Reliability is always a primary concern in the aerospace industry. When operating aircraft or mobile ground equipment, it’s impossible to understate the importance of having every part—primary systems and backup systems—in working order. This goes for not only an operating vehicle but when it’s stationary as well.
Carrying cargo is one primary function of many aircraft and mobile ground systems. When loading and unloading that cargo, it’s critical to ensure not only the function of your equipment but of the people performing those duties as well. That’s where hold open rods, also known as struts, come into play.
More than just holding open doors and other openings, however, struts play an invaluable role in aircraft landing gear and engine maintenance. Given the importance of struts for reliability, it’s essential to have an experienced and trustworthy team you can rely on for quality strut production.
For over 40 years, Orscheln Products has partnered with companies around the world in both the aerospace and defense industries. Based in Moberly, Missouri, with offices in India, Europe, and China, we expertly design, manufacture, and test our hold-open rods and landing gear struts for lasting success. Read on to learn about our process and commitment to quality.
What are Hold Open Rods/Struts?
Hold open rods work as described, helping to hold openings such as large open doors and hatches. You primarily find them in things like aircraft and stationary ground equipment, such as military land style vehicles.
However, customers can use this equipment on just about anything with a large opening. Some of the most common applications for Orscheln hold open rods include cargo, engine nacelles, maintenance doors of all types, and access panels.
When handling cargo, workers will use a door or hatch to access the contents of the aircraft or ground vehicle. These doors and hatches carry a significant amount of weight, and certain environmental conditions can make it difficult to access the cargo easily. The hold-open rod, or strut, helps to keep that opening in place to protect both people and products.
As mentioned previously, however, you can use struts for more than just supporting doors and hatches. And when an aircraft needs engine maintenance, a hold-open rod can help to keep a hinged section of the nacelle system open during the repair.
The main difference between a hold-open rod and aircraft landing gear struts comes from their interface. Cargo loading and unloading require collapsible struts, which means the user can adjust for size and storage. Landing gear will use a solid strut, which means that the rod is all one solid, consistent piece with no operator interface.
Regardless of what struts your company needs, the quality of the product matters immensely in ensuring quality outcomes.
Hold Open Rods & Aircraft Struts at Orscheln
Orscheln builds hold open rods for a wide variety of customers. Our team can build them to a customer’s individual specifications, or we can build them in-house to our own designs. We can also review any existing product supplied by a customer or original equipment manufacturer (OEM), evaluate and conceptualize it, and reverse engineer a solution to make the part fit the exact specifications.
Initial RFQ & Design
The process starts by sending a request for a quotation (RFQ) to our sales team. In the event a customer or OEM needs a custom design, we’ll ask you to send over any specific requirements and a description of everything your hold open rod needs. You can also send over a model or 2-D print of your hold open rod or aircraft strut during this process.
Collaboration plays a major role throughout the entire process at Orscheln. Once we gain a better understanding of the project’s requirements, the process moves into the design phase as our engineers put together a model of the product. During the design phase, our team will provide constant communication and feedback to ensure that the customer gets what they need.
Testing & Manufacturing
Once the customer or OEM has approved a finalized model, we can move into the project’s testing phase. One of Orscheln’s primary differentiators shows through our testing capabilities. We always ensure that each of our products, including hold-open rods and aircraft struts, can withstand any applications required by a customer or OEM.
The requirements of the test may change depending on the customer, but our main hold open rod testing capabilities include tests for:
- Thermal shock
- Water Ingress
- Hold Open Force
- Actuation Force
- And clamping load
We perform all hold open rod and aircraft strut tests in-house. The exception to that comes when customers or OEMs require dust and altitude tests, which we outsource to a different facility.
Once tested, we send the product to our feasibility team, which takes account of all feedback from within the different team divisions at Orscheln. The product then goes to our manufacturing team to ensure all proper tooling, testing and dies. The length of this process will vary based on the project scope, but customers and OEMs can expect to follow this order of operations when ordering hold-open rods and aircraft struts Orscheln.
Benefits of Partnering With Orscheln
Now that you know more about hold-open rods and our process at Orscheln, it’s time to look over some of the key differentiators of partnering with us!
As previously mentioned, Orscheln offers the capability of providing in-house hold-open rods, custom-designing them, and even reverse engineering existing struts. In the case of reverse engineering, we’ll tear the part down, measure each component, draw up a design, and start the reverse engineering process to make it fit customer specifications.
Some examples of our flexibility show in regards to size and load requirements. Orscheln’s hold open rods can fit whatever load requirements you have up to 620 pounds. Based on these load requirements, as the length and diameter of the strut, we can make struts as long or as short as a customer requires.
In addition to flexibility, Orscheln also differentiates itself by using mechanical hold-open rods rather than gas shock.
Gas shock hold-open rods tend to work the majority of the time. However, they do have the ability to fail because of the seals used during production. There are instances where the seals will fail and cause gas to leak out, meaning that the rod won’t hold any pressure or weight.
What makes Orscheln’s hold open rods superior is our commitment to using mechanical rods with an aluminum strut tube. Not only is the rod incredibly sturdy, but it also has no failure points, which means impeccable dependability for customers and OEMs.
The quality of our products has earned us significant recognition and numerous certifications, including:
- ISO 9001: 2015 Certified
- SO 14001: 2015 Certified
- AS9100D Certified
- FAA PMA
- Compliance with 14 CFR 21.303
Orscheln offers the benefit of a full team of Test Engineers and a 15,000 square foot testing facility for your project. While some manufacturers offer an in-house facility of their own, they can’t compare to the size and capabilities that our facility offers. In fact, many tend to outsource the majority of their product testing to other facilities.
Customers and OEMS will notice the advantages of utilizing our in-house facility right away. Performing every test in-house allows customers to cut costs that they would otherwise incur from transporting their products to other facilities. As you can imagine, this approach also saves an immense amount of time during the project.
American Made, Global Reach
We design, test, and manufacture all of our hold-open rods and aircraft struts from our Headquarters in Moberley, Missouri. This gives customers and OEMs the benefit of quicker turn-around and response times, in addition to the quality that comes from our American-made products.
That said, we’re a company with a vast international reach. We design and produce all struts in the United States, but we can ship anywhere across the globe. Whether you’re a domestic or international customer or OEM, we’re ready and able to help with your project.
Contact Orscheln Products for Hold Open Rods of All Sizes!
If you’re an OEM or aftermarket customer looking for hold-open rods or aircraft struts, Orscheln Products is ready to partner with you. We serve a variety of industries and offer support to companies around the globe, from our headquarters in Moberly, Missouri, and our offices in Europe, India, and China.
What sets Orscheln apart from others in our industry is an unwavering, company-wide commitment to providing each of our service markets with the care they deserve. Utilizing an approach centered around innovation, collaboration, and experience, customers have turned to us for decades for their design and manufacturing needs.
From the first point of contact through project completion, you can count on our experts to provide exceptional service and durable products.
So, if you’re an OEM looking for high-quality hold-open rods and aircraft struts, look no further. At Orscheln Products, your project is our priority! Contact us today, or take advantage of our virtual engineer to engineer service.
If you’re looking for a specific part with a quick turnaround, find a distributor near you and submit your request.