One commonly forgotten aspect of many production processes is how quickly and easily loads can be moved from one process to the next. In any high-output production process, each little delay can be magnified a hundredfold or more in a day when problems keep coming up with each production cycle.
A common issue when using any shelving or cabinet solution for storing loaded baskets is that the baskets can stick. Every time this happens, an employee has to waste time "un-sticking" the basket so it can be fully inserted or removed from the shelving—taking a few precious seconds each time it happens. If this only happened once or twice, it wouldn’t be a huge issue in a manual process. However, if it happens once, then it’ll happen a hundred times in a day.
Another issue that involves "sticking" baskets is that there is a chance of damaging the basket or the shelf when trying to force the basket free—a risk that is amplified when using automated loading/unloading machinery. If the machine has sensors to gauge resistance, then it could get stuck and shut down, requiring manual effort to reset the basket and robot. Alternatively, if these sensors aren’t present (or don’t detect the problem quickly enough), the robot could damage the basket, the shelf, or itself by applying too much force at the wrong angle.
Finding ways to keep baskets from sticking while being loaded into or unloaded from a shelving unit or mobile cart can be an important way to prevent delays and damage to your equipment.
Some Solutions to the Sticking Tray Problem
There are several solutions to the sticking tray problem:
- Lubricating Shelving Units. The quick-fix that often gets applied to a stuck metal basket is to apply oil or other lubricants to the shelf to break up surface contaminants/obstructions so the basket can slide easily. This can work well, but it often requires cleaning after the shelving is used to make sure contaminants are removed.
- Using Rollers. This solution adds a series of rollers for the basket to slide across. The wheels spin in place, helping make sure the underside of the basket doesn’t get stuck.
Of course, for these solutions to work, the basket sliding across the contact surface of the shelf should have a smooth surface, as well.
So, when a client needs a basket and cart solution that minimizes the risk of baskets getting stuck in the cart shelves, Marlin’s engineering team has a go-to solution—electropolished custom wire baskets with sheet metal tops.
The flat, smooth surface of the electropolished sheet metal slides smoothly and easily over rollers or on bare metal shelving—minimizing the risk of the metal basket getting stuck. With proper care, the microscopically smooth surface of the sheet metal can remain jam-free for years of use.
When combined with a custom rolling cart, these baskets can help massively improve productivity by making it easy to move lots of parts at once between different manufacturing processes.
Making Custom Wire Baskets for Your Needs
Of course, the strength of a custom wire basket is that it's been tailor-made for a specific application to maximize its durability and utility in that application. This is why the Marlin Steel engineering team will send clients a custom basket questionnaire asking about specific details in their manufacturing processes.
With information such as the temperatures, chemicals, parts characteristics, and process requirements (no scratch, fast-draining, etc.), the team designing your custom wire basket can optimize the design to be both durable and highly-functional.
Need a custom wire basket for your own production processes? Get a quote for your own custom basket by contacting Marlin Steel today!