The end customer was processing very small “button” type parts in a vacuum furnace. The parts were received in formed plastic dunnage used for shipping. They required a mesh tray that would mate up to the shipping dunnage allowing the operators to load the mesh tray simply by flipping the two over while held together. It was important that the buttons nest in to individual compartments in the mesh tray similar to the shipping dunnage. Upon completion of the heat treating process, the parts were loaded back into the plastic dunnage by reversing the loading process. Once again, it was imperative that the parts nested into the plastic dunnage.
Weave Alloy Products Co., worked collaboratively to develop a prototype that would allow the parts to easily load from the plastic dunnage into a formed wire mesh screen fixture. The mesh screens were stackable allowing an increase in through-put while decreasing the number of misplaced parts during loading and unloading of the vacuum furnace.
The proto-type worked well. Once several production screens were manufactured, furnace load/unload time was decreased, and through-put increased. The new design also eliminated the end customers’ need to purchase an alternate mesh device from an off-shore source, thus, reducing delivery time and eliminating down time while waiting for mesh screens.