Tag : cnc machinist

cnc machining

How does different material impact CNC tooling?

CNC machining offers significant flexibility for the manufacturing industry. However, depending on your manufacturing needs, you need to consider what materials to work with to achieve efficiency and cost-savings. While various machine shops offer guides on material selection, you should be aware of the properties of various materials and their impact on CNC tooling.

With the right approach to material selection, CNC machining translates into an efficient manufacturing process with high-speed production rate and high precision for critical applications in areas such as the aerospace, photonics, environmental monitoring, computer storage, bike, oil and gas, drone, electro-mechanical, and robotics industry.

Understanding the impact of specific materials on CNC tooling improves your productivity since you’ll be able to match the materials with the right tooling style. For instance, wood, plastics, and composite machine are workable with most CNC machining styles, which are equipped with the HSK style tool holders or, ISO/SK/BT style.

However, specialized applications cannot be executed with standard CNC machining styles. Thus, you’ll need specialty tool holders such as the heat shrink and hydro tool holders. While CNC machining has a unique capability for cutting and forming various types of metals and polymer materials, it is impossible to reap maximum benefits from it without proper selection of materials.

Here is what you need to know about the impact of various materials in CNC tooling:

Hard materials

In most cases, machining hard materials, is hard work and demand a combination of high precision and rigid tooling system. Tooling hard materials requires more processing in contrast to normal materials. You need to apply the right strategy and tools at every stage of the manufacturing process. In fact, you have to master it to realize the desired output.

Tool Choices

CNC machinists have the choice of distinct tools; the square end mills, bull nose and ball-end. In some cases, hard materials require you to combine for different stages in the manufacturing process.

For roughing operations, hard materials require the use of the ball end mill. It also the ideal tool for finishing operations. The ball end mill is characterized by a large radius, which helps dissipate heat and force. As a result, it enables you to work at high speeds and to feed the material quickly for you to cut closer to the net shape.

As for large parts with flat floors, you need a bullnose tool. In contrast to the ball end mill, it has a small radius and limited capacity for dissipating heat and force. Thus, it is not ideal for parts that require sharp corners, especially where the floor and the wall meet since it results in chipping.

For such cases, it is best to use a square end mill. Alternatively, you can employ dry machining with air or oil to reduce the chipping since it provides higher spindle speeds.

Tool Geometry

Since hard materials cause rapid wear of tools, a custom machine shop in Denver may demote them to semi-finishing tools or re-sharpen them.

However, since CNC is meant for high-precision manufacturing, the need to cut varying angles and edges using a blunt tool will lead to losses since it has lost its tool geometry.

Tool geometry is critical to precision manufacturing, and a deformed tool should be replaced since it conflicts with the programming specifications for proper operations. CNC manufacturing relies on programming templates for quality control. For instance, CNC programming with a gibs feature is best addressed with a gibs template for the easy selection of tools and tool paths for your manufacturing project.

Such templates are applicable for speeds and feeds on various features and allow you to pick a specific feature and the tool to work with, which comes with predefined speeds and feeds.

The templating process is used for the standardized features of a mold, for example, base plates, gibs, and retainer plates. It is quite helpful when handling hard materials since the process positively impacts time value and tool wear.  With the knowledge of proven patterns and tools when working hard materials is invaluable since it helps you apply templates for fast and efficient cutting process, and, at a cost-effective price.

Since hard materials are dense, they’re full of tension and require soft machining to release the tension. Thus, you must begin by roughing the materials in their annealed state. The soft machining process informs the choice of the type of CNC tooling to apply since you need to optimal material removal.

To make the machining easier, roughing is followed by heat treatment. Since hard materials break into chips when heat-treated, you need inserted cutters to make the chips move fast. Also, they require tool path patterns that can support the fast movement of chips to hasten the process. As an original equipment manufacturer, it is critical to leverage toolpath concepts such as adaptive clearing for the heat treatment process.

With knowledge of how different materials react to heat treatment allows you to select the right tool for the job so you can monitor the twisting of the mold to the required shape.

As such, you need to balance the stock to create enough room to adjust the mold during the finishing process. Also, you should have the right amount of stock to avoid excesses, which would lead to hard machining to remove it.

Since the finishing process comes after the heat-treating process, you need a hard machining plan. Heat-treated materials are harder and create a stronger surface, but brittle, thus challenging to machine.  As a result, you need an assortment of specific tool sizes to achieve the desired stopovers for surface finish.

Part Geometry

In addition, you need to apply specific techniques such as raster passes to make the cutter intersect with the vertical planes made during the roughing process. Denver manufacturing services by Tag Team reference part geometry for the proper configuration of the machining tool to achieve precise surface finishes of high quality.

CNC tooling is flexible, but it is informed by choice of materials you use. While the focus here has been on hard materials, all types of materials have an impact on CNC machining since you have to consider part geometry and the desired designs.

For instance, in the design of complex and detailed parts, a mistake in the choice of CNC tooling could lead to the design of unnecessarily expensive parts in the design phase.

Design

For CNC machining to work properly, the programming of the tools has to map the desired design on the mold. Thus, it is critical to get the right drawings and feed the right tool to produce the right design. However, this should not be a challenge since you can leverage the expertise of Tag Team, a CNC machinist, and precision manufacturing company in Denver. Besides, they specialize in the manufacture of precision components for OEM’s in every industry.

At Tag Team, we have the skills and capacity to work with original equipment manufacturers in developing prototypes. With the capacity to generate over 50,000 components yearly, we can help you with your CNC manufacturing projects.

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 Engineering 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.

Precision Machining

Precision Machining for Medical and Aerospace Industries

Most industries are concerned about quality machining for manufacturing industries. In the same way, precision machining for medical and aerospace industries is very important. And did you know that aerospace and medical machined parts should meet certain criteria of quality and tolerance for them to perform efficiently?

Tag Team manufacturing company has been in the manufacturing business for a considerable amount of time. We started this company in the year 1987, and since then, we have continued to grow and develop our experiences as well as processes. For that reason, we can produce even the most challenging and intricate medical and aerospace industry machining parts.

Why work with Tag Team Manufacturing?

We have a team of specialized industry experts who are passionate and dedicated to their job as the core of our company have been with us 10+ years. When you reach out to us, one of our well trained and specialized staff members will attend to all your machining needs from blue print to completion.

Tag Team Manufacturing has access to a wide range of secondary vendor services as well as quality machining capabilities, and that gives an upper hand when it comes to producing demand products. Therefore, if you are looking for a company that can cater to all your needs, Tag Team is the place to be.

To make sure we deliver blue print specific designs, our team will review the design and discuss any questions before we begin your project. From there, our developed CNC automation and CNC precision machining will ensure that we deliver aerospace and medical machining that meet your expectations. You can rest assured that we will use all the available modern technology to craft what you need made.

Lastly, we have a quality department that ensures all products and services meet the required statutory, customer and regulatory standards. With this department in place, you can relax knowing that any product you get from us is of good quality. We always ensure that all the processes and procedures are followed to the later. In that way, we ensure that all the products have the right measurement and match your blue print exactly. Nothing leaves our facility without inspection.

CNC Machining services for medical Industries

The medical industry is very precise on what kind of machines they need regarding quality and design. Even the smallest machine parts are essential to the success of various lifesaving progresses in health care. Before we give you the end product, we always make sure that it meets your expectations and blue print 100% as the medical machines are very sensitive and are used for very crucial things.

CNC Machining services for aerospace industries

Tag Team Manufacturing has had extensive experience in CNC Machining of components for the aerospace industries for over 30 years now. We can produce even the smallest instrumental parts needed to kick off any project. We work with most of your alloys among other materials needed by the aerospace industry, including aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, brass and copper.

And just like in the medical industry, we always make sure every part made for aerospace meets your expectation and the specifications 100%. So, if you are looking for high precision machining in the aerospace industry, Tag team is the place to go.

Contact Us

If you are in need of quality and high tolerance precision machining for medical and aerospace industries, do not hesitate to contact us. We offer you quality products and services and at a competitive price and on time. Therefore, do not miss out on this opportunity, give us a call today at 303-841-5697.

Manufacturing Facility

5 Tips for Staying Safe and Healthy in the Manufacturing Facility

Ranging from poorly maintained tools to fatigued workers, manufacturing setting is riddled with hazards, both out in the open and some hidden. If you do not know a place to start checking out, then such risks may lead to injuries and sometimes death. Below are five tips to help you stay safe and healthy in a manufacturing facility.

1. Ensure Proper Use and Maintenance of Machinery and Equipment

The first step to ensure everyone is safe in a manufacturing setting is to ensure machinery and equipment are properly maintained. Failure to constantly ensure the equipment works properly can pose risks to every employee in the facility.

It is important to know that even tools with fail-safes are prone to malfunction if you do not do regular check-ups. To ensure proper functioning, ensure that the equipment undergoes regular inspection. Your employees should know how to check whether the equipment works optimally. Contacting a professional to inspect your equipment can help.

Proper use of manufacturing equipment will ensure that the machinery works well without posing any danger to those around the manufacturing facility. You should, therefore, ensure that only those qualified to handle a certain equipment are the only employees who work on it and handle it with professionalism.

2. Permanent Hazards Need Special Consideration

Numerous equipment in a manufacturing facility poses a risk to anyone regardless of whether they are functioning as required. Chemicals, for instance, will remain dangerous to anyone even when regular inspections are done. However, you can minimize these risks by labeling, and give every employee the right protective gear when handling these chemicals.

It is important to also clean spills. This will ensure that there are no health risks that are exposed to employees. Carefully cleaning up spills will ensure there is no gas emitted into the atmosphere. Some gases may pose a health risk as well as act as a respiratory irritant.

Wearing safety equipment while in a manufacturing facility is crucial. This will prevent any visitor, employers, managers, subcontractors, and contractors from hazards. For instance, wearing an eye protection such as goggles will help you prevent metal or chemical splash into your eyes.

3. Employees Should Undergo Regular Training

It is said that your firm is as safe as those people who work in it. Every employee should undergo training regularly on every contact they will be handling. You should make sure that they can spot warning signs such as burning wire smells, scraping or grinding noises, abnormal wobbles, or anything that may sound abnormal. If you find out any machine that is unsafe, then shut it down.

4. Sufficient First Aid

In case of an emergency, you need to have easy access to a first aid kit. Your manufacturing facility should be stocked with medical equipment including first aid kits for general purposes as well as those customized to meet the specific needs of your working environment.

You need to ensure every employee undergoes training to have at least some level of knowledge on how to use a first aid kit. In some cases, you will need to have your staff members specially trained to offer CPR, first aid as well as conduct a confined-space rescue.

5. Wear Proper Clothing

Having a protective gear in a manufacturing facility may not be the only preventive measure available. In fact, you should always wear proper clothing, not loose clothing that may be caught in or on the machines. Wearing a closed shoe is also an important part of ensuring you remain safe while in a manufacturing plant.

If every employee follows these tips, then your manufacturing facility will be a safe place for both your employees and those visiting.

Manufacturing Shop

Tips for starting your own CNC machine business

Just like any business, starting your CNC manufacturing shop can be challenging. However, often are the times when CNC machining and CNC automation operators ask themselves whether it is time to start their own machining business or offer their labor to other companies.

If you feel that it is time for you to own your own machine shop, it is best that you do it. Nevertheless, no matter the motivation, it is not always easy to start your own business especially one dealing with us manufacturing products. A manufacturing shop requires a lot of capital and therefore, you need to have a lot of savings and if not, you need to have the credit worthiness to obtain a loan .You need money, resources and most of all you need to find customers which is the most challenging part.

In this article, we take it upon ourselves to educate you on the most essential tips needed to own your CNC manufacturing shop.

Be aware of the risks

Before you get into any business, you need to identify the risks associated. You need to know whether you have what it takes to mitigate those risks or to survive the perils. You probably know of the statistics that most businesses fail in their first year of operation. More so, manufacturing in the US is not such an easy industry to penetrate due to the competition. So, before you venture into this business analyze the risks.

Prepare your business plan

Once you have established the risks, write a business plan and make sure it incorporates all the risks. In your business plan, focus on the factors likely to affect your business such as competition among other threats. Also, plan on your sales and marketing strategies. At the same time, determine the rate in the market so you can know how to price your products.

Start small

Once you have your business plan and everything under control, start small. It is normal to want to have a large shop because you think people are more attracted to businesses that look established. However, it is not advisable to do that since you have no idea how the market is. First, test the market and your team by starting small. Have some few machines and from there build capital.

If need be, first start your business with a used machine before buying a new one. In that way, you will know how to use the tool efficiently before you buy a new one. However, it is not a must you buy a used one especially if you already know how to use the machines. But, don’t rush to expand without understanding the market.

Develop partnerships

When starting a new business, it can be very tricky finding customers. However, that depends whether you are starting from scratch or if you are buying an existing business. If it is an existing business, it is good you learn to maintain the customers and if it is new, learn how to get them. So, it is very important to create connections whether by having your friends help get clients or by partnering with other business. Make sure you have good relationships and nurture them even after your shop expands.

Research shows that the type of manufacturing shop or what you looking to produce plays a major role in obtaining customers. Therefore, you can create partners by targeting segments in your marketplace. For example, develop connections with people who buy your products at a good rate or those who are in most need of your products.

Structure your business

Starting a business can be costly and so, it is expected that you will try to cut cost as much as possible. However, as much as you want to cut cost, remember that you cannot work by yourself. You cannot control sales, control finance and at the same time produce goods. So, structure your business in a way that you have the best team needed to steer a machining shop.

With the above tips, you can relax knowing you are headed for success. All the best as you start your Manufacturing Shop.

Manufacturing Plant

4 Tips to Managers and Prospective Managers of Manufacturing Facilities

Several factors come into play when managing a manufacturing facility. The floor brings together different specialists sometimes from fields that are two worlds apart. For instance, the shipping supervisor gets to interact with the manufacturing specialist while production managers consult the plant manager or even the finishing specialist on matters concerning the manufacturing process. Additionally, it is imortant to note that management involves taking a more radical approach. There are ways of handling hurdles associated with the manufacturing plant. Here are four tips on how to manage a manufacturing plant. If you are planning to go up to the ladder, then understanding these early will set you up for the challenge.

1. Focus on Profits

It is possible that your facility still uses the output as a measure of performance. While this can be good for accounting purposes, it is not a great way of handling workers. Only machines are rated based on the quantity they churn out. Instead of focusing the attention of employees on the number of tons churned out per day, let them understand how their effort contributes to the overall profit.

It is then possible to create a reward program that grows as the profits increase. As a result, the employees, partners, and shareholders can share in the fruits of good labor. If you are planning to be a manager, then start viewing your input in relation to the profits. Figure out how you can do more than add daily output.

2. Annual to Weekly Review

How often do you review your performance or that of your team? Time flies, you are handling more customers, and the staff is changing even faster. The only way to grow is to have short-term goals usually daily goals and review your success weekly. Yearly performance review is an outdated idea that has no place in the 21st-century manufacturing industry management.

As an employee, have your daily targets. If you are working with a team, set these goals and share them with your supervisor. At the end of the week have a sit-down and analyze your performance.

3. Teammates are Not Soul Mates

While teamwork is to be encouraged in the workplace, these people are not to be welded together as a unit. A workforce in a manufacturing facility is not similar to a police task force where people are partners for life. Managers should bring together the best team for the work at hand. They can get to know each other during briefings. However, such a structure requires that personnel allocations decisions be flexible.

As an employee eyeing a managerial post, learn to work in different teams. When faced with a hurdle, find ways of getting help from the person best qualified to help even if they are not part of your team.

4. Process is King

Profit based rewards propagate a focus on the results. The problem with this is that it assumes the role of the process. Only a properly designed process can lead to an excellent performance and product that, in turn, leads to improved profits. A manufacturing manager should recognize employees who excel at how they carry out their operations.

A prospective leader in the manufacturing plant should also learn to improve the efficiency of the part of the process for which they are responsible.

Managing a manufacturing facility requires one to think broadly and creatively. Have a gamer’s mentality; you and your workers should always be aiming higher to an attainable goal. Once achieved, let the reward be tangible and worth the struggle. Above all ensure everyone shares in the victory and fruits.

CNC machinist

How long does it take to become a CNC Machinist?

Anyone who uses machine tools to modify or make parts as a profession is a machinist. However, a person who has been properly trained to become a CNC machinist can do much more. A qualified machinist should be able to use CNC (Computer Numerical Control) to execute his/her duties. CNC refers to the process of using computers to control machines. It’s the automation of machine tools via machine control commands to execute pre-programmed sequences.

What Does a Machinist Do?

The terms CNC manufacturing, CNC automation, and CNC machining all allude to the use of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) via programming to increase quality and consistency of the product. A CNC machinist can operate a wide range of machinery in the creation of parts and products that are usually very specific. Machinists operate specialized tools to create precision metal parts. They repair, modify, and fabricate mechanical equipment.

A normal day in the life of a machinist includes:

– The use of manual and computer controlled machinery i.e. operate, set up, and program the CNC Machinery

– Making sure that the machinery is properly maintained.

– Operating tools such as grinders, milling machines, etc.

– Calculating where to bore or cut using the right tools for each job.

To become a CNC machinist, it’s good to complete a training program in one of the US manufacturing schools, or better still, one of the most reputable mechanical engineering schools in the land. Keep in mind that formal training is not a must – there a lot of self-taught machinists out there, but it’s strongly suggested that you acquire some form of formal training to effectively and safely discharge your duties. Courses like mechanical engineering include a pretty comprehensive machining training program. Many businesses with interests in manufacturing in the US do hire machinists.

Types of Machinists

Primarily, there are three types of CNC machinists. They are operating machinists, set up machinists, and programming machinists. An operation machinist is responsible for the day to day functioning of the machines – they are the operators. Set up machinists are tasked with the job of making sure that everything is in working order. They are in charge of monitoring the equipment, adjusting offsets, and performing other tasks needed to maintain smooth operations. Some machinists specialize in writing CNC programs and modify existing programs in response to glitches encountered during test runs. These machinists are known as programming machinists.

Becoming a Machinist

As stated earlier in the article, to become a professional CNC machinist, it’s prudent to acquire proper training and certification. If it’s possible, its best to start preparations to become a machinist early. In their training, machinists get several years of technical instruction and on-site training. Training can be acquired via community or technical colleges, vocational schools, and apprenticeship programs. Often, you will be required to have a high school diploma.

Typically, becoming a machinist takes between 1 to 2 years for entry level roles including a minimum of 8 weeks of technical training and over 1,500 hours of on the job training each year. Here’s what you need to do to become a machinist in the United States:

– Enrol for preparatory classes. A high school diploma is the minimum requirement to becoming a machinist. You can get the necessary training — in this case, a degree, usually taking up to two years — from a technical college

– Complete a formal apprenticeship. You can work with a local manufacturer, local union, or your school to look for available opportunities. An apprenticeship is an entry level position where you can stay for a year or two — depending on your training and tenacity — before moving up to an operator position.

– Get NIMS certification. A National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) certification isn’t a requirement, but its recommended for aspiring machinists. After completing your apprenticeship, get one of those. You will be required to sit for a performance-based written and practical exam to get certification.

The last and final step to becoming a machinist is putting your skills to work. You can do that by getting a job at a manufacturer specializing in making parts for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Alternatively, you can choose to work for yourself if you have the business skills. Depending on your financial ability, you can either buy an existing Machine Shop or purchase a machine to handle some small jobs from your home or garage.

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How can manufacturing employers find qualified machinists?

It is a common problem: there are jobs available for skilled workers in the manufacturing field, but there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill the jobs. When you hear reports about unemployment and jobs that are available in different fields, there is often a large discrepancy between the experience of those who are seeking employment, and the experience of employers who are seeking skilled employees.  If there are so many people who are looking for work, then it ought to be easy to find someone who can fill your vacancy, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

In fact, in a survey of U.S manufacturing executives across a variety of different fields, including automotive, consumer goods, industrial parts, high-tech industries and electronics, it was found that finding qualified and skilled workers ranks as the number one or two issue facing manufacturing corporations today.

Why Skilled Labor Matters

The bottom line is that quality manufacturing can only happen when you have qualified workers. Unfortunately, the most difficult jobs for manufacturers to fill are the ones that are most necessary. CNC machine shops, CNC production, and CNC automation are all dependent on skilled labor. As a manufacturing employer, if you don’t know where to recruit skilled labor, then you may be faced with an issue of not being able to fully staff your manufacturing operation.

Old-fashioned methods of spreading news about a job vacancy doesn’t work anymore. You can’t rely on word of mouth or a newspaper post to bring you the candidates that you want. If you want the best people for the job, then you need to advertise the job where the best people are already looking. This means taking advantage of the internet, but more specifically than that, this means developing an online hiring strategy for your quality manufacturing facility.

Here are a few tips to help you find the right candidates for your position:

  • Advertise on employment websites. Pushing your vacancy to the top of the list via a sponsored advertisement can dramatically increase your applicant pool.
  • Be specific about the requirements. Don’t be vague when posting your job requirements. Let the applicants know what you are looking for, this way your applicant pool is full of qualified candidates who you may want to consider.
  • Utilize a social network. Over 80% of adults use social media, so it makes sense to reach out to your potential applicants where they already are. You don’t want to directly poach employees from a competitor, but by letting more people know about your vacancy you may encourage someone to apply who hadn’t thought about leaving their current job.
  • Work with local schools. By partnering with a local school, you can ensure that students are gaining the skills that you are looking for, and then you can create a candidate pool of fresh graduates who are already trained in your areas of need. Schools are often interested in working with potential employers, as it encourages students to enroll if they know there are job opportunities at the other end.

If you want skilled workers, you need to put your job advertisement out there where the skilled workers are going to see it. Finding the right candidates can reduce your training costs significantly, helping you to focus more on production and sales, which is what is going to help your business grow.

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What are the Skills and Qualities Required to be Successful Machinists?

People tend to misunderstand what a CNC Machinist is and the skills they possess. Given that it takes at least seven (or more) years of technical tool and advanced manufacturing to become a certified machinist, summing up the qualities and skills required for the occupation can be difficult to explain in a simple sentence. So to give context brief to the occupation, a machinist is a person who performs techniques and operations without assistance in all facets of advanced machining techniques and operations. Much of their knowledge is gained through apprenticeship, which requires 576 hours of educational training and 8,000 hours of work learning all aspects of manual machining.

A Machinist’s Skill & Quality Set

Many individuals view machinists as people who operate by hardware and produce/cut materials into what is intended. However, this isn’t always the case as many industries utilizing Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines. Some of the skill sets required for effective machinists are:

  • They must have the tolerance to gather and produce engineering parts that have been created from a wide range of materials. In addition to this, they should be able to work within size distinctions that are oftentimes only a hundredth of a single millimeter.
  • They must be proficient when handling the latest and current tools at their disposal, whether it be machine tools or measuring and hand paraphernalia. Machinists must also have experience and knowledge about laser cutting, screw machining, stamping, machine maintenance, machine building, machining, metalforming, and other techinical skills required for production.

When it comes to CNC machines, they are milling machines that are automated digitally. The main reason for CNC machine popularity is due to the fact that they reduce manpower, reduce time , and increase the quality of the product being produced. However, these machines do require machinist oversight in the event of failure. For example:

  • A CNC Machinist should be able to identify and interpret the 2D engineering blueprints/illustrations of the engineering machines or components. In addition to this, the CNC machinist must economically complete and plan the manufacturing of all components when utilizing the available equipment and time.

Aside from the technical aspects of the machine, the machinist must also know how to formulate procedures, set priorities, set schedules, and create a 3D image of the product mentally before it is created. This is a common quality found in expert machinists. Other important qualities include:

  • Paying careful attention to errors found in current manufactured equipment or components. If faults or errors are found, the machinist must correct them so the equipment or components can be used properly.
  • Maintaining a high level of craftsmanship. This is the most important quality a CNC Machinist can possess. They should have no problem finding safe, effective, and economical ways to improve productivity within a company or production.

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