Extruded Aluminum: A manufacturer’s best friend
Special Guest Author: Bob Kroll
Have you ever seen or built a workbench made from 2×4 lumber and a plywood top? The material is easy to work with, fairly sturdy and adaptable to just about any size needed.
Now imagine making this same workbench out of steel. Things begin to get a little more complex. Of course, steel is much heavier and stronger. However, consider the challenges. Cutting to size takes much more effort and cost; think torch, bandsaw, chop saw, or laser-plasma-waterjet cutting machines. Joining different parts involves welding or drilling holes and bolting together. And then you have to move the entire unit into place using considerable effort.
What if there was a material stronger than wood, but not as heavy as steel? What if there was a material that would be easy to cut to size and assemble? How about a material that is durable, attractive and adaptable for all kinds of projects?
That material does exist. It’s called extruded aluminum. Sure Controls is an authorized distributor and design center for the brand of extruded aluminum called IPS – Industrial Profile System – from Parker-Hannifin Corporation. Not only does Sure Controls stock six-meter lengths of IPS extruded aluminum framing pieces, but we also have the fasteners and brackets to make all the connections.
IPS has been used on thousands of applications in industry, and its use is only limited by one’s imagination. Industries include food and beverage, automotive, medical, packaging, industrial manufacturing, plastics and others. Extruded aluminum has been used to make projects like machine guarding, work benches, rolling tool carts, cabinets and storage, conveyor frames, tables, parts racks, material handling carts, machine bases and frames, robot cells and so many others.
Let’s say you need a solution for your business implementing extruded aluminum. Sure Controls can take your idea and then design it to your specifications. One example could be machine guarding for a new machine in your plant, or perhaps some type of material handling system. A Sure Controls mechanical designer can be sent to your site who will measure up the area and work with your contact person to discuss any specific features necessary. The designer will then use computer-aided design software to create your project, sending drafts of the design to your contact person until approved. The Sure Controls shop team will then cut, tap, drill and assemble the sections based upon the design. When finished, the material is shipped to your facility, where either your maintenance team installs the system or a technician from Sure Controls assists your team on-site.
Another option for design is also available. Parker has IPS design software called Design Architect. Using this software, you can design your own project, and then send to Sure Controls for fabrication and delivery. The link for this software is found here.
If you wanted to start off a project the old-fashioned way, simply pencil a drawing or bullet-point rough dimensions and email to Sure Controls where our designer can take it from there, fine-tuning the details for you.
If you are in a position where you can cut and assemble extruded aluminum in-house for your project and you do not need design or fabrication services, you can get a quote for all the IPS pieces you need. Sure Controls carries significant inventory and can ship directly to you. To make things easier for you, we can also cut the six-meter aluminum sticks to a smaller length to make shipping less complicated or send exact measurements for us to cut so you won’t need to do so.
IPS extruded aluminum comes in several profiles with the most popular being 40 x 40mm, 40 x 80mm and 80 x 80mm. Download the Parker IPS catalog here to see more profile examples along with panels, brackets, gussets, plates, handles, hinges, latches, casters, fasteners and anything else you need:
Contact Sure Controls for your next extruded aluminum product and you can be assured that we will deliver a smile for your company.