Q. I am new to plating and want to learn more about the various processes used in our plating department. Please suggest some techniques for copper and tin plating and good plating techniques in general. H.K.
A. This is a question that I receive almost daily. It is good that you want to learn about the proper way of performing electroplating. The answer that I have given in the past is this: a good electroplater understands the processes and has hands-on experience. To learn about how the plating process works and what is required for various types of plating, you must take a training program of some type. There are two sources that I am aware of that offer training programs. The Kushner Electroplating School (with which I am no longer affiliated) offers both distance learning and on-site training (platingschool.com, 714-632-1374). Another source of training programs is the National Association of Surface Finishers, (nasf.org, 703-887-7235). You also can obtain a large amount of information about plating by reading articles that are on Products Finishing magazine’s website, PFonline.com. As far as hands-on experience, if you are not currently working in a plating shop you should attempt to obtain a position within one to learn the practical side of electroplating. Because of space limitations, I cannot supply you with a training manual on copper and tin plating.