Creating Washing Baskets: Dürr Ecoclean Vapor Degreasing Parts Washers

October 3, 2014 | Steel Wire Products

galvanized_meshIt’s a new production day, you’ve just gotten a new Dürr Ecoclean vapor degreasing parts washer to get your parts cleaned to spec before assembly, and you’re good to go… or you thought you were. When the time comes to put your parts in the Dürr Ecoclean baskets that came with your shiny new machine, it turns out that they don’t fit into the basic baskets that came with it or there just aren’t enough baskets for your team to efficiently move loads through the machine.

In order to keep your production running smoothly, you need custom-manufactured parts washing baskets to hold your parts through that new parts washing cycle. More than just holding parts in place safely, the basket itself also needs to be an extremely robust container, able to stand up to the stresses of the vapor degreasing cycle without becoming damaged. After all, a new parts washing basket is no good if it can’t survive the washing cycle that you’re putting the parts through.

Getting the Highest Quality Solution

With the creation of a vapor degreasing basket, it is important to carefully consider a number of factors, just as you would with a custom parts washing basket for any other wash process. The form of the basket needs to be able to conform to not only the shape of the parts, but the dimensions of your parts washing device.

Next, consider whether using a custom wire form or punched sheet metal would be more economical for your application. Punched sheet metal tends to be more solid than wire, making it ideal for holding heavy loads of parts in abusive environments, but wire mesh offers more open space for the perchloroethylene and grease run-off to drain away from parts for a superior clean. Your choice of which type of metal form to use for the basket will be dictated largely by the type of parts you’ll be cleaning in your process, and how many parts are to be processed at once.

After choosing whether to use punched sheet metal or wire mesh for your Dürr Ecoclean baskets, it is also important to pick the right material for the metal of the basket. For perchloroethylene-based cleaning processes, galvanized steel is a popular choice. However, if the Dürr Ecoclean machine isn’t the only process your parts will be going through, then you’ll want to make sure to choose a basket material that is useful for your other production processes as well, or consider using special coatings to further improve the utility of the basket.

In most cases, you’ll want a basket that can provide “cradle to grave” processing. Basically, this means that you should be able to use the same basket for every phase of your process to eliminate time spent on moving parts from one type of basket for one process to another type for the next process. Not only does this save time, but it saves space on the factory floor, as you won’t have to keep as many different kinds of baskets on hand for each part of your process.

Stress Test before the Basket is Made

Once the details for your basket have been hammered out and an AutoCAD file has been created, it’s time to get started on testing your basket design. For many manufacturers, this process would typically involve creating a prototype basket, shipping it to the client, and seeing if that basket works. There are a few problems with this approach, the least of which is the amount of delay that is created by having to physically ship a prototype to the client and waiting for testing to complete.

Instead of wasting time and material tooling for and shipping a prototype, it is now possible for more modern manufacturers to run computerized simulations of how the basket would perform under the stresses of daily use, including the temperatures and chemicals it will be exposed to in your degreasing process.

For example, Marlin Steel’s engineers test their designs using AutoDESK software. If the metal in a wire mesh basket is bent by the width of a single human hair, it fails the simulation. These virtual simulations allow the engineer designing the basket to see why the basket failed so that they can create solutions to these design issues.

Get a Custom Parts Degreasing Basket Fast

Thanks to the use of virtual simulation testing for basket designs, Marlin Steel’s engineers can go from concept to full production quickly and economically so that clients don’t have to wait for prototype after prototype to be made. Because machinery doesn’t have to be tooled over and over again just to make prototypes, not to mention less wasted materials spent on prototypes, costs are lower.

Once a design passes the AutoDESK virtual test and meets approval from the client, the basket is ready for full-scale production. With the speed and precision of automated manufacturing technology, baskets are made to meet micrometer-tight tolerances fast.

How fast? Over 330 bends per minute in steel wire fast. 900 strokes a minute for a sheet metal punch fast. Final concept to delivery in days or weeks fast.

Just for comparison, a manual laborer is working incredibly efficiently if he or she can make 2 or 3 bends in thick steel wire per minute, and the robot doesn’t get tired (or bored). With a foreign manufacturer shipping from an overseas location, you have to wait for:

  1. A cargo ship to have available space (which takes weeks).
  2. Travel via ocean cargo (taking another week or more).
  3. The shipment to through customs processing (which is a wild card value at the best of times).
  4. Transfer to land shipping to your location.

Since Marlin Steel is based in Maryland, continental U.S. customers only have to wait for overland shipping once production is finished.

Learn more about vapor degreasing baskets from the engineers at Marlin Steel today!

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