When it comes to metal fabrication services in the aerospace industry, you need to be aware of what to look for in a professional CNC laser cutting service. That’s because the price tag can vary so much from one company to another, despite them all being billed as providing the same thing.
The truth is, there are significant differences between companies offering quality metal fabrication services and it helps enormously if you know what to look for. That way, you can ensure that your business hires a service provider who will deliver exactly what you need and no less; someone who is committed to excellence in CNC laser cutting and has extensive experience of working with companies like yours.
Types of milling services and their differences
Let’s start by taking a look at some of the different types of CNC laser cutting services available. There are two main types and these include:
Vertical Mill: A milling tool that moves in a vertical direction only and is often used to cut bars, rods and angles.
Horizontal Mill: A milling tool that moves in a horizontal direction only and is used to cut sheet metal discs, rings, or other shapes.
You should be aware that companies offering these services might use the term ‘milling’ to describe both types of work. This can cause some confusion when you’re shopping around for CNC laser cutting services. For that reason, it helps to ask the company if they deliver both types of service before you give them your business.
Vertical and horizontal CNC laser cutting services are not the only options available though. There are also ‘deep’ vertical milling services that involve moving the tool in a three-dimensional path through the metal block.
What does this high standard of performance entail?
Well, it ranges from their customer care right through to the quality of their equipment and the caliber of their staff. Naturally, the better these areas are, the more desirable it is for your business. So let’s discuss them in a little more detail:
To begin with, you should look for a company that has close ties with its existing customers and promises outstanding levels of customer care. This can be hard to find because metal fabrication services providers will join together to sign a non-disclosure agreement that prevents them from revealing the elements of their service. In fact, they often use this as a sales technique by telling customers that it’s impossible for anyone else but them to do what you want – all in a bid to stop you from going elsewhere.
However, the truth of the matter is that their non-disclosure agreement prevents them from telling you anything at all. So how can they give you a good sales pitch if they don’t know what their customers need? It doesn’t make sense and it’s one of the reasons why it’s almost always better to find a company that has no ties with its existing customers.
State of the art equipment
When you are looking for metal fabrication services, it’s inevitable that you will come across companies with outdated equipment. Even though their materials are cutting edge, they’re still using 18th-century technology when it comes to how they cut them!
So what does this mean for your business? It means that you will have to pay over the odds to get exactly the same results. The reason is because old equipment often has problems with accuracy, which can ultimately reduce the tolerance of your parts and increase production costs.
Certifications and approvals
Prior to signing a contract with a company offering CNC laser cutting services, you should confirm that they have the necessary certifications and approvals. These include:
- ISO 9001:2008 for quality management systems and sustainable operations;
- Nadcap for certified equipment and approved processes;
If a company doesn’t have the right certifications and approvals, it’s best to walk away because you can be sure that they don’t offer the highest levels of service.
The caliber of workers always has an impact on how quickly work gets done. That’s why it makes sense to pick metal fabrication services providers with high numbers of skilled workers.
You see, highly skilled employees are able to work faster and more accurately than those who are not very experienced. What’s more, they’re also likely to be knowledgeable about your industry; which is invaluable for ensuring that the end result reflects the way you want it to.
So what can you do if a company tells you that they have no skilled workers? Well, the answer is simple – go to another company. They should be able to provide both highly skilled and fully trained staff because it’s part of their commitment to providing top quality metal fabrication services.
Last but not least, check out their accuracy levels.! When we talk about accuracy, we’re referring to the tolerance of your finished parts and not the draft angles required for bending metal. In general, a company with high accuracy levels is able to create complex shapes without having any problems. This means that they can meet your requirements so you get what you wanted from the start. Accurate laser cutting is especially important with high-end clients who require tight tolerances in their parts.
Why do we need this standard of service?
The simple reason is because CNC laser cutting services are not one size fits all. You see, different industries have different needs and it’s important that the people you choose understand this.
For example, aerospace companies need to adhere to very specific standards due to the safety-critical nature of their work. If you fail to meet these standards, you could be putting lives at risk – which can have a catastrophic effect on your company’s profits.
In fact, the truth is that many companies providing CNC laser cutting services don’t understand exactly what they need to do in order to meet these standards. Worse still, others will claim that they do just so they can secure your business – even though they’re not qualified to perform it.
If you don’t want to take the risk of not getting what you need from a company, it’s advisable to check with Nadcap first. They have a directory of companies that are qualified and experienced in working for aerospace industry customers – so they’ll be able to provide services that meet your exact requirements.
In general, metal fabrication is something that should be done by skilled professionals. However, it’s clear that not everyone offering these services is qualified to meet your needs. That’s why you need to make sure you do your research before making a decision on who to use. Contact us today to discuss CNC laser cutting services at NAMF that can meet and exceed your exact needs and expectations.