Stecker Machine Blog

What is G-Code? What is M-Code? What Do They Mean in CNC Machining?

07/13/2021 | Dan Karbon and Tom Herr

As its name clearly states, CNC (computer numerical control) is automated control of machining tools using a computer. Yet, that doesn’t just happen; it requires the right coded programmed instruction.

So, what is G-code? What is M-code? And how do G-code and M-code programming actually work? This article explains each one, but first let’s touch on what programming actually is.

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The Importance of Managing Machine Shop Tools: Tips from a High-End CNC Machine Shop

06/08/2021 | Dan Karbon

The title of this article grabbed your eye for a reason.

If machine shop tools are vital to your success, this article complements two others that may interest you. They covered choosing the right CNC machine tools for complex parts and maximizing cut tools and minimizing tool crib spending

While a future blog will likely cover specific grades and materials used to make CNC machine shop tools — carbon steel, high-speed steel, etc. — today, we’re sharing the skills needed to manage a shop full of tools.

Tool availability drives scheduling, which directly impacts the bottom line. What good is it to win a project, secure the right operators, receive the castings, and prepare a project setup cart with an incomplete set of tools needed to finish that job?

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What is CNC Programming? How are CNC Machines Programmed to Accurately Machine Complex Parts?

05/25/2021 | Dan Karbon and Tom Herr

There’s no arguing: CNC machines are incredibly accurate. Their ability to precision cut ¼ the width of a human hair (0.001”), makes them essential in any modern machine shop.

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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.)

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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. 

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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.

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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 …

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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!

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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

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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.

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