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Plating In House? Need a reference for cost

We send out a small volume of parts to be black oxided, our General Manager is now wanting to save a buck by doing the plating in house. While I agree that tuun-around on the parts would obviously be quicker, I find it hard to believe that it would be cost efficient for us to do this operation. Is there a reference or white paper that has been done to show cost comparisons for a small shop to try this? I have seen the cold plating lines that sell five gallon buckets of solutions for plating but this would not suffice as our parts will not fit in the buckets so I will have to look at purchasing a larger line, to tell the truth I am looking for every reason to not do this as I don't think it will be worth the hassle and the possible safety issues. I would rather let the experts do this. Help with any information would be appreciated.


William Sillies
Manufacturing and Assembly Business - Cincinnati, Ohio

First of two simultaneous responses -- 2004

If you are now getting hot black oxide from your suppliers, you will probably not like cold so-called black oxide. it rubs off on hands and rags, and isn't truly jet black like the hot process. As to cost, and I can only guess here, but I'd say that you're looking at $100K for a complete moderate size set up. Maybe you could save 25% from what you're now paying, so you do the math. Many black oxiders charge by the pound, and $.50 would be a typical price. If you're paying a lot more than that you might want to shop around.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Second of two simultaneous responses --

Plating in buckets is a joke.

You'll notice that people who sell these deals do not sell waste control systems, or have labs for analysing solutions. Study the waste difficulties before you consider any type of plating, bluing, anodizing type operations.

Steve Clark
polishing and plating - Belfast, maine, U.S.A.

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