Choosing a suitable CNC machine shop can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve not done it before. It’s not just the matter of who delivers the best; the selection process also involves hiring a shop that delivers exactly what you want, faster.

Plus, there are hundreds of CNC machine shops littered across the continent – which could further complicate the entire hiring process. While initial research like references and testimonials might help, there is a lot that is needed to judge a machine shop’s performance.

If you are confused about what to look for in a precision machine shop, here are a few tips to save the day.

Hiring a Precision CNC Machine Shop: A Checklist for Entrepreneurs

Here is a list of the things that can make your CNC machine shop hunt easier.

●  ISO Certification
You can begin the search by filtering out the shops with ISO Certification. The quality management label simply states your shop is equipped enough to provide you the quality machined parts you are looking for.

●  Experience
Next comes the relevant experience the shop comes with. While machining startups are great on their own and could definitely meet your expectations, you might be looking for machinists or shops that have relatively greater experience working with the same industry domain as yours. Chances are they have already delivered order types and sizes similar to your requirement.

●  Machining Capabilities
Machine shops that come with extensive engineering, design, and manufacturing capabilities are always safe to hire. This way you can ensure they’ll be equipped to resolve any technical or product-based limitations that might arise during the machining and manufacturing process. This also guarantees you’ll receive your order on time if all goes well.

●  Variety of Equipment
A machine shop, however small, comes with solid numbers of equipment. They may not be the latest ones – in case of shops that are just starting or the ones on the stage of obsoletion. But, there are many that boast new-age cutting tools and machining equipment. You may choose them solely based on the order size and the precision needed.

●  Offers Prototypes/Sample pieces
Product sampling is very crucial when dealing with large-scale production. However, there are many shops still that don’t offer sample manufactured pieces or prototypes of the design, which might cause production delays and dissatisfaction. Simply eliminate these types of shops from your CNC hunt.

●  Customer Services and Support
CNC machining and manufacturing is more than just shaping raw materials into precision CNC machined parts; it’s also about how the shop deals with the customer requirements. What is the process they follow? Are they transparent in their approach? What is their workforce like? How do they deal with customer queries? In short, acute customer services is crucial in every industry, including in the CNC environment.

Things To Remember Before You Place An Order

So, you have shortlisted a CNC machine shop you deem fit for your requirement. Next comes actually placing an order with them. Wait…

Before you click on the ‘Request A Quote’ button, be sure to check everything. What is the quantity you looking for and can your shop help you with it? And most importantly, what is your requirement, exactly? You don’t want to cause production delays due to material or tolerance shortcomings, do you?

●  Do you have alternatives for the material type you’ve selected?
It’s possible the shop cannot fetch CNC machining material you’ve chosen on-time. Or it could be very expensive, thereby, increasing the production cost. Anyway, having an alternative always helps in long-run.

●  Are you specific with your tolerances?
You need to specify accurate measurements for precision and quality purposes, obviously.

●  Do you know how the product will be developed?
This is considering you’ve done the custom part design yourself. Not considering how it will be developed while designing can lead to an increase in production costs.

Following the tips mentioned above can help you experience smooth and super-productive CNC machining!


Here at Machining Design Associated Ltd., we offer top of the line CNC machining services to businesses across all industry verticals. For more information, fill up the form here.