Have you ever had to choose modular components for a manufacturing project? Though you might not find yourself in this position on a regular basis, it’s important to know what to look for and how to choose the right modular components when the time comes.
Whether you’ve started your project and simply need a few pieces or you have a project in mind and you need to order the necessary pieces to make it possible to complete, you need to feel confident that you’re choosing the right options for you.
There are a few things that you need to know when looking for modular components:
If you’re new to the component world, these are the three things you need to consider when making decisions about your component needs. If you do this, you’re guaranteed to feel like and look like a pro!
We’ve shared this a lot in previous blog posts, but it’s just a critical piece of information that you need to know if you’re purchasing components.
Component value changes based on what material they’re made of, how much of that material it takes to create them, how strong the material is that they’re made of, and how long they will last.
The type of material and durability can determine the longevity of your entire project!
In addition to material and strength, it’s critical to consider how readily available these components can be. If you’re ordering components for a project that you’re midway through, then you cannot afford to hit pause as your components are created and shipped.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure that whatever you order is ready to ship at a moment’s notice and can be at your warehouse when you need them! That’s why we make sure our components are all stocked and ready to ship at a moment’s notice.
On top of this, make sure that the components you order are compatible and easy to use. Choosing components that don’t work together is a rookie mistake and will cost you both time and money!
This is the best way to ensure that you have what you need when you need it. Once you find high-quality components that are compatible with one another, you can order them through a consignment program to ensure that you never run out.
Consignment programs allow you to pick and choose the right components for your needs and have them delivered to you regularly! You’ll never run out, never have unnecessary downtime on a project while waiting for components to arrive, and never have to worry about getting quality components quickly.
Our consignment program saves you even more money than others because you never have to pay for anything you don’t use.
By choosing a consignment program, you don’t have to choose components again and again and again - you choose them once and your job is done!
We’ve been in the business for a while and we know the challenges that come with choosing the right components for you.
One thing we always try to do is share the knowledge we’ve learned over the years.
So, here’s our final tip: no matter what project you’re working on, we’ve found that most manufacturing projects and operations benefit from a few specific components.
They’re durable, compatible, multi-use components that we make sure to have readily available in order to help professionals like you enjoy a faster, easier experience no matter what challenge you might be facing!
These top components are:
By creating components that are durable, easy to use, and made out of materials that last, we are able to help our customers save money and create projects that truly last!
If you need more information about our consignment program or choosing components for your next project, click here to contact us! We’d love to hear from you and discover how we can help you complete a quality project on-time and within budget.
Choosing the right manufacturing components for a project can be overwhelming.
You can browse through a catalog all day, but there are so many options, types, sizes, and materials to choose from that there’s just not enough time in the day to ensure that you’ll pick the components that make the most sense for your project!
If you consistently look for components you’ve used before, components you’re familiar with, or components you know to be more versatile, you’re not alone. But, that probably means you’re missing out on components that could take your project further than you realized or help you create future projects
That’s why we put together this list of components alongside some of their capabilities. Though you’ll still have to choose the right sizes and cuts, we hope that this narrows down your list for you and helps you get off to a quick start with your future projects.
We believe it’s critical to have the right pieces to the puzzle at the beginning of any project in order to protect the timeline of the project and deliver the best results possible!
T-Slotted extrusions can be used for structural framework, supports, door and safety screen frames – basically any type of structure. They're what we call essential manufacturing components! We’ve seen them used to build conference tables and even bike racks! We create all of our profiles from 6063-T6 aluminum alloy which ensures low weight, good strength, and a nice, clean look. Plus, all of our extrusions are made with a common T-Slot shape and pitch. This allows all of our T-Slotted extrusions to be used in conjunction with each other and the rest of our product line. We’d recommend them for almost anything!
Most brackets come in various sizes – good ones feature alignment keys that make assembly a snap. This ensures each joint will be square when assembled, so you don’t have to be an expert to use our products. You can purchase web brackets pre-loaded with T-bolts to save time. We make sure that all of our T-bolts are Grade 8 specifications so they will hold up to any application! Because they’re primarily designed to work as attachments for support beams, you can build almost any structure you can imagine when you combine these components!
With these handy little components, you can align, mount, and join support beams at any angle – making them pretty essential to any project. Look for plates that are comprised of zinc-plated, mild steel for the best finish and strength. These plates make a robust joint allowing you to build bigger, stronger structures than some other similar products.
These babies are designed to perfectly join support beams for stable and neat construction. You can use the Joiner strip to join two extrusions end to end. This allows you to make structures longer or enables you to reconfigure an older design and give it new life. Depending on the end goal of your project, these can be used to help stabilize your structure and keep everything perfectly aligned.
From fixed support feet, to leveling foot supports, to round leveling feet, and more, it’s critical to have the right support and casters for your project. Each project will have different needs and requirements that can be filled by the many options available, but the main things to look for are strength, durability, cost, and ease of use. Fixed feet are ideal when a lot of strength is needed to support your structure. Leveling feed should be used when precision adjustment is critical to your application. If mobility is key, you can mount casters to the bottom of your structure and easily push it around from place to place.
Electrical components can be the most challenging part of the process! Get components that connect seamlessly and precisely. This will help protect, separate, guide, and control the electrical side of your project! We offer various sizes of wire way that you can utilize to run wiring, airlines, and more. Each wire way profile can accept a divider, which allows you to separate your high and low voltage and run them in the same extrusion. We also offer pushbutton boxes to which you can mount a variety of pushbuttons to control your machines. The T-slots in our extrusion make a naturally convenient location to route cables, but how do you keep them in the T-slot? By getting a T-slot cover. This profile is made from a pliable plastic that can be inserted in the face of the T-slot keeping all of those wires in place! Plus, we have T-Slot Anchors for Zip Ties or other small fasteners that keep you from having to drill into the extrusion.
Accidents happen and guarding can save the day. Make sure to have guarding components on hand to help cover extending or protruding material and guard against unwanted access to your equipment. This will protect your work and your employees from harm! Our guarding components are made to work together to quickly make a rectangular panel. These panels can be fixed or mounted on hinges to allow access to your machines. We also offer a variety of guarding materials such as polycarbonate, wire mesh, and more.
This one speaks for itself but is also too broad to get into the specifics. Just make sure to choose assembly hardware that will last – A.K.A. made of strong material that will withstand the test of time!
At Tekno, we offer some hardware that is made just for our extrusions - we call them T-bolts. T-Bolts can be added to any bracket or plate to mount to our extrusion. The T-bolt turns 90 degrees to lock into the extrusion and has a quick reference indication on the end to ensure it’s turned right AND T-bolts are offered in various lengths to meet your needs. The best companion to our T-bolts is our nyloc flanged nuts. They have a larger surface area to ensure it won’t deform your bracket when tightened, but the best part is the self-locking nylon insert. These fasteners are commonly used in aircrafts because once they are tightened they won’t vibrate loose. This prevents you from needing to use Loctite, lock washer, or other cumbersome fastening methods.
It’s the details that matter when you’re wrapping up a project. Make sure to cover sharp corners and edges for a clean and finished look and feel. Our end caps are made to fit into the ends of our extrusions and stay in place.
As you begin to consider manufacturing components for your project needs, remember to accessorize. Like we said before, it’s the little things that make a good project great and there are endless ways to add to or expand your work through accessories. We have a variety of hinges, handles, rollers, etc. that can be used in many creative ways!
Something we always want to communicate is the importance of starting projects right. You always want to make sure you have all the manufacturing components you need – otherwise, you could be looking at some serious (and unnecessary) downtime.
The easiest way to consistently ensure that you have what you need – without spending unnecessary funds – is to choose a consignment program! Consignment programs allow you to work directly with your manufacturer to keep components (like the ones listed above) stocked in your warehouse so that you never run out of the essentials. But, don’t worry about heavy up-front costs and unused material. You can find consignment programs that will only charge you for what you use – while still keeping you supplied with everything you need.
If you’d like a consultation about component parts or consignment programs, click here to contact us! We’d love to hear from you and to help you find the components you need to keep on hand and the best way to do just that!
Have you ever started a project and realized half-way through that you were missing a key component?
Whether it’s been misplaced or was never there to begin with, it’s always a frustrating and often costly moment. You lose time, momentum, and even money as you seek to remedy the situation.
While this is always a possibility when you start a project, there are steps you can take to prepare for this possibility and the first is to make sure you’ve got a stock of commonly used and needed components on hand.
This way, when you hit a stall in the project, all you have to do is grab the missing component from your storage and get right back to work.
The components you choose will, more than likely, depend on you and your business, but there are a few things that never change.
First of all, when choosing your “on hand” components, it’s important to consider four specific criteria. We’ve detailed these four criteria more extensively in a separate blog, but, for the purpose of this blog, here are some questions we hear frequently and the response/criteria that we believe they affect:
1. Are they durable?
Durability matters because they affect time and value. If you choose component parts that don’t last (even if they’re cheaper to begin with), you’ll find yourself spending more money and wasting more time over the years as you continually reorder and replace pieces. Weak components cause unnecessary downtime and require consistent upkeep.
2. Are they easy to work with?
Component parts that require special tools or machining are often unnecessary and will only take more of your time and energy to work with. They’re not worth the hassle!
3. How much are they?
Components are often overpriced for what you’re getting. Do yourself a favor and do some research. More expensive doesn’t always mean better, but you do need to consider components as an investment. Choosing components simply because they’re cheaper might not be the best move for the long term.
4. Are they readily available?
Once you settle on a few key components that you know you’ll use frequently, you’ll want to make sure you can find them and get them quickly. If the components you choose have a long turn-around time, you might want to rethink your choices. Think about it – when crunch time comes, you don’t want to have to press pause on a project and wait for anything!
Considering these questions and choosing components accordingly is critical because the purpose of investing in components is to make your life easier! It’s meant to keep you from having to frequently replace parts, to keep you from losing unnecessary time with difficult parts, to keep you from wasting money or time on expensive parts that aren’t available when you need them.
It’s not just okay to be picky with these decisions – it’s recommended! Do your research, take your time, and find the component parts that meet your needs – each and every one of them.
The thing is, it’s hard to get too specific without know what project you’re working on and what your needs are.
That said, once you’ve determined the material, price, availability, and ease of use of the components you’re interested in, there are always a few components we recommend keeping on hand.
T-Slotted extrusions can be used for structural framework, supports, door and safety screen frames, and more. Seriously. Anything goes! We especially recommend these because they are strong, durable, light weight, and have a nice, clean appearance. Plus, they’re ease to work with, can be used interchangeably, and are recyclable – A.K.A. you can use them for different projects over time as you might have the need!
You should always have some brackets on hand and in various sizes. They make assembly simple as they’re primarily designed to work as attachments for support beams, enabling you to build any structure you can imagine!
These are typically designed to perfectly join support beams for stable and neat construction, further enabling you to create whatever is needed at any given time. In addition, at least at Tekno, they are created purely out of mild steel and zink-plated, which make them the perfect blend of strength and durability.
Don’t start a project without this! No matter what you need, it’s important to have a variety of assembly hardware ready for whatever your project might have in store for you.
One of the biggest things we try to stress is that it’s important to start your projects with everything you need. Don’t get halfway into a project and realize you need to start over or put the project on hold.
By finding and purchasing components that are durable, easy to use, and made out of materials that last you’ll be amazed at how much money and time you’re able to save, not just throughout the project itself, but well into the future.
To make your life even easier and guarantee that you have what you need - without spending unnecessary funds - you can choose a consignment program! Consignment programs allow you to work directly with your manufacturer to stock components at your facility that you can use as you need them. The key advantage, as least here at Tekno, is that you don’t have to purchase these parts in advance, just pay for them as they are used!
If you’d like a consultation about component parts or our consignment program, click here to contact us! We’d love to hear from you and to help you find the components you need to keep on hand and the best way to do just that!