These days, defined cleanliness specifications are common in component production across virtually all sectors. To comply with these specifications, some companies are investing vast sums in systems engineering and process technology. However, one major factor is often not considered: the cleaning basket. This is very critical as the cleaning basket influences effectiveness of the costly process technology significantly, and thus the costs of cleaning.
In most cases, adapting or optimising a cleaning process revolves around systems engineering, process technology and the cleaning media. What tends to be forgotten is that process technology such as ultrasonics, spray jets and cleaning media may only work to best effect on parts to be cleaned when they can reach those parts properly – and it is the cleaning basket used that determines the level of effectiveness. Incorporating baskets and workpiece holders into the considerations at an early stage is therefore worthwhile.
Accessibility from every angle
The optimum cleaning effect is achieved where the workpieces in the basket are easily accessible from all sides for the process technology and the media. To facilitate this, Metallform produces workpiece holders and baskets for bulk parts from stainless steel rounds. In contrast to boxes from perforated sheets that are still often used, these baskets have no enclosed surfaces, corners and edges. Therefore, ultrasonics and spray jets have unfettered access to parts and can take maximum effect. At the same time, the open design ensures an effective exchange of media. On the one hand, removed contaminant is flushed from the basket quickly and can be removed by the filter and the accumulation of contamination in the basket is inhibited. On the other hand, the carry-over of cleaning media is minimised, resulting in longer periods between bath changes and thus improved system availability. In addition an open basket design allows cost savings in the drying process, as the easy accessibility of parts reduces the drying time required.
Optimum adjustment of workpiece holders to parts
Early integration of cleaning baskets also enables these to be adapted effectively to the cleaning machine and the workpieces to be cleaned. One consideration in this context is the optimum positioning of components in the workpiece holder. To achieve this, Metallform uses CAD technology. The optimum positioning of components enables the process technology being used to access critical areas such as specific bore holes and undercuts. In this way, particles and film-like contamination are quickly and reliably removed and the effective, resource-efficient drying of parts is assured. Another design feature is the minimising of contact points between the component and the workpiece holder. This also helps to ensure cleaning of consistent quality within a short time.
Stainless steel for long lifetime and maximum security
Metallform produces all workpiece holders and baskets from stainless steel rounds with electrolytic polished surfaces. With good reason: This high quality, durable material is suitable for all cleaning media and prevents components from being recontaminated by the workpiece holder and baths from being contaminated by corrosion and zinc separation. Aside from the design and material, the workmanship of the cleaning baskets is equally convincing. All joints are completely welded and there are no sharp corners, edges or wire ends that could cause injury.
A basket designed for optimum cleaning may not improve the cleaning machine, but it ensures that process technology (which is generally expensive) can work to maximum effect.