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Getting Started in Anodizing





January 15, 2009

I manage a machine shop that manufactures aluminum parts. Most of these parts are anodized with a black dye. The parts are small, 2" x 2" x 2" is about the largest we do. Our lot sizes are small as well, most lots are 50 pieces or less. We are currently out sourcing our anodizing, but I would like to consider bringing this operation in house. I believe that we can achieve better quality and faster delivery if we control the finishing process. I'm looking to get some basic information to help me to determine if I should continue to pursue this any further.

1. Based on the description of parts what would an estimated process time be to anodize a batch of parts, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours?

2. Based on the information I have provided can you give me a ball park dollar figure as to how much it would cost to set up a line to do a black anodize finish?

Ed Wilson
Buyer - Milford, Connecticut USA



January 19, 2009

There are too many variables to give a good answer other than it is not cheap. If your current anodizer is not giving you the quality that you want, why do you think that you can do better with no experience in the field?
Consider using another anodizer. There are several good ones in your state.
Two things that most forget about is the cost of waste treatment and the cost of setting up and running a small lab.
Also, if you do not hire very qualified people (not cheap) , who do you plan to go to when there are problems?

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida



January 30, 2009

Mr. Watts' caveats are very well taken - it's harder than you think to set up to be a metal finisher.

But, if you decide to forge ahead, I suggest you post an ad in finishing.com's "Help Wanted" section." You'll receive a nice selection of resumes, including my own. :)

dave wichern
Dave Wichern
Consultant - The Bronx, New York


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