Custom Wire Forming Vs Stock Wire Forms: Which is Better for You?

February 29, 2016 | Wire Forms

Is it better to use a stock wire form or a custom wire form for your production process?To keep your manufactured goods safe through your parts finishing processes, it’s important to use an appropriate container to hold said parts. With the right parts finishing basket, your manufactured parts will be protected from damage in even the most rigorous finishing processes.

By protecting parts, you can avoid wasting time, money, and energy on reworking or even having to scrap and completely remake parts. So, having the right wire form for the job is an important part of maintaining efficiency on the production line.

Many parts finishing machines come with stock wire forms designed to work with that specific machine. However, there are many companies that opt to use custom wire forming services to create a specialized basket design.

The question is: is it better to use custom wire forming or to simply go with stock wire baskets?

There are a few compelling arguments for either solution:

Benefits of Using Stock Wire Forms

For many companies, using the stock wire forms created for a specific parts finishing machine is a matter of convenience. In most cases, these stock wire forms are designed to meet the minimum operating tolerances of the process that the machine uses for parts finishing.

For example, heat treatment equipment might come with stock baskets made from materials that can take the heat treatment process’ highest operating temperature for a set period of time.

By using a stock wire form from the equipment manufacturer, you’re often assured that the wire form is able to take the stress of the operation (at least for the duration of the equipment’s warranty) and will be compatible with your equipment.

Also, since these baskets are often designed to be able to meet a given process’ stresses for a minimal cost, they’re typically less expensive than a custom wire form would be. This reduces the up-front costs of acquiring baskets for your production process.

So, if stock wire forms are so well-suited for the equipment they’re made for, why would you bother with a custom wire form for your production process?

There are a lot of reasons, actually.

Benefits of Using a Custom Wire Form for Your Parts

Custom wire forms are ones that have been made specifically per your request with a custom wire forming company after a review of your parts finishing process. Unlike stock wire forms, which are made for a company to fit their specific machinery, custom wire forms are made to fit your specific parts and processes.

What’s the difference?

With a stock wire form, the manufacturer doesn’t know the specifics of your parts or the other finishing processes that you use, so the baskets aren’t made to accommodate them. Stock units are only made to withstand the stresses of the machine they’re paired with, not to provide optimal protection for your specific parts.

When the surface condition of parts is a major concern, many manufacturers use custom wire forms over the stock baskets that are paired with a specific machine. This is because the custom wire form container is designed specifically to protect those exact parts from harm by using specialized inserts, wires, or other design features. These design features can be carefully optimized because of the custom wire forming company’s knowledge of the specifics of your entire parts finishing process.

Another advantage that custom wire forms frequently have over stock containers is longevity. Custom wire forms are often built to withstand the stresses of multiple types of parts finishing operations.

By building these parts finishing containers to exceed the minimum stress tolerances of your processes, custom wire manufacturers will frequently create containers that will last years longer than a stock basket would. This translates into a lower cost of ownership over time, as you won’t have to replace baskets as frequently.

Finally, by designing your custom wire forms to withstand multiple processes, you gain a container that can provide “cradle to grave” processing of parts. Normally, when moving from one process to the next, you have to take your parts out of one specialty stock basket and transplant them into another one.

If this process only takes a minute and a half for each parts load, that’s still 2.5 hours of lost productivity for every 100 part loads you process. By eliminating the basket swap from the equation, you can save time and money on your parts finishing process while getting more product out the door.

In short, custom wire forms can save you time, money, material, and labor on your production processes compared to using a stock basket in a variety of ways.

Which Type of Wire Form is Best for My Company’s Needs?

In the short run, if you have a very simple parts finishing process that uses only a single piece of equipment to clean manufacturing debris from very sturdy parts, a stock basket can serve your needs just fine.

However, if the surface condition of your parts is an issue, or if you have a complicated parts finishing process that involves multiple types of finishing equipment, then a custom wire form solution can provide a decisive advantage over a basic stock wire form.

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