Metal Finishing Guide Book

2011-2012 Surface Finishing Guidebook

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Page 575 of 707

Once the production quantities are determined, then the plating facility must be sized accordingly. The plating tanks must be laid out, and the footprint of all lines and systems measured, with optional floor coating, double contain- ment of the tanks, with catwalk and grating provided. If a manual line is suffi- cient for the desired production volume, with one or more operators, then it must be determined if an overhead hoist will be needed—and if so, will it be a manu- al chain hoist, powered trolley with push button, or joy stick variable-speed motorized hoist. If an automatic hoist line is needed, Automatic solar panel plating line. (All images courtesy of CJI Process Systems) Phosphate line. then you'll need to determine pre- cisely how many hoists will be required. Depending on the configu- ration of the line, there might be par- allel lines, side by side, with load, unload at the same end, or load on one end, unload on the other end, and with either wet or dry shuttle transporting the barrels or racks from one side of the line to the other, or a U-shaped return line, and dryer. The PC software must be pro- grammable in order to allow con- trol of all the process parameters, such as solution operating tempera- tures; low-level shut off, alarms, auto- fill of tanks; variable or constant cur- rent and voltage requirement of the rectifiers; cathodic or anodic; auto- matic ramp up of voltage for anodiz- ing; historical process data record- ed for future records; hoist location, position, and speeds; pumps and fil- tration operation; air blower pres- sure; and amp min/hr. Other para- meters to consider are chemical dosing, and if any brightener feed- ers or chemical feeders are supplied with metering pumps, etc. In order to design the plating line(s) correctly, key items must considered for every single tank in the line. The designer must go through each station or tank, one at a time, to decide which controls or accessories need to be installed on each tank. A manual line would need the same items as an automated line, except the automated line would have either single or multiple programmable hoists, which might be either a monorail type, sidearm, semi-bridge, bridge, or a "rail rider." The hoist positioning might be laser-controlled encoder or manual, with random loading scheduling—or it could be time-way based. The line might be totally enclosed because of either clean room or other environmental cir- cumstances, with the operator working inside the enclosure. All of the tanks must be sized to accommodate the barrels, or racks, with suffi- cient clearance for the heaters, sensors, coils, pumps, filters, spargers, level controls, 574

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