Innovative plating facility to open at United States air force base


The plant, at Robins Air Force Base, a major US air force site, is set to open in November after eight years of planning.Plating techniques, including brush plating and cadmium plating, is a method through which pads or brushes containing concentrated electrolyte or gel are worked over surfaces.As reported by the Warner Robins Patriot, the new Advanced Metal Finishing Facility will be located at Robins’ industrial area, near the current plating shop.”It will have the latest bells and whistles, including critical innovations that will make the plating operation much safer and efficient for workers with less risk to the environment,” it reported.In aerospace, selective plating is a crucial part of aircraft and component overhaul. Chemical anodynes are used to make parts corrosion- and wear-resistant.However, one issue is that the chemicals used in plating processes, such as chromic acid, are toxic and can pose a risk to workers and the environment.But the new Robins metal finishing facility will see those risks minimised thanks to a number of safety features.For example, employees are currently employed in the ‘wet’ area of the plating shop, loading parts and components onto hoists for immersion into various tanks filled with anodising solution.While they wear chemical-resistant gloves and face shields and are fully trained, there is still risk of serious injury.But that will change.”In the new facility, they employees will be separated by some distance from the wet area,” Jim Cunningham, process engineer for the plating shop and the new facility, told the Warner Robins Patriot.Components will be loaded onto a hoist in a holding room before being transferred by remote control to the tank area.”Workers will be completely removed from that area,” Mr Cunningham added.”The hoist lowers the parts into the appropriate tanks then it returns the parts to the staging area where they are removed.”

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