We often hear from our aerospace buyers, “Epner, plating’s the critical part of the project so why don’t you guys take the responsibility for the whole job, fabricated and plated?”
In a way it makes sense. Epner Technology is uniquely positioned to supply its customers a complete, turnkey, one-stop-finishing service. We do it by tapping the fabrication talents of our customers.
As a key plating supplier to some of the finest CNC machinists, wire EDM shops and optical fabricators, including single point diamond machining, what can be more natural than to team with these "known quantity" customers and turn them into our suppliers?
We know their strengths…and their weaknesses. More importantly, we know our limits. If the fabrication part of the job is “over our heads," we’ll be satisfied with just supplying a top-quality plating job.
A 26” Diameter Infrared Heat Exchanger (above) is the most ambitious “full responsibility” program ETI has undertaken to date. Some 400 Laser Gold plated electroformed light pipe reflectors were thermally fitted into stainless steel sleeves that had been laser welded between two stainless plates. The water coolant flowed around these lamp reflectors and a measurement of the difference in the temperature of the incoming water vs. the exiting water, would indicated the remarkable efficiency of the Laser Gold plating to reduce IR absorption. Although a commercial product, it was on that required aerospace manufacturing standards. It was pressure tested and Helium leak-tested to NASA specifications. Epner teamed with on trusted customer-supplier to machine and laser weld the assembly. The reflectors were installed in a chilled condition while the housing was filled with boiling fluid. This created an intimate contact between the sleeve and its insert. This “interference fit” was critical to the performance success of the product.