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Choosing the Best Aluminum Modular System 

As technology has progressed, there have been various advancements in modular framing systems for industrial environments. From t-slot to ready tube, quick frames, and pipes and joints, modular systems come in all types for many different kinds of applications. 

Choosing the right modular system is essential, especially if the solution will be replicated. To help you better choose the right system, we have explained each one below.

Ready Tube

Aluminum Ready Tube came on the scene as an alternative to steel tubular framing. It comes in two forms: With pre-drilled holes and without. Ready Tube works with a standard tube insert, bolts, and a hex nut. A wrench will be required for assembly. Ready Tube is similar to t-slot in that it is corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and strong. It comes in three profiles:

  • Square
  • P-Tube
  • A-Tube

Its smooth outer profile makes it a good choice for aesthetic solutions that are light duty. It is often used in flow racks and material handling shelves. Unfortunately, it is not as modular as t-slot as it does not have a t-channel. Assembly and disassembly are not as quick with ready tube. Also, it is essential to note that although it is strong, depending on the application, it may not be the optimal choice. 

Quick Frame

Quick Frame is another alternative to steel tubular framing. As its name implies, Quick Frame assembles quickly with the use of nylon connectors that are hammered into the profile’s end with a soft mallet.

Quick Frame is used for light-duty applications. Like Ready Tube, it has a smooth profile face, making it aesthetically pleasing. Quick Frame’s primary purpose is to be used in addition to pre-existing t-slot profiles. 

It is corrosion-resistant, and the nylon connectors do not degrade. Quick Frame comes in 3 shapes: Square, Flanged, and Twin Flanged.

Pipe and Joint System

Pipe and joint systems consist of plastic-coated steel pipes cut to a required length. Metal joints are then used to tighten pipe sections with threaded fasteners. Typical pipe and joint systems used 28 mm OD pipes with or without plastic coating. The thickness of the pipe is generally 1 to 2 mm. 

Since the pipe’s diameter stays the same, it will never be as strong as t-slot aluminum extrusion systems. When it comes to modularity, pipe and joint systems are not as capable as t-slot.

and joint systems tend to lure customers in because of the affordability; however, in the long run, these systems don’t stand up to the rigors of industrial settings as well as t-slot.

All systems above each have their purpose, whether in manufacturing, medical, or office environments. Depending on the application, only certain systems can be used due to OSHA and ANSI regulations. For example, any system used for perimeter, machine guarding, or stair applications must adhere to any and all safety regulations. Typically, t-slot or steel is used for these types of applications.

Advantages of T-Slot Aluminum Profiles

T-slot has many advantages over the above types of modular systems.

  • Modularity
  • Works for any application
  • Multiple fastening capabilities
  • Numerous Accessories
  • Has an excellent reputation in many industries
  • Compatible with other t-slot products
  • Outperforms other systems in rigorous environments
  • Meets safety standards set by OSHA and ANSI


While all systems above can be customized, creative and functional in an industrial setting, there are some key factors to keep in mind before purchasing a modular system:

  • Understand the application and the solution’s maximum load capacity 
  • Will the solution be used as part of a safety solution and if so, know the regulations
  • Consider the long-term use of the solution and its modularity
  • Understand that affordability up front may cost you in the long term 
  • Consider the system’s installation and assembly 
  • When working with a company, look to see if they offer free design assistance

Parco has over 20 years of experience in t-slot aluminum structural framing. We strive to provide you with the best customer service and knowledge in the t-slot industry. Our products are compatible with other t-slot companies, and we do not have a minimum order policy.  


9100 Front St.
Fort Wayne, IN, 46818

Phone Number

Toll Free: (800) 817-0617
Office: (260) 451-0810


Fax: (260) 451-0843



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  • I am a small business and needed the t slot in a hurry. They processed my order, cut to size and shipped in less then 36 hours and 2 days before Christmas. Wonderful customer service. Thank you
  • This was the first time I tried Parco-inc. for one of my t-slot projects. It was easy to find what I needed and order on the website. I got the parts quickly and the quality was great, so I will be buying here from now on!
  • Great prices, great products, excellent customer service...but the packing job they did is what actually takes them from excellent to stellar, because that was so perfect it make me tear up a little. I'll definitely be ordering from Parco again, no question.
  • I use ALOT of these little anchor faster, every month. My regular vendor was out of stock, and so I found Parco and ordered from them. The fasteners arrived quickly, we're high quality, and they even worked with me on a bulk discounted price. 10/10 in all areas!!
  • Just awesome. Great customer service and response to questions, all cuts and pieces exactly like I ordered, extrusions seem like quality, fast shipping, and well packed to protect the items. I can't say enough about the quality and service. Will order again.