Designing for Simplicity with Aluminum Extrusions

For product designers, KISS— “keep it simple, stupid”—is a well-known rule of thumb. As a design principal, it’s about making products simple and easy to understand to appeal to users. When it comes to designing for manufacturability, the simplicity principal still applies, particularly when designing aluminum extrusion profiles. Complicated product designs and configurations produce complex… Read More »

Keeping Costs in Check: Designing Aluminum Extrusions with Proper Tolerances

Designers must keep an eye on the bottom line in every project. Finding creative and practical solutions to accomplish cost control while also maintaining the integrity of the design is important, but it can consume engineering resources. One often overlooked way to keep costs down is to examine tolerance requirements. With unnecessarily tight tolerances parts… Read More »

Use of Aluminum in Product Design in the Sustainable Era

Sustainability is increasingly prioritized by product designers. Making sustainable and environmentally conscious choices during the design process has multiple benefits including reductions in waste, energy use, and production costs. Designing with aluminum is an excellent choice for sustainability. The primary reason is because aluminum can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its high quality… Read More »

Why Poor Aluminum Extrusion Handling Drives Up Your Product Cost

As a designer, if you’re working with aluminum extrusions you’re spending considerable time choosing the appropriate alloy, reviewing the profile and making sure the final product is as cost effective as possible. However, there are other areas of a manufacturer’s fulfillment process, outside a designer’s control, that can impact product quality and time-to-market, as well… Read More »

Choosing the Right Finish for Your Aluminum Extrusion Profile

Aluminum is a remarkable material. Its unique combination of properties makes it suitable for many different applications. When exposed to air aluminum instantly forms a natural, thin, and transparent oxide film on the metal’s surface. This film provides a corrosion resistant barrier. The film will instantly re-form whenever the metal is cut or abraded. For… Read More »

Why Design with Aluminum Extrusions

With its low price point and numerous benefits, aluminum has quickly gained favor among manufacturers across a number of industries.  Here are ten reasons why designers and manufacturers are increasing their use of aluminum. Strength. While aluminum alone is not as strong as steel, higher strengths can be obtained by adding manganese, silicon, copper, magnesium, or zinc… Read More »

Why Designers Are Using More Aluminum Than Ever

Aluminum is the metal of the future.  Not only is it environmentally-friendly, it’s lightweight, naturally corrosive resistant and, thanks to new heating, cooling and aging treatments, stronger than ever. The Aluminum Association and the Aluminum Extruders Council report that domestic use of aluminum extrusions has grown for the sixth consecutive year and now represents nearly… Read More »

Why Your Parts Inventory May be Costing You More Than You Think

Oftentimes, some of the most obvious ways for a company to save money aren’t so obvious. Inventory is one of those areas. Even among well-run businesses, quite often the actual costs of inventory are inaccurate, underestimated and incomplete. It can be pretty easy to overlook piles of boxes or parts tucked away in the back… Read More »

3 LED Lighting Design Challenges Solved Using Aluminum Extrusions

The use of LED (light-emitting diode) lighting is growing rapidly thanks to its many benefits: higher-quality light, greater energy efficiency, and lower maintenance costs. In fact, a recent report by Radiant Insights predicts the global LED lighting market to reach $63.1 billion by 2020. Yet for all the energy and maintenance saving advantages, conversion to… Read More »

Aluminum Extrusion Process Drives Stronger, More Cost Competitive Components

If you’re planning to extrude parts or components, it is vital to have a clear knowledge of aluminum alloys. A mistake designers can make in alloy specification stems from concerns over strength. While high-strength alloys may at first glance appear to be appropriate for a new design, there may be hidden drawbacks associated with these specialized… Read More »