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topic 25094

Need to start a Zinc Plating Plant

adv.    Rexplating

A discussion started in 2003 but continuing through 2017



Q. I want to start a small Zinc Plant so I wanted to know the total cost of plant and chemicals used . The zinc plant is to be set up for plating of sheet metal components. So please kindly advice me how to start.

Rakesh Arora
Automotive - Delhi, India


A. Short answer, you need to do some research on your own first, then you probably need a consultant.

James Totter
James Totter, CEF
- Tallahassee, Florida

February 5, 2012

Q. I want to start zinc plating plant & nickel-chrome plant; so please give me a guideline for total investment and cost per kg

arvind patil
- ankleshwer,gujarat,india

February 6, 2012

A. Hi, Arvind.

You must start with a knowledge of what type of parts you will be plating so that you can determine a pretreatment sequence (cleaning, activation, and possibly initial plating layers like zincate, alkaline copper, or Wood's nickel, based on the material of the substrate). Then the plating sequence (acid vs. cyanide vs. alkaline zinc plating, for example). Then you select the required post treatment (probably a RoHS-compliant chromate, perhaps followed by a sealer topcoat, or a wax or a water soluble oil).

Next you consider such factors as whether you should barrel plate the articles or rack plate them, and whether the line will be manually operated or automatic. With this information and the production rate, you can begin sizing the process tanks and ancillary equipment. I have seen small production plating lines put together for $50,000, but I was also involved in designing one plating line where the concrete foundation alone cost a million dollars before we began setting the first tank. That line cost many millions of dollars.

You may possibly find a process supplier and/or equipment supplier who will help you through the entire design, but many years (or decades) of experience are required to make the right early decisions. So, as James says, you should probably retain a plating consultant before attempting to go too much further.

The best way to determine cost per piece (or kg, although that's a bad measure) is to request quotes from a couple of local plating shops. Best of luck.


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

"Electroplating Engineering Handbook"
by Larry Durney
from Abe Books
info on Amazon
see our Review

"Zinc Plating"
by Herb Geduld
from Abe Books
info on Amazon

Trouble in Your Tank: Handbook for Solving Plating Problems
by Larry Durney
from Abe Books
info on Amazon

February 11, 2013

Q. I want to start zinc electroplating. What can do for this?

Jigar Patel
- Mahesana, Gujarat, India

February 12, 2013

A. Hi Jigar. Try to search for a supplier of plating processes in Gujarat and ask them to send a technical sales representative to see you. Armed with their brochures and an hour or two of his/her time, I think you'll have a very general idea of what is involved, so that you can continue to study on your own for a while. You'll see recommended plating books on our "must-have books" page.

After you have the general idea, plus have leafed through three or four plating books, and read at least a few chapters from one of them, you'll be able to talk to a consultant and do initial planning on the installation. Good luck.


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

February 13, 2013

Q. Thanks for giving me advice.
I have base knowledge about plating in two types (tank, barrels).
I need study full process of plating including chemicals used after process.

Jigar Patel [returning]
- Mahesana, Gujarat, India

February 13, 2013

A. Hi again, Jiger. We may be having a little bit of language difficulty, but I don't quite understand what you are asking. If you are asking for the general sequence of operation, it is usually soak clean, electroclean, acid activate, zinc plate, chromate conversion coat, seal (necessary with some trivalent chromate processes) -- with rinsing between each step. Often there will be two colors of chromate rather than just one, and often a dilute nitric acid bright dip may be used between the plating and the chromate.

But there are entire 500-page books just on zinc plating, 500-page books just on the installation & maintenance of plating equipment, and 500-page books just on troubleshooting plating problems. So, in between my one-paragraph introduction to the plating sequence, and the thousands of pages describing the "full process" in plating books, do you have some specific questions we can try to help you with? Thanks.

Good luck.


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

October 7, 2013 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I need to establish a zinc plating in Gujarat, but I have no idea for zinc plating process and instrument list.
So give me a better idea about zinc plating.

Gosai Jaydipgiri
- Surat, Gujarat

November 21, 2014 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hi everyone,
I wish to start zinc electroplating on 20 feet Steel tubes with diameters ranging from half inch to 6 inches.
Any advice with respect to buying equipment and the most suitable zinc bath for this purpose will be appreciated.

uzoho uzoma
- aba, abia state, nigeria

November 2014

A. Hi Gosai. We appended your inquiry to a thread which should give you a good start. Best of luck, and get back to us with specific questions.

Hi Uzohu. A proprietary alkaline non-cyanide bath is most likely to meet your needs, unless you need full brightness, which may be better met with an acid zinc plating bath. That is a very big plating line, and if I were you I would not make any commitments or spend a dollar on anything except books before retaining a plating consultant. Good luck.


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

Newbie wants to set up a small Cyanide-free Zinc plating line

May 13, 2015

Q. Hi, recently there is a customer requesting my company to do the plating for them. I did some research on the internet and enquiry from China supplier. I decided to set up a small scale Cyanide-free Zinc plating line.

The customer parts are about 13 mm x 34 mm in oval shape. Both steel and brass. They need it to be various colors. Actually they are iron lures.

My plan is to setup the plating tank using 18" (width) x 12" (depth) x 30" (height) fiber glass tank.
Plating rack planning to be 2-sided hanging 100 pcs per side total for 200 pcs per plating.

Now I am confused about the power supply selection. Chemical spec from my supplier states rack plating 12a/dm2 max.
My plan is to get a 12v 200a rectifier. For anode selection which medium is suitable and which type ?

Frankly, I am totally new to this plating business. But after research through internet, I am confident that I able to do this. But I need advise from all the experts from this forum to assist me to success with this project.

Thank you.

Mickey Lau
- Malaysia

May 2015

A. Hi Mickey. You have to start the calculation by determining the surface area of the parts, but my gut feel is that the rectifier sizing sounds all right.

Now, you know that the experts' most important piece of advise is to hire a plating consultant, and their second piece of advise is to take the time to read a zinc plating book or at least the zinc plating chapter in two or three books. And we know that, in your early rush of enthusiasm and the business rush to strike while the iron is hot, you're probably going to blow off that advise :-)

So, moving on ... what is the sequence of operation you foresee (cleaning, activating, [plating], post-treatment)? I don't think the brass should go through either the same cleaning tanks or the same activating tanks as the steel. What about the rectifier for the electrocleaner? Best of luck!


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

March 4, 2016

Q. We are a butt-hinge manufacturer in Peru, and we want to develop a zinc electroplating shop in our Factory. Between hinge-halves, removable pins, and screws, we want to process about 170 kgs per working day. The smallest piece is about 1", and the largest piece is about 4"x2".

We need to know how many tanks (size), barrels, racks, rectifiers capacity, etc.

Can we get this information from a used machinery supplier or should we first hire a consultant in order to elaborate the correct layout and equipment list?

Matteo Canepa
Manufacturer - Lima, Peru

March 2016

A. Hi cousin Matteo. That is a very low capacity operation. Most mid-sized barrel plating lines for parts of that sort produce about 10X as much weight per day. Thus, you might give serious thought to whether you would be better off farming your work out to a jobshop.

But if you're sure you want to proceed, my preferred steps would probably be --

- Contact two or more suppliers of plating chemistry (You probably know this, but plating shops generally don't make plating baths from raw chemicals; rather, they are supplied with the processes by knowledgable plating process specialists).
- Select the supplier you have the most confidence in, and have them plate samples of each type of part in their lab to ensure that they have a workable process. Make sure that they use the handling approach that you plan on using (probably barrel plating).
- Have them tell you the process sequence and the required immersion times and operating temperatures, and ask them to advise on the general needs for auxiliary equipment for each bath (does it need heat, cooling, air agitation, exhaust ventilation, filtration, etc.)
- Armed with this info, you meet with the used equipment seller and decide whether between the 3 of you -- process supplier, equipment supplier, yourself -- you have enough experience to handle all aspects of the design. If not, you hire a plating consultant before you buy anything or commit to anything.

Remember that the process will not run by itself trouble-free, so you will need some sort of laboratory capability to keep things on track. Best of luck.


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

March 10, 2016

Q. Thank you Ted for your comments.
We have recalculated the daily quantity we need to process and it's about 350 kgs per day. So we would like a 500 kgs capacity line. All barrel, not rack plating.
Do you think the quantity is still small??
Best regards

- Lima, Peru

March 2016

A. Hi Matteo, "small" is relative of course, but let me approach it this way --

In the USA there are very few "captive" plating shops anymore. Except in high tech fields, the work is always farmed out to plating jobshops. Zinc plating of hinges is exactly such "commodity" type plating that is usually farmed out. An average commodity zinc plating jobshop in the USA probably has perhaps 3 plating lines, although some shops might be 5 times that big. Each barrel plating line in such shops probably produces something like 3000 kg of zinc plated work per day.

Plating in Peru is doubtless different than plating in the USA, Mexico, China, or India, and there is nothing wrong at all with a small plating line. The general thrust of my comments though should alert you to the question of whether you can afford the lab services, the waste water treatment operation, a knowledgable maintenance department, chemical specialists, etc., when you have to pro-rate all that stuff across only 350 kg of parts per day. Since you are already a captive manufacturer with some of these personnel and services available, maybe it will be okay -- but if I were you I would investigate whether there is a barrel zinc plating job shop in your country :-)

Best of luck, and Regards,

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

December 19, 2017

Q. Sir,
I want to start a small Zinc Plant so I wanted to know the total cost of plant and chemicals used. The zinc plant is to be set up for plating of sheet metal components. So please kindly advise me how to start.

plating plant - KANPUR, U.P. INDIA

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