Tag : cnc machine shop

CNC Machinist

What you can Expect from a Career in CNC Machining

At some point in his or her life, everyone has to make a decision as to what they want to be when they grow up. It is not uncommon to continue to ask oneself that question into adulthood. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a CNC machinist, we are here to lay it out for you.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly half a million CNC machinists working in the U.S. That number is expected to stay level through at least 2026. If you’re someone who likes to get your hands dirty, to really get in there and find practical solutions to problems that perplex others, a career as a CNC machinist may be precisely what you’re looking for. If you’d rather be working outside or in a custom machine shop setting than sitting behind a desk, read on. There are a number of things about CNC machining that are likely to appeal to you.

This list represents some of what you can expect to experience as a CNC machinist:

You can expect to learn on the job. Although some CNC machinists are trained at vocational schools, community colleges, technical colleges, or through an apprenticeship program, it is still common for companies to create their own training program for the CNC machinists who will be working for them. That’s because most corporations have a very specific manner of doing things, operational procedures that are not taught in other settings. If you’re someone who gets a thrill out of learning new things, the ability to learn on the job may be of benefit to you.

You can expect to be creative. Anyone who has ever worked in manufacturing, whether they were making baseball bats or secret parts for the Pentagon, knows that things can turn a little frantic when anything goes wrong. Every company is beholden to their customers and must follow strict guidelines and delivery dates. If a part is so much as a thousandth of a centimeter off, it can spell peril for the manufacturer. That’s where you come in. CNC machinists are commonly called upon to get to the root of a problem and come up with a creative way to solve it. If you’re a person who has always enjoyed puzzles, or someone who simply likes a good mystery, this job will offer you plenty of opportunities to think creatively.

You can expect to be part of a team. Teamwork is what it’s all about in this job. People count on you and you count on them to make the most of your workday. Whether operations are running smooth as silk or the sky is falling, and upper management is losing their collective minds, CNC machinists work as a team with every other employee in the company. As a CNC machinist, you can expect people to come to you on a regular basis to ask for your opinion and expertise. In turn, you can ask someone else for help when you need it. For some, it’s the camaraderie that makes the job so enjoyable.

You can expect to be know your value. What you do as a CNC machinist is so foundational to your company’s ability to operate that your absence would present a problem. At some point in their live, most people have had a job in which they felt invisible and unimportant. Nothing could be further from the truth for a CNC machinist. Without them, a business would have no way to control quality, and would be far less likely to come up with new innovations.

You can expect to channel your inner Nikola Tesla. As a CNC machinist, you will be part problem solver and part innovator. What commonly happens in the midst of a manufacturing snafu is that innovations are born that can prevent the problem from arising again. You would be the person expected to come up with innovations that work. Everyone has to start somewhere, but the more you innovate, the more confident you become. CNC machining is a job that allows you to try new things until you come across the one that works. And really, that’s how all great inventors got their start.

You can expect to change.  Not everyone is adaptable, not everyone can shift the way they operate. Because of the nature of their jobs, CNC machinists become supremely adaptable, able to veer from the task in front of them to another when it suddenly becomes a priority. If you aren’t especially adaptable going into the job, you can expect to learn the skill out of necessity.  Adaptability is a trait that carries over into every other area of your life and will stay with you into retirement. In an ever-changing world, the ability to adapt is priceless.

You can expect your skills to be sharpened. Just as a prize fighter become stronger through sparring, your work as a CNC machinist will hone your mental skills. Each day, you will learn something new. Each frustration (and there are frustrations) will bring with it a chance to problem solve. Every level of company hierarchy that you interact with will teach you more about how a corporation works. Through this one job, you will grow intellectually and socially. If, at some point, you find yourself moving to a new company, you will find that you can use what you learned through your first experience as a CNC machinist.

You can expect to be on the cutting edge of technology. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines are a blend of digital and physical technologies. In this field it is computers that provide instructions to tools of the trade, such as lathes. For example, it is a CNC machine that allows for the precise shaping of raw materials like plastics or metals. Computers are used in every step of CNC machining, and as a CNC machinist you are the person who is counted upon to understand what’s going on with each step and to troubleshoot in order to keep operations running smoothly. Your computer skills and the desire to learn more are essential for success.

You can expect every day to be different. There is no typical workday for a CNC machinist, primarily because it’s impossible to predict when troubleshooting will be needed or when engineering will change plans midstream. There is very little risk of boredom in this job, a benefit for anyone with a curious mind.

Each person on this planet has a different skill set and different goals that drive them. What most have in common is a desire to spend their workdays doing something that has purpose and offers a sense of fulfillment. If you find that CNC machining sounds like something that would fulfill you, why not take a deeper dive and learn more?

CNC machine at work

Challenges Manufacturers will face and how to overcome them in 2019

Manufacturers are constantly faced with a variety of challenges and staying competitive and profitable requires the ability to identify issues and enact effective resolutions that can adequately provide a remedy. One of the biggest challenges manufacturers will face in 2019 is creating new markets for custom manufacturing. Perhaps a company can identify a need for a particular product for an emerging market, but creating the avenue to successfully engage that need and fulfill the gap poses a definite challenge.

Identifying Emerging Market Potential

The ability to identify an emerging market and firmly secure a place for custom and precision manufacturing companies within that market is one of the keys to promoting growth and remaining competitive in an ever-changing business landscape. Each year, there are new products and services being developed in mass for the consumer marketplace. If a manufacturer can get a lead on identifying the next big market in which they can provide custom or precision manufacturing, they will have an advantage over the other competitors.

The most effective way to identify these new emerging markets is through research. Part of that research may also involve engagement with a variety of potential consumers across several demographics to establish viability. Having highly trained and insightful staff who can accurately gauge the interest in a particular emerging market and focusing in on specific details that involve providing necessary manufacturing processes will allow companies to partner with new and exciting businesses.

Show How Custom Manufacturing Can Replace Traditional Methods

An effective way to secure the confidence of new clients in emerging markets is to show them how manufacturers can improve on a product and make it more appealing and of a higher quality. Replacing traditional manufacturing that can’t offer the same benefits will allow those products to be more well rounded and versatile. Adding better, high quality 1 features and making more versatile products will benefit all parties. Here are some key points to address and focus in on when presenting an argument for selecting customer or precision manufacturing for new emerging markets.

  •  Value

One of the most important topics related to manufacturing is value. Manufacturers should focus on proving their clients with value they can’t find elsewhere. The argument for value can be presented by highlighting the benefits of using specially created custom parts that add to the function, durability, and quality of a consumer good.

  • Originality

The best way for a product to stand out from the crowd is by having the originality factor. Businesses which feature products that are unique in design and provide specific features that other products in a competing market can’t offer will allow them to create a niche for themselves and provide an extra foothold. Manufacturers can also present their argument for providing originality showing examples of custom machinery that they can provide to produce unique features for a product that make a company and their offerings unique within the market.

  •  Quality

Quality is always a factor when consumers make a purchase regardless of the specific product or market. When working to create a new market for precision and custom manufacturing, highlighting the quality factor they can provide is essential to partnering with new companies within an emerging  market. Pinpoint exactly how the manufacturer can provide a high level of quality that sets their brand apart and makes it an attractive option to consumers.

Utilize Tax Credits For Research Funding

As mentioned previously, one of the keys to creating new markets for custom and precision manufacturers is through research. These companies can actually receive tax credits by using R & D tax incentives. They were enacted in 1981, and were designed to assist companies that are producing new products or even improving on an older variety of product. Harnessing these tax credits will allocate additional funding for research and development to help create and establish new markets for the manufacturing companies. The following are examples of how these tax credits can be utilized for manufacturers to create new markets.

  • Research conducted at institutions such as colleges or other research organizations.
  • Expenses related to employees who play an integral part of the companies research and development.
  • Third parties who are hired to conduct research and research related tasks on behalf of a manufacturer.
  • Tangible supplies that are used to conduct research and development. This tax credit covers property and land improvements related to these processes as well.

In order for a company to qualify for this tax credit, it must fall within the guidelines presented by the IRC section 41, which defines the protocol. Essentially, these guidelines are used to demonstrate how a manufacturer is creating new or improved products. This tax credit can also apply to new software, inventions, or techniques that can be used within the consumer market. In the case of software, there are additional qualifying criteria which must be met to qualify. These tax credits can prove to be especially beneficial for research and development of a CNC Company and American manufacturing companies. These credits can dramatically reduce the cost of staying on top of development of new machinery and equipment necessary for working within new markets.

Companies producing machinery and precision manufacturing equipment must constantly evolve to remain a competitive entity within their market. This entails the use of a combination of research, development, technology, and creative marketing skills. Creating new markets to work within may be one of the toughest challenges these companies face in 2019, but with some insight and a solid strategy to appeal to those key individuals working to establish emerging markets, they can rise to the occasion and provide quality products and machinery these new companies need to provide products consumers want to purchase. For more information, visit the Tag Team Manufacturing website and browse the blog. Tag team is a CNC company and American manufacturing partner dedicated to providing clients with the parts they need for their businesses.

Continuous Improvement Always Get Better Speedometer 3d Illustration

Improving your Machine Shop

A machine shop can be compared to the parts that are manufactured on a daily basis, with many moving parts, all of which needs to work together in synchronized processes to achieve the maximum efficiency in a machine shop. It’s a delicate balance to keep the machines running at tiptop condition and all the employees working efficiently as well.

 

Keeping Your Processes Updated

 

Machine shops of all kinds need to be aware of current trends and standards in their industry to increase your efficiency in the CNC machine shop. The Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT is a relatively new process to help revolutionized the way that we look at different prototype designs. It also monitors the specific customer feedback to newer products and with the rise in mobile connectivity; it leads to more networking possibilities. It also has a high level of connectedness between all of the equipment and machines on the shop floor.

 

Employee Education

 

All employees in a machine shop should be properly educated on the OSHA requirements that need to be followed in order to reduce employee injuries that lead to downtime. The employees should be aware of the workplace hazards for their particular part in the machining industry process and how to operate all machines safely in the manufacturing shop that they use on a daily basis.

 

Quality Control

 

The last step in most manufacturing processes include quality control checks to make certain that all parts in a product are the correct size and items such as pumps operate correctly. If your employees are trained correctly to do their jobs, there will be little errors in the final product. However, if one employee makes a mistake more than once, you can have them re-trained so this doesn’t keep happening. Making another component or part to replace a defective one costs your machine shop extra materials, time and labor and can be very costly. On the other hand, the QC inspector may actually notice that a setting on the CNC machine needs attention by finding inaccuracies in the products made.

Examining the Workflow

 

The process of examining the workflow in your local machine shops can lead you to realize that it is not running as efficiently as it could be. You may be able to improve your daily operations significantly after an inspection by analyzing your shop processes. Lean manufacturing processes are the route that the product travels through a machine shop in the manufacturing stages. For example, if parts are produced in a CNC Machine Shop and the process starts at the front of the shop, then the part moves to the back of the shop for the next phase in the process, then time is being wasted by the two workstations not being next to each other in the shop. It may not seem like a lot of time to walk several hundred feet from one area to another–but it all adds to the inefficiency of the entire workload in your shop. The best idea is to figure the route that is most commonly used for the majority of materials you produce in Local Machine Shops and place the machines accordingly.

 

Collaborate with Full-Time Employees

 

It’s a great idea to talk to your employees with the most tenure that are full-time employees. These people will have the best ideas to help you to decide about any changes that need to be made in your local machine shops. Most employees will just do their job and not create waves, but if you ask them for their opinion, you may find a goldmine of information to draw on and increase proficiency by leaps and bounds. This strategy also strengthens your bond with employees and encourages input from teammates in the future that will help the machine shop.

 

Keep Realistic Deadlines

 

When bidding on a job, make the deadlines for the products realistic. Employees don’t want to work so many hours that they have no family time to themselves and even if they are paid well for the overtime, they will eventually tire out from extra long hours on a daily basis, which leads to more workplace accidents. Planning the deadlines correctly will give you a bit of leeway in the deadline to account for machine downtime and employee sickness if they should arise.

 

Upgrade Machining Tools

 

For Quality Manufacturing you can upgrade your machining tools to take advantage of the newer processes of additive manufacturing and 3D printing to reduce the costs and time of having to do custom tooling by hand. These types of tools will cost you in the beginning, but your largest budget is usually the tooling needs and in the future when the tools are paid off, it will pay for itself in the lower amounts that you pay employees for labor and the time saved.

 

Routine Maintenance

 

Routine maintenance, preventative maintenance or PM, helps keep all of your equipment in functioning order in your Manufacturing Shop. It’s best to have all machines examined at the beginning of the workday to see if they are operating correctly and have employees fill out check lists. It’s much less expensive to have specific intervals for routine maintenance than to have a major setback when a machine goes down. Downtime is not only expensive because you need parts and labor right away, but the parts may not be available for a few days, which will delay you reaching your deadlines and it could cost you future jobs from a customer.

 

Machine Downtime is Your Enemy

 

Machine downtime is the leading cause of inefficiency in any machine shop. You can make some decisions if you keep good records on all the machines and tooling devices in your shop. Make a record of machine downtime on each machine and find the cause of it. Keep records on how many machines are down and for how long. If one goes down often and it has the scheduled maintenance that it requires to be up and running, you may think about a replacement instead. You can assign team members from a different area to do the inspections as they may notice something that isn’t right on a machine that took a long time to surface, whereas the member that uses the machine daily may not notice because the inefficiency occurred over quite a bit of time. Also, make note of the corrections that were made and if they were efficient or need to be changed.

 

Following these ideas can help your machine shop to operate efficiently by timely operations and lower labor costs, extend the life of your machining tools and help to keep great team members on board with you.

CNC machines at the plant for the production of valves. Factory workspace

10 Amazing Benefits of One-Stop Machine Shop Employment

Have you ever thought about pursuing a career in manufacturing? Whether you realize it or not, there are lots of hidden benefits for working in a CNC Shop. Like buried treasure in a forgotten hill, machinists and manufacturers have lots of career perks that most people overlook. Let’s review the Top Ten benefits of working at a machine shop that can do just about anything!

1. An Easy Educational Foundation

Many jobs in the medical, educational, and legal industries require at the minimum a bachelor’s degree, but you only need a degree from a technical college as a foundation for a great machining career. From there, you can enroll in a state sponsored apprenticeship at a machine shop. This combined time is about the same as getting a master’s degree, but it’s a lot more affordable and you’ll already be working by the time you become a journeyman and the apprenticeship ends.

2. Creative Problem Solving

Machines are anything but boring! Smart career machinists look at manufacturing problems that pop up as career opportunities. If you love to tinker with parts and find new creative ways to engineer things and solve intricate problems, a machine shop career is the perfect fit. You just might solve a production issue that other machinists won’t have to encounter again in the history of manufacturing!

3. Lasting Relationships

One of the most important things about a manufacturing career is building lasting relationships with your customers and those who work in your environment. With this in mind, you’ll enjoy new opportunities that open for you if you carefully cultivate these relationships.

4. Opportunities with Innovation

What an exciting time to be in the manufacturing industry! Each year, new technologies are implemented in manufacturing plants that produce more products faster and make workers safer. From tool and die to robotics, young career mechanics and machinists have awesome things to look forward to at a precision machine shop as products in many industries are becoming more automated for the Internet of Things, a not-so-distant future where many common household items like cars, appliances, and even clothing will be connected to the internet. And as a machinist, you know what that means – more things to fix!

At Tag Team, automation is coming alive through the CMM and Smartscope.

Meanwhile, Tag Team Manufacturing has innovation right inside the CNC Shop. The Smartscope and the Coordinate Measuring Machine offers remarkable precision and ensures quality for checking thousands of parts in a single day. This helps ensure that the high demands of delivery schedules are met for each client we work with. These innovations and more are what make the manufacturing industry all the more exciting!

5. A Steady Income

Dedicated machinists who have completed their apprenticeships and become nationally certified enjoy good and dependable wages. Depending on where they work, they may also have good health insurance and vacation time benefits too. These factors help secure a steady income and a good retirement down the road. For more information about Tag Team Manufacturing’s competitive benefits package, contact our CNC Shop for more information.

6. Consistent Work

Thanks to an increasing interest in American made products, demand for skilled manufacturing has gone up, and that’s not diminishing anytime soon. In fact, manufacturing companies are seeking to fill more job openings now than ever before. In some cases there are more spots to fill up than they can keep up with! That’s good news for the career machinist. Work certainly won’t run out for a very long time.

7. An Active Lifestyle

Can’t stand the thought of being chained to a desk job? Do you like to get your ‘hands dirty?’ Manufacturing just might be your thing. Work life on the plant floor and job sites connected to manufacturing is as different from an office like night is to day. It can be very physical and hands-on. You’re very much a part of the action, so to speak. There’s a lot of strategy and critical thinking involved. And machine grease. Lots and lots of machine grease.

8. Made in America – by You!

Whether it be a old school metal machine shop or a modern CNC shop, there’s something wonderful that happens inside the first time you make something all on your own with your hands. A spark ignites, and you feel satisfied that you made it. Right here in America. And your customer will use it to suit their purposes. No matter how long you’re in the business, that feeling never gets old. That alone is a great reason to start a manufacturing career!

9. Making a Difference

It’s one thing to do a job well, but it’s completely another matter when it’s a job that makes a difference in society. A one-stop metal machine shop can make parts for many industries, from hospital cardiac devices to aerospace plane parts to decorative ironwork that makes a homeowner feel good about where they live. A machinist’s valuable skills can do a lot of good in American society, in many ways. And that’s what makes this industry a rewarding experience.

10. Work with a ‘Smart Robot!’

Who says you can’t have fun with manufacturing? Meet Sawyer, the Smart Robot at Tag Team Manufacturing. With his state of the art technology, Sawyer directly communicates with the machine at the CNC shop to perform multiple tasks at metal fabrication, procedure testing, box assembly, and more with his robotic arm. With Sawyer’s help, Tag Team Manufacturing has multiplied annual productivity and workers are safer. Plus, it’s just plain fascinating to watch Sawyer work on his own!

As mentioned before, now is a great time to begin a rewarding career in manufacturing! Did you know that Tag Team Manufacturing is hiring? Check out our positions here to see if we’re a good fit together. You can also contact us directly. We’d love to get in touch with you!

If you’re a potential client interested in Tag Team’s manufacturing services, you can find out more of what we do here. Thanks for visiting! We look forward to meeting you soon.

engineer working on computer at the design of mechanical piece

Impact of MasterCam 2019 3D Changes in Manufacturing

CNC Software Inc. The developers of MasterCam recently announced the completion and release of the much-awaited MasterCam 2019. The leading CAM/CAD creator software is now available for purchase by OEM manufacturing companies. It has made several improvements from the job setup to the completion of work. Here are some of the recent improvements and inclusions and the impact of these 3D changes on manufacturing.

Validation

MasterCam 2019 now shows toolpaths denoted in different colors based on the type of move. It makes use of the Dynamic OptiRugh toolpath that enhances the advanced display properties. The Advanced Display has to be toggled on for the display. If not you will still see the cutting and rapid motion shown in different colors. These properties are not available in the wire toolpaths.

In addition, the software comes with improved machine simulation and toolpath. It has analyze enhancements which enables you to analyze the distance, toolpath and block drill support. The analyze distance updates distance as you move the cursor on the screen, and allows you to try different positions without restarting the function. As for the toolpath analyze function, you can control the tool and holder opacity. The MasterCam simulator along with Classic Backplot enables support for different drilling holes at the same time.

Moreover, the previous versions only allow you to create bounding boxes in the current construction plane. However, the new 2109 version allows you to have a different bounding box orientation without changing the construction plane.

These features enhance the programming assurance helping machine operators to make informed decisions before they start a job run. The ability to make changes to different aspects without restarting the process reduces the job setup period thereby speeding up processes. The enhancements also improve the accuracy of the setup thereby improving the quality of the output.

Easy setup and preparation

In addition to the toolpath support, the MasterCam 2019 has improved the efficiency of the job set up with the enhanced CAD model import support capabilities. This enables you to use CAD models created by other programs and processes on your software rather than create new models from scratch. Companies that outsource CAD modeling tasks will find the import feature helpful. In addition, the new software release has a better fixture setup and has expanded the support for model-based definition.

The new features allow for greater collaboration with other CAD software at the premise. It allows for teams to work on different projects in different software and bring the models together on the MasterCam for enhancement and job completion. The features also improve the setup lead time and shorten the time spent from set up to completion of a task.

Tool support

The latest release comes with an expanded digital tool library which offers a variety of tools to the CAD programmers to create more accurate models. The new release has one of the most advanced tool technologies allowing for more precision when working on different models.

In addition, the software comes with Accerelated Finishing TM that enhances the quality of the finished work through an increase in the number of tools that you can work with. The proprietary system includes taper and lens style tools, and oval form and barrel tools. Users are able to work with precision manufacturing on sloped surfaces while enhancing the finish of the surface and reducing cycle time. The new system outperforms the standard ball nose cutter methods in terms of quality of output and precision. Collaborate with a reputable Machine Shop Denver if you have problems configuring the tools to work with any tool in the library.

CNC programming made easy

CNC programming is one of the cost centers in many machining companies. However, the 2019 release of MasterCam lowers these costs while improving productivity through the use of automated 2D toolpaths that work through axis improvements. In addition, the software has improved chamfering which allows for the creation of symmetrical sloping as well as 45 and 90-degree angles with increased precision. When combined with multi-axis deburring capabilities, it results in smooth edges and easy removal of the sharp edges. Ensure that you work with a custom machine shop to ensure that you have the right parts for your machining equipment.

Moreover, the software has re-engineered holemaking by making the work of a CNC machinist simple and fast. It also has several technologies including the Equal Scallop toolpath to improve the surface quality during machining. In a bid to make machining even more versatile, the software supports Sandvik Coromant PrimeTurning™, bar feed, enhanced grooving along with most features of turning and mill-turn tasks. Finally, it also offers support for Lathe technology and Swiss machining technologies.

These technological enhancements have significantly lowered the cost of machining, reduced material wastage, enhanced efficient energy consumption and improved the surface appearance for finished goods. The support for popular technologies allows companies working with different machining technologies to tap into the MasterCam wealth of features for improved production.

Enhancing documentation and task management

Quality certification is at the heart of every OEM manufacturing company. With the certification comes lots of paperwork and rolls of documentation for both the technology and the processes used in the production. The new released makes documentation a lot easier with its various capabilities. These include the new toolpath visualization capabilities and availability of section view tools which enable you to provide accurate diagrams of various processes with ease.

Moreover, the software has made great improvements in the view and set up sheets enabling information for each level in the production process to be accessed with ease for reference and job planning. In addition, there several system level enhancements that are put in place to allow you to manage job flow with increased efficiency. You can also access several process documentation tools for report and quality control initiatives.

Shortened training and adoption periods

When new programming employees join the company, the process of training and orienting them to use the software products in the company may take a long time and high costs. The new release has made learning, use of the software for CAD and production processes a lot easier. It has a variety of features that include enhanced graphics for tool support, analytics, and documentation, rearranged setting systems that enable fast access to a variety of features, and detailed documentation that enable users to access as much information as possible in every stage of production. MasterCam has the most extensive collection training material among CNC manufacturing software making it easy to learn and perfect skills. The faster the new users get on board, the more advantageous it is to the company due to the increased workforce and ability to maintain consistent quality of output.

Buy your machining components from an Original Equipment Manufacturer and Denver Manufacturing reseller to work with your software for good results. A custom machine shop is able to provide quality parts for your specialized manufacturing equipment.

cnc machine in action

Machine Shop 101: Top 7 Secrets To Choose Right

Selecting a CNC Machine Shop can be a daunting task with many options available. Innovative strategies are imperative to guarantee selection of a competent shop providing cutting edge technology. Usually, an Original Equipment Manufacturer has experienced evaluators that determine whether a supplier has the minimum requirements.

The team features Quality, Sourcing, and Machining personnel. Each team member represents particular facets of the business. Some Precision Manufacturing set rigorous requirements when conducting supplier evaluation.

Why choose the best machine shop Denver suppliers? 

Choosing a machine shop supplier determines the success of your company in so many ways. Some of the benefits of choosing the ideal one include:

•    Lower costs
•    Reduced scrap levels
•    Great agility
•    Smoother workflow
•    Improved forecasting
•    Reduced setting times
•    Shortened manufacturing lead times

What is the secret?

1.    Samples of Previous Work

Any shop or manufacturer can claim to make the best equipment for every industry. However, custom machine shops that are proud of their products go a notch higher and allows you to inspect their prototypes. Also, they let customers and business owners see all parts and equipment manufactured in their shop.

When customers see examples of previous work, they get a visual representation of their attention to details and craftsmanship delivered to every piece. They get to verify the quality of the end product even when the supplier is working with huge runs of 2-dimensional parts under pressure of tight deadlines.

The ideal CNC machine shop should offer samples on demand and have a command in discussions about their industries of specialization. A knowledgeable and experienced machine shop gives customers great confidence in the quality of their machines. Previous samples confirm that a supplier has honed their skills working with a plethora of materials commonly used in a particular industry.

Don’t you think high end machine shops should be able to deliver precise cuts needed to fit into customer’s specifications?

2.    Enables Project Flexibility

As you choose a custom machine shop that is conversant with crafting ideal parts for your industry, also focus on how flexible they are with particular jobs. The search for a perfect choice should not make you jump from one shop to another. Sometimes, in-house limitations relating to the types of equipment their CNC machinist can work with on their availability and your project.

The best Denver Manufacturing machine shop has in-house skilled machinists, equipment, and necessary experience to get most projects completed as quickly as possible without undermining quality. Ideal manufacturers should also be flexible in offering different size runs ranging from small prototype machining to big scale productions using assortment of materials.

3.    Incessant Improvement

Leading Custom Machine Shops always pay great attention to continuous improvement. Progressive improvements of materials, parts, and equipment produced increases value offered to customers. Some strategies used to measure improvement process include Lean, Six Sigma, Kaizen, and other techniques. Evidence of such quality improvement measuring processes ought to be readily available to customers with proven results.

4.    Offers Excellent Communication Methods

Communicating specifications for prototypes, materials, and parts in any precision machine shop should always be continuous. Alterations can arise at any time. Whenever communication between machine shops and manufactures goes limbo, doubts kick in. Dissatisfaction extends to potential clients through reviews and recommendations.

A quality machine shop focuses on these four customer communication aspects:

•    Allows customers to use their preferred communication channel that suits their operation.
•    Takes time to explain technical capabilities of various machine parts to clients.
•    Offers a contact person who is readily available to answer questions and implement alterations quickly to minimize material waste and time loss.
•    Asks relevant questions concerning customer’s project and how to enhance their job to get value for money and improve their experience.

5.    Implements Quality Control Measures

Quality is paramount for every customer irrespective of parts or equipment ordered. Therefore, every Precision Manufacturing company should create control measures that eliminate production errors in all steps of a manufacturing process. If a shop lacks documented quality control measures, it’s advisable to seek services elsewhere.

A professional Denver Manufacturing shop will be ready to talk about quality certifications such as IS0 9001 and AS9100 standards. They have extensive documentation about the equipment used to determine specification accuracy, for example, coordinate measuring machines. They elaborate what control standards are set for every part, machine, and equipment whenever rejection rate starts to rise.

The best Custom Machine Shop informs their customers about their failure rates and measures taken to reduce this rate to manageable levels.

6.    Equipment and Technology Advances Investment

A CNC shop is just as good as their machinists, staff and equipment produced. It is advisable to research on the types of software and equipment currently used to make the required prototypes and parts. Moreover, ask the shop management about other materials and equipment available in their shop.

Research on all equipment used in the production run phase, for instance, CNC Machining, Wire EDM, and Manual Machining. That information is essential since some stages in the manufacturing process may require hands-on approach for tooling prototypes. The shop should be well equipped with various software capabilities and can modify model designs upon request.

Additionally, CNC Machinists should be well qualified to handle onsite equipment and software efficiently. Their extensive knowledge of all equipment necessary for the production process and how well they use quality measuring equipment should be certified at proficient levels. Therefore, technicians should never hamper any of your bottom lines.

7.    Interact with Previous Customers

After reviewing an Original Equipment Manufacturer capabilities, communicate with previous customers. It is advisable to check reviews given by previous customers online about the shop. Questions that you may ask previous customers include:

•    What customer service got provided?
•    Did the machine shop meet expectations and how did they enhance customer experiences?
•    How long did the customers work with the machine shop?
•    Were there any defects or problems with deadlines and how did the machine shop resolved these issues?
•    Did the machine shop offer extensive information about their capabilities?
•    How were communication and modification requests handled in cases where changes were necessary?

Speaking to previous customers enables you to learn about all the procedures that the Manufacturing Shop implements to satisfy customers. Why choose blindly when you got so much time and reviews online?

The future of machining is brighter now than ever. There are many things to produce. Pressure is mounted on machine shops to play their part in increasing machine and machinist’s abilities and management to maximize flexibility and speed. Are you looking for such machine shop? Get in touch with Tag Team in Denver.  

OEM concept cell blurred background 3d illustration

4 Things OEM’s Look for When Hiring a Custom Machine Shop

If you’re an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), then you understand that the manufacturing process is a necessary evil. There’s no doubt you have to get the products assembled and tested, but your real talent lies in the product design and conceptualizing the ideas.

For the OEMs, the manufacturing process is more of a means to an end, and you might find it better hiring a custom machine shop to perform the various CNC machining tasks that include fabrication.

Outsourcing these tasks to custom machine shops comes with advantages to the OEMs. They give you the time to focus product innovation & development, and save money on machine costs, hiring & training full-time machinists. OEMs also stand to benefit from the increased purchasing power, the broad range of expertise & value addition.

Hiring a CNC machine shop isn’t a straightforward affair. As an OEM, discussed below are the four key things to look for when outsourcing to a custom machine shop;

Custom Shop CNC Machining Capabilities

Evaluating the CNC machining capabilities of a machine shop is an ordeal by itself. In the US alone, there are hundreds or even thousands of machine shops, each claiming to offer the best in precision manufacturing and CNC machining.

The best approach is for the OEM to assign some evaluators comprising of the sourcing, quality and engineering personnel. The role of these individuals is to determine if indeed a particular machine shop meets your specific needs.

When it comes to the machine capabilities, you have to establish if the machine shop possesses the skills & expertise in the required operations. And are the processes implemented there required by your components?

Usually, different setups, volume, cycles, and flow can significantly impact on the price, the quality and the lead time of an order. When choosing your custom machine shop, be sure to evaluate their ability to optimize the entire process.

Innovative Technology & Continuous Improvement

We’ve realized remarkable progress in all industries and machine shops should also not lag behind. Any good machine shop in Denver will be equally as good as the technology used there and the machinists’ ability to use it.

Prior to hiring a machine shop, it’s important that you understand the current technology for manufacturing your product. After that, seek to know what CNC machining tools and equipment the machine shop uses and how they run them during the various processes.

What’s more, the machine shop you choose should also have certified CNC machinists or technicians with skills to run the software used in the various processes and to make changes if and when required.

OEMs should confirm that the shop they choose has the latest technology and they keep learning new processes to keep tabs with the new technology. It should be possible to tell that a machine shop is committed to continuous improvement by looking at solid results. The shops should prove that they devise and adopt strategies that add value to their OEM customers.

Work Quality & Quality Systems

Certain industries are so sensitive and will require consistency in the quality of work. These include the aerospace, defense, and medical industries. If your project requires high levels of consistency, then you must be careful when hiring a CNC machine shop. But how can you tell that the shop you approach has a keen eye for consistency?

Before you approach any shop, read their online reviews and testimonials on review sites. Ask for references and physical samples of their work. Reputable machine shops maintain a record of their projects in bright photos alongside the names of their clients and shouldn’t hesitate to share their past projects with you. Machine shops with something to hide regarding their performance will be uncomfortable revealing past projects.

And if there are any ongoing projects, pay close attention to their work for consistency so you can stand a better chance evaluating the capabilities of the machine shop. Check to see if they meet the specified tolerances, surface roughness, and the exact component materials? In any case, you want whatever product specifications to be met without fail lest your business loses customers.

Regarding quality systems, you need to confirm that your machine shop has the necessary certifications and that they meet all the required standards. Make sure that your machine shop is ISO Certified and has the certifications required in the specific industries in which they operate. You might also want to engage a survey team in checking keenly to ensure the daily discipline and documentations are followed to the letter. Tag Team Manufacturing will be ISO certified in August 2018.

Business Reliability & Flexibility

Professional custom machine shops have standard practices that they use in their production. But then, they’re open to any changes the OEM customer might suggest in the course of the project.

Any good CNC custom machine company will keep you the loop right from the initial step and will be ready to modify accordingly if something doesn’t feature in your specifications. Once the product prototype is complete and you approve of it, then they can use those specifications to replicate similar units.

On business reliability, any OEM customers who want quality precision manufacturing services should be ready to ask tough questions. It’s risky to place all your faith in a machine shop that has had endless problems with the supply chain. Establish how long they’ve been in CNC machining, their long-term goals, and history with customers’ orders.

Any good machine shop in Denver will have a reliable and effective supply chain management team. They should display experience in managing the incoming parts and the outgoing products and be able to handle secondary outsourcing operations. Once you’re confident the company is reliable, and the supply chain is on point, then you can go ahead with the partnership.

Undoubtedly the Best Denver CNC Custom Machine Shop

Founded in 1987, Tag Team Manufacturing has been and is still the leading Colorado machine shop. We’re a modern company working hard to continuously improve and develop our processes & capabilities and use the latest software systems in the world. We’ve hired a strong team of industry expert machinists with a combined experience of over 140 years. Our clients agree that Tag Team Manufacturing owns one of the cleanest and most organized CNC machining plants in Colorado. Call us at 303-841-5697 to request a quote or learn more about our Denver manufacturing and machining capabilities.

Education concept: Helpful Tips with optical glass

Tips for Choosing a CNC Machining Partner

While the US machine manufacturing industry continues to grow rapidly, choosing the best strategic partner for your CNC machining can be quite challenging. However, this process should not be that difficult if you have the correct pieces of advice beforehand. Below are some machine shop tips that you might want to put into consideration when sizing up for the best service provider.

#1: The Technology in Use

The power of technology cannot be underestimated in the engineering and manufacturing sector. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to know the type of technology in use in your preferred machine shop. While there are many companies out there relying on standard technology, this could be a constraint when it comes to both design and machining. That is why it is paramount to work with a manufacturer who is fully automated and equipped with all the necessary precision tools and equipment. At Tag Team, we have heavily invested in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) manufacturing that allows us to deliver precise component machining to our customers. Additionally, this revolutionary approach to manufacturing helps us to achieve zero-defects because once your design is fed into the computer; our CNC machines can repeat the production process multiple times. This also helps to lower lead-time.

#2: The Expertise of the Staff

Sometimes you may go with a price that you think is good only to end up with a component that does not conform to your print or assembly. In other cases, your project may be delayed, and the excuse the manufacturer tells you is “your component design is too complex.” Therefore, you need to be vigilant when dealing with machine shops and only work with a company that has a reputation for interpreting designs and prints accurately and delivering projects on time. At Tag Team Manufacturing, we have created a work environment where our machinists make a long-term career. We know very well that expensive equipment and software are worthless if they are not coupled with qualified and experienced staff to deliver quality services and meet the exact customer specifications. In fact, the vast majority of our machinists are US manufacturing schools graduates and can handle all complexities relating to components design and implementation.

#3: Range of Materials and Services

Choosing a manufacturer who offers diverse metal machining services can save you a lot of time and paperwork. Consider a case scenario where you want a design component that has to incorporate several metals or materials. Definitely, it would be much more convenient to outsource to one manufacturer than several of them for a single project. That is why we at Tag Team Manufacturing have CNC machining for a variety of materials including plastic, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, carbon steel, and most alloys. Besides, we have an extensive network of support vendors who provide brazing, plating, heat treatment, painting, and welding among other services.

#4: Relationship Sustainability

For those considering to enter into an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) contract with a CNC machining firm, you might need to evaluate the sustainability of the relationship. First, put into perspective whether the manufacturer has the requisite CNC automation to meet your demand and needs. Second, the machine shop you want to enter into a contract with should protect your business interests and keep the requirements of the end-users in mind. That being said, Tag Team has an excellent reputation for producing components for EOM’s in almost all industries. Our production capacity is about 50, 000 components annually, which means we can meet your demand without compromising on quality. In addition, we protect the interest of our clients, as we do not publicize our relationships with EOM’s who buy components from us.

Metal Wheel Concept

Improving CNC Machine Shop Efficiency and Productivity

As manufacturing continues to evolve, CNC machinists find themselves in stressful situations since the skills gap is diminishing with time. It has become very difficult to find experienced CNC manufacturing machinists in this industry. The level of competition is up which requires high CNC automation of machine tools to provide stiff competition to other CNC machine providers.

The high demand for quality parts means that mechanical engineering and milling processes must put more emphasis on increased productivity and manufacturing. Today, modern valuable CNC machining tools have made it possible for most shops to modernize their operations. To remain competitive, CNC machinists must find viable ways of increasing their output and maintain reliable, quality and exceptional customer care services.

Time is an important aspect in CNC manufacturing and each machine shop owner wish to make their shops more productive and efficient. Here are three main tips for improving your CNC machine shop efficiency and productivity.

Prolonging the Life of the Tool

Consider having a high-pressure coolant system or increase the concentration of the existing one. It is advisable to examine your tool holder and the inserts from time to time to enhance its lifespan. This simple process helps you to prevent any disastrous failures. You should also record the number of materials that are being removed. Mechanical engineering schools put a lot of emphasis on avoiding extreme contact time with the new materials.

During this process, it’s advisable to go for harder insert grades of your choice which will service you for long. To maintain your tool holder for a long time, some specific coatings like aluminum oxide will help you to reduce the cycle while increasing the lifespan of your tool, feed rates and cutting speeds. Alternatively, you may consider investing in a cryogenic machine.

Improve the Organization

Lack of proper organization may lead to loss of money and significant manpower. There is need to maintain a properly arranged workplace for your business especially if it’s a machine tool. You have to organize things and put them in place when you are done with your work.

You should make sure you invest in quality shadow boards, and tool draws such as those used at US manufacturing schools. You should also improve the labeling system of your arrangements to prevent confusions. Cleanliness of your equipment and shop floor should be maintained since it’s beneficial to your health and business.

Equipment Management System

It is profitable to keep your tool cost as low as possible and invest in US manufacturing tool management system while setting your time down. A good and reliable tool management system will help you to manage and track your inventory. This will enable you to reduce the cost of overstocking or understocking of the tool supply.

The manufacturing in USA enables you to find useful software that will help you control performance, tool usage and procurement in your CNC machine shop. The software also provides crucial purchase notifications to help you avoid costly downtimes. You need to understand that your production quantity isn’t the only factor that drives business growth. You need to thoroughly evaluate the kind of services you are providing to your clients and streamline your overall business processes.

Lean Manufacturing Waste

7 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing

One of the effective ways of increasing the profitability of any enterprise is through waste elimination. Processes can either add more value or massive wastes to the production of goods and services. The seven wastes of lean manufacturing came from Japan where there were referred to as “Muda.” The first step towards eliminating waste is understanding what waste is and the specific places where it exists in your processes. The wastes found in various manufacturing environments tend to be similar. Here are the seven wastes in lean manufacturing.

1. Overproduction

Overproduction refers to the process of manufacturing specific items before they are needed in the market. Overproduction is expensive since it hinders the uninterrupted flow of material and degrades the quality of products produced. Overproduction in industrial manufacturing is usually referred to as “Just-In-Case” manufacturing. This type of manufacturing will lead to significant storage costs, excessive lead times, and make it almost impossible to notice defects. The solution to this waste is stopping the production tap. You should only manufacture what can be shipped or sold immediately.

2. Transportation

The waste of transportation usually refers to the movement of items between different processes. This will involve the use of a forklift truck or similar equipment to move products around the factory. Transportation is a waste occurring as a result of overproduction. Excessive movement of products around the factory will cause harm and can also lead to deterioration in the quality of the products. The equipment used to move the products around the factory lead to another production cost that adds no customer value.

3. Over Processing

Over processing is extra work that adds no significant value to the consumer or business. Over processing is a waste that takes the form of adding unnecessary features to a product that the customer doesn’t use but raises the cost of production. A good example of over processing would be maintaining paint finish more tightly than required or building a product that will last for five years when you know that the customer will replace it after two or three years.

4. Excess Motion

The waste of excess motion is related to wasted movement and is evident in all cases of walking, stretching, lifting, bending, and reaching. Some of these issues are also related to safety and health which is becoming a major concern in today’s world. Technically, jobs that require excessive movement need to be analyzed and re-engineered for significant improvement with the participation of the industrial workers.

5. Excessive Inventory

Excess inventory is a waste representing cash that is tied up in the form of material which is technically difficult to turn into liquid cash quickly. Inventory eats up much storage at the manufacturing plant since it has to be managed and stored. It can also become obsolete leading to more waste. The quality of any inventory can undergo deterioration over time especially perishable goods such as rubber seals or food.

6. Waiting

The manufacturing waste of waiting hours occur whenever products aren’t moving or being processed. Waiting is perhaps the most common lean manufacturing waste of the seven. It is lost time due to poor flow of production process. Equipment breakdowns, part shortages, and bottlenecks can also lead to waiting wastes. Waiting can also frustrate the workers leading to reduced morale. The Goldratt’s theory of constraints states that every hour lost in a typical bottleneck is like an hour lost to the entire factory output which is impossible to recover.

7. Defects

Defects have a direct and substantial impact on the quality of products manufactured. Defects will lead to rescheduling, re-inspecting, and loss of capacity. The overall cost of defects is always a substantial percentage of the entire manufacturing cost. This waste can be reduced through continuous process improvement and employee involvement in the production process.