The UNEX Blog

How UNEX Modular Structures Reduce Maintenance Costs

In today’s market, manufacturing and assembly operations need to be more agile than ever to stay afloat. Operations need more than just efficient systems– they need equipment that minimizes downtime with as little cost to maintain and replace as possible. That’s why we’ve focused on making our Flow Cell modular structures a marquee solution for manufacturers looking to reduce their maintenance and operational costs.


Flow Cells within assembly operations need to be made like a work horse to withstand heavy duty usage. UNEX Flow Cells are 13 times stronger than your average tube and joint modular structure in the industry, supporting up to 1000 pounds per level thanks to their heavy gauge steel construction. Other tube and joint models max out at 150 pounds at their longest beam width. Tubes can bend under too much weight and have to be replaced. Our sturdy square tubing is designed to avoid the costs of replacing bent or damaged beams– saving your operation labor time and money.

flow-cell-modular-structure-2Unlike tube and joint alternatives, posts and beams can be ordered in six inch increments from 12” to 96”. Users order the sizes of the system they want, whereas competing tube and joint modular structures often require buyers cut their systems to fit their needs– or charge a premium for pre-cut kits– adding to maintenance costs. If a piece is cut incorrectly, which can easily happen, the piece has to be thrown away and a new piece cut. By providing the correct lengths and widths, parts arrive at the exact dimensions your operation requires and UNEX Flow Cells are ready to be used for work immediately. This saves your operation time and money in the initial implementation, or drastically reduces the cost of replacing your existing broken or inefficient structures.

UNEX Flow Cells are faster and easier to assemble than tube and joint systems, saving time, money and frustration within operations. Between posts, beams, tracks, accessories, and assembly hardware, the average Flow Cell configuration consists of about 30 total components. The entire structure can be assembled with a single 9/16" in approximately one man hour or less. Comparable tube and joint modular structures, however, arrive in 133 pieces on average and can take several hours to build– not including the time to measure and cut tube if purchased in bulk. By reducing the amount of components needed and emphasizing simple, functional design, Flow Cell can reduce the downtime needed to get the structures assembled and operational.

Another point of pain that impacts your maintenance budget are the wheel rails typically used in tube and joint racks.  Many competing modular structures uses simple plastic wheel rails within the structure to flow product. As we’ve discussed many times before, these wheel rails are prone to breaking, and provide less than reliable flow. Our Flow Cell modular structures ship with Span-Track, the industry leader in carton flow. These tracks are designed with durability in mind and can be outfitted with impact plates, impact zones, and other accessories to ensure they stand up to the rigors of your operation. By providing a more durable, reliable carton flow track, our Flow Cells further reduce your maintenance costs by reducing the quantity and frequency of broken wheel rail replacement.

So let’s add it all up:

  • Heavy duty capacities reduce the need to replace bent or broken tube and joint modular structures.
  • Designing to order means less time measuring, cutting, and re-cutting or reordering incorrect tube lengths.
  • Simple design with minimal components mean less time assembling new or replacement structures.
  • More durable flow tracks mean less time and money spent replacing inefficient wheel rails.

The sum of these optimizations is a reliable solution with an average ROI of six months, and a significantly smaller maintenance bill.


One of the best ways to boost productivity, improve ergonomics, eliminate waste and maximize space is to implement Flow Cell flow rack and workstation solutions from UNEX. Flow Cells from UNEX provide lean manufacturing principles, giving you the ability to create modular workstations designed specifically for your unique operation.

Want to learn more? Visit us at booth 1119 at The Assembly Show, happening right now! If you’re not in Rosemont, contact our team of expert Pickologists to find out how much you can save on your maintenance bill by switching to Flow Cell.




Posted by: KCupples