Controlling the chemical composition of the bath and layer thickness

Introduction to the electroplating market and its requirements

Electroplating is a process by which surface protection is achieved using chemical processes, giving them more excellent durability. In this process, electrolysis is used to deposit one metal onto the surface of another, to protect the latter or for decorative effect. Some companies carry out this process in-house, but for others, it is outsourced.

In both cases, quality control is critical to ensure that the layer thickness is within the standards required for the particular part or material. Suppose the layer thickness is below what is specified. In that case, the part’s durability will be compromised. If it is above specification, the amount may not physically fit the intended application – plus the extra cost is incurred because more plating material is deposited than required.

Another critical factor for in-house electroplaters and service providers is that the electroplating processes must meet the requirements for quality control. Their measurements must be certified and traceable, complying with standards such as ISO17025/IATF 16949/ IPC 4552A.

With the need for high precision, quality solutions, Fischer developed high-performance equipment and analytical capability for users in the electroplating market.

X-Ray Fluorescence


Tailor-made for layer analysis, the FISCHERSCOPE X-RAY XDL® is used for a wide range of different galvanised materials and measures the layer thickness on small and large parts. Because of its precision, accuracy and repeatability, it is easy to control plating processes by X-ray testing in conjunction with calibrated standards in compliance with the most demanding technical requirements in the automotive, aerospace and electro-electronic industries for example.


  • Determining the thickness of single or multiple layers, from nanometres to micrometres, in products with different geometries.
  • Electrolyte solution analysis – measuring the chemical concentration in g/l.
  • Complies with EN 61010, DIN ISO 3497 and ASTM B 568


  • Automotive, Cr / Ni / Base, ZnNi / Fe, Zn / Fe, Cr / Fe, Sn / Al,
  • Aerospace, ZnNi / Fe, Cd / Fe, Sn / Al and more
  • Electronic, Au / Ni / Cu / Base, Au / Pd / NiP / Base, Cu / PCB;
  • Petrochemical, Zn / Fe, ZnNi / Fe and more
  • Semi-jewellery, Au / Ni / Cu / Base, Ag / Base, Rh / Au / Base and more


Electroplating companies need to monitor and control the formulation of their electrolyte baths very closely. Controlling the composition of the bath can determine the quality of the layer applied to the target substrate material. For example, metal coatings of Zn, ZnNi, CuSn and others can be monitored both in their composition in the bath and the thickness of the layer applied onto the part.

A particular measuring cell makes it possible to analyse the plating bath and identify any metals in the solution immediately by examining the elements simultaneously in just a few seconds, eliminating the need for sample preparation and use of reagents, for example, in titration.


For reliable measurements, it is necessary to use calibration standards that meet the requirements of the quality management system.

FISCHER offers a wide range of certified standards according to the procedure accredited by DAkkS/ISO 17025.

The portfolio includes more than 300 calibration standards and covers many applications for different materials, be they layer thickness, element composition or analysis of materials.

MMS® Inspection & FMP® SERIES

The FMP Series of layer thickness gauges and probes allows for non-destructive and highly accurate measurements of electroplated coatings. Whether for quality control in a manufacturing process, the inspection of random samples, or complete batches, these portable, easy-to-use instruments will meet your needs.

With more than 70 different types of probes, even the most difficult jobs, most challenging on rough surfaces, holes and pipes, concave or convex surfaces and many other challenges, can be done with one of the unique probes. For routine work, MMS Inspection is an excellent cost-effective solution and extremely robust equipment with IP65 protection.

  • The non-destructive determination of single, direct layer thickness.
  • Accurate measuring of layers on rough or sandblasted substrates using the V7FKB4 probe
  • Measuring layer thickness in hard-to-reach places with the FGA-BI1.3-150 rod probe
  • Measuring layer thickness in small spots using the FGAB1.3 probe


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