Global Trend in Miniaturization is Getting Bigger

Minalex is a leader in miniature aluminum extrusions for the computer and electronics industries.

The days of “Bigger is Better” as an oft repeated business buzz phrase are coming to an end. Across many industries, the trend in recent years has been all about miniaturization: the manufacturing of ever-smaller mechanical, optical, medical, and electronic products and devices. Take the electronics industry as an example: the size of microchips has grown smaller, and as a result everything related to it in the supply chain has adjusted to accommodate the new, compact size.

Many companies are realizing benefits such as efficiency, logistics and material reductions, so the expectation is that miniaturization will continue to be a major paradigm shift in advanced manufacturing. Minalex Corporation, family-owned and founded more than 50 years ago, has been at the forefront by manufacturing high-tolerance, small-profile custom aluminum extrusions. Product miniaturization demands innovative manufacturing technologies and techniques. The inherent properties of aluminum as a light, durable, rust proof material, and one that can be extruded to extremely tight tolerances, make it an ideal solution as parts and products get smaller across many industries. And, as products get smaller, using plastic is not always viable as plastic components can’t be constructed to extremely tight tolerances at small sizes.

Computers are a perfect example of the endless progress and possibilities of miniaturization – while parts have grown smaller, advantages have increased: they’re lighter, occupy less space, consume less energy, require less material to manufacture, yet offer more data storage and process at higher speeds.

Michael Casey, Head of …

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