Monthly Archives : August 2018


GD&T 101: Understanding Fundamentals of GD&T in a Machine Shop

In precision manufacturing, electrical specs are ideal for specifying electrical components appearing on a drawing. Mechanical components require unique spec system that are replicable.

Also, mechanical spec system should be clear, precise and not excessively restrictive. Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) is the new phase of precise designs.

What is GD&T?

Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) is the primary international language that aims to offer clarity in most drawing interpretations and specifications. The ideal use of GD&T in CNC manufacturing helps in the elimination of vague drawings. Vague drawings give room for guesswork, controversy, and assumptions in manufacturing and inspection processes.

GD&T is a language of standards and symbols wholly designed and used by top CNC machinist, engineers, and manufacturers worldwide. They use this language to describe products and facilitate communication between entities working together to create products.

Through advanced knowledge on the best practices to create a well-structured GD&T, you can improve communication with your custom machine shop Denver. As a result, everyone in the workplace speaks the same language.

Why is GD&T Important?

GD&T may seem like a complex language. It requires correct interpretation and specification for efficient and effective communication. Improper implementation can cost your company a lot of money. Nonetheless, excellent training offers your employees sufficient comprehension of GD&T and its proper application on a particular job.

Constant measurement and effective communication across engineering processes and disciplines are vital for production of superior products. GD&T helps you achieve this goal. It’s primarily designed to address major challenges facing companies and organizations when describing product geometry.

GD&T symbol language allows for accurate communication of all geometry needs for any related components and assemblies. Designers, engineers, and manufacturers use the ‘language’ to understand detailed engineering drawings in commercial design, automotive, manufacturing, electronics, and aerospace industries.

Moreover, it assists in controlling and specifying forms, location, and orientation of the features. GD& T also characterizes machine shop components and manufactured parts.

GD&T symbols for every dimension on a manufactured part or component are defined in connection to a datum. Datum is a theoretically perfect plane, point, or line on a manufactured component perceived to be the reference point for all dimensional measurements and tolerance calculations.

All datum(s) on every manufactured or designed component is considered as the ‘zero point.’ Calculations get built from the reference point to every other dimension to guarantee consistency of particular parts. Therefore, manufacturing, design, and quality engineers get great manufacturing and measurement clarity. Furthermore, incorporation of a datum dramatically simplifies all specification and design processes.

ISO-certified GD&T languages have successfully replaced complex and long industrial descriptions with simple symbols. The symbols are clearly and unanimously understood by all precision manufacturing personnel required to read and interpret any engineering drawing.

Benefits of GD&T

GD&T offers many benefits to OEM manufacturers. The entire design philosophy implemented in GD&T is similar to that extensively featured in functional dimensioning. Every part gets defined based on how it functions in the end product.

The designer meticulously bases the required tolerance on part function instead of copying it from a previous drawing. This strategy enables the use of maximum tolerance in the production of parts.

When applied appropriately, functional dimensioning, often multiplies the total tolerance on most component dimensions twice or thrice. Dimensioning significantly lessens the overall manufacturing costs.

With the incorporation of accurate coordinate dimensioning, all tolerance zones are not associated or connected to any functional requirements. In case a designer assigns tight tolerances, problems can occur since they are not in any way resolute in the determination of a beneficial and functional tolerance.

So, why use GD& T?

Round tolerance zones

Round tolerance areas permit roughly 57% supplementary tolerance compared to square zones which result in additional functional parts. The manufacturing process gets enhanced in capabilities when more tolerance on the parts. This helps in significant reduction of manufacturing costs.

Bonus Tolerance

Under certain conditions, GD&T creates room for a bonus tolerance in addition to round tolerance. The bonus comes from the use of Maximum Material Condition (MMC) modifier. The MMC modifier increases tolerance in precision manufacturing.

Bonus tolerance is a practical example of a win-win situation for the involved OEM since manufacturing can get further tolerance when holes are bigger than their smallest functional size. On the other hand, clients get a guarantee parts will assemble without a hitch.

Tolerance zone in coordinate tolerancing is always constant with size irrespective of hole conditions. Several functional parts can be scrapped to create a more rigorous condition for CNC manufacturing. Bonus tolerance allows for additional tolerance in production which assists in lowering operational costs.

Reduces Assembly Problems

GD&T inspection process ensures that all parts assemble correctly. Assembly procedures don’t necessarily require a CNC machinist on the assembly line using a hammer and a two-by-four.

Moreover, GD&T inspection process ensures that OEMs can obtain multiple sources or use competitive souring for the same part. The reduction of assembly problems consequently increases your company’s profitability.

Clear Communications for Inspection

GD&T’s datum system enhances clear communications of a single set up feature for inspection. The assessment equipment mainly stimulates datums. The symbol that is universally used in the specification of any datum denotes the part surfaces that meticulously touch the gaging apparatus during inspection.

All datum features get chosen based on part function and assembly requirements. They are in most cases the features that comprehensively mount and precisely locate parts in its specific assembly. The datum(s) reference letters get specified within the statistical and geometric controls. They also symbolize the series in which specific part surfaces majorly contact the gaging equipment.

GD&T supports SPC use

GD&T datum system offers repeatable part dimensions essential for designing a reliable SPC chart. SPC data might comprise of assumptions with implementation of coordinate tolerancing which diminishes the accurateness of data obtained. Profile control use is an ideal example of how GD&T supports SPC.

Profile control helps in the establishment of a mathematically distinct tolerance zone. Moreover, it relates extensively the obtained measurement to datums. Precise tolerance zone description does not exist whenever coordinate tolerancing is used.

Profile control together with datum system enhances the accuracy of the obtained SPC data. Therefore, no unnecessary changes are made in the Original Equipment Manufacturer and Denver Manufacturing processes. It saves time and money for the company.

For original equipment manufacturers to realize the benefits of GD&T, correct utilization is key. When used incorrectly, it can result in costly errors. For example, if a manufacturer uses erroneous drawings to choose machines to use and production rates, it results it incorrect cost estimates. In the long run, manufacturers end up using wrong equipment and producing substandard products. Solution?

Customers want to work with companies who have successfully used this incredible technology. Call or visit Tag Team Manufacturing to speak with our experts.

raw material- aluminum

What factors impact the cost of raw material pricing in 2018

Raw material prices are often a hot yet challenging topic for any machine shop in the manufacturing field. Chinese factory closures and the rapidly rising cost of raw materials in the manufacturing industries has proven to be a challenging combination for both producers, suppliers, and consumers.

On a broad level, there are two prime drivers of raw material costs.  One is supplied and demand tightness, like most items, the law of demand and supply governs and controls the prices of raw material. When the supply and demand for a specific raw material gets tight, the costs of raw material significantly increase.

The other contributing factor to the rise of raw materials is the primary feedstock. The primary feedstock for most raw material manufacturing companies is natural gas, oil or metal. Although many CNC manufacturing companies apply the lean principles, raw material prices still pose a challenge especially for Denver manufacturing industries. Apart from primary feedstock and supply tightness, there are other small factors which massively contribute to the cost of raw material pricing.

Cost of labor

The cost of labor is another critical factor. Work is crucial as it influences the actual production rate. With the expansions of free trade agreements and the urgency of supply chain agility, labor cost is a factor to consider in determining your level of production.  Free trade agreements have allowed for massive savings especially when you meet certain local sourcing minimums. Sometimes finding enough domestic labor to qualify for productivity is the hardest part of achieving this savings, making the prices of material go high.

Additionally, chasing low labor impacts the cost of production when it comes to consumer preferences, supply of raw materials and other considerations such as taxes and import and export duties. A shift in the workforce means a shift in raw material pricing.

When Labor Unions strike, a lot of time is wasted and energy lost, less production and transportation significantly affect the pricing of raw materials. Agreements reached by these unions such as salary increment, benefits, and allowances typically affect the pricing. Labor is thus a backbone of any thriving manufacturing company.

 The dollar

A vast majority of raw materials use the dollar as their pricing mechanism for global trade since the US is regarded as the most stable economy worldwide. When the dollar rises, it means that most materials will become more expensive in other currencies.

There is always an inverse relationship between commodity prices and the value of the dollar. Since the dollar strengthened in 2014 to 2016, many commodities have become very expensive, and since then this trend has been witnessed up to now. This is because the dollar tends to be the most stable foreign exchange currency.

When it comes to international trade for raw materials, the dollar seems to be the ideal means of exchange. Another reason for the enormous influence of the dollar is that most raw materials such as oil and gas trade all over the world.

Climate change

Raw materials are needed every day in the daily activities of a factory or industry to push production. Even with the current technology today a lot of raw materials cannot be recycled or reused. This has a tremendous fundamental effect on the availability of raw materials.  However, climate change influences the ease of transportation of these materials to the required destination.  Natural disasters such as the Hurricane Harvey, floods and snow significantly affect transport.

When a place is affected by climate, it is difficult to get materials to their required destination and thus the little that is there means increasing the prices. It is often believed where there is lack of enough supply; the prices automatically go high.

Manufacturing is made difficult in this situation, and the cost of productivity goes high which eventually leads to increased pricing of raw materials. Climate greatly affects the efficiency of labor.

Raw materials prices back in 2017

Raw materials have seen severe price inflation in 2017 due to a variety of factors such as the strong number of markets. The overall price increased between 1 to 4 percent in sales. This significant increase was channeled by competition, high demand and various new markets in the manufacturing industries. As witnessed in this first half of the year, the prices are expected to go higher or remain constant.


Every manufacturing industry requires efficient as well as cheap means of transport for both raw materials from the from the factory to the manufacturing industry and finished products from the original equipment manufacturer to the market.

The location of the machine shop should be strategic to ease transportation and for cheaper and adequate transport facilities at a more reasonable rate. If the industry is located at a place where transport would be difficult, the only alternative would be to hike the prices of the raw materials to balance the two rates.

The location of the manufacturing industry.

The location of the industry plays a significant role in the prices of raw materials. If the factory is located at a place where the supply of power, transport, and cost of labor is either unavailable or too expensive, the prices of raw materials in that particular area would most likely be high. Every industry requires fuel to run the machines. Alternative means of power such as hydroelectric, geothermal or coal may significantly affect the prices of raw material. Additionally, the closer you are to the market the easier it is to transport and yield any reasonable profit.

Supply and demand

The demand and supply are the key top drivers when discussing the cost of raw materials.  It is a fundamental economic principle–the more an item is on demanded in any market, the costlier it becomes. If you are producing a product that requires diamond, your product will most likely cost less to manufacture. However, if many people are looking for the diamond, then the material will cost you a dime.

Unpredictable market

The world is a complicated place where things can change any time. Economic or political instability cause speculations which widely affects currency evaluation or other countries failure to contribute or invest in that particular country. Such actions can affect the pricing of raw materials, labor, and taxes.