Celebrating the Women of Hager

March is filled with occasions to highlight and celebrate the women of Hager Companies. The beginning of March kicks off Women’s History Month, which includes Women in Construction Week from March 6-12 and International Women’s Day on March 8.

Did you know that women comprise about 11% of the construction industry? As for women on the front lines of job sites, that number is even smaller, making up only .01%. Hager is proud to support the women of the construction industry as well as those women working directly for Hager who support the many facets of the industry from specification writing and sales to customer service and support as well as those in our production and distribution centers.

 We would like to highlight several strong women at Hager that make great contributions to our company and the industry. We’d like you to hear from some of these women. Pictured from left to right are Caitlin McCracken, Sheryl Simon, and Mona Cafazza.

Sheryl Simon is an Architectural Specification Consultant. In her role, Sheryl said she, “consults with architects in the development of professional and comprehensive door hardware specifications resulting in products that not only meet mandatory code requirements but also ensure clients a safe and efficient environment”. When asked about her role specific to Hager, Sheryl said, “I have had the opportunity and privilege of working with some of the most talented design professionals in the country”.

Additionally, Sheryl gave us her thoughts on women in the industry saying, “Although women are still underrepresented in the construction industry, one of the most rewarding things I have observed is the increasing number of opportunities across a broad spectrum available to women. Due to the current labor shortage, I hope more women will take advantage of these opportunities and join in the fun”.

We also spoke to Caitlin McCracken, a Human Resources Generalist who is often assisting in hiring for all aspects of the company. When asked about her role Caitlin said, “I have the pleasure of working with all our employees at Hager. In a predominantly male industry, women make up 33% of our workforce, many of which hold management positions. One of my favorite aspects of working here is that everyone has a voice to make an impact, regardless of their gender”.   

Sage Goliday, a Customer Service Associate, describes her position stating, “my role supports the construction industry as it allows me to interact with customers firsthand and learn about the many ways in which Hager products are essential to various constructional projects”.

In addition, Sage echoed similar sentiments about being a woman in this industry saying, “There has been so much growth and development for women in the construction industry. It’s empowering to see other women enter the field that traditionally has been dominated by men and thrive”.

We are honored to employ these three women along with all the women of Hager making an impact on the industry. This month and every day forward, we hope you join us in recognizing and celebrating the women making a difference in your team, company, and life.

Engineers Work in the Door Hardware Industry

In honor of National Engineers Week, we are highlighting Hager Companies’ Engineering Teams. Hager Companies utilizes the talent of three different types of engineers: product, design, and manufacturing engineers in both our St. Louis and Montgomery locations.

 Located at our St. Louis headquarters, our product engineers work on all aspects of door hardware products from maintaining CAD drawings of products and preparing installation instructions to redesigning existing product elements and assisting with technical support requests. Working in tandem within our St. Louis office, our design engineers ensure high-quality, robust mechanical products are designed to meet cost, performance, and quality measures. Additionally, this group coordinates the building of prototype products and test programs related to product performance. These teams, consisting of Mark McRae, Bill Watson, Keith Weepie, Mico Agustin and Andrew Gardner, are methodical, innovative, and collaborative.

 We asked our St. Louis team members to share their experience working as an engineer in the door hardware industry at Hager Companies. Design engineer Keith Weepie said, “I like being able to help our suppliers improve their designs to deliver a better, more user-friendly experience in the field. Both for the user and installer,” when asked what he liked about his position. He also said, “We keep it lighthearted [at Hager] while working as a team, focused on serving the customer and solving their problems or meeting their needs.”

Mico Agustin, a product engineer, offered his thoughts as well. When asked about his position and working at Hager, he said he enjoys “managing a broad range of products, the flexible schedule, and the rubber band shootouts”. You’ll have to ask our engineering team about that latter one.

 Located in our Montgomery production center, the manufacturing engineering group is responsible for developing and improving manufacturing processes, equipment, and layouts with the goal of improving efficiency and quality while reducing scrap, lead time, and costs. This group consists of Mark Karner, James Copper, Kim Johnson, Herschel Johnson, Darryl Wuokko, Phillip Lewis, and Mike Sung. Our manufacturing engineers live by manufacturing metrics, are familiar with automation and robotics, and most importantly are master troubleshooters and communicators.

 The product, design, and manufacturing engineers’ work requires thorough investigation and coordination with all other functional disciplines throughout the company. Their work plays a vital role in product innovation, providing solutions, and optimizing operations which contribute to the overall success of our company. We can’t thank them enough for their contributions.

What is Anodizing, Why Anodize, and Why you should Anodize with Hager?

by Brandon Quinlivan  

Hager offers several anodized aluminum products, but have you ever wondered what ‘anodized’ means and why it is done?

Aluminum anodizing is an electrolytic process that creates a controlled and uniform pore structure or anodic oxide layer on an aluminum surface. Unlike plating which is an electrolytic process that builds or bonds finishing metals to a surface in a cathodic or “throwing” process, anodize is an anodic process that consumes some of the surface creating a barrier layer and then “grows” the pore structure on top. As the anodize finish is an integrated part of the surface, it is not susceptible to cracking or peeling like paint.


Why should you anodize parts?

Anodizing an aluminum part will stop the natural oxidation process, maintaining a uniform finish for much longer than unfinished aluminum. Unlike iron-based metals that rust (oxidize) red when unfinished, unfinished aluminum will naturally oxidize white. Also, unfinished aluminum has a very delicate surface, leaving it vulnerable to wear and scratches. When a part is anodized, the surface becomes much harder and much more resilient.


Why should you Anodize with Hager Companies?

Hager Operations located in Montgomery, Alabama consists of our state-of-the-art distribution and production center. Hager Operations is a pivotal part of Hager Companies’ approach to go above and beyond to bring the Hager difference to you.

Hager Companies’ Montgomery Operation has an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in plating and other electrolytic processes. Years of cultivating a robust and talented team has resulted in numerous beautiful and uncompromising finishes. Though anodize is different than plating, our experience in electrolytic processing has provided an excellent source for building the same quality into the Hager Anodize Process. We have more flexibility and control over the finish quality of our products. Additionally, we anodize our hinges in sets which allows us to better insure the color conformity of each individual set. We anodize our aluminum hinges after milling which provides a harder smoother wear surface for our product.

Brandon Quinlivan is the Continuous Improvement and Training Manager. He has been with Hager Companies since 2015 as a Hager associate and before that since 2009 as a contractor in various projects. When he’s not working, he enjoys time with his family building treehouses, camping, and trying to keep up with their latest interest “Whatever the kids want to do”. 

Three Features of door closers for withstanding potentially abusive, high traffic openings

by Vince Butler  

Door control products provide an important function of a door opening. In addition to complying with the requirements for fire-rated doors and meeting ADA standards, door closers can also prevent damage to the door, frame, and surrounding surfaces. Beyond their functionality, door closers add aesthetic value to a myriad of commercial applications. Since their inception, closer bodies have been redesigned to be sleeker and take up less space on the surface of the door or frame.

Hager door closers offer architects, contractors, and building owners a superior product with proven reliability. Backed by a lifetime warranty, our 5100, 5200, and 5300 Grade 1 closers make them a no-risk choice for practically any building type and can be configured to withstand environments ranging from low to high use frequency, including abusive environments. 

High traffic doors are common in malls or department stores, schools or universities, and medical centers. This may include entry doors, bathroom doors, or doors between offices and warehouses. It is important to select the right model for the door-opening conditions when specifying or ordering a door closer. Hager’s Grade 1 door closers offer the following features that ensure their success in various environments.


BHMA Certification

Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) is a non-profit organization of industry professionals that develop the grading criteria for the door hardware industry. Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), BHMA develops, publishes, manages, and maintains standards for builders hardware performance standards. Certified BHMA Grade 1 door closers have met or exceeded rigorous requirements for functionality (1,500,000 or 2,000,000 cycles depending on features), efficiency (varies by closer setting) and appearance (salt spray testing to ASTM B117).

Our 5100, 5200, and 5300 Series Grade 1 models are BHMA certified, have been approved to ANSI standard A156.4, and are ADA compliant to ANSI 117.1.


Extreme Weather Ranges

Will your door opening be subjected to a warm, humid, tropical environment or a frozen landscape? Extreme weather conditions factor into the life of a door closer. Our door closers can endure prolonged use in extreme temperatures and remain fully functional in conditions ranging from -40° F (-42° C) to 150° F (66° C).

High-speed wind can grab an exterior door and wrench it open, destroying the hinges, the door, the door frame, the wall – posing an obvious safety hazard. A heavy-duty door closer with a built-in stop in the closer arm, or a separate overhead stop, can resist the wind and protect the hinges, frame, and surrounding surfaces.

Multiple Heavy Duty Arm Options

For high traffic or abusive environments, extra heavy-duty arms can be used. They are manufactured of high strength forged steel and are only mounted in the parallel arm configuration on the push side of the door. Choosing a heavy-duty arm option is key in high traffic openings as they will help maintain the door.

Hager door closers are available with arm variations including Extra Heavy Duty Arm, Extra Heavy Duty Stop Arm, Extra Heavy Duty Hold Open Stop Arm, Extra Heavy Duty Hold Open Arm, Extra Heavy Duty Cushion Stop Arm, and Extra Heavy Duty Hold Open Cushion Stop Arm. The latter two integrate a spring-loaded cushioning device which provides additional protection to the opening as well as increases the life of the closer.


There are many options to choose from when selecting a door closer. Choosing the right function closer and options for the door opening are important code considerations. In addition, selecting the appropriate door closer for the required functionality will prolong the life of the closer and enhance the user experience in all applications. If you have questions one which door closer or option is right for your door opening, please reach out to our technical support team.

Vince Butler is the Product Manager of door controls, trim & auxiliary, and commercial hinges and has been with Hager Companies for five years. When he is not working, he enjoys playing golf and spending his kids’ inheritance on chasing The Rolling Stones across the country.


Gasketing Options: Good, Better, and Best

by Sonny Hager 

What commercial building product has a positive impact on any unwanted sound, air, light, smoke, and improves energy efficiency? Adding gasketing to your next project can provide these benefits. But how do you know which gasketing product is the best for you?

Hager Companies offers a complete line of gasketing products for nearly any type of door application, but not all products are created equal. We’re breaking down the good, better, and best options for gasketing products.

First up, is Vinyl (Polyvinyl Chloride) or PVC for a “good” option. Vinyl is a good material for gasketing because it is made of a synthetic polymer that can withstand various environments. Vinyl is flame and moisture resistant, as well as working well in many temperature ranges. However, product performance can be reduced when subjected to extremely high temperatures and extended sunlight exposure. Vinyl is an excellent choice if you are looking for an economical solution. However, if your door opening needs additional gasketing qualities, keep reading for a “better” choice.

Next, Neoprene (Polychloroprene) is a “better” option. Made from synthetic rubber polymer, Neoprene is flame resistant and works well in more temperature ranges than vinyl. Neoprene is an excellent choice as a door bottom seal due to its resilience to abuse and abrasion. However, product performance can be reduced when subjected to extremely low temperatures and extended sunlight exposure. If you’re looking for an option that has it all, keep reading for the “best” choice.

Finally, Silicone (Polychloroprene) is considered the “best” option. Made from synthetic rubber polymer, Silicone is flame resistant and works well in all temperature ranges. Silicone has excellent flexibility when subjected to extreme temperatures. It is not affected by sunlight exposure or cleaning chemicals resulting in little to no performance loss over time. Silicone has excellent flexibility and memory providing the best air infiltration resistance. Lastly, silicone can be infused with anti-microbial properties.

What do you think is the best gasketing option, Vinyl, Neoprene, or Silicone? Let us know in the comments below.

Sonny Hager is the Product Manager for Thresholds and Weatherstripping. He has been with Hager Companies for 2 years. When he’s not working, he enjoys oil painting, playing guitar, and walking his sheepdog Moses.

Understanding Lockset Grades

Founded in 1925 as the Hardware Manufacturers’ Statistical Association, now known as the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association, BHMA took a leadership role in developing standards for builders hardware to ensure quality and performance. 

Hardware is a key element in buildings as door openings provide means of egress, security and building accessibility for people with physical disabilities. BHMA developed a minimum performance grading system for locksets. This grading system is also accredited by the America National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private, non-profit organization that coordinates the voluntary standardization in developing and maintaining performance standards for builder’s hardware.

Grade 1 is the highest performing rating. A Grade 1 lock must be capable of performing through 800,000 latches and unlatches without failure. It must withstand 700 lbs of force per inch for lever locks. Typically used in commercial high traffic areas or door openings that will get a lot of abuse.

Grade 2 is a medium grade and capable of operating through 400,000 cycles while withstanding 450 lbs of force per inch for lever locks. A good choice for light commercial areas.

Grade 3 is the lowest grade. It must operate for a minimum of 200,000 cycles and withstand 225 lbs of force per inch for lever locks. This grade is typically for residential applications.

Buildings frequently use both Grade 1 and Grade 2 locksets. Entry doors and rooms with high dollar items would typically use Grade 1. Another use would be high abuse doors – think schools. Office doors, teacher’s lounge bathroom are examples of where a Grade 2 lock might fit.

To make it easy to determine our locks Grade all of our locksets have the Grade number included in the description of the lock. We also have the certifications numbers listed under the Certifications heading and a photo of the BHMA logo noted also. Of course if you have any questions please feel free to call our customer service department.

Proper installation is essential in hardware performing how it was designed and intended. Please make sure to read the instructions and install accordingly. If a specific door opening has had locks not perform well consider using a higher grade lock.