Custom Wire Baskets for Sifting Process Debris from Tiny Parts

November 3, 2016 | Custom Wire Baskets, Case Study

This round wire mesh basket is similar to the one Marlin customized for the client in this post.Some manufacturing parts and processes have incredibly tight tolerances. In one custom wire basket order Marlin fulfilled a while ago, Marlin’s team was asked to create a basket with ultra-fine wire mesh openings. This multipurpose basket would be used to sift particulate material away from parts after laser cutting and ultrasonic cleaning.

What Made This Job Challenging

The smallest part in this basket would have a diameter of 0.012” (0.3048mm). To keep parts from falling out, no single wire mesh opening in this basket could have a diameter of more than 0.009” – 0.010” (0.2286mm – 0.254mm). However, the openings couldn’t be too small either, or else the particulates left by the laser cutting process wouldn’t be able to leave the basket.

In short, the tolerance for spacing between wires was less than a tenth of a millimeter on this task.

Additionally, the basket had to be able to withstand continuous exposure to acid blends with a pH value ranging between 0.5 pH to 2 pH for 6 hours a day.

Finally, the basket would be used in an ultrasonic cleaning process where the transducer would vibrate at 40kHz to clean an assortment of part types.

This job required high precision in assembly, chemically-resistant basket materials, and rugged construction to ensure long useful life. Marlin Steel’s engineering team delivered on every level.

Blowing Away Expectations

The design requirements for this custom basket were similar to an existing Marlin design, wire basket #00659007-34, but with a few unique variations. Since the basket would be suspended in another container for acid soaking and parts washing, large, flat hook-shaped handles were added to the top of the basket so it would stay in place.

Thicker sheet metal plating was used for the top of the basket to help keep the thinner wire mesh in place during rough ultrasonic cavitation.

To ensure that the wires wouldn’t be corroded by prolonged exposure to acid or damaged by the stresses of an ultrasonic cleaning process, grade 316 stainless steel was picked as the best material choice to balance durability and cost-effectiveness.

Once the design was finalized, Marlin’s advanced manufacturing robots helped ensure that assembly was not only fast, but incredibly precise & consistent for every basket in the order.

The client received their custom wire basket for their parts finishing process in mere days. Better yet, the baskets precisely matched the client’s part tolerances, allowing them to wash even their smallest manufactured parts without losing them or having them catch in the wires.

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