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.

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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
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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
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Awareness and Action: Promoting a Positive Work Environment

11/29/2021 | Matt Oswald

Happiness makes people about 12% more productive at work, according to the latest research from the University of Warwick. No surprise, right? Promoting a positive culture is crucial in retaining employees.

But, did you know that businesses with highly engaged employees enjoy 100% more job applications, according to research published in the Harvard Business Review? So, word gets around about a company’s solid culture and attracts great employees.

What is surprising is how some organizations fail at establishing, maintaining, and promoting a positive work environment. I’m happy to share what we’ve discovered at Stecker Machine, a high-end CNC machine shop that excels in teamwork, clear communication, and quality workmanship.

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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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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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