Equipment Purchasing Shouldn’t Be So Perplexing

Are you frustrated with having to spend valuable time researching and sourcing metal finishing equipment? And, when you finally get a vendor to provide a quote, do you get an uneasy feeling of being overcharged? Your vendor should make you feel confident about every equipment purchase you make. Instead of doing most of the talking, they should be listening to your needs while reviewing the following considerations: Equipment Selection: Based on your budgetary and performance criteria, a focus on equipment options that meet your specific applications and productivity objectives should … [Read more...]

Cleaning Leaded Brass

  If you have ever tried plating over leaded brass, you’ve most likely experienced the dreaded lead soap at some point. So, you may be asking… What is Lead Soap? It’s just what you’d expect it to be --- saponified lead. How can you tell if you have lead soap? Telltale signs of lead soap include either cloudiness in the deposit or a dark appearance in one particular current density area. Is Lead Soap Difficult to Clean? You betcha! Metallic soaps are typically difficult to remove from a part’s surface, with lead soap being one of the most stubborn. How is Lead Soap Formed? … [Read more...]

Alkaline Zinc Black Systems Offer Ultimate Performance

The recent introduction of the Asterion® Ultra alkaline zinc systems has placed a spotlight on a truly integrated approach to reducing rejects and increasing productivity. Of special note is the high interest in black trivalent systems that are production-proven to maintain and enhance the appearance of complex part geometries, while not sacrificing corrosion resistance. To address some of the questions (and excitement!), I’ve authored this blog specifically on Ultra black systems, with a special emphasis on passivate and sealant process operations. TECHNIBRITE™ Ultra Zn Before we … [Read more...]

What’s the Best Cleaning Method?

How many times have you asked, “What’s the best cleaning method?” Most likely, more times than you may be willing to readily admit without creating a furrowed brow or other visible sign of discontent. More often than not, you probably received a highly complex response that thrashed around operating parameters, rack or barrel, tank construction, bath make-up …and the list goes on. This same question has been and continues to be posed to Team Asterion on numerous occasions. The good news is that there is a simple answer when water soluble-based oils are used in the manufacturing process. No … [Read more...]

Different Courses, Same Strokes

This past September I was fortunate enough to chair a committee of several hundred volunteers for the BMW Championship held just after Labor Day at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana. The BMW is the third leg of the PGA Tour’s Fed Ex Cup, the Playoffs of the PGA Tour. This event is limited to the top 70 players who have qualified over the previous two tournaments of the Playoffs. The BMW Championship has no cut and the top 35 move on to the final event which determines the winner of the Fed Ex Cup and more than Ten Millions Dollars is held at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The BMW … [Read more...]

Sample Analysis with Confidence

Regardless of the circumstances, Asterion is committed to supporting each ounce of chemistry that leaves its facility. While there are many ways we support our customers, sample analysis is arguably the most useful and efficient form of technical support a chemical supplier can offer. And as hard as it may be to believe, many chemical suppliers do not provide any free technical support or laboratory analysis. I’m pleased to note that this is not the case with Asterion. Our sample analysis process, while detail-oriented and comprehensive, is designed with timeliness and accuracy in mind. … [Read more...]

REFLECTION, GRATITUDE, AND COMMITMENT

On behalf of the Asterion Team, Happy New Year! I hope you found time to relax, recharge and enjoy the company of loved ones. As we embark on a new year, it’s important to reflect and acknowledge those that made 2016 a success. Please allow me to express our deep gratitude for your business and trust. Through close collaboration with customers and partners, several key milestones were achieved, including: Successful introduction of TECHNIPLATE™ NIC-1200 high speed, high phosphorous electroless nickel process Launch of a new Sample Analysis Submission process designed to ensure … [Read more...]

Tips for Maintaining Your Process Line

If you are like most platers, you have a laundry list of things that need to be accomplished around your shop. Realistically, you don’t have enough time to do it yourself. However, if you were to divvy these jobs up, it would substantially assist in ensuring your shop is running at optimum performance. With this in mind, I offer you the following checklist that will assist in completing the tasks at hand. The list should include those responsible for completing each individual item, as well as the frequency for the task to be completed. Most importantly, posting the list in a common area, … [Read more...]

Separate and Different Cleaning Baths Bring Best Results

“Why can’t I use the same bath for both soak cleaning and electrocleaning?” is a question that is often asked, but rarely addressed with one definitive answer. To do so, would be putting your plating line in peril. Sure, sometimes you can employ the same bath for both, but this is seldom an acceptable answer. Other times you can use the same chemistry, but in different concentrations in separate tanks. However, most often dedicated tanks with different soak cleaner and electrocleaner chemistries are required. Here’s why… The soak cleaner’s job is to remove excess oils and … [Read more...]

Alkaline Zinc: Ensuring a Bright Solution without Sacrifice

If I was asked to make a customer wish list, “get my alkaline zinc bath brighter,” would most definitely be near the top of that list. This request would be followed by the comment, “And…while you’re at it, make sure that my bath: …does not sacrifice efficiency and throughput, and; …continues to maintain consistent metal distribution over a range of current densities” Making an alkaline zinc bath brighter seems straight forward enough.  Just add more brightener and you’re all set.  Right? If it were only that simple.  In reality, brightener additions are more often than not … [Read more...]