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Plating Process Control Sheet Template

A discussion started in 2009 but continuing through 2018

July 1, 2009

Q. We are working with our plater to update their antique handwritten process/job control sheets with an electronic version that is easily understood by the operators and easy to extract data from by our office person. This will help in generating SPC charts. Can anyone help?

Joe Lindquist
Gold plating customer - Sylmar, California, USA

July 1, 2009

A. Hi, Joe. I don't have a template for you, although Marv Rubinstein's "Electrochemical Metallizing" has some old but good ideas.

But what I saw repeatedly in my consulting career was process/job control sheets that don't address the real issues that the operators face every day, like plating barrels not rotating due to stripped gears, current contact saddles not being clean, excess grease in the cleaner tanks, solution levels too low in some tanks, rectifiers with bad diodes, shortage of anode material, poor methods for getting the boric acid into the nickel tank.

I would suggest that the lead plater, not just shop management, be in the meetings with you because you need instructions that are actually useful in instructing the operators what to do.

And the SPC analyst should be required to spend an hour every day out watching the plating operation, where s/he will see that one of the problems I just mentioned is what is causing those blips s/he has been trying to account for chemically for two weeks :-)

General George Patton could have been speaking of many SPC efforts when he declared that "No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair."

Best of luck!


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

August 15, 2009

It's a hell of work but absolutely worth it. Best is to create a project team together which contains supervisors, operators, line (department) manager, Plant manager and lab chemists/Quality Assurance. With a together's brainstorm you will soon have an overview of data's you will need for a proper process control.

- Process descriptions
- Work and Hazardous Advices
- Maintaining advices
- Chemical Addition advices
- Scheduled maintenance (Electrical, Mechanical and Chemical)
- Checklists of process parameters
- Development of calculation programs (easy in excel) which allows to analyse the operational costs and allows to open up hidden "cost-creators".

Like I said, bunch of work, but absolutely worth it.

Good Luck and Best regards,

Dominik Michalek
- Mexico City, Mexico

May 12, 2010

Q. Sorry for the delay in following up on this question. We are beginning the effort of creating a detailed jobsheet with the help of the plater's team and an outside plating consultant. The main issue is selling the plating shop on the idea that this will benefit us AND HIM, especially on repeat orders. They have been very reluctant to share their step by step processes, equipment settings and times, etc. We have a NDA in place, but they have been digging their heels in about sharing details (tribal knowledge). Any additional words of encouragement?

Joe Lindquist [returning]
- Sylmar, California, USA

simultaneous May 14, 2010

If you are paying a fair price for the electroplating, I (personally) would remind the plater what a NDA means and that if they chose not to work with you, you may start looking for a plater that will work with you.
Their choice!
That said, I am aware of at least one MAJOR US firm that browbeat the plater into disclosing a very proprietary process of EN on Ti way back in the earliest stages of this work. A senior employee took the information to another plating shop that he was part owner of and under bid the original plating shop.
It does happen, so you need to put some teeth in the NDA.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

May 14, 2010

A. Dear Joe,
making the SPC for special process like, plating , coating, heat treatment, etc. is very difficult or not possible also.

inside the barrel how the parts are rotating or moving we are not able to control, and you are not able to do the process for the same surface area parts in all the batches, all the inputs are variables, and many more reasons.

if you are asking the peoples for the SPC studies, they will give in paper's not on real

may be for SPC is ok for machining and stamping, etc.

Kannan Boopathi
- Salem, Tamil nadu, India

May 14, 2010

A. Before you spend too much energy inventing a new system, take a look at..


I can send you an example job sheet if you want to go the 'manual' route

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

May 14, 2010

A. Dear Joe,

Much more to say about this. You can approach it from 2 ways....negative is: not having an adequate Control Plan and SPC system makes you unsuited as supplier for serious customers in the long run. If you look in the aerospace or automotive industry, it's not a question mark IF you have to work systematically, it's only a question mark to what extent.
The positive side is that it gives any company a better insight in what the real influences in the process are (and not only by assumption). I cannot understand that, while having an NDA, a company tries to hide something, unless they know themselves that they do a "lousy" job. Finally as a customer, you have no choice but to work with the professional suppliers and all this systematics helps to improve a supplier and make them able to continuously deliver a constant quality. With a PPA you can think about the occurrence of possible disasters and how to prevent them, with the 8D and FMEA you can prevent the re-occurrence of disasters, with SPC you can connect critical process data to product quality, with a control plan you assure the equal way for everyone to check the process, with SOP's people know how a certain job needs to be done. With DOE you can determine the important influence factors in your process and after this, only some "black magic" remains, due to parameters you're still not aware of. I can assure you that the number of these parameters slowly is greatly reduced. Ted is also right, the basics are important and have to be included too. Many approaches die (and cause only lots of frustration) because people start at the top of the pyramid, instead of starting with a good simple fundament and continue the road from there. In my opinion, a supplier should be glad if a customer is willing to help in this process, it's in the interest of both. Reasons why it could go wrong is that either your supplier is incapable (from knowledge point of view or from staffing point of view) or that you insist on doing a lot of additional work in his/her opinion, without willing to pay for this. This part of the discussion is always difficult, as in general the supplier will benefit from the systematic approach, but if you are one of the first customers who comes with a lot of additional requests which give a lot of additional work to your supplier, for sure they will not be happy. Especially not if your turn-over is relatively low for yr supplier.
It will be a long road anyway, counting in many months more than only weeks...

Good luck,

Harry van der Zanden
Harry van der Zanden
- Budapest, Hungary

FMEA analysis for Nickel Chrome plating

May 21, 2018

Q. Hi all,

I am a student. I am doing a project in Nickel Plating. I need to prepare FMEA report for Nickel Chrome Plating. Please anyone guide me.

Sathya N
- India

May 2018

Hi Sathya. We appended your question to a thread which you will hopefully find interesting. Obviously you need a clear understanding of what an FMEA Report is, and specifically what it means to you with respect to nickel-chrome plating, i.e., does a failure mean an operator injured, or plating solution leaked onto the floor, or a nickel-chrome widget being returned under warranty, or the motorcycle it's mounted on crashing, or what. Generally, a sampling of the plated components are subjected to various tests & inspections to check adhesion, corrosion resistance, aesthetic defects, etc. -- and that may be what you're concentrating on in this case.


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

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