My work includes design and fabrication for an antenna measurement systems company. For years we had used a modular building product that was very expensive and not adequately flexible. It was also limiting in its lack of accessories. Worse still was its 6-8 week lead time for parts orders. I started looking and discovered 80/20, which not only eliminated all of the negative aspects of the old product, but even provided many new benefits. It isn’t cheap, but it is a great value. We all know that for the most part, you really do get what you pay for. Cheap products usually aren’t good, and good products usually aren’t cheap.
Firstly, its modular design is fantastic. It allows prototyping of fixtures, stands, bases and many other items we need to build for in-house use or bring to market very quickly. The number of accessories available is mind boggling. They have wheels, handles, latches, panels, leveling feet, linear slides, hinges and many more components. You can build some pretty slick items and it all just bolts together with a few simple hand tools. The finished product looks very professional, as all of the individual components are designed to work together.
All components are pre-finished. Our in-house fabricated and/or machined assemblies require outside processing (anodizing, cadmium plating, painting or powder coating), which means additional time and cost. With the 80/20, all structural extrusions and components already come painted, powder coated or anodized — simply assemble and ship.
While 80/20 certainly will find more applications in an industrial environment, where the cost is also offset by the utility, the possibilities for home use are limited only by your imagination. You could build things such as a work bench, bicycle storage system, cabinets, stands or many other home items that will likely last a lifetime.
As with anything, 80/20 has its limitations but they are far outweighed by its capabilities. I have discovered zero fault with this product. Many of our products require very large, product-specific and engineered weldments and machined assemblies. The 80/20 will never fulfill all of our needs, but for the smaller systems we frequently design and build this “Industrial Erector Set” is superb.