Understanding Anode Ratio
For all plating solutions there could be a different desired anode ratio for the solution to work at its best ability.
The anode is the electrode that provides the positive electrical charge to the plating solution. Its size and location relative to the part being plated is an important consideration. If there is not enough anode area for the solution to work properly, the plating will slow down and may cause other problems with the metal deposit. The surface area closest to the anode will always receive a higher share of the deposit which can cause uneven plating thicknesses.
For larger items and baths you will want to make sure the anodes are evenly distributed around the part and bath to achieve more consistent results.
Keep in mind when setting up custom baths that having the anodes too far from the part being plated will slow down the deposit rate, whereas having the anode closer to the item will speed up the deposit rate. If the anode is too close, you may find that areas are burning or depositing too quickly. If this happens you can adjust your voltage or amperage to accommodate. See the product TDS for more details - some solutions are voltage or amperage sensitive.
Some solutions such as Bright Nickel and Bright Acid Copper will break down the anode to replenish the metal in the bath. This is normal. Over time you will need to replace these anodes to ensure you are meeting the required anode ratio.