Vibratory Plating

Vibratory Plating by SPC

Barrel plating is a reliable, cost-effective metal finishing process for coating a high volume of small parts. However, this method may cause extensive contact between the parts as they tumble inside the rotating barrel. Consequently, this technique could be detrimental to delicate or engineering-grade components.

Sharretts Plating Company offers vibratory plating services that provide a safer alternative to the traditional barrel plating process. If you're working with more delicate components, use our vibratory plating method for parts that are susceptible to damage when allowed to tumble freely.

What Is Vibratory Plating and How Does It Work?

As the name implies, this metal plating technique relies on vibration instead of tumbling to produce motion. While part-on-part contact still occurs, it's more "gentle" than tumbling in a traditional barrel and less likely to cause damage.

Like barrel plating, the vibratory plating method works well for high-volume coating applications. The most significant difference between these techniques is in how the parts are handled during the process. A specially designed vibratory plating machine includes a cylindrical basket connected to an oscillating unit. The operator loads the parts into the basket and adds a liquid chemical plating solution to coat them.

When the operator turns on the machine, it produces a vibrating action that causes the parts to slide in a smooth, continuous motion. The operator can alter the vibration's frequency and amplitude to adjust the movement.

The smooth vibrating motion mixes the parts and keeps them together, providing a more uniform coating deposition. It also keeps each component in closer contact with the electrical cathode buttons installed at the bottom of the basket, resulting in faster project completion times.

Examples of parts and components that are suitable for the vibratory plating method include:

  • Metal battery contacts
  • Rotatable contact rings
  • Spring contacts
  • Tab contacts
  • Contact pins

Request a free quote

For Barrel Plating

What Are the Benefits of Vibratory Plating?

The vibratory plating method offers several advantages:

  • Lower risk of damage: For many manufacturers, the most important benefit of this method is preventing damage that can occur when tumbling delicate parts in a barrel. This process offers smoothness and more control.
  • High production capacity: You can use vibratory plating for your high-volume plating applications with smaller parts and components without sacrificing quality or performance.
  • Cuts back on precious metals consumption: Plating with precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum and palladium can be expensive. Vibratory plating delivers more consistent, uniform coating results, so you'll use less of these costly materials and save money.
  • Reduces drag-out: The term "drag-out" refers to the plating solution left on products and machinery while moving between process steps. Vibratory plating lowers the amount of drag-out and the contamination it can introduce to the plating solution, making rinsing easier and more efficient.
  • Fast basket access: Vibratory plating baskets come in multiple sizes, making this method highly flexible and adaptable. The open design also enables you to easily swap the baskets out or perform inspections. You can transport the baskets from one plating bath to another quickly and efficiently with a hoist, reducing production time.

SPC's Vibratory Plating Capabilities

SPC has been delivering reliable, cost-effective metal finishing solutions to companies in a wide range of industries since 1925. We've developed and perfected an innovative vibratory plating method that can meet your company's high-volume production requirements. We can also adapt our process to your unique operating environment, ensuring the customized results you demand and deserve. As a full-service plating company, we manage every aspect of your project from start to finish.

Contact SPC today to get a free quote and learn more about our suite of vibratory plating services and how we can benefit your manufacturing operation.


"I would like to thank you for the help you have provided us in developing an electroless nickel plating technique on an unusual substrate. The sample platings you provided show that we should be able to reach our goals. I especially appreciate your willingness to take on an unusual job, with the uncertainties that that entails...We are looking forward to working with you in the future on our plating needs."

– Robert K.