Stecker Machine Blog

What is a CNC Milling Machine? What Are Its Benefits for Customers and Machinists?

05/11/2021 | Rob Schmitt

The goal of modern CNC milling is to transform materials such as metal castings into finished, usable parts. That goal is only achievable by using incredibly precise CNC milling machines.

Computer software is the brains of a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machine, controlling the machine and automating production to increase throughput with consistent quality. It’s this repeatability that makes CNC machining so efficient and so valuable to both customers and the machinists themselves (see “The Machinist’s Perspective” throughout this article.)

READ MORE

Top 5 Benefits of Strong CNC Machine Shop Vendor Relationships

04/28/2021 | Ken Jones

Solid client-vendor relationships are vital for any company. So much depends on them: quality, customer service, efficiencies, low costs, supply chain integration, future growth, and much more. Not having them invites miscommunication, contentiousness, quality issues, and missed deadlines. In fact, organizations should nurture vendor relationships similarly to how they focus on customer loyalty. 

READ MORE

5 Ways CNC Precision Machining Can Make or Break Quality and Performance

04/13/2021 | 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.

READ MORE

How Inventory Management Impacts CNC Machining Success and Benefits Customers

03/16/2021 | Teresa Azzoli

What pops to mind when you think of CNC machining?

Metal. Castings. Precision. Engineering. Robots. 

Not “inventory management,” huh? Well, perhaps it should. Because nothing gets done within a CNC machine shop without rock-solid warehouse inventory management.

In fact, if a shop doesn’t have exceptional inventory management, you should choose to work with a different supplier. Here’s why …

READ MORE

7 “Must Have” People For Your CNC Machine Shop Team

03/03/2021 | Scott Waak

The precision of a CNC machine is incredibly impressive: cutting to 0.001” (about 1/4 the width of a human hair). That capability may lead those unfamiliar with CNC machining to assume that it is advanced equipment that makes a CNC machine shop perform well.

Not so fast! There’s complexity within a CNC machine shop’s processes that requires dozens of people working in unison. In fact, we recently celebrated how the skilled people within a CNC machine shop really make the difference in meeting customers’ needs and consistently exceeding their expectations.

When it comes down to it, no member of a CNC machine shop team falls short of “must have” status. Most high-end shops run lean and efficiently, with each employee contributing to the shop’s success in important, but different, ways. Let’s take a look!

READ MORE

Top 3 Ways to Pressure Test Complex CNC Parts

02/25/2021 | Brett Schuette

You may have a great working knowledge of how custom CNC machining works:

Its smart use of technology and cutting-edge equipment and robotics.

Its engineers who help with design for manufacturing and design/fixture building.

Its programmed G-code and M-code, allowing for correct, repeatable part manufacturing.

Its incredible precision to meet strict spec tolerances.

But, do you know how to test a complex CNC part? After all, you need to know that all that hard work and advanced processes are doing their job and exceeding customer expectations. This article explores one important aspect of quality assurance: pressure testing.

There are 3 main ways to pressure test complex CNC parts:

  1. Air Decay
  2. Mass Flow
  3. Air Under Water

READ MORE

CNC Machining in 2021: Marketplace, Technology, People, & COVID-19

02/09/2021 | Brad Kurtzweil

A year ago, I shared my thoughts on what 2020 would look like in the CNC machining industry. Sure, some of those predictions did happen, but a global pandemic turned many things upside down.

READ MORE

What Is the Most Powerful Tool in a CNC Machine Shop?

01/26/2021 | Matt Oswald

The highly automated equipment and robots in a  CNC precision machining center are impressive, and often their “flash” initially attracts customers. It’s certainly understandable, but that initial attraction rarely converts one-time customers to long-term partners.

Instead, it’s the skilled people behind those machines that make the difference. By dedicating their time and talents to meeting customers’ needs and consistently exceeding their expectations, the team is responsible for taking your shop — and your customer relationships — from good to great.

READ MORE

How do Successful CNC Machine Shops Maximize Cut Tools and Minimize Spend?

12/15/2020 | Dave Rupp

Top performing CNC Tool Cribs maximize cut tooling effectiveness while minimizing spending on inventory and overhead. There is a fine line to walk between having the right cut tools ready at all times to keep CNC spindles turning and minimizing spending. 

READ MORE

How Do Engineering Experts Design CNC Fixtures?

11/30/2020 | Dave Orth

Stecker Machine designs CNC fixtures following a process developed from decades of experience incorporating a critical attention to details. Our CNC fixture engineering process goes beyond designing with CAD tools like Solidworks, ProEngineer, or AutoCAD. Great CNC fixtures require engineering, science, art, and teamwork.

READ MORE