Borough adds x-rays to quality arsenal

17th Jan 2020

As a leading chrome plater of plastic components for the global automotive sector, quality has always been at the heart of everything we do and every decision we make.

It is this commitment to unrivalled quality of plastic moulding and plating from everyone here at Borough Ltd that has ensured the world’s most prestigious car brands have for many years featured our chrome on their bodywork and to highlight quality within the cabin.

We continue to invest in modern, more efficient moulding machines, but have now added cutting-edge technology to help the work of our quality department, with the arrival of a new FISCHERSCOPE® XAN 500 – a mobile X-ray fluorescence (XRF) device.

It promises non-destructive, mobile material analysis and coating thickness measurement, using a modern silicon drift detector (SDD) that guarantees correct, very accurate measurement results in just a few seconds.

Quality isn’t just skin deep

To ensure the chrome plating of plastic components achieves the highest possible quality standards, it is essential components are designed and moulded with plating in mind. But once the components have been successfully plated, the final quality checks can be undertaken.

We continue to check every visible surface carefully to ensure the integrity of the finish, but the new X-ray device allows our quality engineers to look below the surface and accurately measure the thickness of coatings.

fisherscopeThe coating thickness is critical to the durability of automotive components in particular, with exterior chrome facing years of weather, pollution and salt spray, whilst interior chrome trim can be compromised by the acidic sweaty touch of the cabin’s occupants.

This ability to precisely measure coating thickness and undertake material analysis in real-time, even for difficult material combinations and multiple coatings, allows our quality team to quickly make any minor adjustments to the plating process to maintain quality standards.

The results of the X-ray sampling of components are relayed to the handheld devices used by our quality inspectors, which are also linked to the Production, Technical and Management teams to help reduce the time it takes for us to react to any issues.

The digital reports created by the X-ray process will also help inform future decisions about moulding and plating components, with our automotive supply chain customers keen to see evidence of our processes and our commitment to quality at every step.

If you’d like to understand more about chrome plating on plastic components, whether for the automotive trade or not, please get in touch with our sales team, who will talk you through the benefits of Borough.