In most cases the cost of electroplating or related finishing is low compared with the value of the manufactured part. Plating is used to provide properties that the part would not otherwise have and as such is well worth the investment. Frequently a plated steel part can replace a much more expensive fabrication using a more exotic base metal.
The major costs of metal finishing are labor, equipment, and chemicals, in that order. Such factors as the metal being plated, the deposit thickness, the shape of the part, and the batch size directly affect costs. The engineer can be sure, however, that electroplating represents an economical way to improve the quality of his design.