How to Select the Right Surface Finishing Supplier

Finding the right supplier for each stage of your production process is a daunting but essential task. How do you do it? Well, when it comes to finding the right company to trust with finishing your product or component, it is important to consider the finisher’s process capabilities, their finish offerings, and their industry reputation.

Process capabilities

Make sure that the vendor you’re considering has the capability to perform the type or types of finishing that you need. If you need to PVD coat a plastic part, does the vendor have the capability to do chrome plating on plastic and PVD coat that part? Is your part going to an automotive OEM? Then you’ll probably need a vendor who offers both hexavalent and trivalent chrome plating. Does your part require any secondary processes like brushing? Then you need a supplier who can perform all the necessary operations.

Finding a vendor who can perform all of the finishing processes that your product needs can prevent unnecessary expense incurred shipping parts from supplier to supplier and save you time spent managing your suppliers.

Finish offerings

Once you’ve determined that the vendor can perform the desired finishing process you need to ensure that the vendor you’re considering can produce the correct finish for your component. Every finish has a specific recipe which the finisher must have, and have the license to use, to produce it. In the automotive industry, certain finishes are designated as qualified by each OEM; if you’re working with automotive components, you need a supplier who can produce the required qualified finishes. Is the vendor involved in finish development? If so, the vendor may be the sole or primary source for certain finishes.

Industry reputation

Industry reputation is a factor in selecting any vendor, in any industry, but there are a few additional considerations for surface finishers. Because finishing is a technical and complicated process, it is important that you select a supplier with a firmly established status as an industry leader. If the finisher has relationships with finish developers like MacDermid Enthone or Atotech, that lends credibility.

Choosing the right supplier (or the wrong one) could make all the difference in the time, cost, and hassle involved in creating your component, so be sure to consider the points mentioned above when selecting a supplier. Read more on ways to save money when selecting suppliers and sourcing parts.

Call ECF today to see how our finish and process offerings align with your surface finishing needs!

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