Stecker Machine Blog

CNC Machining Center — The Key to Production Efficiency Provides 5 Huge Advantages

06/22/2022 | Matt Oswald

In production manufacturing, efficiency is king. Any opportunity to reduce production time gets immediate attention.

CNC machines are an important tool for automating the production of mechanical parts to increase throughput while maintaining consistent quality. CNC machine centers play a critical role in a machine shop’s efficiency.

This article explains five big advantages of CNC machine centers and shares some experienced insights from a leader in CNC machining.


What CNC Engineering Services Help Drive Manufacturing Success?

06/15/2022 | Greg Herr

When you think of CNC machining, you may think about precision machining. Complex parts. Repeatability. Speed.

However, do you think of engineering expertise?

You should! An incredible value in partnering with the right CNC machine shop is engineering that drives the entire manufacturing process. From design through packaging, you should be receiving full CNC engineering services and benefitting from them.

A strong engineering team on the machine shop side ensures that CNC machining projects are done rightthe first time and every time. Of course, thorough engineering impresses customers. More importantly, though, it leads to parts that consistently meet or exceed specifications.


How CNC Value Analysis and Value Engineering Makes Life Easier for Purchasing Managers

06/02/2022 | Ken Jones

The manufacturing world can be tricky. An experienced CNC machine shop may plan a project that seems flawless on paper, taking into account all the subtleties that streamline a process. Yet, when the plan becomes reality, and the process starts flowing, it may fall short of the projected production or profitability targets. 

How can value engineering and/or value analysis solve a challenge like this?

Here’s a real-world example from Stecker Machine. A high-end part that required extreme precision — and also speciality tooling — was not hitting cycle time goals. One step in the process involved pressure testing the part after machining; so, taking the part to the assembly and pressure area (and back again after testing).


Driving Quality Assurance in Parts Manufacturing: Insights from a Leading CNC Machine Shop

05/12/2022 | Brian Theisen

QA, PPAP, APQP, CMM, PSW, etc. Wow, the world of quality assurance is an alphabet soup of abbreviations.


Manitowoc Area High School Students Launch Careers With Machinist Apprenticeships

04/20/2022 | Matt Oswald

High school students are bright, talented, and enthusiastic. And, many are ready to begin a fulfilling career right now!

College debt can be a burden for decades. The military isn’t for everyone. Retail jobs offer limited advancements. However, a paid, part-time youth machinist apprenticeship right here in the Manitowoc County area can kick-start a career.

A CNC (computer numerical control) machinist uses computer technology to produce highly precise machined parts. This is high-tech work in a clean environment that stresses safety.

Youth machinist apprenticeship programs:

  • Pay well and train well
  • Match a young person’s schedule
  • Open up career advancements

Your High Schooler in a Machinist Apprenticeship? The Opportunities — and Benefits — are BIG

04/06/2022 | Matt Oswald

20 years. That’s the average amount of time it takes for a college student who borrows money to pay off their student loan debt.1

That 20 years is likely longer than you’ve been a parent of your high schooler. Imagine your child taking that much time just to pay off student loans. It’s scary!

Now, imagine a better way for many young people. How about a paid, part-time apprenticeship that kick-starts a career without additional formal education?

Youth machinist apprenticeship programs are available now in Manitowoc County that:

  • Pay well while training happens
  • Introduce students to high-tech equipment and computer-driven tasks
  • Fit a young person’s schedule
  • Emphasize safety in the workplace
  • Encourage career advancement

Getting Started with CNC Machining Services: Unlock the Power of Precision Machining

03/24/2022 | Ken Jones

Many industries have the need for high-quality, precision machining. From automotive to aerospace, construction to agriculture (and many more), when a workpiece needs to be custom-machined to maintain tight tolerances, precision machining is usually the answer.

However, CNC (computer numerical control) machining is a bit different because it’s automated. Not only can CNC machining achieve extreme precision that cannot be achieved by traditional precision machining technology, it does so repeatedly, with cutting done by computer-guided equipment and complex tools.

Computer programming — a code sequence that tells the CNC machine what to do — makes a CNC machined part incredibly accurate, which is key for most parts.

This article begins to answer basic “why,” “how,” “when,” and even “who” questions of CNC machining services, helping you get started and enjoying its many benefits.


CNC Machine Operators’ Career Checklist: From Entry-Level Success to Career Satisfaction

03/09/2022 | Tom Sprang

YOU likely can be a CNC machine operator.

We say that with confidence because of our decades of experience within the precision machining industry. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It means excelling as a CNC machine operator doesn’t require extraordinary strength, a superior IQ, a college degree, or decades of experience. If you possess any of those, more power to you — they certainly help — but, you don’t need them.

Still with us? Good! Consider this article to be a checklist of the best practices and skills that you should have in order to begin and enjoy a long, fulfilling career as a CNC machine operator.


CNC Machinist: Perfect Career for High School Students and Recent Grads

02/25/2022 | Rob Schmitt

Here’s a quick quiz for sharp, young minds: How many jobs can you name that fully train you, encourage career advancement, fit the busy lifestyle of a high-school-age person, and pay you a great wage from the day you start?

We can’t think of too many.

One that we know quite well is a CNC machinist, which may sound highly technical (and it is). Yet, it’s a traditional skilled trade that uses cutting edge technology to produce machined parts that are highly precise — cutting to 0.001” or about 1/4 the width of a human hair.

Entering a skilled trade during or after high school has never been more attractive. Have you seen the average yearly college tuition for a 4-year college in Wisconsin? It’s $8,697 per year (in-state tuition and fees; out-of-state jumps to over $25,000).1 It’s no surprise that the average student who borrows requires 20 years to pay off their student loan debt.2

In a previous article, we explained how A Career in CNC Machining Might Be Perfect For You (rewarding work, environment, variety, workflow, etc.). Today, we’ll explore how a job as a CNC machinist can evolve into a rewarding career for people in and after high school.


Worth 1,000 Words: CNC Machine Parts Photo Gallery Celebrates Precision Manufacturing

02/09/2022 | Scott Waak

A new parent couldn’t be more proud to share the first photos of a newborn child. You’ve seen social media blow up and the comments come rolling in: “what a cutie!” “he’s got your eyes” “she’s perfect ❤️”

For those who live and breathe CNC machine parts, they feel that excitement nearly every day. Okay, the work created by a CNC machine may not reach a baby’s “wonder of nature” status, but it’s not far off for those in precision manufacturing. And, boy, do we love pictures!

CNC machine shops never tire of adding photos to their websites, showing off to the world what incredible parts they’re capable of making. Stecker Machine is no different. We’re proud of our work, and we want everyone to know it! So, you’re invited to view our CNC Machining Photo Gallery, a collection of CNC machined parts and projects.