Aluminum t-slot extrusions were already popular long before artificial intelligence and industrial automation consumed the US manufacturing sector. During COVID, businesses had to reassess how they could keep up productivity with a reduced workforce. In some cases, the jobs themselves were boring and repetitive, and it’s no wonder that filling such positions became more difficult over time. Business management was forced to figure out, “How can we do more with fewer people?”
Do More With Fewer People
The first step in this evaluation is to review the entire process and how each step and stage is done. Is there another way, or a better way? What about speed, efficiency, safety, space, employee satisfaction or profitability?
And what about automation – will automation improve the overall process or the output? Does the investment warrant the improvements and the outcome?
Many companies that wrestled with these questions concluded that automation could help improve a wide range of processes, reduce or eliminate problems, and allow them to do more with fewer people in a safer way.
Automation Is the Answer for Many Businesses
While automation once stood for a direct attack on the average worker’s livelihood, it’s viewed today as far less sinister by both management and employees. Both groups recognize that there are a lot of jobs and tasks that humans just don’t want to do for 8 hours per day or simply cannot do as accurately as a machine.
With labor costs soaring and fewer people applying for jobs, business leaders are much more willing to invest in automation today than 10 years ago.
Automation and Aluminum T-Slot Extrusions Go Hand in Hand
In manufacturing, R&D and distribution environments, industrial framing plays multiple critical roles to help humans and machines do their work. Common industrial framing applications are safety guarding and fencing, workbenches, work tables, carts, tool cabinets, machine bases, robot and machine enclosures, racks, shelves, room dividers, steps, platforms, ramps and stands.
Even in totally automated environments, industrial framing is the foundation on which robot arms grab products to place on conveyors or into packaging. What holds up the conveyor lines or keeps the packaging in place? Yes, it’s industrial framing. It is literally everywhere in today’s manufacturing facilities, laboratories and distribution centers.
Lightweight and Ease of Assembly
Why have aluminum t-slot extrusions replaced welded steel and wood frames? The main reason is that they provide much more value at a much lower cost in the long run.
Look at welded steel. Raw stock steel is inexpensive and strong. But aluminum has the same strength and only half the weight. That means aluminum frames take less energy to move, and they cost less to ship. Aluminum industrial framing also corrodes less and has fewer airborne particulates, making it much better for controlled or clean environments.
T-slot extrusions are easy to assemble. And you don’t need a special environment like you would for welding. They can arrive fully assembled or as a kit for local assembly. Want a large frame in a small room? No problem with aluminum t-slot extrusions. Just carry the kit through a normal door and build it inside the room.
Aluminum T-Slots Offer a Better Return on Investment
Framing made from aluminum t-slots can also be easily disassembled years later and reconfigured into something new and completely different. This makes them less likely to end up in a landfill like a rusty steel frame will. Consequently, aluminum has a much longer lifecycle and a much higher ROI for business owners.
The pace of change is increasing, and product lifecycles are becoming shorter. This often means that manufacturing and distribution sites must change more frequently. Because aluminum t-slot extrusions are so easily assembled and disassembled, they can be much easier to configure for future changes or modifications. Aluminum is more future-proof than welded steel.
What about traditional wood framing or inexpensive tubing? While both serve their purpose well for startups due to their lower costs, the tradeoffs are very real. Wood and tubing are far weaker compared to t-slot aluminum extrusions or welded steel. In precision environments, these materials are just too flimsy to work well. Wood, although the least expensive, eventually warps and decays when exposed to humidity or fluids.
Flexibility Is Aluminum T-Slot’s Superpower
You can build almost any type of frame out of aluminum t-slot extrusions, and its unique and simple fastening system makes mounting anything to it straightforward and inexpensive.
Need a tool mounted here or a sensor located right here? No problem. Just connect them to the versatile t-slot located in every bar.
Make Your Environment Safer
When you can easily build a frame to fit the exact needs of your business, it makes sense to make it safer for workers and others. Safer operations have proven to save time and money in the long run.
Improve Employee Morale
Aluminum is a lighter material with superior strength. Employees find it easier to move, lift or work with aluminum framing versus steel. Ergonomic safety officers are increasingly looking for adjustable height tables, tool holders that are closer to where they will be used, and manufacturing items located where bending and lifting are not required. Want to make your operations easier and more pleasant for your employees? Aluminum t-slot framing can turn that idea into reality.
Aluminum T-Slot Extrusions Now Readily Available
Large t-slot extrusion systems are now available from numerous manufacturers, so finding and using aluminum t-slot extrusions for industrial framing has never been easier. But buyer beware: there is also a host of look-a-like imports with attractive price points. And many don’t offer the same tight tolerances, widespread availability, breadth of compatible products, or commitment to quality compared to the established market leaders.
Motion Ai Is the Place to Buy Aluminum T-Slot Extrusions and Custom Industrial Framing
We have been building custom industrial t-slot framing for our commercial customers for over 20 years. We understand what works and what doesn’t, and we know what the best, most practical configurations are for almost any application.
Our industrial framing centers provide professional CAD services, local inventory, extrusion machining, panel cutting, assembly and packaging. We can ship bars, parts, kits or fully assembled framing anywhere in North America.
Motion Ai can also provide other automation technologies such as motion control, vision, robotics, conveyance, pneumatics, IIoT, networking, drives and motors, sensors and safety.
If you are interested in getting a quote for any industrial framing or automation technology, please contact Motion Ai today.
We will be happy to work with you and provide a free CAD drawing and quote for any commercial framing or automation project you may have.