There are many different ways that Marlin Steel’s mechanical engineers customize wire baskets to meet client needs. One of the more unique customizations that Marlin’s engineers have applied in the recent past is to add a set of floats to a steel wire medical basket and make it able to tilt during ultrasonic cleaning processes.
Why did Marlin’s engineers add floats to this ultrasonic cleaning basket? What were the benefits? Here’s a quick explanation of how and why this “float basket” was made:
Designing an Ultrasonic Parts Cleaning Basket with Floats
Most of the ultrasonic parts cleaning baskets that Marlin’s engineers design have a few common features, such as:
- Wire mesh enclosures to hold parts;
- Stainless steel construction to resist corrosion; and
- Latching or locking lids to prevent parts floating away.
These are the most basic elements that almost every ultrasonic cleaning basket uses. However, to make use of the floats, this basket needed a few extra design features.
First, the portion of the basket containing the parts needed to be able to tilt easily to either side. Without a tilting mechanism, the floats could make one end of the basket rise, but the basket would merely return to level once drained. So, a base with two protrusions was added.
The wire basket would attach to the raised bars coming off the base using a steel wire with a wing nut to secure the wire and basket in place. This would allow the basket to freely tilt to one side or the other.
Four spherical stainless steel floats were then added to one side of the basket. When inside the ultrasonic cleaning tank, the buoyancy of the floats would cause that side of the basket to rise. This tilting action would allow the cleaning fluid to get inside of the hollow cylindrical parts being cleaned—ensuring a more thorough wash.
When removed from the cleaning tank, the floats would then act as a weight, causing the basket to tilt downwards so the fluid in the cylinders could drain out with ease. Without the base raising the basket, this tilting action would be impossible.
The base itself served as a limiting factor for the tilting basket—keeping it from tilting too far in either direction so the ultrasonic cleaning process could be executed consistently. Without this limiting factor, the basket could tilt at too steep an angle in the tank, preventing cleaning fluid from entering the cylinders being washed.
A set of removable dividers were also incorporated into the design to allow the basket to accommodate different types of parts in the future. This way, the stainless steel basket would remain useful for future product lines. Additionally, the dividers would keep the cylinders from sliding around as the basket tilts—preventing scratches or other surface blemishes.
The Benefits of Using a Medical Basket with Floats
So, why was this custom wire basket design beneficial for medical parts washing? The primary reason was that it helped to make the ultrasonic cleaning process used by the client more effective and efficient. By tilting the cylinders one way to maximize cleaning solution penetration, then the other way to speed up draining, the wash process was made more thorough and the drying process faster.
By using floats to automate the process, the client was able to save time and labor that would otherwise be spent on manually manipulating the medical baskets and their contents. This let their team focus on other tasks so they could get more work done in a day.
The dividers in the basket allowed it to accommodate a variety of medical parts, which helped to ensure that it would remain useful for years to come. Also, they helped reduce the risk of parts getting damaged by holding them more securely in place.
By using grade 304 stainless steel for the basket’s construction, Marlin’s engineers were able to ensure that prolonged exposure to the client’s ultrasonic cleaning solution would not cause corrosion. This is crucial because it helps to extend the useful life of the medical basket for years—minimizing the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the baskets by reducing the need to constantly order new ones.
Do you need a custom wire basket for a specialized application? Reach out to the Marlin Steel team to discuss your manufacturing needs and get a custom solution.