions.

Before they meet us, they are often looking high and low for the hinge that best fits their project. Once we work together, they know they can count on us to provide the custom solution to this and every project.

Our repeat customers understand the benefit of sharing information and ideas with us. They realize their requirement is special and custom, and they appreciate our service because they know anything short of a custom built part would lessen their product.

High Quality Hinges

When the hinge is combined with the surrounding parts, the result is a stronger, better-aligned and higher quality hinge for your application.

Jeff, any closing thoughts about “quality”?

At the end of the day, if someone wants to talk to a Master Black Belt regarding quality, we have them covered. If they want to perform a supplier audit, we are happy to comply. If they would like to see quality measures we will share them without hesitation. If they want a PPAP or capability study, no problem. We have the experience and know-how to apply the right level of quality to their specific project.

Ready to learn more?

Just a few questions and we can get started on the custom hinge that’s perfect for your project.    

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THERE'S A STORY BEHIND EVERY MIDLAKE HINGE

That story is usually about how we integrate parts, simplify processes and manufacture a custom hinge that adds to the integrity of your project. We usually save you money, too!

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