Products for Peace of Mind

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-By Robert Hoshowsky

Every day, all of us open and close our homes, garages, sheds and office cabinets over and over again, rarely giving a second thought to the locks we use to secure our valuable possessions, protect our families, and guard our documents. As one of Australia’s premiere lock manufacturers, Victoria-based Lock Focus Pty Ltd has been providing superior-quality and innovative products to Australia, New Zealand and Asian markets for almost 40 years.

Established in Melbourne back in 1973, at a time when Australia was an emerging business market, Lock Focus was originally owned by UK-based manufacturer Lowe and Fletcher. Known worldwide for its quality products, Lock Focus designed and manufactured locks of the same quality. In 1993, Lock Focus was acquired by Australian-owned GUD Holdings Limited, a publicly-listed company with respected brands like Sunbeam, Dexion, Oates, Ryco Filters, and Davey Water Products. Lock Focus is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of superior quality locks, with brand names including Kiroo, Emka, and Locktech, which incorporates a range of fire-rated safes proving security for both home and office.

In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, Lock Focus remains proudly Australian, and one of the last remaining lock manufacturing companies in the nation. Almost all of the company’s quality locks are designed and manufactured in Australia, and the business remains one of the country’s largest manufacturers of specialty disc tumbler locking devices, and creates a wide range of products for household use and specific industry applications.

“At Lock Focus, our job is to design products and compete with a current range of competitors importing from China,” says Geoff Charnley, Chief Executive Officer for Lock Focus. “Over the years, we have continually improved our products and our efficiency to be able to compete with low-cost manufacturing companies, because we are a design and manufacturing business.”

With a highly skilled staff of about 100, Lock Focus operates out of a modern facility located in Keysborough in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. All of the company’s manufacturing takes place at the purpose-built factory, which utilises the latest and most advanced machinery and technology available. To remain competitive and ensure high quality products, much of the company’s manufacturing process is automated, and uses raw materials from local and overseas sources.

“There isn’t anybody who does what we do in this country,” says Mr Charnley. “Our competitors import [their products] from overseas. There are some who say they manufacture locks, but what they tend to do is final assembly. We manufacture our products from zinc ingots; we melt the metal, pump it into dies, cut it, finish it and assemble the product. Other people tend to assemble some things with components made elsewhere, and they call that ‘manufacturing,’ which is not carried out to the same extent as at Lock Focus.”

At Lock Focus, the company’s goal is to be the supplier of choice for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and specifiers by providing tailored locking solutions supported by exceptional service. The company’s range of locks are found in metal enclosures, doors and windows, residential products, wooden and metal furniture, garages and sheds, industrial and commercial use, and more. In addition to creating innovative locking products for a variety of applications, Lock Focus makes locks for caravan and recreational vehicle makers and other OEMs.

“Most of our sales are OEM, and we supply directly to them,” comments Mr Charnley. “We talk to them about what their requirements are, design the product, and sell directly to them.” With a strong Research and Development department, Lock Focus is constantly developing new and innovative tailored locking solutions for customers requiring special applications that cannot be satisfied by standard products. The reason, says Mr Charnley, is that OEMs often change their products, and the company needs to create new designs and adapt to meet the expectations of its many clients. “We constantly keep up with different ways of doing something more efficiently, so we spend lots of time on the design side of our business, and lots of money on the new product line, especially the residential and commercial window and door market, doing our research and design to create products consumers will want.”

With an ongoing commitment to new product development, the company’s locking solutions team creates growth for Lock Focus and its clients through constant innovation. The company’s uncompromising commitment to quality – and its abilities to meet the exacting needs of all clients – has enabled Lock Focus to expand into markets across South East Asia and the Middle East.

With the ability to transform metal bars into locks suitable for all applications and in any environment, Lock Focus has the tools, technology, and skills necessary to design, create and assemble products to customer specifications. From traditional key locks to the latest electronic products, Lock Focus designs, manufactures, and sells an extensive range of locking products to suit any conceivable application. The company produces a range of locks for metal furniture and enclosures, with an emphasis on electrical and data cabinet applications. It supplies custom-built and custom-keyed quality products to manufacturers of wooden furniture.

Closer to home, Lock Focus offers products for the residential market to secure garage doors, sheds, sliding windows, and doors. The company has also created an innovative line of products for environmental uses, including waste and water security. Lock Focus’s Bin Locks are a locking system designed to safeguard domestic and commercial waste bins, prevent unauthorised dumping, and minimise contamination. Responding to demands from water utilities, Lock Focus has also created a Water Meter Protector, to safeguard recycled water meters from tampering.

To provide clients with the finest products at the best possible price, Lock Focus has made substantial investments in its production facility and equipment in recent years. With a streamlined manufacturing process that produces almost no waste products, the company is able to keep lead times for delivery to a minimum. “The products we manufacture are always evolving, so we change constantly to meet the needs of our clients,” says Mr Charnley. “The requirements of our customers change, so our products need to change.”

At Lock Focus, the company’s key production assets include its innovative and highly experienced design team, who use CAD package Solid Works to design new products and to improve existing product lines. Automated equipment includes high pressure, hot chamber zinc diecast machines and automated key and barrel construction and assembly machines. Since the company manufactures so many lock products and parts, it now uses an automated storage system to manage its vast inventory, which makes Lock Focus better able to serve the needs of customers across Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.

“Some of our products, such as lock barrels, used to be assembled manually; today, we have equipment that assembles very small barrels with very small pieces. This machinery allows us to compete with companies importing product from low cost countries,” says Mr Charnley.

With many clients in the industrial and transport sectors, Lock Focus creates products intended to withstand wear and tear, and to work smoothly in the harshest of climates. To meet demands, the company makes many of its industrial lock products in durable stainless steel for a variety of purposes, such as train door locks, mining, heavy vehicle storage compartments, outdoor electrical or data cabinets, radial pin tumbler locks for parking meters, Class B & C locking system approved by ASIO, and more.

Responding to needs from consumers, specialists at Lock Focus have designed and created electronic locks which offer the safety and durability of traditional locks, combined with the convenience of a keypad. The company’s line of locks ranges from basic electronic locks for cabinets to its latest, the rosslinear electronic access control, a unique battery-operated electric strike that is appropriate for use on front doors of homes, storeroom doors in hospitals, and schools. Designed in Australia and backed with a warranty and after sales service, all Lock Focus electronic products feature LED status indicators, battery operation, and easy to use keypads. In addition to being modern and stylish-looking, the rosslinear features an intelligent and secure microprocessor, provides Master ID security and over 200 User IDs, and can be used in four different modes for domestic and commercial security: normal, passage, master access, and time delay. Since the units use a long-life battery, they do not require an electrician to install and are not susceptible to power outages.

Some devices, like the V200 Electronic Lock, are intended for the secure storage of lockers and cupboards. In addition to being easy to program, the V200 features red and blue LEDs that indicate lock status, external battery connections, and allowances for up to 30 users being allocated access with a unique code.

“Electronic locks are more convenient to the homeowner, because you’re not searching for your key,” says Mr Charnley. “All you need is the code number, so instead of fumbling in the bottom of a purse for the front door key, we’ve made the process a bit easier.”

From designing and manufacturing locks for OEMs, to commercial, industrial, and household applications, Lock Focus Pty Ltd has the tools, technology, and expertise required to create dependable locks made in Australia faster than its foreign counterparts.

“We believe our products are better, and the reason we say that is: our competitors are almost always copying our products,” comments Mr Charnley. “We constantly come up with solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and that can be delivered quickly. We can build locks from base metals in eight days, which is one of the areas where we compete with our competitors – if they have a problem, it takes 12 weeks for them to get products from their supplier in China. We think that we understand our customers’ requirements much better, therefore we can design products that are purpose-built to unique applications.”

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November 21, 2018, 3:45 AM AEDT