The world-leader in the development and manufacture of cutting-edge location sensor technology approached SIFCO ASC for assistance with gold plating their resonators.
Their high-performance accelerometers, gyroscopes and other systems are designed to meet the stringent requirements of customers for precision guidance, stabilization, navigation and orientation applications. To meet the specifications and maintain the repeatability and traceability required by the company, SIFCO ASC knew encapsulated flow plating was the only viable solution.
Gold plating is an expensive application. For this reason, plating is often applied to a specific area of the component. But, when the component is less than an inch in diameter, with eight holes which do not require plating, the masking process becomes a labor-intensive challenge – slowing down throughput and impacting process efficiency.
Custom tooling and seals were developed to encapsulate the parts for the preparatory step, the nickel plate and the final gold plate.
Each tool had a fully autonomous process step which was embedded with selective and flow plating technologies and separated by intermediate rinsing steps. This dramatically reduced cross contamination between each step while ensuring state-of-the-art repeatability.
With encapsulated plating, under the trial qualification stages, SIFCO ASC was able to complete 17 resonators in two hours, equating to 63 parts per shift with 100% repeatability. This output rate was anticipated to be able to go even higher once production ramps up. Even distribution was also observed, and there was no adhesion loss after thermal shock. Most importantly, once all of the parameters were fixed, technicians received the same result every time.
To learn more about our Encapsulated Flow Plating technology, download our whitepaper.