A major development of its anodising capability is now fully operational at surface preparation specialist, Protech, as the result of a new purpose-designed installation undertaken by Jacquet Weston Engineering (JWE). The facility, at the company’s Northampton, UK premises, is already having a notable impact on Protech’s ability to produce high quality results – importantly, where required, in low volume and with rapid turnaround.
“JWE has designed and installed an anodising facility that builds on our ability to provide selective anodising and plating services that benefit from extremely accurate process control,” says Paul Birdsall, Protech director. “We already estimate a 50% increase in our throughput ability enabling us to react to our customers’ needs more efficiently – many of which are active in highly challenging industries such as aerospace, defence and motorsport.”
The JWE installation comprises some 40 polypropylene tanks installed in-line, each of which can accommodate a manually loaded jig. Application stages include pre-treatment and hard anodising alongside both sulphuric acid and chromic acid anodising options. Dedicated swill tanks are also incorporated at key parts of the layout.
“Flexibility has been a key consideration of our design to enable Protech to select specific processes and application cycle times to meet the precise needs of each project,” says Andy Jones, JWE’s engineering director. “We have therefore adopted a modular approach that enables the customer to select the optimum processing sequence while allowing it to reconfigure the installation rapidly and effectively to match changing customer demand.” Jones explains that JWE also installed flooring and bunding while configuring the layout to interface directly with Protech’s own extraction system.
The new anodising facility sees all tanks in the system gain from individual control with direct links to a solid state Giussani rectifier system – also installed by JWE. “The line’s versatility is further enhanced by temperature controllers and level sensors while a series of fail-safe mechanisms have also been incorporated into the design,” adds Jones.