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Faulty Door Latch Frustrates Owner
3/1/2012

The Andersen storm door latch assembly is a proprietary design, so generic replacements won't fit the door without major modifications.
The Andersen storm door latch assembly is a proprietary design, so generic replacements
won’t fit the door without major modifications.

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Beth Stackpole
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Slow and steady revenue stream
Beth Stackpole   3/1/2012 6:57:57 AM
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It's always the little things that cause the biggest inconveniences. They have to figure that a consumer will gladly shell out $17 for a latch replacement instead of having to replace the door (I'm actually surprised they didn't tell you that there were no latch replacements available, thus a door replacement was in order). And in that way, there's incremental revenue to be had during the lifetime of the door purchase--afterall, how many home owners are swapping out doors earlier than a decade or more?

jmiller
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Platinum
Re: Slow and steady revenue stream
jmiller   3/1/2012 11:30:36 PM
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I just hate the fact that American companies have come to the place where it appears that they just don't care anymore.  This is just so frustrating.  What happened to American Pride in manufacturing a quality product.

didymus7
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Platinum
Re: Slow and steady revenue stream
didymus7   3/2/2012 9:10:29 AM
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Actually the answer is probably simpler that that:  They have a new design for next year, so why bother redesiging the latch on an obsolete product?

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Slow and steady revenue stream
Rob Spiegel   3/2/2012 11:33:26 AM
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You may have the key to this, Didymus7. At least that would explain the inexplicable. IN all other scenarios, it would be less expensive for the company to simply fix the design.  

Ozark Sage
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Silver
Re: Anderson info
Ozark Sage   3/2/2012 11:46:53 AM
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Anderson Info

Andersen Corporation
Andersen Corporation is the umbrella organization for all Andersen businesses, products and employees.

Main Office
100 Fourth Avenue North
Bayport, MN 55003-1096
651.264.5150
map & driving directions

Corporate Administrative Offices
5909 Omaha Avenue North
Oak Park Heights, MN 55082-6364
651.264.5150
map & driving directions

Menomonie Facility
201 Lookout Road
Menomonie, WI 54751
651.264.5150
map & driving directions
 
 
Renewal by Andersen
Renewal by Andersen is an Andersen subsidiary company that offers a fresh approach to window replacement by serving 'do-it-for-me' homeowners who want simple, reliable solutions for replacing old windows with low-maintenance, energy-efficient, custom-made windows.

9900 Jamaica Avenue South
Cottage Grove, MN 55016-3920
651.264.4000
renewalbyandersen.com
map & driving directions
 
 
EMCO Doors
EMCO, a leading manufacturer and distributor of all season/storm doors and accessories, was acquired by Andersen Corporation in 2001. EMCO was founded in 1932 and began focusing on storm doors in 1977.

2121 East Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50317
515.265.6101
emcodoors.com
map & driving directions
 
 
KML Windows Inc.
Founded in 1982 and acquired by Andersen Corporation in 2001, KML has grown to be one of the most respected specialty manufacturers of architecturally designed windows and entranceways in North America.

71 Second Street
Strathroy, Ontario N7G 3HB
Canada
519.245-2270
map & driving directions
 
 
Silver Line Building Products
Silver Line Building Products Corporation, a leading manufacturer of vinyl windows and patio doors in North America.  Based in New Jersey, Silver Line has manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Texas and Illinois.  Adding this product line to the company's portfolio has enabled Andersen to provide windows and doors for virtually any new construction or home improvement project.

Silver Line Building Products LLC
One Silver Line Drive
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
732-435-1000
SilverLineWindows.com
AmericanCraftsmanWin.com
 
 
Eagle Window & Door
Eagle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Andersen Corporation, manufacturing aluminum clad wood windows and patio doors. The product line includes a wide range of design options including 50 standard exterior colors, nine interior wood species, 11 factory interior finishes, decorative glass and blinds between the glass.

2045 Kerper Boulevard
P.O. Box 1072
Dubuque, Iowa 52004-1072
800-324-5354
eagleinc@eaglewindow.com
eaglewindow.com
map & driving directions
 
 
Custom Pultrusions, Inc. (CPI)
Custom Pultrusions, Inc. (CPI) was acquired by Andersen Corporation in 2009, after serving as a critical supplier for more than 25 years. CPI has a long established reputation for being a leading provider of thin wall, highly complex pultrusion solutions with an outstanding commitment to quality that is coupled with exceptional customer service. In addition to continuing its role as a key strategic partner to Andersen, CPI extends its development and manufacturing services to a wide variety of business partners. CPI supplies pultruded lineals and fabrication services to multiple industry segments including transportation, building/ construction, and consumer products.

1331 S. Chillicothe Road
Aurora, Ohio 44202
330.562.5201

Contact: Elizabeth Huntington

map & driving directions
 
 
Andersen Logistics
Andersen Logistics is focused on the timely and efficient distribution of Andersen windows, patio doors, exterior doors and other exterior products to Andersen Windows, Inc. dealers.

Allendale
230 West Crescent Avenue
Allendale, NJ  07401
201-236-5920
map & driving directions

Consolidation Center
Menomonie Industrial Park
5929 Packer Drive NE
Menomonie, WI 54751-9490
715.233.5000
map & driving directions

Carlisle Warehouse
1627 Ritner Highway
Carlisle, PA 17013-9356
717.243.5656
map & driving directions

Denver
3500 North Windsor Drive
Suite 700
Aurora, CO 80011-8118
303.371.6191
map & driving directions

Fall River
16 Currant Road
Fall River, MA 02720-4726
508.235.0300
map & driving directions

Fort Worth

15001 Peterson Court
Fort Worth, TX 76177-2324
817.430.8800
map & driving directions


Menomonie
5929 Packer Drive NE
Menomonie, WI 54751
715.233.5002
map & driving directions 

Sacramento
8496 Rovana Circle
Sacramento, CA 95828
916.383.2900
map & driving directions

West Columbia
128 McQueen Street
West Columbia, SC 29172-3907
803.791.5634
map & driving directions
     

 

fredsay
User Rank
Gold
Re: Slow and steady revenue stream
fredsay   3/2/2012 9:15:37 AM
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" What happened to American Pride in manufacturing a quality product."

I'm guessing we outsourced it to China.

ratkinsonjr
User Rank
Gold
Re: Slow and steady revenue stream
ratkinsonjr   3/2/2012 4:44:56 PM
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That's exactly right. When my mother called to order the latest replacement, she asked if it was made in America and the clerk said "Yes, it is." When the box arrived via FedEx a week later, printed on two sides of the box were the words: "Made in China". I guess even Andersen is feeling the cost pressure.

uniquity@uniquitypsych.com
User Rank
Gold
Re: Slow and steady revenue stream
uniquity@uniquitypsych.com   3/2/2012 5:56:44 PM
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Since the low quality of many current products as spawned the stores to push extended warranties on almost everything they sell, I have devised my own plan.  I do not get the extended warranty they offer, but when I buy items like nuts and bolts, I ask for the extended warranty.  It really confuses the clerks when I want the extended warranty on socks.  I do not mean to pick on the checkout clerk, but I hope the word will get to management that something is going on.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Slow and steady revenue stream
Rob Spiegel   3/5/2012 12:18:29 PM
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That's funny, Uniquity. I have to start trying that. I've found that athletic socks don't last as long as they used to. In the past I got years of wear. Now I'm luck to get four months before the white socks start to pull out of shape of start tearing. I need to demand an extended warrantee.

BRedmond
User Rank
Silver
Re: Slow and steady revenue stream
BRedmond   3/2/2012 9:51:55 AM
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12 month warranty, 13 month failure cycle.  Sounds like they have their "planned obsolescence" figured out just about perfectly.  Unfortunately, that doesn't sound too far from the truth if they know that it is a problem and haven't fixed it over a multi-year period.  Until/unless it hurts their reputation (as somebody suggested), manuafacturing and selling more $17 replacement parts is more cost-effective than assigning the manpower to do a redesign.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Slow and steady revenue stream
jmiller   3/2/2012 11:16:21 AM
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It all comes down to that mighty dollar.  And unfortunately it's very difficult to put a value on building a product that goes way beyond it's warranty period.  I've not really taken a look at a new car or truck lately.  But i'd be intereted to see if Americans are really buying vehicles or anything else  that has a longer warranty period.   

Does a mojority of the market pay the extra money for extra quality?  Unfortunately, not.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
A discouraging story
Ann R. Thryft   3/1/2012 12:53:59 PM
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Wow, that's a discouraging story. Andersen is not exactly a small company. In fact, they're huge. Sounds like not only have they taken their manufacturing to China, but are going for the lowest cost possible, or not spending enough on QC of their designs, or both.

BTW, I had to look up the definition of "storm door." In California, if we have an outer door it's a screen door for use in summer, not a solid one for use in winter. 


Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A discouraging story
Rob Spiegel   3/1/2012 1:31:53 PM
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Yes, I can understand the "storm door" would be an unusual term if you're in California. I grew up in Michigan, and every fall we had to put on our storm doors and storm windows to keep the cold out. In the spring, we removed the storm doors and windows and replaced them with the screen doors and screen windows.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: A discouraging story
Ann R. Thryft   3/1/2012 2:46:16 PM
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Thanks, Rob. The things we learn when we ask questions...! I didn't know "storm" doors were about severe cold. That makes a lot more sense. Sounds like they should be called "cold" doors. We can have extremely severe rainstorms in the mountains here, as much as 24 inches in 24 hours (granted that was an end-of-the-Bell-curve storm in 1982 before I moved here), or even 8 inches in an hour, which I have experienced. That's enough water force to knock a husband off the roof who's up there putting down tarps, since it's also enough force to get in through even well-laid roof tiles. Anyway, we have major storms but no storm doors, hence my curiosity.


Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: A discouraging story
Rob Spiegel   3/2/2012 11:13:41 AM
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Yes, they really are "cold" doors and windows. Wow, you really get severe rain. Here in the high desert, we don't see much of that. We run about seven to eleven inches per year. We get the occaisional downpour -- which lasts about 20 minutes -- and even that can cause some mighty flash floods. Hope your husband didn't even up too damaged.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: A discouraging story
Ann R. Thryft   3/2/2012 12:05:54 PM
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That day there were a lot of husbands temporarily home from work doing the same thing on roofs all over Boulder Creek and neighboring communities, since we saw it coming on the NOAA radar and weather reports. He's a pretty big guy, which probably saved him from falling off, along with the gentle slope of the roof. A very scary situation.

Redwood forests are actually classed as rain forests, albeit temperate zone ones. That's how we get enough moisture to grow stuff on plastic. Your rainfall sounds like what used to be normal in LA before theirs went down to, what, 2 inches a year or so for awhile during the last drought.


Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Re: A discouraging story
Mydesign   3/1/2012 10:11:33 PM
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1 saves
Robert, Eventhough they know the faults, why they are still continuing with the flaw design. Is there any basic intention behind such moves like, since it’s a proprietary design nobody else can repair it. I think they have plans for a new design, which can address these issues. Otherwise it may affect the reputation and marketing value of products.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Weakest link
Tim   3/1/2012 8:38:37 PM
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This is an example of how something is only as strong as its weakest link.  I am sure that the door cost at least $200, and it is too bad to see that a $2 ($17 as a spare part) assembly could cause the door to be basically non-operational.

DB_Wilson
User Rank
Gold
Perhaps Some Visibility Is Needed
DB_Wilson   3/2/2012 9:30:09 AM
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Perhaps having someone at a high level in Anderson received a copy of the post and a link to this website would encourage Anderson to address the latch failures.  I've seen a number of problems go unaddressed until someone in management realized there was a problem.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Platinum
Re: Perhaps Some Visibility Is Needed
OLD_CURMUDGEON   3/2/2012 10:05:15 AM
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I don't believe that for a millisecond!  American companies are steeped in legal depts., and have effectively insulated themselves from the "annoyances" of their customers & product users.  Did you ever try to get the name of the CEO of a major supplier? Most of the time, UNLESS they're in the news for some unrelated event, they are more guarded than the Queen of England! 

Starting in 2010, I had an ongoing issue w/ VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS.  Over a period of 16 months they sent me almost 50 e-mails regarding my FIOS service contract.  The problem was/is that I do not subscribe to VERIZON for ANY telephony or related services.  Worst yet, the original e-mails congratulated me for my choice of FIOS, and requested that I confirm the installation date for the equipment.  After 16 months of phone calls, e-mails, etc., it was determined that the ACTUAL customer was located in Massachusetts.  I am in Florida!  It wasn't until I threatened to enter a formal complaint w/ the Public Service Commission that I began to receive some attention to this error. They have since purged my e-mail address from their systems...... at least that's what I've been told.  We'll wait & see IF that's the case! 

jmach54
User Rank
Iron
Re: Perhaps Some Visibility Is Needed
jmach54   3/2/2012 10:57:44 AM
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A few years ago in the process of replacing a front entry door I also replaced the "storm" door, also made by Anderson, purchased from Home Depot.  During the installation you get to a step where you are supposed to remove the protective plastic covering the door in order to install the latch assembly.  Of course, this is about 75% into the installation.  Removing the protective plastic revealed several deep scratch marks on the outer surface of the door.  I contacted Anderson who told me to return the door to Home Depot.  My second door, after returning home, revealed what appeared to be an attack with a ball peen hammer on the inner side of the door covered by spray paint that didn't match the door finish.  This door, too, was going back.

Back at Home Depot, they had run out of stock on the door I had purchased so I was upgraded (for a $20.00 fee) to a storm door with insulated glass.

Is the third time the charm?  Well, almost.  At least this third door didn't have any scratches on it but the latch still doesn't close well.  Anderson's quality is poor, all three doors had excessive metal shavings in the latch area as well as very sharp edges where the latch opening had been punched out.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Perhaps Some Visibility Is Needed
Rob Spiegel   3/2/2012 11:23:45 AM
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I would imagine these types of problems would be very costly for Anderson, more costly than doing it right the first time. So it seems strange these problems would not be corrected quickly. 

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
Re: Perhaps Some Visibility Is Needed
GlennA   3/7/2012 8:59:11 AM
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I have a theory = It's in the accounting.

While I was working at GM there was a recall on bolts securing part of the front wheel suspension.  The new bolts were breaking, so the recall was to replace the breaking bolts under warranty.

My theory is that an engineer proposed replacing the bolts with cheaper bolts to save about $1.00 per thousand.  Cost reduction is good, so the manufacturing cost of the car was reduced by pennies.  This cost savings is applied to the Manufacturing Costs Account.

Then the waranty replacements happen, at a cost of perhaps $50.00 per bolt in recall notices, shipping, dealer labor costs, and whatever.  These costs are applied to the Warranty Recall Costs Account.

But no-one looks to see that the penny savings in manufacturing then cost dollars in warranty.  There is a difference between making something less-expensive, and making it cheaper.  Is it possible the problem with the storm doors a result of cost reduction in manufacturing ?

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Perhaps Some Visibility Is Needed
Rob Spiegel   3/7/2012 2:54:38 PM
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That's pretty bad, Glenn. You'd think that with a well-run company, there would be some backtracking on the accounting for warranty recall costs to determine their source. Then a circle back to make sure whatever was causing the warranty costs could be corrected on the manufacturing side. Seems that would be a simple function that could save countless thousands of $$.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Perhaps Some Visibility Is Needed
Jack Rupert, PE   3/11/2012 2:39:19 PM
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I agree that the problem might very well be in accounting, although I'm starting to wonder whether or not these really are overlooked as you suggest.  What if its a case of playing the odds that X% will fail during the warrenty and only Y% of the owners will actually file a valid claim and at the end of the day, the company comes out ahead.  This is sort of like companies that give rebates rather than discounts.  They know that people will look at the rebated bottom line when chosing a product, but the actual filers are at a much lower percent.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Perhaps Some Visibility Is Needed
Rob Spiegel   3/16/2012 3:33:18 PM
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I understand what you're saying, Jack, but it doesn't make sense for the company to not fix the problem. We see this over and over again in the Monkey blogs. There's a rule of thumb that a satisfied customer will tell a couple people, while a dissatisfied customer will tell 20. Given the Internet, a dissatisfied customer now may tell thousands.

ChasChas
User Rank
Platinum
ways of the world
ChasChas   3/2/2012 11:54:50 AM
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Robert

Maybe you don't understand the ways of the world.

You need to hire a lawyer and sue the Newspaper. 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Poorly designed Anderson door latch
William K.   3/5/2012 10:34:45 PM
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There are serious quality problems with some kinds of aluminum castings coming from some areas of China. The main cause is poor quality metal, aluminum with a lot of iron in it, and isteel that includes a lot of "non ferrous" materials. That may be part of the problem.

Unfortunately you have been causght in the nonstandard part trap, and are compelled to continue purchasing the same poorly designed pieces repeatedly. So spend the effort, drill the new holes, and purchase a good quality door latch. That will be the end of those problems.

The secret is to measure carefully and then center punch each hole to be drilled, and to drill a smaller pilot hole first.Also, use a drill lubricant and don't press  very hard. That gives fewer burrs to trim off.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Poorly designed Anderson door latch
Dave Palmer   3/6/2012 1:01:46 PM
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@William K.: Sometimes, high iron levels in aluminum are a result of re-melting low quality scrap, as you point out.  In other cases, iron is intentionally added to aluminum in order to prevent die sticking, without a lot of thought as to its effect on mechanical properties.  Excessive iron results in the formation of aluminum-iron-silicon intermetallic compounds, also known as "sludge." Sludge reduces mechanical properties, especially ductility and fatigue strength.  It also decreases fluidity, which tends to promote porosity.  In short, it's bad stuff.

Thankfully, though, my experience has been that seriously off-spec chemistry is fairly rare, even in castings sourced from China and India.  In this case, it sounds like the problem is a design which simply doesn't leave enough material at the edge of the hole.

I think your fix of simply drilling new holes in the door so that it will accomodate another manufacturer's latch is probably the best solution.

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Fix it for good
Larry M   3/6/2012 3:58:45 PM
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I might be tempted to repair an old latch.
  • Cut two pieces of 1/8" aluminum to match the sides of the latch.
  • Bond them to the sides of the broken latch with binary epoxy (attractive) or pop-rivets (not so attractive)
  • Grind/polish the aluminum gussets flush with the original latch assembly
  • Drill for a roll pin, either through the original holes or (if the assembly will operate properly) slightly further back from the edge
  • Insert the roll pin
  • Reassemble lock to door


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