Stecker Machine Blog

How Robotics Can Achieve Smarter Manufacturing

08/13/2019 | Matt Oswald

Robots are everywhere! No, this isn’t an ad campaign for a new sci-fi movie. It’s just true. 

According to a 2018 PwC report, more than half (59%) of all U.S. manufacturers use some form of robotics technology. Many are embracing automated robots to stay competitive and because of the numerous ways processes are enhanced when there are robots in manufacturing. 

While many people may think of robots working on large, high-volume assembly lines such as an automobile manufacturer, automated robots can also be cost-effective in small- to medium-sized businesses, depending on the operation.

READ MORE

Stecker Machine Company Expands Facility to Meet Customer Machining and Assembly Needs

07/26/2019 | Brad Kurtzweil

Stecker Machine Company, a TS16949: 2009 ISO-certified, high-precision CNC machining company, recently completed a 77,700-square-foot addition to the company’s second facility to meet growing customer demand for high-quality, accurate machining and assembly. The Butler® pre-engineered steel structure was constructed by Manitowoc’s A.C.E. Building Service, the project’s design and build contractor.

READ MORE

A Machine Shop’s Most Powerful Tool? People!

07/16/2019 | Lori LaTour

Great customers — repeat purchasers, easy to work with, advocates for the business — are the lifeblood of any business. It’s highly likely they became “great” because of a tremendous and memorable customer experience, and few of those happen without direct contact with an individual from that company.

READ MORE

How to Choose the Right CNC Machine Tools for Complex Parts

07/02/2019 | Tom Sprang

Today’s world demands the accuracy of CNC machine tools and experienced operators. Of course, machine shops vary in their skill levels and abilities to take on complex parts. So, here are 3 quick signs that a shop lives and breathes complex parts:

READ MORE

Casting, Machining, and the Importance of Tolerances

06/20/2019 | Jason Schuh

Imagine for a moment a manufacturing technique that’s lasted for more than 6,000 years and is still highly valued today. That’s metal casting. The types of metal used have evolved — from gold around 4,000 BCE to bronze and copper (the oldest known casting is a 3,200-year-old copper frog from Mesopotamia) to iron around 1,000 BCE. After all, since prehistoric times, the progress of civilization itself has been named after the metal casting processes most used during that span: the Copper Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age.

READ MORE

Why Family Ownership Matters to Machine Shop Employees

06/05/2019 | Lori LaTour

Does a company’s “family-owned” status really matter to the average worker? More specifically, does it matter in a machine shop environment?

Well, consider this fact: Employees of most family-owned brands are generally happier and more productive. They feel better about their jobs, and it shows in their work. 

So, does that translate to customers, too? Apparently, yes! Family businesses are the most trusted of any business type, according to an Edelman Trust Barometer survey. And, according to Family Business Magazine, 60% of consumers said they prefer to buy from family businesses.

READ MORE

6 Qualities to Look for When Outsourcing Machining Vendors

05/29/2019 | Ken Jones

An outsourced vendor—the right vendor—can provide an incredible spark to your organization, both in terms of work produced and team spirit. Consider all these advantages:

  • Enhance your environment (completed work feels great and is good for business)
  • Improve attitudes (overworked and stressed staff are no fun to be around)
  • Boost responsiveness (all of your customers can receive top-level attention)
  • Reduce costs (low quotes may help a vendor get a foot in the door)
  • And the ultimate: save money!
READ MORE

3 Reasons DFM (Design For Manufacturability) Streamlines the Casting Process

05/22/2019 | Jason Schuh

These are demanding times. For a new product design to be considered successful today, its planning must also scrutinize the manufacturing process that will be used to build it. Modern designers look to specific design for manufacturing (DFM) guidelines to reduce costs while also simplifying how a product is produced, reducing design rework, and maintaining overall quality. You may also see the term design for manufacturing assembly (DFMA), too, which is the same principle.

READ MORE

5 Ways CNC Machining Can Make or Break Quality and Performance

05/07/2019 | Scott Waak

When it comes to high-quality machining, precision is the key to part quality. And the key to making that process cost-effective is repeatability, so every part can be counted on to perform as expected.

CNC machining, or computer numerical control machining, is nearly as common as a hammer and nail (although it is light years more productive). Just about any industry that has a precision machine shop uses CNC machining services to create custom machined parts from raw materials or to fabricate metals into individual components. With CNC technology, most human actions are now performed by computer-guided equipment and complex tools.

READ MORE