Sheffield Platers and Others Seeking Replacement For Military, Aerospace Connector Coatings.
By Tim Pennington Editor
Tucked away behind a row of swaying palm trees in a quaint industrial park about 10 miles from the resplendent Torrey Pines golf course on the breezy coastline of the Pacific Ocean sits a world-class plating shop at the leading edge of cadmium replacement technology.
Situated in what could arguably be one of the most picturesque set- tings for a high-tech plating shop, Sheffield Platers is in pursuit of what some may call the Holy Grail of connector plating: coming up with a suitable replacement for cadmium coatings on electrical con- nectors used by many U.S. military organizations.
“Our goal is to not only investigate the chemistries already in the mar- ketplace, but to also introduce into testing our own multi-layer coatings we have worked on to replace the cadmium components,” says Dale Watkins, half of the brother owner- ship duo who has turned Sheffield Platers into one of the most well- respected shops in the U.S.
Dale’s brother Mark serves as vice president of the firm, which operates out of a 21,000-sq-ft facility that sits on just over an acre next to the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, outside of La Jolla, Calif…