Advantages of Choosing Framing Tech’s T-slotted Aluminum Extrusion Over Welded Steel

aluminum-extrusionThere are many benefits to using T-slotted aluminum extrusions over welded steel. In addition to being cost effective, aluminum extrusion is much easier to work with and offers engineers flexibility, even after the initial design. Aluminum is also strong enough to handle most manufacturing and assembly applications. Here are some other advantages to using T-slotted aluminum extrusion over welded steel:

Cost effective

First, aluminum extrusion costs less than welding steel. The price of aluminum and steel fluctuate based on global supply and demand. While aluminum typically costs more, in terms of raw materials, you have to take labor costs into consideration. Steel frames have to be welded, which means holes have to be drilled and tapped. The frame also has to be painted. On the other hand, aluminum extrusion is modular. It has T-slots on all four sides so you never have to drill or tape holes.

More Flexibility

Aluminum extrusion also gives engineers flexibility after the initial design of an automation project has been completed. With steel frames, you have to be very accurate up front before you start cutting the tubes. Therefore, you can’t make any mistakes with steel welding. Need to add, move or subtract a rail? No problem, just modify as required and you are all done!

Easier to work with

Aluminum extrusion is more versatile and more flexible than welded steel, which makes it easier to work with. The key features that allow this are the extrusion’s modular T-slot design. It’s as simple as inserting a connector into the T-slot and tightening. There’s no need to clamp, weld or paint. All you have to do is piece together and tighten the connectors with basic hand tools. T-slots let you attach components at any time and any location – it doesn’t get much easier than that.

Strong and corrosion resistant

Some engineers question the structural integrity of aluminum material. However, profiles can be made as strong as needed. There are many different profile sizes with varying wall thicknesses so picking the right profile based on the application will make for a successful solution. Cold-weather applications made with aluminum fair particularly well as the aluminum actually becomes stronger as the temperature drops. Anodized Aluminum is also corrosion resistant, which means that it will not rust and it holds up well in an exterior environment.

It’s cleaner too

With aluminum extrusion, the finish is much cleaner than welding. As you may know, welding is the process of joining two materials together by causing coalescence. This can be potentially hazardous and extremely dirty. Obviously, welding creates a permanent joint. Therefore, if the outcome is not right, parts will need to be fixed or replaced later. With aluminum extrusion, parts come together and apart easily and without the mess or hassle. Plus, there is no additional time needed to refine the welded joints.

Considering using aluminum extrusion for your next project? The staff at Framing Tech welcomes the opportunity to earn your business! Please contact us, you can call, email or stop in for a tour today and our sales engineering team will be more than happy to provide you with assistance.

Chris Hill is the President and CEO of Framing Technology, Inc. Connect with him on and Twitter.

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How to Assemble an Aluminum Work Table

When receiving a kit-form solution from Framing Tech, you will get a complete ready to assemble solution. The aluminum extrusion will be machined and labeled. The parts will be packaged individually with their proper hardware. A bill of material list will be provided along with a drawing of how to put the solution together. For an example, we will use a standard Framing Tech “Work Table.” When you first receive the kit, please open the bill of material and check to see that all components are accounted for.

Bill of Material (BOM)

FT-BillofMaterialFT-worktable

The first part of this bill of material list will show what type of material, the machining of each piece, the quantity, and the length of each extrusion. The item number corresponds to the balloon numbers on the drawing. The second part of the bill of material list will show the items that are included in order to assemble the kit.

Technical Drawings

FT-TechnicalDrawingsFT-worktable2The drawing that is included in the kit, should be used for reference to tell the assembler where parts go and if any additional notes. A quick rendering of what the final solution would look like will also be attached to the drawing.

Assembly Instructions

To assemble the work table follow the below steps:

  1. Make sure that the leveling foot (LF60NNM1266) stud has a jam nut threaded on before inserting it into the end of piece #1. Next with a rubber mallet tap the leveling foot pad onto the ball end of the stud. Repeat for the other 3 legs.
  2. Next load the struts with the quick connectors (QC10V), by first inserting the barrel part first into the 17mm diameter holes, and then inserting the bolt into the profiles center bore. Tighten the set screw until it just grabs the bolt.
  3. Now for the construction, this can be done any which way you desire, the way we suggest is:
  • Build the table upside down on a hard surface.
  • Grab pieces #1, 2, 3, and 6.
  • Place piece #2 down with 3/16” drilled holes facing upward and the smooth side facing outward (Remember we are building the table upside down).
  • Then place piece #1, with the leveling foot pad facing up, over the bolts hammer head. Once in place tighten the quick connector to draw piece #1 into piece #2. Do the same to the other end, and repeat this step for the other side of the table.
  • Place both pieces #3 down with the 3/16” drilled holes facing upward and the smooth side facing outward (mirrored). Square off one end and measure and mark distance for placement of piece #6. With the 3/16” drilled holes facing up, slide the bolt of the quick connector on piece #6 in to the T-slots of piece #3. Place into position and tighten both quick connectors of piece #6.
  • Next, with “Step e” still down place one of the sides from “Step d” over the bolt’s hammer head, of piece #3s, and tighten the quick connectors. Repeat this step for the other side.
  • Grab pieces #4 and 5.
  • Place both piece #4s onto flat surface with the smooth sides facing outward (mirrored). Square off one end and measure and mark the distance for the placement of piece#5. Slide one of the pieces #4, over the bolt of one end of piece #5, and place into position and tighten the quick connector on piece #5. Repeat for other side.
  • Mark and measure the distance need for the lower shelf, on all the pieces of #1.
  • Tip work table on to the front face (long side down).
  • Next slide and place the loose piece #5 in between the pieces of #1, and tighten the quick connectors.
  • Slide the shelf sub assembly “Step h” in between the pieces of the #1s and tighten all 4 quick connectors.
  • Tip table right side up and check to make sure all connections are squared.
  • Using a level on the top rails, adjust the leveling feet by unscrewing the stud until table is level. Once into position tighten the jam nut.
  • This kit does not come with a table top unless ordered. However with a table top placed squarely on to the frame, the assembler only has to screw into the top through the 3/16” drilled holes on the bottom of pieces #2, 3, and 6.

Chris Hill is the President and CEO of Framing Technology, Inc. Connect with him on and Twitter.

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