Metal Finishing Guide Book

2011-2012 Surface Finishing Guidebook

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one operation to the next, sometimes manually, without the aid of an over- head hoist. Portable barrel units are used for plating smaller parts, smaller lots, delicate parts, and "precious-met- als" work (see Fig. 2). Miniature, or mini-barrel, units are Fig. 1. Typical horizontal barrel and superstructure assembly showing inverted V-type contacts. 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 smallest and most fragile loads and work. Also, miniature barrels are often 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 versa- tility. Examples of these barrel features are as follows: 1. Cylinders with maximized load volumes (see Fig. 1.) within the dimen- sional clearance limits of associated equipment 2. Special-diameter and/or special-length barrel assemblies for use in non- standardized installations such as rack tanks 3. High-capacity electrical contacts (allowing plating operations with indi- vidual 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 oper- ations 6. "Up-rotation" apparatus to mini- mize contamination and carryover ("drag-out") of solution to adjacent process tank stations 7. Special apparatus to spray/rinse work while it remains inside the bar- rel to reduce water usage and ensu- ing treatment costs. The previous examples are represen- tative. 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 spe- 324 Fig. 2. Portable barrel assembly with self- contained drive, dangler contacts, and clamp-style door.

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