Each CNC machine shop must have similar capabilities to other shops, right? Not at all! They do vary in their skill levels and abilities to take on complex parts. That extreme precision demands the accuracy of CNC machine tools, along with experienced operators.
Every CNC machine shop is different. No surprise, right? Yet, what telltale signs distinguish one from another? Here’s a pro tip …
Study how they approach new work — from acquiring it to delivering it — throughout the organization.
Some CNC machine shops are content with machining what they know and handling familiar project types and quantities. Their work is solid, and they’ve built a fine, safe business.
At some point, we all need some help with the heavy lifting.
For CNC machine shops, 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. CNC robotics increase speed, enhance efficiency, and drive repeatability, which leads to better quality.
The highly automated equipment and robots in a CNC machine shop are impressive, and often their “flash” initially attracts customers. It’s certainly understandable, but that initial attraction rarely converts one-time customers into long-term partners.
Instead, it’s the skilled CNC machine operatorswho make the difference. The team takes your shop and customer relationships from good to great by dedicating their time and talents to meeting customers' needs and going above and beyond their expectations.
Most CNC machine shops have been here: You win a project. You staff the right CNC operators. You receive the castings. You prepare a project setup cart. And then … an incomplete set of tools stops you before you get started.
It’s a classic American tale of hard work and enduring success.
What started as a tool and die shop in a garage has evolved into a world-class CNC precision machining operation recognized globally for its excellence.
And this year, Stecker Machine Company celebrates 50 years in business.
To sound impressive, many CNC machine shops claim to manufacture “complex” parts, but that’s not always true. So, let’s discuss what a complex part really is and uncover the skills required by a shop to work on them. Here are six different conditions that could cause a part to be classified as “complex,” with photos from actual Stecker Machine projects.
In the world of CNC machining, precise measurements are what we do, often to .001”.
Yet, there’s another form of measuring going on, or at least there should be: measuring performance. Manufacturing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) help businesses evaluate performance in order to make strategic adjustments.
With so many possible KPIs to use, trying to fully understand them can leave your head spinning faster than a PCD insert in a 90° square shoulder face mill (a little CNC machining humor for you). So, this article is an attempt to simplify KPIs by providing an overview of them, not a deep dive.
Do you rely on the RFQ process to get accurate quotes from your CNC machining partners? This vital process not only results in a quote (as well as details into timelines, capabilities, machining techniques, external services, and more), it serves as a guide after the work has been awarded.
Designing a new part is one thing. Manufacturing it is a different story.
Talk with any customer of a CNC machine shop and you’ll likely hear an example of a part design being altered, refined, and/or improved thanks to CNC precision engineering. Of all the CNC engineering services provided by a shop, having an influence on the design itself may not be what you think of first.