Machining Is More Than Secondary for Laser Precision
August 02, 2017
Our ability to machine precise dimensions and features into parts has been a vital element of our success equation ever since we opened our doors for business. While our core of work has been built on being a full service sheet metal and plate fabricator, we can also pretty much machine anything that is capable on a 3-axis mill.
How did this capability come about? We have a requirement to build a broad range of custom fabrications in a wide assortment of shapes and sizes. Some of these work pieces have a requirement to be held to tighter tolerances than we can produce off our lasers or other manufacturing equipment. Rather than outsourcing any work we have with tighter tolerances or machined feature requirements, we opted to bring this work in-house as it allowed us greater flexibility, cost control, and widened the scope of our service offerings.
The Right Equipment for Each Job
If you walk through our plant, along with the lasers, press brakes, welding equipment, powder coating system and more, you will find our CNC machines: 4 Haas VF-3s, a Haas VF-6, a Haas VF-2 and a Haas HL-2 Lathe. With this mix of equipment, we have machining capabilities that range from the extremely simple to awesomely complex:
- Drilling and tapping
- Side milling
- Inner and outer contouring
- Counter boring
- Counter sinking
- Engraving part numbers
- Much more
What Machining Offers You
We utilize in-house CNC machining for a variety of reasons, but the main advantages are consistency, reliability and increased throughput. Reduced labor and overhead costs allow us to provide parts with machined features at a more competitive price than if they were outsourced. The operator downloads a predefined part program, begins the run and then has the ability to run multiple jobs, reducing redundant set up costs.
Our CNC machines allow us to hold extremely tight tolerances up to +/- 0.001”. To make sure the parts meet our customer’s specifications, our standard practice is to check the setup piece, middle piece, and last piece of each run. Tolerances are tested with a variety of measurement devices including micrometers, height gauges, indicators and CMMs (coordinate measuring machines).
The Advantages of Being a One-Stop Shop
The advantages of having machining capabilities in-house begin with cost. All requirements to produce a fabricated part are met at one location. It saves production lead time, labor costs and unnecessary outsourcing expenses. And…it’s just more convenient. Our Mastercam software also helps us cut cost from each job. A program that could take hours to do by hand can be done in ten minutes and deployed out to the machining centers. Once a program is written, they are saved and used for each subsequent job, for enhanced repeatability and consistency.
Finally, doing machining jobs in-house gives us much more control over the process. We have the right equipment. We know our operators are properly trained in print reading and programming. We know how high our standards are. If a job goes to a third party, this control can be lost.
By combining our machining know-how to our other metal working processes, significant cost savings can be gained without sacrificing your product specifications. Contact us to learn more on our machining capabilities.