Electroplating and electroless plating are crucial processes for ensuring a successful outcome in many manufacturing and fabricating operations. Plating provides the essential “finishing touch” that protects the workpiece against destructive forces such as corrosion, extreme temperatures and wear, while also enhancing its aesthetic appeal.
Working closely with your plating services provider is key to attaining the results you expect from the process. Establishing and maintaining an open line of communication throughout the process ensures a clear exchange of ideas and eliminates any confusion that too often leads to an unsatisfactory project. It’s important to develop a dialogue with your plater that encompasses the following areas:
- Choice of plating material: It’s possible to perform plating and finishing with a wide range of metals. While materials such as copper or zinc are less expensive than precious metals such as gold or palladium, they typically do not deliver the same long-term results. Explore several options with your plating provider and choose the one that offers the best match for your substrate material, budget, and desired outcome. A good plater will be able to elaborate on the pros and cons of each option so you can make an informed decision.
- Component size, shape and composition: Ask about your plater’s experience working with your unique parts. Make sure your plating provider has the capability to produce quality results for the specific size, shape and composition of your substrate. This is especially important if you are plating unusual or odd-shaped parts, components with uneven or recessed surfaces or workpieces containing interlocking or welded components.
- Testing procedures: Discuss the testing methods implemented by your plater to ensure the quality of the process prior to executing a full-scale production run. Testing will identify potential trouble spots that could negatively impact the long-term performance of the coating. A reputable plater will be willing to create a prototype for testing purposes, and that will deliver easily repeatable results for multiple projects.
- Timeframe: Make sure you’re on the same page with your provider in terms of project completion time. While quality is important, it’s value is diminished if the plater cannot deliver the finished workpieces in a timely manner, as it will hinder your ability to maintain your tight production schedules. Work with your plater to establish a realistic project timeline, while leaving room for unexpected issues that could result in delays.
- Specifications: Be sure to include technical standards, or specifications, as much as possible when requesting a free quote or service. Specifications, such as SAE, ASTM or Military specs, help SPC to understand your desired functionality and final product. Complete, well-documented specifications are a safeguard for both parties to ensure a functional, complete project.
Sharretts Plating Company Will Work Closely With You Every Step of the Way
SPC is an experienced metal finishing solutions provider that will work closely with your team to ensure your plating process meets your cost, quality and scheduling expectations.
Contact us for more information and to arrange an initial plating consultation today.