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William Hughes adds Nadcap and Honeywell approved passivation capability

18 February 2013

Spring, bent wire form and assembly manufacturer, William Hughes has installed an automated passivation plant at its UK headquarters in Stalbridge, Dorset. The move will not only reduce the significant lead-time incurred by subcontracting this requirement, but will enable the company to provide another Nadcap process for aerospace customers.

Representing a substantial investment, the new passivation plant offers novel functionality in that there is no manual ‘dunking’ of component baskets from station-to-station, as with traditional systems.

Instead, the plant performs ‘fluid transfer’, moving chemical solutions from holding tanks into the main processing unit as required. The entire process is automatic and PLC controlled. Typical treatments are nitric acid/sodium dichromate, and rinse cycles. These are followed by a final rinse in deionised water before a drying cycle. 

There will be three service levels: standard five-day; express three-day; and super express 24 hours (subject to any testing requirements). All services are designed to focus on the customer for high quality and fast turnaround. The working envelope size available is 520 x 300 x 200 mm.

Since installing the passivation plant, William Hughes has relocated its Nadcap-accredited heat treatment and ultrasonic cleaning equipment into the same area, thus creating a brand new process department.

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