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Frequently Asked Questions


What selective plating techniques are available?

Many techniques are employed using:

  • 450 and 750 MECO wheel units,
  • single and twin headed selective spot units using special purpose tools to produce discreet areas as small as 0.4mrn dia,
  • front rear, side (FRS) units to deposit metals on to one or two sides only of bandolier pins,
  • contour plating tooling for three dimensional components.

What is the smallest area of gold plating can you apply?

On connectors stamped to continuous strip for reel to reel processing, gold or palladium plating can be applied using spot plating tools to an area as small as 0.4rnm diameter.

Are special selective tools expensive?

The initial purchase cost could be perceived as high, but has to be considered against the amortised cost relative to the quantity of components to be processed, the saving in deposition area and resulting deposition material cost.

How many metals do you plate in one pass?

Our standard high speed machines will plate five different metals - copper, low stress sulphamate nickel, gold flash, selective heavy gold (wheel, spot, FRS, or contour techniques) and selective tin/leads.

At what speed can the components be plated?

Plating of components stamped on metal strip continuously fed by reel to reel can be at any speed. Faster speeds require longer plating machines to achieve the same deposition thickness, meaning that space to accommodate and cost of equipment influence viability. Our high volume lines can achieve up to 20 m/min to deposit 2 to 3 µm of nickel, up to 1.5 µm of gold and 3 to 4 µm of tin.

What size components can you plate?

On reel to reel machines, the limits are according to coating type, strip thickness and width:

Tin Gold Silver
Width (maximum) 100mm 50mm
Thickness (maximum) 0.8mm

In barrel plating, the components processed are typically items in sizes ranging from 3 to 35mm long and barrel capacity is rated by weight per load. Our largest barrel is rated at 8Kg capacity.

In flexible circuit processing, the limit is a maximum roll width of 600mm.

What size reel can you handle?

Reel size limitations arise with handling and mounting arrangements, for which several options are available and should be discussed on enquiry. As a guide, the table below indicates the maximum possible for each dimension.

Horizontal wound Vertical wound (un-plated) Vertical wound (plated)
Diameter Weight Diameter Width Weight Diameter Width Weight
1250mm 500Kg 900mm 600mm 80Kg 900mm 200mm 30Kg
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