Manufacturing Terms: Understanding Finishing Operations

You probably know that stainless steel doesn’t need to be polished. However, do you know what your manufacturing company produces?

If your current material science knowledge stops at stainless steel, you need help. Explore some of the common manufacturing operations like machining, polishing, and plating below. Use this knowledge to separate your company from the competition.

Read on to see manufacturing terms and what helps them shine even in hard-to-reach places.

What Is Finishing Operation?

Finishing operation is the process of completing the manufacturing of a product or item. Finishing operations are the final steps in product fabrication and production processes that involve adding features, such as threading, polishing, painting, or deburring, to the already made product.

It is the addition of these features that give a product its final form and brings it to a completed state using lathe collet chuck. There are a variety of finishing processes that may or may not be performed depending on the item and its desired aesthetic quality.

What Are the Different Kinds of Finishing Operations?

Finishing operations are an important part of manufacturing. These operations are focused on creating the desired final product and often include cutting, sanding, coating, and welding among other processes.

As these processes are done to the material being worked, the result produces various finishing operations such as grinding, honing, polishing, buffing, plating, and anodizing.


Grinding is a finishing operation that uses abrasive wheels or belts to remove excess material from a workpiece to achieve the desired shape and size. It is usually done in combination with other operations to machine a part made of metal or plastic.


Honing is a finishing process in manufacturing that is primarily used to create higher levels of precision and surface smoothness. This process uses an abrasive stone and high pressure to remove small amounts of material in order to improve accuracy, precision, and uniformity.


Polishing is an important finishing operation used in manufacturing consumer goods and goods that are used in industrial settings. This involves using a powered tool or media to bush the surface of a material with enough force to create a smooth finish.


Buffing is a type of finishing operation, which is used to produce an extremely smooth and shiny surface finish on a variety of manufacturing materials. Buffing works by polishing the surface of a component with the help of a buffing compound or a buffing wheel.


Plating is a form of finishing operation that applies a thin layer of metal or other material over the surface of another material or part. It is used to enhance, protect or decorate the underlying material. It is applied by either chemical or electrochemical, and is most common for metals, but may also be applied to non-metals.


Anodizing is a finishing operation that is used by manufacturers to provide protective coatings on metal surfaces, which can improve the durability and lifespan of a product. The process involves applying an electrical current to the material in order to convert the metallic surface to an anodic oxide coating.

All About Manufacturing Terms

Successfully understanding and utilizing the basic manufacturing terms related to finishing operations is a critical part of staying ahead in the global manufacturing and production industry.

Taking time to learn more about these critical terms can help you to stay competitive and informed. For more detailed information and advice on different finishing operations and how to best apply them, contact an expert in the field today.

Looking for more tips and ideas? We’ve got you covered. Check out some of our other posts now.

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