It can still be tricky to find a reputable firm that has the combination of skills, knowledge, and equipment for your needs. The main things to look for in a precision machining company are:
- demonstration that its knowledge is up to date
- proven precision machining skills
- design ability, and
- the ability to communicate clearly.
Any of these abilities is great, but a combination of all 4 will make it more likely that you find a reputable precision machining company.
A Precision Machining Company Should Have:
1. Up-To-Date – Knowledge and Tools
We recommend that you work with a firm that is always looking for new and improved ways of satisfying the needs of its customers. How a precision machining company achieves this should be two-fold. It should have the know-how required to perform any precision machining task, and it should also have access to the equipment required to get the job done.
Cutting-edge techniques and refined knowledge are keys to achieving great machining results every time. Look for a company that is unafraid to adopt new methods and techniques. Technology continues to advance and ways of doing things change alongside them. It’s imperative for a precision machining company to stay up to date and to upgrade its equipment to keep apace with the industry. Improved equipment can lead to cost savings, because they will help to get things done more quickly, and potentially with less waste. Better speed and efficiency is good for business and for customers.
2. Proven Skills
When looking for a precision machining company to take care of your needs, consider whether or not it has a track record of having handled products or situations like those of your business. Check out testimonials and get on social media to find out the opinions of people who have used the business.
As well as providing plenty of testimonials from happy clients, your firm should also provide clear details of what processes it can perform and when. Look for a firm that is clear about which materials it is able to work with and to what extent. And look out for details of how the business’ staff has been trained, in what machinery, and the advantages and disadvantages of different methods.
With access to clear details regarding the machinery the firm uses, what techniques are implemented, if they offer custom machining services, and achievable tolerances and outputs, you can get a clear idea of what they can achieve. The more comprehensive your machine precision cutting, the better you’ll have an idea of timelines involved. You will also be able to make informed decisions.
3. Design Skill
If you know what you need, but you don’t currently have the specifications, a staff member with design skills may be able to help. Those with design skills within your firm will be able to bring ideas to life, tweak existing designs, or simply help you plan and complete your project by bringing strong design skills to the table.
It’s also worth noting that having people with strong design skills makes it more likely that a firm will spot potentially costly errors before manufacture. And they can make minor design changes quickly.
4. Clear Communication
A precision machining company should not only be precise in its actions but also in its communication. Clear communication is key to getting jobs done quickly and accurately, which means less ambiguity and less risk of errors. Misinterpretation of specifications can be costly and time-consuming. They are both avoidable with better communication, which involves active listening, as well as the ability to ask questions and understand the needs of the customer.
When a business asks you questions, it suggests the firm’s dedication to getting the job right for you, understanding the importance of accuracy, will be unafraid to ask questions. This will ensure that you get exactly what you need and what you expect, or better. The best precision machining company will be the one that listens carefully to your needs and will be willing to accommodate custom and demanding specifications.
5. Previous Work Examples
Claiming you can make an item isn’t the same as actually being able to make it. Any reputable machine shop proud of its work quality should be able to show you parts and prototypes they have manufactured before in their shop. Good work samples of their precision metal machining give you confidence that the shop can handle skilled work.
These work examples should give you a sense of how closely the shop pays attention to detail and the general quality of their work. If possible, ask to see industry-specific examples to ensure they have the know-how and skill to do the work you need. Ideally, work samples should give you a look at different materials and types of projects.
Be sure to ask what the specs of the job were to compare how well they did in meeting those and any issues that they had in producing the run. If they do custom precision metal machining, you want to be confident they execute well with the custom part of the job.
6. Quality Control Measures
When you’re talking about high precision metal machining, quality control is a critical part of precision. Ask if the shop outsources any of the work and how they maintain quality control when any part of the work leaves the shop.
While certifications aren’t a guarantee, ISO 9001 and AS9100 standards do give you confidence that the shop you’re working with has a quality control system in place. A certified shop should be able to show you written procedures and policies related to quality control.
Specifically, ask about tolerance needs and how the company checks the accuracy of the work. Ask how often they calibrate their equipment and what tool they use to check it. For example, if they are precision machining sheet metal for you, how are they checking the precision of their laser cutters?
7. Project Flexibility
You want your machine shop to be very good at turning out common parts. But you also want them to be flexible enough to handle special orders they might have never made before. Precision metal cutting machines are becoming more flexible all the time as they improve scalability.
The shop you choose doesn’t need to have every machine out there. However, you do want to make sure they have what they need to get your jobs done so you don’t have to move from shop to shop for different projects. For any metal works, precision machine variety will increase flexibility in taking on specific jobs.
Flexibility is also important to ensure they can handle small prototype projects as well as large production runs once the prototype is approved. They also need to be able to work with a variety of materials you might need for your jobs. If the shop you choose can do manual milling, that also increases their flexibility with repairs in addition to custom work.
Get In Touch
When you get in touch with us, you will also discover that our staff is friendly, courteous, and eager to help. Our teams’ enthusiasm will motivate you to do greater things and we’ll be right there to help. Staff that is happy to communicate can make a project go more easily so it’s a trait worth prioritizing.
Before partnering with a precision machining company, make sure that you will be able to talk to trained, seasoned experts on the phone. There’s nothing like explaining an issue you are having to a pro who will be able to help you make decisions and get your job done correctly first time.
These four qualities will help you narrow down your choice of precision machining companies that offer you the best service for your money. For more advice, information, or to get started with precision machining, contact us today.