A Modern Electro-piating Plant
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IT is three years since James Neill and Co. (Sheffield), Ltd., Composite Steel Works; Sheffield, the maker of the well-known Eclipse products, installed plant for electroplating the numerous parts used in the manufacture of its hack-saw frames, 45 tools, permanent magnets and other lines. This includes equipment necessary for silver, nickel, copper and cadmium plating, but growing demands upon the plant have made it necessary to erect new selfcontained premises, the equipment of which includes up-todate chromium-plating plant.
The latest extension adjoins the company's steel warehouse and research laboratories and has separate departments for polishing and preparation, general plating and chromium plating, together with a control section which combines plating, laboratory and administrative office. All the power, heating and ventilating plant is housed separately in a spacious baiement to prevent deterioration of the electrical 'equipment from the plating fumes.
A. feature is the special treatment of the walls, girders and ceilings with metallic paint to give the maximum light, and to ensure cleanliness as well as protection from the steam and fumes which are usually associated with electro plating, whilst the floors are adequately drained, and treated with an acid-resisting protective coating.
The main part of the building houses two separate departments and provides for a progressive cycle of operations for electro-deposition. Work first of all enters the polishing and preparation section, at one end of which glazing and buffing are undertaken prior to it being passed into the general plating shop, where, after passing through a system of chemical and electrolytic cleaning,. the actual plating is embarked upon. Here numerous baths are employed for depositing silver, copper, cadmium aud nickel, and it is interesting to. note that the last-named is deposited direct upon the steel base without the primary coating of copper.
Agitation equipment in the vats is provided wheir necessary and special timing apparatus is initalled to enaure uniform results and correct regulation of the depositions. The question of temperature control has received special attention and a dual system of heating and ventilation is installed.
For ease in plating the various small irregularly shaped parts, special suspenders or jigs have been designed so that the vats will accommodate the maximum number and at the same time reduce time spent in recharging and handling to the absolute minimum. A rigid inspection of work at all stages is undertaken and the vats are constantly examined to see that solution standards are maintained.
After passing through the plating shop the articles are returned to the other section of the polishing department for polishing and finishing. The chromium-plating department is entirely separate from the main plating shop and in its layout special care has been given to the ventilation and exhaust system to ensure a continual flOW of fresh an..
The equipment has been supplied throughout by W. Canning and Co., Ltd.