Ultrasonic parts washing machines are an excellent way to handle the task of removing stubborn particulate debris from the surface of a manufactured object. The issue is that, as tough as ultrasonic cleaning is on dirt and other debris that might be on your manufactured parts, it can be even harder on the baskets that are meant to hold your delicate parts safely through your manufacturing process.
It takes a rugged, purpose-built container to safely hold parts through the rigors of the ultrasonic cavitation process without getting damaged. This is why many ultrasonic parts cleaning machines come with stock ultrasonic cleaning baskets designed specifically for the ultrasonic cleaning process.
However, the stock cleaning basket that comes with your ultrasonic parts washing machine might not be enough. There are times where it is better to use a custom parts washing basket rather than the stock baskets that came with your machine.
Why would you want to use a custom ultrasonic cleaning basket for your particular manufacturing process over a stock basket?
Here are a few reasons why:
Compatibility with Your Manufactured Parts
One of the primary problems with a stock basket of any kind is that it usually gets designed as a “one size fits all” type of solution, which may not result in the best fit for your parts. When you’re working with irregularly-shaped parts, a stock basket’s design might not properly accommodate such parts.
Why would this be bad?
One reason is that it might allow your parts to roll around loosely during the wash process. Here, they can collide with one another, causing their surfaces to become scratched from the impact.
Using a custom ultrasonic parts cleaning basket with dividers that are just large enough to accommodate your parts or have internal wires that can hold parts securely in place can help to prevent the scratching of your parts.
Compatibility with Your Manufacturing Process
When you simply use the stock baskets that came with your parts washing machine, you don’t always know if these baskets will work with the rest of your manufacturing process. For example, if you use another parts finishing process such as heat treating in your manufacturing process, you may not be able to use the same basket for both processes.
This means using time and labor on moving your parts from one basket to another for each stage of your manufacturing process. This can add several minutes to your manufacturing time for each load of parts, delaying the completion of an order by hours or even days when you factor in all of the wasted time spent changing baskets.
A custom ultrasonic parts washing basket can be made to be compatible with other processes as well, eliminating or at least minimizing your need to switch back and forth between multiple types of baskets.
As a side benefit, you can also save production floor space by only having to stock one kind of basket rather than two kinds.
Extra Ruggedness/Less Frequent Replacement
Stock baskets are often manufactured to the absolute minimum performance requirements determined by the manufacturer of your ultrasonic parts cleaning machine for “normal” operation. These performance standards do not take into account the dimensions of your parts, their weight, or their weight distribution. They simply can’t.
The baskets that come with a machine are a generic solution, one that is created without ever seeing the particulars of your application.
If your parts are significantly heavier than the average determined by the manufacturer, there is an increased risk that the baskets will break during the cleaning process.
Compare this to a custom steel wire parts washing basket for ultrasonic cleaning, which is built specifically to the performance needs of your parts and manufacturing processes. When using materials that are resistant to damage that your manufacturing processes can cause and reinforced frames, these baskets will usually outlast a stock commodity basket by a significant degree.
Between reducing scratches to your parts, limiting downtime between finishing processes, and increasing the longevity of your ultrasonic washing baskets, using custom containers can help to greatly improve the efficiency of your parts manufacturing process.