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!
1. Start with T-Slotted Extrusions
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!
2. Use Brackets to Build 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!
3. Adapter and Joiner Plates are the Manufacturing Components You Don’t Want to Overlook
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.
4. Don’t Forget Strap Nuts and Joiner Strips
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.
5. You’ll Need Some Support Feet and Casters
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.
6. Power Up with Electrical Components
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.
7. Protect Your Project Long-Term with Guarding Components
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.
8. Add Assembly Hardware to Put it All Together
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.
9. Top it Off with Beam End Caps
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.
10. Accessorize Your Project with… Accessories
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!
Don’t Forget to Keep Manufacturing Components On Hand for a Rainy Day
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!