Companies in the pharmaceutical industry have to meet stringent standards for part sanitation. Whether they’re dealing with surgical tools, medication containers, or hypodermic needles, those materials need to get thoroughly sanitized.
To ensure a thorough sanitization, the basket holding the medical parts to be washed needs to:
- Allow the cleaning medium free access to the parts being washed.
- Prevent fluid buildup that could contaminate parts.
- Be able to withstand all process stresses (temperatures, chemical exposure, impacts, etc.).
- Keep parts from falling out of the basket.
- Fit comfortably within all processing equipment.
- Be easy to handle in between processes.
Marlin Steel recently created a stainless steel mesh basket with a lid that is perfect for medical and pharmaceutical parts washing applications. This stainless steel parts washing basket solves the challenges of sanitizing medical and pharmaceutical parts by:
Providing Plentiful Open Space in a Stainless Steel Parts Washing Basket
To enable ease of cleaning for held parts and to ensure that no runoff or debris from washing processes remain in the basket, this stainless steel mesh basket design uses a fine wire mesh to fully enclose the basket’s content on all sides.
The open space offered by the wire mesh allows air and liquids to freely pass through the basket so held parts can be washed efficiently. However, the space between wires is kept tight enough to ensure that the parts themselves cannot pass through. This is enhanced by adding a hinged wire mesh lid to the top of the basket.
Keeping Parts from Falling Out
By adding a hinged lid to the basket’s design, it could keep parts from falling out during harsh washing processes—even if the basket were to be flipped upside down. A latch would keep the lid secure during the wash process.
Using a lidded design like this would keep parts from falling out of the basket and into processing equipment during the wash process.
Using Handles to Make an Ideal Material Handling Basket
To make the basket easy to carry between processes, large handles were added to either side of the basket. Because the wires were so large and left so much space between the grip and the basket, they could easily be grabbed with a gloved hand. This makes the basket easy to carry for workers wearing thicker sterile gloves or even cleanroom suits.
Making a Tough Stainless Steel Parts Washing Basket
Medical parts washing and sanitation processes can be incredibly tough on a wire mesh basket. They need to completely remove any potential surface contaminants and sterilize parts with a combination of high temperatures and bactericidal chemicals—temperatures and chemicals that can damage many basket materials. Also, occasional rough motion or impact can dent a basket.
To ensure that the basket was able to take all the temperature, impact, and chemical stresses it could be exposed to, Marlin’s engineers decided to make it out of electropolished stainless steel. A stainless steel mesh basket would be able to resist temperatures of 1,700˚F (926.6˚C)—several times greater than the 250˚F (121˚C) that is necessary to sterilize medical equipment with an autoclave steam sterilization process. Plastic, on the other hand, would not be as reliably heat-resistant.
The tensile strength of steel helps to ensure that the basket can take intense pressures and impacts without bending or breaking. Additionally, the use of stainless steel alloys such as grade 304 or grade 316 SS helped to ensure that the basket would be resistant to corrosion from exposure to chemicals used in the parts washing process.
To further enhance the chemical resistance of the basket, it would be subjected to electropolishing. This process would strip the surface layer of the basket to create a microscopically-smooth stainless steel mesh basket. Because the surface of the basket is so smooth following this process, bacteria and small particulates have a difficult time finding purchase—making cleaning the basket easier.
Creating Baskets with Consistent Dimensions
One of the big challenges in creating a parts washing basket for any application is making sure the basket can fit inside whatever equipment it’s going to be used with. If a basket’s measurements deviate so much as an inch, then it might not fit properly in a piece of equipment that it should be just the right size for.
To ensure that every basket has consistent dimensions, Marlin’s manufacturing team uses advanced factory automation to assemble each and every basket. These wire bending and welding robots are capable of achieving inhuman consistency from one part to the net. Unlike human workers, they never get sick, tired, or bored. Even better, these manufacturing robots can work at speeds manual laborers can only dream of—making them incredibly fast at basic assembly tasks.
So, with manufacturing automation, Marlin Steel can assemble a high-quality custom wire basket quickly.
Get Made-in-the-USA Quality!
Need a custom steel mesh basket for your own pharmaceutical or medical parts washing application? You can start your order for a real, made-in-America custom stainless steel parts washing basket from Marlin Steel by contacting us and requesting a custom basket quote. Or, you can check out the in-stock baskets page to see whether something is ready-to-ship from Marlin’s Baltimore, Maryland factory.