Metal Finishing Guide Book


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from one operation to the next, sometimes manually, without the aid of an overhead hoist. Portable barrel units are used for plating smaller parts, smaller lots, delicate parts, and "precious-metals" work (see Fig. 2). Miniature, or mini-barrel, units are used for many of the same reasons as portable barrels. Mini-barrels range in capacity from 6 to 48 cubic inches. Mini-barrels are used to process the Fig. 1. Typical horizontal barrel and supersmallest and most fragile loads and structure assembly showing inverted V-type work. Also, miniature barrels are often contacts. used for lab work such as product or process development (see Fig. 3). Whereas rotation about a horizontal or inclined axis is common to different types and styles of barrel-plating equipment, there are many diverse construction features and components available that enhance capabilities and improve versatility. Examples of these barrel features are as follows: 1. Cylinders with maximized load volumes (see Fig. 1.) within the dimensional clearance limits of associated equipment 2. Special-diameter and/or special-length barrel assemblies for use in nonstandardized installations such as rack tanks 3. High-capacity electrical contacts (allowing plating operations with individual barrel assemblies handling as much as 1,400 A per station) 4. Automatic operation of the barrels for handling, loading, and unloading to reduce labor requirements (see Fig. 4) 5. "In-the-barrel" drying equipment to dry the work while it remains in the barrel, which reduces, or eliminates, some parts transfer and handling operations 6. "Up-rotation" apparatus to minimize contamination and carryover ("dragout") of solution to adjacent process tank stations 7. Special apparatus to spray/rinse work while it remains inside the barrel to reduce water usage and ensuing treatment costs. The previous examples are representative. There are other barrel and system enhancements that increase production and reduce cycle times, drag-out, and maintenance requirements. Optional equipment types are many, including the examples of barrel assemblies specially manufactured to operate in existing rack-plating installations shown in Figs. 5 and 6. Another type of production barrel is the horizontal oscillating barrel. These often utilize barrels that 366 Fig. 2. Portable barrel assembly with selfcontained drive, dangler contacts, and clampstyle door.

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