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Ergonomics-led motorsports industry favours MiniTec's modular Profile SystemErgonomics, the applied science of equipment design for maximum productivity, is a very important issue for the best engineering organisations. From the shop floor to the boardroom, the clever companies provide more than just a good working environment for their staff. Great ergonomics depend upon design and logistics excellence to provide labour, materials and services exactly where and when required; systematically, rapidly and efficiently. And nowhere is ergonomics embraced more than in the world of motorsports where reaction times and proficiency of teams and individuals can make the difference for a podium or a pole position. One UK manufacturing company that is increasingly providing ergonomic support equipment solutions for race teams across the competition spectrum is Basingstoke based MiniTec UK Limited with its Profile System modular machine building and framing range.
Whilst race track and motorsports suppliers provide a wide range of standard workshop, pit and paddock equipment, the diverse needs of race teams for individually customised kit to store, support or transport tools, fixtures and car parts remains a constant challenge for the industry. Profile System with its extremely wide range of aluminium profiles, connectors and components helps race teams accomplish these aims by empowering them with complete freedom in the design and build of specialist individual mechanical assemblies that are durable, easily configured and modifiable at very competitive cost. The MiniTec range has earned a high reputation throughout industry and research for fast and efficient construction of complete structural systems that can be built to suit the individual needs of each application. Its wide selection of building-block components includes wheels, handles, hinges, panels, windows and doors as well as automation components such as motors and sensors. Common applications include workstations, machine base and frames, guards, enclosures, and even complete product conveying and manufacturing lines.
Applications where MiniTec's Profile System has been successfully employed in motorsports range from Formula 1 wind tunnel positioning systems to simple trolleys for wings and chassis, and to pit lane control consoles and workshop storage cabinets.
MiniTec works closely with RAM Racing, a new kid on the block for the 2013 European Le Mans Series (ELMS), racing Ferrari 458 GTE cars. The team already has double podium and first finishes in this years' two races at Silverstone and Imola in Italy. To RAM Racing, equipment organisation is of paramount importance and they recently commissioned MiniTec to build portable pit lane toolboxes and pit perches with a design specification for both projects that included high gloss white panelling and flush fittings. For JRM Racing who compete across several competitions including the FIA GT1 World Championship, MiniTec supplied front & rear wing trolleys for the safe and secure transportation of these critical parts within the pit and also for transportation storage.
As an intrinsic part of its support for the British motorsports industry MinITec UK also has a sponsorship status with Team Bath Racing - a team of 25 undergraduate engineers from the University of Bath that design, build and compete a single seater racing car in the worldwide Formula Student competitions. The Formula Student events cover not just the dynamic racing events but many other factors that thoroughly test the design and quality of the entries. The competition aims to 'develop excellence in engineering' by allowing young engineers the opportunity to put theory learned in lectures into practice, and to develop their skills working as part of a high performance team in a competitive environment. This year's car, the TBR13, hopes to follow the success of previous entries which have regularly won the best UK team and various other awards such as the cost and sustainability competition and the design and business competition. MiniTec has supplied several components for the team including the support frame for the car at its recent launch event as well as a modular framework system for the car's cockpit design and ergonomics analysis.
The modular MiniTec Profile System is based on a wide choice of square or rectangular section profiles with corresponding components and accessory elements. All rails include a common 'T' groove on two or more sides that allow the elements to be freely combined and used for every profile. With excellent size to load-bearing ratio, smaller profiles are ideal for solutions in limited construction space and particularly suit support structures for the limited 'real-estate' found in pit and paddock areas. MiniTec Profile System is characterised by its well-known and patented power-lock fastening system that requires no profile modification such as predrilling which many other competitive brands require. This allows for very fast assembly with easy adjustment, and also permits the complete re-use of material for economic modification or new structures.
MiniTec UK provides a design and assembly service for Profile System or users can develop their own designs quickly and efficiently using the free of charge iCAD Assembler software. With a choice of standalone programming, requiring no CAD platform or specialist CAD knowledge, or in combination with a preferred CAD software system, the 3D software allows users to conceptualise and plan complete assemblies and produce parts lists for component costing and purchase.
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