Thanks for that Tony,
Originally Posted by Tonytn36
I wasn't sure. I want to make it as easy as possible from my end in the long term for whoever will be doing the anodizing.
LCD method is very forgiving.
Originally Posted by countryboy1966
We should keep in touch.
Maybe someone mentioned this already, but...
Have you spoken to the customer and got their opinion on the color? Maybe they will be ok with it and the parts are good to go.
This is no BS, purely from experience as we get 10,000's of parts anodized per year (7075 and 6061)... Strip and re-coat doesnt work unless you can live with a +/-.005 from what they are right now...
Originally I brought 20 parts to the anodizer and asked him to do samples. He did some clear some black some blue and some red.
Originally Posted by Seekins
I thought the black looked super and if it was up to me I would have chosen black. My customer was thinking about it for a while and then decided on clear. He said "we don't want to dress it up too much or make it look cheap" and he spoke about young guys with cars and anodized parts under the hood. How something looks is very important to them. He's probably right and it's his decision.
If they manage to do them right and some of the assembly won't go together I may get away with re-making just 1 of the parts again (100no.). I'll have to wait and see. It's dodgy territory when you loose control, I don't like it at all.
I absolutely hate having to do any kind of finishing.
Unless pushed, I will only offer to have parts shipped to finisher of their choice...I will offer a few names and numbers of finishers in the area...but will not recommend.
Reasons I do this:
-my 1 week lead-time has turned into a month
-my perfectly finished parts have come back with splotches, marks, new dimensions, matte when supposed to be shiny, shiny when supposed to be matte.
- I have had Black come back to me speckled with clear alum showing thru
-I have had Black come back to me Purple
-I have had Black come back to me Charcoal
-I have had Anodizer tell me you "Oh you wanted Black, Black"...like what the hell is that supposed to mean?
-I have had Anodizer hold a sample of a Black Part I made years earlier and tell me it would be no problem to match. When I showed up the part was Charcoal...at first I was told it was the same color, then he didn't have a sample and part could not be done to that color, to which I pulled the sample out of the box and he went back to it being the same color...
-I have had Clear parts come back gray...similar to yours...but not quite as bad.
-I have had solid quotes come back way overcost
I was given a story about how the tank must have been contaminated, racked wrong, yadda yadda yadda...my answer...I don't care...I don't want to know your business, I just want what I specified and I do understand parts can come out bad and may need rework...but that's on you, strip, polish and re-anodize to spec before you call me and tell me they are done..I should not have to run over and play QC.
Push comes to shove...I'll Anodize parts...but if all possible I try to stay away from the whole finishing process...all of them.
Let them strip, hit with scotch pad to bring back luster and re-anodize. Even if you toss the parts...
I sell my own stuff, and used to offer black anodized parts. I don't sell a lot of that stuff, but after getting a bunch of scratched parts in each batch I could no longer even offer anodized stuff anymore. The finish seemed to be good from the company I used. However I suffered worker carelessness where there would be scratches on the parts (not all, but sometimes on 50%). The salesman had the &$% guts to say I provided it with a scratch when it clearly was put in after plating because the scratch was bright silver.
With parts that need 100% cosmetic perfection, anodizing is not an option for me anymore. And I don't feel like putting tubs of acid and dye in my basement
Just a bit of an update,
I got a call from the MD of the ano company (the general managers daddy) saying that they'd done some more samples if I'd like to have a look at them. He also said that he's a senior materials engineer and that they'd done absolutely nothing wrong, he said it's the material's fault. I asked if the samples were anything like what I needed (his original sample) he said have a look, this is all we can do, if none of the samples suit then forget about it. I got the samples picked up and brought them to my customer and explained the situation. My customer looked and said no. Which I expected, one of the samples was a really dark grey the other brighter but completely uneven looked crap. So I got the whole lot picked up and brought back here. I spread them out on the bench and they look really bad all in all, very uneven and different colours and spotty / streaky.
It's not that big of a deal, some lost time, some lost material but I'll get over it.
I've made some more parts for my customer in the mean time and supplied them un-anodized so they're stock level is ok now for a while.
My customer's advice is to find a different anodizer ! and they have no problem changing the grade of ali if we have to, to get a consistant result.
So I have quite a bit of 2011 maybe 3k worth. I'm thinking of returning it to my material supplier and getting some 6000 grade.
I have a few questions:
Is it not possible to anodize 2000 grade consistantly the same ?
Or is it that you need to know exactly what you're doing to anodise 2000 grade consistantly the same ?
I know 2000 grade is used for aircraft parts all the time so I find it strange to think that it's not possible to do it consistantly the same. Please explain this to me, if anyone knows.
Last edited by mbpp; 07-25-2012 at 03:47 PM.
We have annodized 2024 parts for 20 years and till recently every thing was fine. We sent 2 batcthes to the platers recently at the same time. The parts from 1/2 inch material was from our old batch of domestic stock. The 11/16 parts from a newly purchased batch. The 11/16 parts came back a dark gray instead of the bright clear we were used to. The plater said that was typical of 2011. We had the material analyzed and it was out on a couple of elements for 2024 but not 2011 either. Foreign sourced material again.
The high percentage of copper in the 2000 series gives it high strength, but sometimes causes some problems. Next time we will specify alcoa or kaiser material.
I send a lot of parts out to anodize, mostly 6061, but some 7075, 5052, and 2000 series. One thing that I have learned is to clearly label what alloy the parts are in BIG letters and actually talk to a person who is doing the work (puts a face with the parts). Each alloy has to be run differently (currents, solutions, times, etc.) and if you have something that is done in the wrong process it will turn out bad. Even on a good day you sometimes get a bad part in a batch. I suspect that your material was either bad (probably too much copper) or something else that was racked in with your parts was contaminated. Either way, a good anodizer would have called when they noticed that the parts looked like crap and told you what was going on and possible solutions. I would find someone else to use in the future.
I'm still not understanding why not 6061. I quick material check here in the states shows it is cheaper than 2011 and 2024 and is better suited for anodizing.
2011 and 2024 have a lot of copper in it which does make it a pain to anodize, but you already sent them sample and they were sucessful.
Material problems is a BS excuse as it is difficult to prove to the anodizer when you have limited expereience. If sucessful with another anodizer, you can send the samples to them as an "up yours" move.
Your customer is right. You should find another anodizer.
I don't know if sending your parts over here is an option or not, but I've used mansfield anodisers for a few years now and their service and the quality of the finish has been immaculate on every part I've ever sent, here's some parts they did for me a while back (that someone on here did a lovely job of machining on too as it happens):
As you can see, they also manage a perfect true black (I.E, not a dark gray) every time.
This is a plater:
You are not dealing with a rational human being.
The 2011 grade material that I have in stock is being returned to my material supplier in the morning. I'll probably get some sur charge on it.
I have some 6000 grade here and I intend to make more parts and send to a few anodizers and go through that process again. Whoever gives me the best looking parts and I feel confident can do it consistantly will get the job.
Phillip your parts look brilliant, I'll be contacting mansfield for sure. Sending to UK is no big deal as far as I know. Did they ever do any Clear / Bright for you and how did it look ?
I've had one batch in clear, but I haven't got any photo's of them, tbh they were just as good as the colours, perfect finish with no colour change or inconsistancy (they were 8-9" rounds so I was expecting a little gradient across them, but there was nothing apparent to the naked eye). They also did me a full differential case not long ago but the photo isn't to hand, I'll see if I can dig it out.
I haven't had it done, but they will refinish parts by stripping and then polishing the surfaces back up - I'm not sure if that would be any good for your old parts as it might send them out of tolerance, but could be worth sending them a few and see how they turn out too - I've never had them do any refinishing though so I can't comment on how that turns out.
Actually I was so angry over the whole thing that I took him to court and won. It wasn't a lot maybe 8 or 900 dollars but it made me happy to strike back for once.
Originally Posted by alliancefab
Death to all metal finishers!
I disagree, the problem that I have is that I've become the free taxi service to take the parts to the anodizer/plater/black oxidizer etc, pick the parts up afterwards having paid with my money which I don't see agin for 30-60 days. Do you think my customer is interested in paying for the considearble time I spend driving the parts around, when I could be in the shop making money? You know the answer to that. If I could get away with adding it to the quote, but I can't.
Originally Posted by wrustle
I damn sure charge for the time it takes to deliver and pick up parts on the rare occasions I have to do that. Just like usual freight charges.
Originally Posted by triumph406
Freight in/Freight out is shown on the invoice.
Originally Posted by PhillipM
I'll be contacting them next week.
What grade are the parts in your picture ?
Did you ever get them to do grade 2011 ?
I like your refinishing idea, might save the other batch, I'll speak to them and see what they say. I notice on their web site they say :
"Whilst wrought alloys, with the exception of 2000 series alloys, will produce satisfactory results when Colour Anodised, the range of suitable cast alloys is very restricted".
Is round bar a "Wrought Alloy" ?
Edit: Wrought seems to mean "molded" "Shaped" or "manufactured"
The aluminium round bar I get is "Drawn" or "Extruded" so that must mean it is "wrought".
Last edited by mbpp; 07-28-2012 at 10:49 AM.
Reason: figuring out the english language
Let me get this straight.........You disagree that the more you can do for your customer, the more valuable your service becomes to him?
Originally Posted by triumph406
Are you kidding me? If that's your business model, good luck.
The only reason you have "become the free taxi service" is because you have allowed yourself to be that. Nowhere else to lay that blame.
The costs for UPS or Fedex service is dirt cheap compared to your time.
Utilizing either of those two services will have you staying put in the shop just as you wish, making money, both in time saved on the road, and the markup for the outside service. It is a win-win for sure.
I agree with you Wrustle,
Originally Posted by wrustle
I wouldn't leave the shop to bring parts anywhere, there's any amount of couriers passing by daily that'll bring parts anywhere they need to go, so production doesn't need to stop ever. Only time I leave is to call to a customer and then I try to make sure that some machines are working and the other guy here has enough to do until I get back.
The shipping, secondary operations, packaging etc. is all added on, plus a percentage. happy days.
But you need to be sure of you're sub contractors.
My lack of experience with the anodizing process in this instance caused me to loose money. Using the wrong grade of material seems to be at the core of the problem even though the anodizer said it's fine and did good samples.
I'll put it down to experience, I've a good margin on these jobs so it'll be forgotten about soon enough.
We're all in control of what happens in our own shops, we won't ship any parts that are not right and we'll come up with better ways to to do things and increase margins.
But we've no control of what happens under someone else's roof (to our parts) and need to be aware of this. Obviously it's all about experience and forming partnerships with sub contractors.
But as you say the more added value you can offer your customer the better.