the Skinny on (Industry) Rod-based Systems

I wanted to share with you a letter from our R&D head regarding industry rods, and concerns i’ve been hearing about on forums and the interwebs alike about inter-compatibility:

“Recently, we had one of our customers call with a predicament: our 15mm rod system accessories were utilized with another manufacturer’s system and a compatibility question arose. Afterward, it got us thinking, so we decided we’d put out a brief entry on the subject for those who might be interested.
There are several key concerns in making a rod system: Tolerances, Allowances, Accuracy and Assurance.
ikan takes into account all of these concerns when manufacturing and selling our Elements line of camera accessories. We take care to follow some fairly common practices when designing our rod systems, and our design specifications are set to ensure the maximum compatibility with the widest range of  products (our own included, of course) from other manufacturers.We work closely with our manufacturing facilities to make sure they adhere to our design specifications and we pay close attention to the tolerance specification for the clamps and rods.  Incorrectly specified tolerances means a product could be manufactured that will not be compatible within a product line or other third party products. We design tolerances to compensate for manufacturing process such as coatings and environmental issues.  Beyond that, our quality assurance process and policies facilitate compatibility and usability in our products.  We also ensure that our manufactures posses the correct tools necessary for the type of precision a rod system requires, which can be an issue in and of itself.
In addition, we maintain multiple copies of the correct tools in-house to double check and measure our products. Before releasing the product to the customer, each production line is checked and re-checked to verify compatibility and adherence to our specifications.  The tools we use are specifically selected to meet the accuracy demands  required to  meet our specifications. Even though correct tools  provide an objective  measurement, the real world is a different matter.  ikan also maintains an ever-growing library of rod systems, clamps and other accessories from various manufacturers for the express purpose of hand-checking our product in-house by our QC department, our product managers, designers and sales/marketing staff to ensure real world compatibility.
As much as we would love to go into more detail on several of these subjects, it would almost be like giving away the recipe for the secret sauce if we did.  Rest assured and purchase with confidence, knowing  that the staff at ikan works hard to ensure maximum compatibility, though we cannot guarantee interchangeability with every single one of the ever increasing number of companies that are going into the business of selling rod-based systems.
As always, we welcome feedback and input from our customer-base should they wish to give us a call at 713-272-8822 to chat further regarding the construction of our systems and the process behind doing so.”

for addtional links and reading, consider this thread on Cinema5D

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~ by Ryan Aivalis on January 27, 2011.

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