Building with aluminum extrusions is a great way to take advantage of all the best characteristics of this unique metal. In this form factor, it is an ideal building material and it can also save you a lot of time and money.
Here are 5 reasons aluminum extrusions can save you and your business time and money:
Even if you only need a small production run, it is possible to break even with aluminum extrusions. Initially, products might be manufactured using standard extruded shapes, but as your volume requirements increase, ordering custom components quickly becomes a cost effective option. Meeting product specifications is made dramatically easier when you can realistically order custom parts.
The shape of a product also influences its economy. Hollow and semi‐hollow extrusions are similar in cost, while solid shapes are more cost effective than hollow ones. Symmetrical shapes are more cost effective than asymmetrical shapes.
It is important to consider the potential benefits in all stages of the production process. For instance, a complex extrusion might be worth the initial price if it effectively reduces the amount of machining and manufacturing required later - including the shipping weight or other costs.
Not sure if aluminum is the right choice? Maybe you should look into stainless steel.
Aluminum extrusions produced according to standard industry tolerances are more economical to produce than extrusions with special tolerances. Fabrication and assembly methods occasionally change, making special tolerances unnecessary. Periodic review of a given extrusion design can reveal opportunities to lower costs by eliminating or reducing special tolerances.
For extrusion designs, there are a number of alloys and tempers that may also be suitable for use in production. Selections are usually made according to structural and/or fabrication needs. It’s advisable to look for the most cost-effective alloy available and to try to match the metal's functionally as closely as possible to the requirements of the application at hand.
At lower volumes, fabricators will often buy extrusions in more economical warehouse lengths. As production volumes increase, savings can be achieved by purchasing extrusions in precise lengths or in multiples of precise lengths in order to reduce excess scrap.