Stecker Machine Blog

Tips for Using Industrial Robotics in a CNC Machine Shop

08/24/2021 | Matt Oswald

At some point, we all need some help with the heavy lifting.

In the world of CNC machining, that can mean robots to lift, position, and pack metal castings, some weighing hundreds of pounds. It also means less physical and mental stress on employees, the most valued asset of any machine shop.

Working alongside a robot can improve operator productivity by taking on repetitive, physically demanding work. Smart manufacturers use robots to increase speed, enhance efficiency, and drive repeatability, which leads to better quality.

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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.

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Why Machine Shop Family Ownership Matters

10/28/2020 | Matt Oswald

Does "family ownership" really matter to the average worker? More specifically, does it matter in a machine shop environment? Yes, 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? Yes again, family businesses are the most trusted, according to an Edelman Trust Barometer survey. And, according to Family Business Magazine, 60% of customers said they prefer to buy from family businesses.

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Awareness and Action: Promoting a Positive Work Environment

03/18/2020 | Matt Oswald

You likely don’t need a Harvard Business Review article to tell you that a positive work environment is more productive

It’s no secret that a positive work culture is crucial in retaining employees, but did you know that businesses with highly engaged employees enjoy 100% more job applications (according to Queen’s University and Gallup, Inc.)? So, word gets around about a company’s solid culture and attracts great employees, too.

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CNC Machining Centers Are Key to Production Efficiency

03/04/2020 | Matt Oswald

Efficiency is king in production manufacturing. CNC machines are a major tool for automating production of mechanical parts to increase throughput with consistent quality. CNC machine centers play a critical role in machine shop’s efficiency. 

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Production Management Checklist: 5 Ways to Maximize Machine Shop Inventory

01/22/2020 | Matt Oswald

What fuels the nightmares of machine shop production managers?

Machine downtime.

Efficiency is always the goal, so when machine shop equipment experiences prolonged periods of downtime, it can test the sanity of even the most professional and experienced shop manager.

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Company Culture: 4 Ways to Build and Maintain a Great One in 2020

12/18/2019 | Matt Oswald

Music throughout the shop.

After-hours social outings.

Holiday potlucks and company parties.

Is this what a great company culture looks like? True company culture actually goes deeper than that. Or at least it should.

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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.

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