Designing for Manufacturability (DFM):
10 Ways Three M Tool Can Help You Build a Better Wire Basket

Man at computer designing a custom Wire Mesh basket
  1. Set clear design goals. In order to optimize a wire basket for all stages of the manufacturing process, we begin by working with you to clearly define the wire basket’s requirements. These requirements include how the wire basket will fit into and perform within a process or application, the application environment, and how it will be handled by the user. Once defined, we can evaluate your sketch or idea and begin offering recommendations for how it may be modified to gain manufacturing efficiencies. 
  2. Choose the right material. Our long-time experience with wire baskets allows us to draw upon a wealth of material knowledge to help you choose the best material for your wire basket’s application. Common materials include carbon steel (mild steel), 304 stainless steel, 316 stainless steel, and 330 stainless steel. 
  3. Specify the optimal basket lining. Most of our wire baskets are lined with woven wire mesh, welded wire mesh, expanded metal, or perforated steel, and each lining style has its own distinct advantages. Our engineers will identify the lining best suited for your application based on surface characteristics, spacing, rigidity strength, and material flexibility. 
  4. Select basket features. Based on the application of your wire basket, our team will evaluate your design to ensure the best use of available basket features and, if appropriate, will recommend features to improve your wire basket’s function and performance as well as its efficient manufacturability. Basket features may include: top, end, or swinging handles; lids; top loading or full rotation part orientation; divided compartments; crossing rod grids; pin racks; part protection such as Nylon 11 coating; basket stacking; lifting features, such as single-point and multi-point hoists.
  5. Minimize or eliminate unnecessary parts or features. Over-designing is a common downfall that can cost you time and money. Our engineering team will conduct a thorough review of your sketch or drawing to identify any parts or features that may be adding to the time and cost to produce your basket but are not adding to the basket’s ability to perform well within the application. We will then work with you to make modifications to your design as needed. 
  6. Consider safety, comfort, and ease of use. A critical aspect of basket design is incorporating the comfort and safety of the basket user as well as the ease of use. Where design features are placed, how they are oriented to the basket user, and how they function and perform are important considerations that impact the overall efficiency of the basket within an application.  
  7. Leverage standardization. Even the most unique basket design can take advantage of standardization to gain manufacturing efficiencies and cut costs. Whenever possible, our team will help you identify elements of your design that can be modified for standardization while still satisfying all of the goals of your basket. Three M Tool is uniquely qualified for this task, as our experience with thousands of wire basket designs across a wide variety of industries has honed our expertise in designing for manufacturability.  
  8. Control costs. Many customers approach us with basket designs that fit the application but are too expensive to produce. Our engineering skills and manufacturing know-how enable us to identify the aspects of your basket design that are perfect for standardization and make adjustments to design details or modifications to materials that can instantly lower the overall cost to produce your basket. 
  9. Complete and test the design. Before moving into full production of your basket, we can provide digital models of our concept or pre-production prototypes to ensure the basket is optimized for all aspects of manufacturability. The prototype also offers the opportunity for our customers to test the basket in its intended application and to gather valuable feedback from the end user that can lead to further enhancements in the basket’s design.
  10. Identify and correct any problems before production begins. Nearly every basket project comes with unforeseen issues that can easily be resolved before production begins when the design has been properly tested. From setting design objectives to optimizing manufacturability, our goal is always to deliver a custom basket that is perfect for your needs in every way.

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