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topic 967

Calculating anodizing plant capacity


An ongoing discussion from 1997 through 2016 . . .

(1997)

Q. I have a question about the capacity of my sulphuric acid plant for architectural aluminium. Our plant uses horizontal tanks and we have an electric powered hoist. Given that it takes approximately 30 minutes for a 12 micron coat, I figure that I can get 48 loads in 24 hours. However, my folks in production insist that no matter what they do it is impossible to get more than 24 loads. Is this correct? Would anyone have suggestions on how to increase the number of loads we get per day?

Thanks,
Sanjay

Sanjay A. Bulchandani
- Bombay, India


(1997)

Surface Treatment & Finishing of Aluminium and Its Alloys
Wernick, Pinner & Sheasby

A. Hi Sanjay. Just as a sports car would not have 1 seat, 1 steering wheel, 1 hubcap, and 1 radio speaker, but perhaps 1 steering wheel, 2 seats, 4 hubcaps and 6 radio speakers, so too when one designs an anodizing line, it is not a matter of having one of everything, but of deciding how many of this item and how many of that to keep things in proper productive balance.

If you have the same number of anodizing cells as cleaner, etch, desmut cells, all of the latter are condemned to being empty virtually all of the time--probably not a very cost effective approach!

30 minutes sounds on the light side for architectural anodizing anyway; I would probably design such a line so that it has at least 2 anodizing cells. Depending on the size and the number of steps, you might also want two hoists as well, since an operator may not be able to complete all of the steps in a half hour.

I can't really say for sure without more information, but on first impression I agree with you: 24 loads per 24 hours may be too few to be economically feasible, and even 48 sounds like a rather leisurely production pace if you have the hoists and the people. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

(1997)

A. Assuming that you have one anodize tank and are happy with the product, the only way you can get a significant increase is to have about 3 hoists, 6 or more complete sets of fixtures and enough people to rack, unrack, run and pack. Theoretically, you might have a load every 35 minutes from one tank if everything was very well organized, and no breaks, no eating or adequate fill in help.
If you want to find out what is wrong, go work, not watch, on the line for a full shift for a complete week with no meetings or phone calls. I predict that you will find it very enlightening.
Be ready to open your pocket book for more equipment and improvements and you will see improvement.

Ted's line design comments are very valid.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


(1997)

A. What I would recommend is that you stay on the production line as long you can be. Doing so you will notice an instant production raise.The anodizing tank is the bottleneck of a line but if you are employing at least two hoists I think you can get at least 38-40 loads/day.

Guillermo Luna
- Mexico City, Mexico


(1997)

A. Hello Sanjay,

I am sure you won't remember my face. But I did visit your plant at Thane as well as your office on different occasions between 1992 and '93. In all the occasions, I was asked these type of questions casually, especially at Thane. And I do remember saying the similar words as Ted Mooney and others in the thread have mentioned here.

If you really want to increase the productivity, you got to increase the no. of tanks and hoist and also the manpower. However, I always felt that with existing facility, you could increase the productivity at least 40 to 50% max by proper planning and motivation of the plant personnel.

PS: Standard Disclaimers apply.

Best wishes,

Gautam Banerjee, Ph. D.
India



Increasing Type III Anodizing Capacity

January 20, 2016

Q. Our company manufactures aluminum sheet metal products that we also finish with type III anodizing at our facility. We are considering increasing our tank sizes so we can increase our product capacity from 60 sq ft per rack of product to 100 sq ft rack of product. We know we will have to increase our rectifier size to 3000 amps and probably increase our cooling capacity, but I'm curious are there concerns with anodizing type III product at 2500-3000 amps, in a high production facility? Thanks in advance.

Scott Frazier
- Spokane Valley, Washington
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^


January 2016

A. Hi Scott. There should be nothing prohibitive about bigger tanks and racks and rectifiers and cooling systems, but you haven't told us too much about your production line yet...

So we appended your inquiry to an earlier thread to suggest the possibility of adding additional hard coat cells rather than making everything bigger -- the principal being that if you have only one hard coat cell, the rest of your tanks are empty most of the time, which probably isn't the most economical use of resources. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


January 20, 2016

Q. Sorry for the lack of information. Our line has five type III cells that we keep constantly full.
Our load sizes vary depending on the size and shape of the product. We can type III anodize, 3003 aluminum, up to 2400 sq ft in an 8 hour shift. We are looking at purchasing a brand new line with larger tanks. Keeping the tanks full won't be a problem. Our racking spines are titanium with aluminum clips holding the product on. Our process is as basic as it gets. I have no knowledge anodizing type III above 1300 amps. I concerned with the higher amperage, what changes in process and racking we need to be aware of. Thanks

Scott Frazier [returning]
- Spokane Valley, Washington USA


January 26, 2016

A. As long as your current densities to your parts remain the same, and the new tanks/chilling system are properly designed/sized, there should be no problem at all with increasing your capacity as you describe it.

Going with larger tanks, you'll want to make sure your agitation system is designed so that you have no dead spots, and that the surface area of your cathodes are increased as well.

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Boise, Idaho


January 2016

A. Hi. I think Mark is right on, that the thing you need to double check is your agitation & cooling. 3000 Amps at hardcoating voltage is a lot of Watts, and you need to keep every point on every part at about 32°F despite it.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


January 26, 2016

Q. Thanks Mark and Ted! Thanks for mentioning the agitation as we have battled that for some time. We have both educators (90 gpm) and air sparging in our current system. When we run twenty-four hours, 5 days a week, we learned we need to turn down the air sparging in the type III tanks due to oxygen build up in the sulfuric. When the O2 builds ups, it slows down the anodizing time by 25%. Is there a way to actually measure the amount of oxygen in the acid? Thanks again for your help.

Scott Frazier [returning]
- Spokane Valley, Washington USA


A. Hi. I've personally never heard of such a phenomena and would suggest that you demand strong evidence before accepting it :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



June 26, 2016

Q. I am a fabricator of aluminium works. I want to set up a new anodizing plant. Please give suggestion for me.

NITIN KAPOOR
- INDIA,HIMACHAL PRADESH, HAMIEPUR
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^


probert book
Aluminum How-To

by Robert Probert
$89 New
The Chromating - Anodizing - Hardcoating Handbook

June 2016

A. Hi Nitin. You can review our Introduction to Anodizing for a quick intro to the subject, then you might be interested in Robert Probert's "Aluminum How To" or a similar book. But if you have no experience in anodizing, please do not proceed without retaining an anodizing consultant. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



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