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"Finishing Related Basic English Terminology"

May 14, 2021

Q. Hello, I am working for a manufacturer company in Japan.
I am not a native speaker of Japanese nor English.

I cannot figure out how to identify our business in English materials.

Are we a Surface Treatment, a Surface Finishing company, something in between or something else?
I have been trying to find answers all across the internet for weeks now -- just to get even more confused. I have seen people use a lot of the terms interchangeably.

Can someone, please, clarify the difference in nuances between terms?
Surface Treatment, Surface Finishing, Surface Treatment Finishing are they the same as Metal Treatment, Metal Finishing, Metal Treatment Finishing?

Our company is doing Electroplating, Electroless Plating, Titanium Anodizing, as well as Sand Blasting and Mechanical Polishing.
Would it be fine to say that we are a Surface Finisher?

Thank you very much.

Jonah Volny
- Osaka-fu Osaka-shi

May 2021

A. Hi Jonah. I don't think your company is a "Surface Treatment" -- that phrase should apply to operations that are done to a surface. All of the things you say you are doing -- "Electroplating, Electroless Plating, Titanium Anodizing, as well as Sand Blasting and Mechanical Polishing" -- those are surface treatments. I also think the phrases "Surface Treatment Finishing" and "Metal Treatment Finishing" are not good ones because they are both lengthy and a bit redundant, but all of your other phrases are fine. Your company is all of these things:

• A Surface Finisher, Surface Finishing Shop, Surface Finishing services provider.
• A Metal Finisher, Metal Finishing Shop, Metal Finishing services provider.
• A Plating Shop because you are offering plating services. This term is usually restricted to shops which do electroplating or electroless plating; a company which does only sand blasting and painting would not be a plating shop.
• Some people might call your company a Plater; others don't like that term because it often refers to an individual employee who does the treatment rather than the company.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
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