Epner Technology’s quality philosophy is driven by a deep commitment to process control. It is one thing to develop a process that will produce good parts…quite another to produce those parts day in and day out. Tight process control makes it happen!
But the controlling of a plating process which is, after all, a dynamic system, is particularly daunting. The prep tanks, the plating tanks the ubiquitous rinse tanks each have an array of variables that must be held within defined upper and lower control limits.
Cross-contamination caused by the entrapped solution in the geometry of the part as it moves down the plating line (in spite of thorough rinsing), is one source of trouble. Another is the subtle chemistry changes that occur in a plating bath as the parts being plated deplete various bath constituents. Even as the tanks lie dormant they change as decomposition products slowly accumulate.
At Epner, a brand new laboratory is equipped with the latest analytical instruments. Instruments as diverse as a Varian Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer that can measure in parts-per-billion, to a Spiral Contractometer for plating bath stress measurement, give Epner’s Ph.D. Chemist the hardware to monitor the entire plating system. Computer programs display the real time “chemical health” of each solution in the shop. Indeed, Epner’s analytical laboratory is the key process control tool that keeps Epner Technology doing blister-free plating that actually meets the drawing specs!
Critical Final Thought
The Process Control Laboratory staff plays three critical roles at Epner. The first role is to keep the “tools of production,” our plating solutions, “sharp.” Second, to support Dariusz Gustek (staff chemist) in his research and development function, and perhaps most critical, supervise and maintain our waste treatment operation.