Industry Info

Innovative Aluminum Comes to the Factory

Manufacturing plants are getting brighter and cleaner. A Japanese-based company is adding to this trend with aluminum frames for workstations and factory shelving. SUS Corp. has designed workstations and assembly shelving that is light, clean, and, ultimately, recyclable.

The GreenFrame structural aluminum frames are designed to be used for workstations, carts, chutes, and flow racks. The goal is optimal adaptability for the factory floor. The aluminum frames contain mounting features that allow connectors to grip and securely fasten with a single bolt, offering a precise fit. SUS aims for a reduction in assembly time by up to 66%.

SUS is using aluminum to replace steel piping at automakers, auto suppliers, and other industries, including electronics. “Traditional steel pipes are usually round. These have different shapes. They have grips. So they won’t slip or rotate,” Yasuo Ishida, president of SUS Corp. told Design News.

Ishida said the GreenFrame material is 40% lighter than equivalent plastic resin coated steel pipes, and “it has a more aesthetically also pleasing appearance.” The anodized aluminum provides a durable finish that is resistant to corrosion and scratches and is fully recyclable. GreenFrame is available in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate a range of applications.

Aluminum is not necessarily the right material in all areas of auto manufacturing, but for areas that handle light parts, aluminum can be a good solution. “Cars are large and heavy. Our products are usually used on lighter car products,” Ishida told us. “We support suppliers that work for Toyota with smaller parts.”

Easy recycling aluminum
The “green” factor in GreenFrame is the ease of recycling. “The material for our frames is reusable and recyclable,” Ishida told us. “In the auto industry, people are environmentally conscious, so they’re looking for green features. There is resistance to materials that rust.” He noted there is also value in the appearance of the frames. “It’s a bright silver color, so the factory looks brighter and cleaner.”

SUS has been reaching into industries beyond automotive. “Aside from the auto industry, we also work with the electronics industry, since they require clean materials,” said Ishida.

SUS began marketing to manufacturers in Japan, but in recent years, the company has been moving into other geographic markets. “We started from Japan, but now we’re selling to other Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia,” said Ishida. “We also sell into Europe and the US.”

Source: Design News