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27 March 2017

Flexible, lightweight, modular - aluminium profile systems are amongst the most versatile industrial equipment available. Charlotte Stonestreet looks at some of the varied applications

While in terms of technological development, aluminium profile systems might not be the most exciting of products around, there is no doubt that by their very nature these highly flexible and often modular systems play an essential part in many workplaces. The range of applications is wide and varied, from machine frames and safety guards to multi axis positioning systems and complete turnkey production lines.

One major advantage of this type of equipment is the way in which it lends itself to being produced/assembled at one site and then being dismantled for transport before being reassembled at the application site. MK Technology Group has leveraged this feature to full advantage in its provision of a flexible lightweight frame for a salt-water treatment system that is characterised by long service life.

Replacing a complex VA welded construction, MK used standard 10 μm anodised aluminium Series 40 profiles with base dimensions of 40 x 40, 40 x 80 und 80 x 80mm with keyed angles as connecting elements. Stable, reusable connection technology makes the system easy to assemble and disassemble; the grooves offer versatile installation and connection possibilities. In this application, despite its arduous ambient conditions, no special measures to increase corrosion protection were required. The low weight of the product eases handling and also reduces transport costs.

Outdoor screen

Boldman was tasked with designing and manufacturing a supporting structure for two back-to-back LED screens that were to be installed at MediaCity.  The outdoor structure needed to be capable of withstanding all weather conditions, especially high winds given its location.

The aluminium frame was to be mounted 5m off the ground between two pre-existing steel pillars clad in a coloured plastic material. The Boldman aluminium profile system was chosen because of its accurate, lightweight and robust characteristics. The frame was designed with a walkway in between, and a trap door underneath to allow for maintenance to take place as and when required.

The flat and accurate supporting structure allowed the large-scale audio-visual screen to be mounted, providing a flat as possible mounting surface for the LED screens. The Boldman team delivered and installed the frame on site by mounting their structure onto the existing specially designed coloured pillars.

Operating stations

Often, simple profiles will form the backbone for more complex systems and equipment. At its Hampshire factory Kanya UK has custom designed eight controller operating stations to house specialist equipment. Each has a flat working surface with storage beneath it, as well as Novus monitor arms mounted on Kanya extrusion profiles at the back of the unit.

Simple profiles will form the backbone for more complex systems and equipment

A range of modifications has been added to the stations to ensure safe working practices, including auto-stop switches and warm air dispensing vents which maintain a suitable working temperature for the technology within. Mesh coverings have also been added over the vents as a precaution, preventing accidental losses into the vents.


With the MiniTec modular aluminium profile system, the modular nature and extensive range of accessories allow a high degree of customisation, which has been used to great advantage in Werma’s new StockSAVER – a retrofit solution to enable stock movements on FIFO flow racks to be monitored.

A purpose built flow rack system was designed by MiniTec and a full-size demonstrator built which WERMA use to demonstrate the system to prospective clients. Sensors are fitted to the rails of the each shelf that detect the movement in or out of a shelf, which is then transmitted wirelessly to a software package obviating the need for a Kanban card system and milk-round.

The Minitec solution is particularly well suited to this type of application because of its relative mobility and re-useability. Should an operation need to move the racking to another location or modify the layout, the modular nature of the product means it can be dissembled and reconfigured easily and without any waste of components already purchased.