The Utility of Custom Wire Baskets with Lids

In Custom Wire Baskets

Marlin Steel on June 11, 2014

Marlin Steel Custom Wire Basket with LidFor materials washing baskets, there are many important design and construction considerations, such as the amount of space allowed in the wire mesh, the thickness of the wires used and the shaping of the basket itself. However, there is one construction consideration that can be absolutely critical to the utility of a wire mesh basket: the lid.

Why are Wire Basket Lids Important?

When it comes to washing very small, sensitive precision parts, many manufacturers rely on ultrasonic cleaners to get these delicate items clean. However, even in a “touch-less” ultrasonic washing system, the best way to get a part cleaned is to rotate it so that the entirety of the part can be exposed to the ultrasonic waves.

Without a lid on the container, high-value parts would simply spill out of the basket during the rotation process. Even if the basket isn’t being rotated, the high-pressure water jets common to aqueous parts washing and degreasing processes used by most industrial washers (such as the ones made by DÜRR) could knock a part loose if that part has not been properly constrained.

With a lid to hold that part tightly in place, it will not rattle around and fall out of the basket, largely eliminating the risk of damage to sensitive parts.

Even when an aqueous washing process involves dipping a part in a solution instead of spraying it, a lid is still necessary to hold the part in the basket so it doesn’t get lost in the washing device. When small, sensitive and expensive parts are lost in a machine, they need to be extracted before they can become damaged. In a machine that submerges washed parts in a reservoir of solvent, that means either draining off the solvent (which often means having to waste that solvent) or having a worker try to retrieve the item still in the solvent, risking exposure injuries. Both options waste time and cause unneeded extra expenses.

Lids constrain parts within the basket, preventing loss of the part and any subsequent time lost retrieving it.

How Creative Designs Improve Usefulness of Wire Lidded Baskets

Of course, custom-made baskets will have custom-made lids as well. When designing a lid for a parts washing basket, the same design considerations that go into the basket itself must go into the lid as well.

The clasps used to hold a basket lid shut during your washing process should be easy for the people handling the baskets to open and close, but should be designed so as not to accidentally open during the actual washing process. Whenever a clasp or latch is designed for a basket, the engineer designing the basket needs to know:

  • The chemicals and temperatures the basket will be exposed to.
  • How much the basket will rotate and how quickly.
  • The size and shape of the part(s) being washed.
  • If the basket will be subjected to impacts (such as hitting the bottom of a ramp).

There are a great many other factors that influence the design of the lid and clasps holding the basket shut during the wash process, but these are a few of the more common issues.

Knowing what parts are going to be placed in the washing basket, how they’ll be held in place and how the washing cycle for each part works allows the engineer designing the basket to optimize the design to the washing process. One way in which this can be achieved is by compartmentalizing the lid, so that multiple parts can be washed, allowing some to be removed easily in between washing cycles while keeping others in place.

Choosing the right design for each lid and basket is a huge part of ensuring that it is perfect for your parts washing and handling needs. A particularly well-designed basket lid can make managing the wash process for multiple parts much simpler for you.

Get the right baskets with the perfect lid designs for your needs today.

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Author: Marlin Steel
Marlin Steel
Marlin Steel is a leading manufacturer of custom‐engineered products from steel wire and sheet metal. Its industrial material handling containers serve many industries including aerospace, defense, medical and automotive.

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