Where are you now? Obviously, you’re sitting in front of a computer, your hand on a mouse (or on a touchpad if you’re using a notebook), and another hand typing letters on a keyboard. But do you ever think about all the complex electronic parts that must work together for you to able to use your computer? The processing power contained within a tiny microchip? It’s incredible to think about the power that can be packed into minute parts. What about your cell phone, your printer, your PDA, your mp3 player, all the other electronic devices in your life?
These parts are manufactured in a highly controlled environment where every nanometer of accuracy counts. In order to keep tiny electronic parts in place through a manufacturing process, industries often use wire baskets to hold parts as they are being made ready for use.
Computers have come a long way from transistors and big, heavy, noisy boxes that just display green letters on a black screen. Now electronic parts can be contained in a device as small as your hand that can store several gigabytes worth of music or photos or data. Instead of carrying around CDs, you can just upload songs to a music player the size of your wallet. Instead of carrying around printed photos, you can carry a PDA with a high-res display and show off pictures from your last vacation. The reason we can buy devices like these is that industries have developed new processes of manufacturing that allow tiny parts to be made and treated.
Many precision manufacturing companies buy custom wire baskets from Three M Tool of York, Pennsylvania (threemtool.com). Three M designs wire mesh baskets in whatever metal, whatever size and shape, whatever finish and mesh size needed. These baskets can be made to withstand high temperatures and strong chemicals as products go through a manufacturing process. They offer carbon steel as well as several grades of stainless steel for materials, depending on how hot the manufacturing process will be and what kind of chemicals a product will touch.
Some electronic parts go through ultrasonic cleaning before being put together with other parts. Ultrasonic cleaning removes tiny dust particles from parts that must be completely clean in order to work properly. The item is placed in a wire mesh basket to go through the process and is exposed to extreme temperatures. The basket is dipped into a special fluid, and ultrasonic waves are sent through this fluid. This action creates tiny bubbles, which clean off the parts. Ultrasonic cleaning is used to prepare parts in all kinds of electronic items from watches to cell phones.
Some manufacturing processes produce microchips, which are built into larger devices from PDAs to mp3 players to computers, which drive all aspects of our modern world. Everything from banking to office work to communicating with friends of overseas is done through computers. But it’s all because of a manufacturing process in a factory somewhere that we have this equipment to use.
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