Stecker Machine Blog

CNC Robotics: Top 5 Tips for Using Machining Robotics in a CNC Machine Shop

08/17/2023 | Matt Oswald

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.


What Is the Most Powerful Tool in CNC Machine Shops?

08/02/2023 | Matt Oswald

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.


CNC Machine Shop Tools: 5 Tips for Managing CNC Cutting Tools

07/24/2023 | Dan Karbon

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.


Stecker Machine Company Celebrates 50 Years of CNC Precision Machining

07/07/2023 | Matt Oswald

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.


6 Ways CNC Machining Parts Can be Considered Complex

06/22/2023 | Jim Herr

Once you understand that CNC machining parts are repeatedly machined to extreme precision, you may assume that once a shop has capabilities, they can make any CNC machined parts. Not so!

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.


22 CNC Machining KPIs You Should Really Care About

06/08/2023 | Brad Kurtzweil

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.


A Step-by-Step Guide to the RFQ Process & Choosing the Right CNC Machine Shop

05/22/2023 | Brad Kurtzweil

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.


Quality Control For CNC Machining: What Is A QMS? Why Is It So Important?

04/26/2023 | Brian Theisen

We’ve said it before, and we’ll continue to say it: Quality is everything in CNC machining.

It’s the reason why manufacturers use CNC machining to produce precise parts. Of course, every CNC machine shop will say that they highly value quality and meet quality requirements. But, how do you know for sure?


CNC Engineering Manufacturability - Part Quality & Performance

04/12/2023 | Jason Schuh

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.


A Precision Part Starts and Ends With You | Part 2

03/29/2023 | Ken Jones

In part 1 of our series on cost-effective, on-time CNC precision machining we explored how to go from RFQ to a successful project.