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topic 3112

Plating Line Info Needed


Can someone give me a rough estimate of investment and operating cost for the following: Yellow Zinc chromate plating line for 500K to 750K lbs/year. Parts size is 2 oz to 30 lb, with over 90% of the parts being less than 1 lb. all of the parts are mild steel, with factory mill finish (cold rolled). I'm assuming at these volumes it would be a simple, manual line. Thanks in advance.

Duane Bier
- Omaha, Nebraska

If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Naturally, it depends on a lot of things, like --

whether or not you already have a functional waste water treatment system
whether the floor of the building is in good shape or has to be excavated and re-poured
whether your electrical substation/supply will accommodate the rectifiers and other loads or has to be upgraded
whether you want to include the cost of the steam boiler or other heating source
whether you want to corrosion-proof the walls and ceiling
whether you need a make-up air unit or the building has enough make-up air capacity already
whether you already have a sampling manhole or will have to add one
whether you have a small wet lab available yet or not
whether you want to include lights or they're already there.
whether those 90 percent of the parts that are under a pound can be barrel plated or not

Production volume is one issue in whether or not the line should be automated, but there are many other issues influencing the decision.

This is indeed a small line. If I had to pull a number out of the air without any of the above answers: $250K. But it might be as low as $150K if you're talking just the plating line and none of the ancillaries referenced above, and it could easily be $350K or even a bit more if the answers to the above questions are unfavorable. As for operating costs, labor is always the biggie; estimate your manpower, factor in all the overhead figures, then double that labor cost and you can't be ludicrously wrong for the overall operating cost.

I can't speak for others, but as a consulting engineer that's as far as I can go with the meter off.

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

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