Custom parts washing baskets for automotive applications can help vehicle manufacturers improve their ability to meet production tolerances, reduce scrap production, and minimize production delays. To achieve these benefits, the parts washing basket has to be specially designed for the needs of the automotive manufacturer’s production process.
Creating the perfect custom parts washing baskets for automotive applications is a multistep process that requires:
- Specific knowledge concerning the manufacturing application;
- Rigorous testing of design concepts;
- Extremely precise manufacturing techniques; and
- A commitment to meeting rigorous quality standards.
Here’s a glimpse into how Marlin Steel makes the perfect custom parts washing basket for almost any automotive application.
Step 1: The Custom Basket Questionnaire
Every custom basket design begins with the Marlin Steel team sending the client a questionnaire asking for the salient details of their manufacturing process. These questions cover a range of stress factors such as temperatures, chemicals used, part weights, and total process times that the engineering team can test the final basket design against later.
Other questions include specifics about any equipment the basket will come into contact with, such as the dimensions of the washing tank the basket will have to fit into, the dimensions of the parts to be held, and any conveyor or hoist systems that the basket will have to work with. Also, the questionnaire asks the client for any specific features they want/need the basket to have, such as handles, lids, hoist hooks, etc.
By collecting this information, Marlin’s engineering team can be confident that the custom basket design will not only meet the client’s minimum requirements, but also exceed them to be as efficient and effective as possible.
Step 2: Rigorously Test Various Designs
After collecting all of the critical details about the manufacturing process and the environment the basket will be used in, Marlin’s engineering team created a few different design concepts for testing using a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) program. This program breaks up the CAD file of the design into countless tiny pieces based on the shape and characteristics of the materials chosen for it (often a type of stainless steel) and checks the effects of all the stress factors revealed in the questionnaire on these pieces of the basket’s design.
This produces an incredibly reliable simulation of the effects of years of use on the basket design in mere moments. If there’s a deficiency in the design that would cause it to fail, the computer program makes a note of the failure and its cause so the designer can refine the design to prevent that failure in future testing.
Why computer simulations instead of physically making a basket prototype? One reason is that these software simulations are much faster than physical prototyping tests—taking minutes rather than months to complete. Another reason is that these tests can reveal flaws in a design that would not be apparent even after a month of rigorous real-world tests because they simulate years of use in minutes. So, problems that would only arise after prolonged use can be easily found. Finally, it saves on tooling, shipping, and materials costs for physical prototyping, helping clients save money as well as time.
The design is tested, refined, and tested again and again until it is able to pass the FEA testing without failing.
Step 3: Using Factory Automation to Achieve Precise Tolerances
In many automotive parts manufacturing applications, the tiniest error or flaw could compromise the safety and effectiveness of the final product—leading to safety recalls and bad press. When the parts washing baskets for an automotive manufacturing process are misshapen, they can interfere with equipment or allow parts to become damaged during processing, ruining delicate surfaces so they have to be rejected or reprocessed.
To ensure that Marlin’s custom automotive baskets meet the millimeter-tight tolerances of its clients, the Marlin production team uses a variety of advanced manufacturing automation tools, including:
- Wire bending robots
- CNC press brakes
- Laser cutting machines
- MFDC welders
- Stamping machines
Each of these machines produces incredibly consistent results without getting bored, tired, or stressed into making mistakes like a person would after hours of backbreaking work. Instead, they keep putting out consistent results in a fraction of the time it would take to do the same work with manual tools.
Marlin Steel is constantly on the lookout for new pieces of factory automation to expand its production capabilities—helping the Baltimore factory meet the needs of clients all over the globe!
Marlin’s ongoing commitment to delivering “Quality, Engineered Quick®” is the real secret sauce to the company’s success. This commitment to quality informs everything the company does—from its never-ending search for the best tools for the job, to the constant ongoing learning programs the company uses to keep employees on the cutting edge of manufacturing technology and knowledge.
Need a custom automotive basket that will make your parts washing process more effective and efficient? Request a quote for a custom parts washing basket from Marlin Steel right now!