In a previous blog that explored aluminum shelving as the next step in the evolution of storage solutions, we explored the history of—and numerous variations on—the humble shelf as a piece of furniture ideally suited to storing not just books but many other types of accumulated object. In this article we will explore a unique three-dimensional-space aspect of this particular piece of furniture.
Shelving: A Brilliant Breakthrough in Space-saving Utility
Shelves are so commonplace that one could easily go through life without ever contemplating what a nifty little invention they truly are. The downside there is that, given that we spend so little time thinking about them, we miss out on the not-always-intuitive ways something as seemingly mundane as aluminum shelving can enhance the space around us. So take a moment and reexamine the surprising utility of the common shelf.
Though it may not seem so, the modern aluminum table is the culmination of thousands of years of technological development. For as long as there have been human beings—mammals notable for their ability to walk upright—there has been a need for a consolidated space for work, play, dining, storage, display, and other uses, away from the dirt and at a convenient height when one is either standing or sitting.
In prehistoric times, natural objects such as fallen trees and conveniently shaped boulders served as the primitive human’s table; further along in time, archaeological evidence of furniture constructed of wood, stone, and other materials dates back to the earliest written history of humanity…and before.
They say that when one door closes, another door opens—but practically speaking, that would be true only if the room has a draft and the doors in question have shoddy latches. With door accessories made by Framing Tech, you won’t have that problem. Doors only open or close at your command.
Here at Framing Tech, we believe in finding just the right tool for the job. We apply this philosophy in all our products, no less in our selection of door accessories designed to fit the needs of any door you may wish to include with your project.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to anticipate every possible thing that could go wrong in an industrial or laboratory environment. And even after you have exhausted every conceivable manifestation of Murphy’s Law within those environments, there will be many “accidents-waiting-to-happen” that you’re bound to miss. And that’s where Framing Tech’s aluminum enclosures come in to save the day. By definition, they are guards. As such, they are expressly designed to guard against those unpredictable Murphy’s Law-types of events.
Before exploring the topic of aluminum shelves, let us consider first the human condition. It has often been noted that the basic minimum subsistence requirements for biological survival consist of water, food, and shelter. Along the same lines, human civilization requires, at a minimum, these three things: a source of energy, labor-saving machinery, and an instinct for organization. At the dawn of history, the first two needs were met by the invention, respectively, of fire and the wheel. It could be argued that the third need was met by the invention of—shelving.
Shelves: From Stone Age to Bronze Age—and Beyond
Nowadays, whenever anyone utters the word “shelf,” typically the first image that springs to mind is a bookshelf.
Past users of Framing Tech’s aluminum T-slot extrusions are already familiar with their myriad features and advantages: strength, durability, stability, corrosion-resistance, and ease of assembly are just the tip of the iceberg. Whether custom-designed or out-of-the-box fabrications, they are practically perfect for their designated application. But there is always room for improvement. So how do you improve on perfection? With Framing Tech’s T-slot accessories, of course! Here is an overview of our most popular ones.
Every year in the United States (and around the world, for that matter) vast quantities of material, organic and inorganic, are mined, caught, grown, stored, transported, processed, packaged, shipped, warehoused, shipped again, shelved, and eventually sold to the retail buyer who has a need for that product. It is a constantly moving stream requiring physical equipment designed to facilitate the flow of that material through its life cycle, including carts, trucks, workstations, assembly lines, packaging machines, and of course old fashioned human lift-and-carry labor. But there is one other item that should be included in that list—because it is so simple and common as to be invisible, and yet ingenious—and that is the manufacturing flow rack.
Although they are most often found in factory settings, conveyor products (both the device and the things conveyed) have become an integral and familiar component in a great many automated facilities that we encounter on a regular basis. As far back as when we were children, who has not been fascinated by the clever yet simple brilliance of the grocery store’s checkout counter conveyor belt? And what grade-schooler has not understood intuitively the vast labor-saving aspect of that most iconic of commercial conveyor inventions—Henry Ford’s automobile assembly line?
At present, Framing Tech offers three basic conveyor product design models (more on those in a moment). Before discussing those, however, we believe it would be helpful to prospective customers to understand what factors to consider when shopping for any conveyor product.
Working safely may get old—
but so do those who practice it.
The top two considerations in the design of Framing Tech’s selection of aluminum enclosures are practicality and safety. In both industrial and laboratory environments, these enclosures are practical for a number of reasons, all related to their base construction with aluminum. The basic properties of aluminum make this metal an excellent choice for numerous applications in factories and labs: it is lightweight, strong, and durable, with high thermal conductivity and excellent corrosion-resistance. It is highly malleable, and can be easily cast, machined, and formed. It is also non-magnetic and non-sparking.
By definition, an enclosure is any structure that holds a person or thing inside, or keeps a person or thing from entering. It follows, then, that the primary purpose of such a structure in an industrial or laboratory environment is to ensure the physical safety of the person or thing either outside the structure or inside. One could consider this purpose, therefore, as not just practical but downright critical.
500,000 years ago in southern Africa, primitive Homo sapiens first bound stone blades to wooden spears, creating the spearpoint. Spearpoints were revolutionary as weaponry, and as the first “composite tools”—combining components.
Last November we wrote about the ways fasteners and other Framing Tech accessories can enhance your extruded aluminum creations. For December, we’ll end the year by focusing specifically on one key category of accessory, namely, aluminum connectors. This particular type of component allows you to take full advantage of the inherently modular nature of extruded aluminum profiles, and makes it possible to create a wide range of sturdy, customized fabrications, from workbenches and aquarium stands to book shelves and industrial machine guards—and whatever else your imagination can conceive of.