Stecker Machine Blog

5 Rules for Successful Manufacturing Design Changes

11/12/2019 | Jason Schuh

“Design changes.” Those two simple words can cause even the most experienced parts manufacturer to panic.

After all, design changes are notorious for adding time, headaches, and unplanned dollars to a project. They’ve also been known to sabotage solid business relationships. Yet, they’re inevitable in manufacturing; as much as we try, they come with the territory.


3 Tips to Advance Your Manufacturing Career Path

10/30/2019 | Tom Sprang

If you’re reading this, then something about this article’s title grabbed you. You’re likely involved or greatly interested in a manufacturing career. You know today’s manufacturing facilities are safer, cleaner, and more worker-friendly than ever. And you definitely like that manufacturing pays better than many other jobs.

So, how can you advance your manufacturing career path? Here are three solid tips:


6 Questions to Find a Great CNC Machining Partner

10/16/2019 | Scott Waak

You’re not asking for much, are you — just reliable parts and products that ultimately make customers happy. Simple!

What’s not so simple is finding the right CNC machine shop. The perfect partner that understands your needs, has the right capabilities and proper certifications, goes the extra mile when you need it most, and keeps its pencils sharp so prices remain consistently competitive.

Let’s explore what an ideal CNC machine manufacturing company looks (and acts) like. The easiest way is to explore the six most important questions you should be asking when evaluating a potential partner. Ready?


6 Ways a Part Can be Considered Complex

10/03/2019 | Jim Herr

Some machine shops claim to manufacture “complex” parts, which surely sounds impressive. Yet, what really is a complex part and what skills does a shop need to work on them? Here are 6 different conditions that could cause a part to be classified as complex. Examples and photos are from actual Stecker Machine Company projects.


Day in the Life: What Does a CNC Operator Do?

09/24/2019 | Rob Schmitt

The metalworking industry needs more qualified CNC operators. This rewarding career requires a broad skill set —math, mechanical design, interpreting technical drawings and programs, eye for detail — to properly transform a metal casting into a valuable working machined part. It’s a unique fusion of digital and physical, brains and hands-on work. Before taking a look at a typical fast-paced day, let’s explore what a CNC machine actually is.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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.