Why Is Tooling Important When It Comes to Rack Plating?

Tooling is one of the most important considerations when preparing for metal finishing and rack plating.

The term “tooling” refers to a broader category of hardware that is necessary to apply the finish to the part. Rack plating is one particular area to consider with regard to tooling, and designing a plating rack that is effective can take a lot of engineering bandwidth when developing a new project. Read on for some tips from our Southern California metal finishing experts.

What you need to know about rack plating

This category of plating falls under the banner of “loose piece” plating, and is distinguishable from other forms of plating, including reel-to-reel plating. In loose-piece plating, the object is to put the finish onto an individual part, known as the “loose piece.” These loose pieces then get processed together in varying sizes with plating barrels or plating racks. The technician performing the finishing work must select a physical means by which they will apply that finish to the selected “loose piece.”

Rack plating is a specific type of loose piece plating that involves affixing these individual parts onto an array that’s mounted on a solid flame, referred to as the plating rack. This rack is designed for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Keeping the parts held together securely
  • Maintaining electrical contact with and to pass DC currents on to those parts
  • Setting up the parts appropriately with regard to thickness, drainage, the geometry of parts, quality requirements, and gas elimination
  • Demand requirements from the customer which translate to production capacity requirements for the plating shop (this has to do more with the quantity of racks that are to be made)
  • Maximizing throughput on the plating lines. Making sure that the most amount of parts are placed on the rack without affecting the quality or ability to meet our customer specs.

The rack plating can then be set up to accommodate parts of just about any size or shape. You can develop racks to use for a single part, for thousands of parts or anything in between. The sizes of those racks can fit in your hands, or be the size of a wall. It requires some careful consideration and planning to determine the size and shape of the rack plating you need, not to mention some consideration of the specifications and nuances of the part in question.

Rack plating is highly important for developing sufficiently effective metal finishing and finishing protocols. Metal finishing companies and technicians must recognize the needs of the customer and use those needs to plan out the plating process and what it will look like. It is a good idea to develop custom tools for the rack plating application to make sure the custom-designed parts and rack plating will be consistent with the general practices of good plating.

A competitive advantage that Industrial Polishing Services, Inc. has over other companies in this regard is that we design, manufacture, and repair almost all of our plating racks. This helps to reduce costs and lead time for both the fabrication of new racks and the repair of existing racks. This also allows us to be more directly involved in the finish development for new projects.

Rack plating can be a complex subject, so if the team at your company or plant is in need of further explanation of tooling for rack plating and what is involved with loose piece plating, we encourage you to contact the experts at Industrial Polishing Services, Inc. We will be happy to provide you with additional information about our full range of finishing and plating services. We look forward to teaching you more about tooling for rack plating and about the capabilities of our Southern California company to develop solutions that fulfill all of your metal finishing needs.