EXCLUSIVE: Southco Hinge Improves Fold-Out Table Operations

A picture of the Southco AH-2E Bifold Constant Torque Hinge

Access hardware supplier Southco expanded its position control hinges line, launching a new solution made for fold-out tables used in passenger transit interiors.

The Concordville, Pennsylvania-based company stated its new constant torque hinge uses friction to increase control of 180-degree fold-out tables, which prevents the tables’ flaps from falling open during vehicle operation.

Southco’s AH-2E Bifold Hinge works with all fold-out table applications, the company’s Global Product Manager Stewart Beck said. The only caveat is a minimum 20-millimeter panel thickness. The product can be made to fit a 3/4-inch panel by incorporating it into the table’s molded edging.

The finish can also be customized, Beck added. A black and silver electropolished finish is a standard, but the company will match any color or coating to suit the table details and furniture style.

“This is a nice feature in any class of RV, but especially useful if the table is in use while the vehicle is moving, since the friction will resist the vibration and can be tailored to suit the smooth feel that users would hope for in a well-crafted vehicle,” Beck said.

“The AH-2E Bifold Constant Torque Hinge achieves a new level of safety and performance for fold-out tables in passenger transit applications in the RV, rail, bus, coach and aerospace industries,” Southco Global Product Manager Stewart Beck said. “With its integrated constant torque technology, the AH-2E provides an upgrade from existing free-operating solutions by enabling controlled motion that keeps the table from falling open onto the passenger’s lap.”

The hinge’s flush mount design takes up minimal application space and allows a table to be opened to a secure horizontal position, as well as folded and stowed flat. Integrated constant torque holds the table in position at any angle.

Southco stated its product offers improved aesthetics and enhanced reliability, making it an upgrade from traditional free-swinging hinges and dampening devices.

“Southco’s AH-2E Bifold Constant Torque Hinge provides consistent, smooth operation, allowing passengers to safely position fold-out tables on moving vehicles,” the company stated.

The AH-2E provides controlled motion, Southco stated, which prevents trapped fingers. The product’s flush design also eliminates pinch points along the joint.

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