Stecker Machine Blog

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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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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How do Successful CNC Machine Shops Maximize Cut Tools and Minimize Spend?

12/15/2020 | Dave Rupp

Top performing CNC Tool Cribs maximize cut tooling effectiveness while minimizing spending on inventory and overhead. There is a fine line to walk between having the right cut tools ready at all times to keep CNC spindles turning and minimizing spending. 

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How Do Engineering Experts Design CNC Fixtures?

11/30/2020 | Dave Orth

Stecker Machine designs CNC fixtures following a process developed from decades of experience incorporating a critical attention to details. Our CNC fixture engineering process goes beyond designing with CAD tools like Solidworks, ProEngineer, or AutoCAD. Great CNC fixtures require engineering, science, art, and teamwork.

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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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4 Takeaways from ISO/IATF Audit

09/14/2020 | Brian Theisen

Product quality can make or break a company. Stecker Machine's growth is largely attributed to our customer focus and commitment to quality. We explore four key takeaways from our recent ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 Quality Surveillance Audit. 

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Engineering CNC Machining for Success

08/05/2020 | Greg Herr

A strong engineering team ensures CNC machining projects get done right the first time, every time. Our thorough engineering not only impresses customers but leads to parts that meet or exceed specifications consistently.

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Quality Assurance of Several Concurrent Projects

07/01/2020 | Brian Theisen

Quality stems from design, processes and culture. It can't be "tested in" to a product or process. The quality assurance (QA) team leads the charge to ensure design, manufacturing process, and culture is capable and the product is reproducible. The new part production approval process (PPAP) requires several steps and lots of effort from the QA team. Running several concurrent new projects compounds this effort and shows the teams true capability. 

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