What Should You Ask A Machining Shop Before You Sign A Contract With Them?

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

If you're just starting an industrial business of any kind, it's likely that you'll outsource your metal cutting and fabricating work to a machining shop. Use these questions to find a suitable partner for your company that creates the pieces you'll need regularly.

"What Kind of Materials Do You Fabricate Most Often?"

It is vital that you ask what kinds of materials a machine shop works with so that you can get the best pieces possible. If they are very knowledgeable about the materials you plan to use, they can offer you suggestions and ideas that will benefit your business. For example, if you are planning to use low carbon steel, a shop that works with steel on a regular basis will immediately realize that it requires a finishing to protect it from corrosion. They may recommend cold-rolled steel instead if you want to keep costs down.

"Do You Offer Precision CNC Machining?"

While there are all different kinds of equipment that can cut metal pieces, precision CNC machining can offer a number of benefits that other equipment cannot. Because CNC machines rely on computer software to make calculations and programmable lasers to do the cutting, mistakes are minimized. Not only that, but if you want to make changes to the design after making a few samples, you can simply reprogram the software. This can save you a lot of time and money, as you won't have to pay for an entire order of fabricated metal that is based on an incorrect design.

"How Many Finishes Do You Offer?"

Depending on your company's needs, you are likely to need finishing on some of your metal pieces so that they look or perform better. For instance, if you are having pieces made for motorcycle engines, it's possible that you'll need a hot blackening finish that will allow the pieces to better endure constant abrasions. Asking about the available finishes can help you to better anticipate what your finished pieces will be like.

"What is Your Workload Like?"

Above all, you need to feel confident that the work any machining shop does for you will be done in a timely manner. Every shop will give you a time period wherein the work should be finished, but it is important to ask about their current workload as well. The answer to this question will give you a better idea of how many other projects are in line before yours and whether you should amend your own work schedule in order to ensure that the pieces are ready when you need them.

The questions here can be used as a guide so that you make smart decisions about your fabrication needs. Talk with a few precision CNC machine shops to be certain that you select a shop that can deliver pieces that you're happy with.


18 October 2016

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