Advint Incorporated

On complex and large manufacturing applications of electroplating, conversion coating, anodizing and painting writing a good operating procedure is essential. There is disparity in our practices within the industry. The standard to write a procedure change based on the region, industry, the sector, an engineer and the management. On most cases there are opportunities for improvement and the performing team in some ways reflect on the effectiveness of the operation procedure (s).


Many applicators encounter one or more challenges given below:

  • Variations in analytical variables
  • Unexpected equipment breakdowns
  • Effects of product non-conformances and its influence on delivery
  • Delayed implementation of an operative task


None of these are challenges if one has abundant resources and time! But we require lean processes and fewer resources to compete in the market. Writing a good standard operating procedure is the foundation to overcome these challenges. This short paper adds colour on three important attributes of an exemplary procedure and highlights the benefits.


connector plating gold



The writer must use simple future tense, active voice and be direct on the departmental and standard operating procedures. The document must be lucid and must have all pertinent information in order and most information must be available in a single read. A reader will find an added value from Advint’s short paper on concise communications released on June 01, 2019. 


The written (standard and departmental) operating procedures must be complete. What completes mean? It is subjective. Correct? While the meaning is different to all, at a rudimentary level, it must be complete for the purpose and the scope of the particular operating procedure. A procedure become redundant and a formality, when we provide only select information and allow the user to interpret or draw individual conclusions and perform the tasks accordingly. This is a source for variation and one should take cognizance!

A surface finishing operation involves the design of a process, equipment and product flow. Many manufacturing tasks possess several variables, and when touched by people it produces different results. Standardization is the solution. Examples of the tasks are processing products, electrolyte make up, optimization and control, execution of total productive maintenance (TPM), product quality and functional testing, and characterization. Writing individual tasks for all the mentioned examples in a chronological order and identifying required resources, supplies and accessories will ensure the procedure is complete.  Providing control and reaction plan for deviations on expected and historical behaviors will strengthen the procedure.

Complete does not mean excessive. Unnecessary information will decrease attention and encourage readers to minimize referencing the procedure.

A procedure gets authority when a reader refers to it with interest

We do not require staff to remember all the contents, all they need to know is, what and where the sought-after information is available.


Revise the procedure on every critical opportunity. Involve the user in the revision process.

Be explicit in your communication to the user that their input is valuable, and it is the joint responsibility to ensure that the procedure is valid and complete

On Sep 01, 2019 Advint on its short paper recommended 6 Process Development & Control (PDC) tools. A revision must extend from the learnings of the PDC analysis. When we precisely perform the operative task and use non-conformance as an opportunity for firming up the procedure, we can minimize variation.



Clarity is vital. Good procedure confirms clarity to the operating personnel. It reduces surprise, and the time spent. It increases value and reduces cost. This starts with the author putting emphasis on the readers above themselves. A written document may not realize its high point on the first go, but targeting for a complete procedure on every single opportunity and sustaining on the revisions will aid the most important satisfaction–that is employee satisfaction and thereafter the customers’. True employee satisfaction is the effect of good design, even product flow and less variation.


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Venkat Raja
July 22, 2024
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Charles G Graham
July 7, 2024
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