Metal Finishing Guide Book


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finishing equipment & plant engineering CONSIDERATIONS IN THE FINISHING EQUIPMENT SELECTION PROCESS CJI PROCESS SYSTEMS, SANTA FE SPRINGS, CALIF. When budgeting for new finishing equipment or upgrading an existing line, it is important to note that each requirement is unique and must be carefully considered before estimating a price. Otherwise, when the real purchase order materializes for the quoted system, all of the pre-engineering data must be available, as well as current costs, in order to build a particular line. This article will describe several key considerations in the selection process of a custom manual or automated plating, anodizing, or chemical process system. Beyond the obvious—selecting floor coating, secondary containment trays, or berming, power, air, and exhaust requirements—the equipment selection process might proceed as follows: • The equipment estimator must first collect all the data. • Then, a determination of how many parts are to be finished per year, month, week, day, must be broken down into hours per day, in order to size the process line. • Pretreatment requirements, such as burnishing, tumbling, deburring, buffing, polishing, or degreasing, and selection of any specialized equipment, must be considered. • Selection of the process, which will depend on whether the parts need to be barreled or racked, is yet another factor. • Determine a plating or anodizing process cycle for the particular base material, as well as the configuration of the parts. • Determine if the plating thickness requires electroplating, immersion, or autocatalytic (electroless) processing or Type I, II, or III anodizing, etc. • Carefully calculate the surface area of a single part to determine how many parts may be loaded per barrel, rack, or fixture. • If the parts are to be barrel plated, then determine if the parts will nest, or stick together; and, if so, what type of barrels will be used. • If the parts are to be racked, then each part needs to have a special rack or fixture designed to accommodate that special part. If more than one rack per flight bar is required, determine just how many racks per load will achieve the best results. • Masking considerations: Many parts will require masking with special tapes or waxes, as well as holes plugged with custom plugs. • Reels of connector parts might require selective plating only in some areas, especially where precious metals are plated. Customized selective strip plating lines will be required for each special application. 703

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