7 Reasons to Use a Job Shop for Metal Machined Parts

Working with experts at a job shop for metal machined parts offers many benefits. Some of these benefits are clear from the outset, while others might need further examination. Whether you are working with large volumes, small runs, or prototypes, there are many benefits to working with the right job shop. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons to use a job shop for metal machined parts.

7 Reasons to Use a Job Shop for Metal Machined Parts

1. No Equipment Costs

The right milling, turning, screw machines and other equipment for metal machined parts requires substantial investment. High-quality CNC mills with even the simplest configurations cost over $50,000 for a single machine. And you’re unlikely to use just one machine for your machined parts. One of the first and most obvious reasons to use a job shop for metal machined parts is there’s no upfront investment required on your part—the machine shop tackles this for you.

2. No Training Costs

Even the most advanced equipment isn’t very useful without people who know how to use it. Proper training is essential to not only produce a high-quality product, but also to protect employees from hazards. Training employees to use machine shop equipment takes time. However, machine shop clients don’t have to worry about this aspect of the job.

3. Work With Experts

The right training will show someone how to use advanced milling, turning, or similar machines, but it’s experience that allows them to produce exceptional products at great speed. Working with experts at a machine shop, you can rest assured that your project is in good hands. Look for a job shop that has experience working with your products and materials, so there’s no trial-and-error phase.

4. Reduce Liability

Metalworking equipment poses some obvious hazards. Workers who don’t know how to use or install these machines properly can be exposed to serious risk. Machine shops protect themselves and their workers with the right insurance and employee benefits, as well as training to ensure a safe workplace. Working with a job shop for metal machined parts, you don’t have to take on any of this liability yourself.

5. Design Assistance

There are often multiple ways to machine a part, but usually one way that is most efficient in terms of materials and time. Making one or two small changes to a design can make the machining process more efficient and save thousands of dollars in the long run. With CNC machining, it’s easy to make small changes to a design and then produce an accurate prototype or product. A design expert knows how to make these changes and make your parts with maximum efficiency.

6. Existing Partnerships

Whether you are working with stainless steel, nickel alloys, titanium alloys or another metal, stock metals are expensive. Existing partnerships with suppliers can help you save money, but these take time and effort to forge. Instead of forging these partnerships yourself with stock suppliers, work with a job shop that already has strong supplier relationships.

7. Get the Latest Tech

Job shops specialize in machining services and they have the resources and expertise to get the latest equipment for the job. When you find a job shop that specializes in what you do, you can take advantage of the latest equipment and techniques for doing it. This ultimately means your parts can be created faster, with fewer errors and with the highest level of precision.

There are many reasons to use a job shop for metal machined parts. The right job shop will have the equipment and experience necessary to complete your job quickly and within a reasonable budget. If you have questions about metal machined parts for an upcoming project, get in touch. We’d be happy to tell you more about our job shop, our expertise, design assistance, and more.

4 Cost-Cutting Tactics for Metal Machined Parts

Balancing costs and quality is an ongoing production struggle. It can be difficult to know where to cut costs that won’t sacrifice the quality of your project. When working with metal machined parts, there are a few ways to meet your budget while still producing a high-quality component. As you examine your project’s bottom line, consider these cost-cutting tactics for metal machined parts

4 Cost-Cutting Tactics for Metal Machined Parts

1. Choose the Right Materials

This is the first and one of the best cost-cutting tactics for metal machined parts. While quality is essential—and the materials you use are a key factor in quality construction—it’s important to balance quality and expense. In many cases, you can still get the functionality you need from your metal machined parts while still cutting costs.

To find the right material for the job, it’s important to address the part’s function and utility. This way, your part will still function the way that it’s supposed to, without adding extra expense from materials that are unnecessarily tough or complex. For example, if your component is going to be used indoors and won’t be subject to intense temperature extremes or moisture, a carbon alloy will probably meet your needs, and stainless steel may add unnecessary expense.

Consider the following to guide your decisions about materials:

  • Force: In the component’s common and regular use, what type of force will it be subjected to? This includes regular wear and tear or abrasion, weight and pressure, pushing or pulling, and more. If the component must withstand heavy force in its regular use, a tough steel will be important, but a component that won’t see intense use can be made with a lighter, more affordable alloy.
  • Temperature: Temperature considerations are especially important for metal machined parts. Temperature swings will cause some metals to expand, contract or warp significantly, while other metals will hold their shape more consistently. Consider any aspect that might create temperature swings, such as friction, outdoor use, cooling fluids or heating elements, and more.
  • Corrosion: All metals corrode in some form, though some are much more resistant to it than others. If the metal machined part will be subjected to moisture, including washing water, steam, high humidity and other aspects, the metal must be resistant to corrosion. If the component will be mostly enclosed and used indoors where corrosion will be much slower, corrosion resistance probably won’t add much value to the component.

2. Leverage Supplier Relationships

Once you’ve decided on the right material for the job, the next step is deciding where to source the material. If you’re working with a subcontractor for the components, they have existing metal supplier relationships that they can leverage. Or, if you’re subcontracting the labor, but you already have valuable supplier partnerships, you can supply the materials yourself. Choosing the right type of contract and partnership can help you take advantage of the skills and equipment you need.

3. Plan Your Purchases Carefully

Pre-planning is another important cost-cutting tactic for metal machined parts. With a reliable timetable and production schedule in mind, you can take advantage of blanket purchases. These pre-arranged orders with delivery across multiple dates can help your manufacturing partner plan production more easily, and they can help to cut costs.

With a good idea of your production needs, you can also place a bulk order, which can reduce per-unit costs for metal machined parts significantly. Set up costs often account for the bulk of an overall order’s expense, and bulk orders help to spread these expenses across more units. You benefit from economies of scale, and you can be more confident that you will have the components that you need when you need them.

4. Simplify Your Design

Even small details can quickly add expenses for metal machined parts. Simplifying your design is one of the most effective cost-cutting tactics for metal machined parts. Small divots, cuts or holes that are excessively delicate or excessively deep creates unnecessary complexity and expense. Once again, a clear understanding of the component’s common use can help to streamline the design and cut costs.

If you’re unsure how to streamline or simplify your component’s design, talk to an experienced metal fabricating partner. With a detailed understanding of the machines and processes needed to produce the part, an experienced fabrication partner can suggest ways to simplify the design without sacrificing product quality or utility.

Working with an experienced manufacturing partner can help you cut costs on metal machined parts in multiple ways. Experienced designers, engineers, fabricators and project managers can all help to keep your project on-time and on-budget, while still delivering on quality and consistency.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Contacting a Contract Machining Company

M&M Automatic Screw Machine

Outsourced contract machining allows companies around the world to save time, money and resources every year. However, in order to speed up the manufacturing quoting process and get your parts made within the time frame and budget that you need, there are a few questions you should have answered internally first.

Questions to Answer About Your Contract Machining Needs:

  • What is my budget to produce this part?
  • What is my timeline to have the part in my hands?
  • How many parts do I need?
  • How often will I need my parts run?
  • What material(s) will best suit my part? (Not sure? We can help you figure it out!)
  • What is the possibility that my part design will change over time?

Having these questions answered ahead of time can help you speed up the quoting process as well as the manufacturing process, saving both you and your manufacturing company in the long run.

What are the Different Types of Manufacturing Entities: Toll, Contract, Full-Fledged

M&M Automatic Manufacturing Floor

When you outsource your contract manufacturing, you typically are faced with determining which one of three types of manufacturing entities will fit your manufacturing needs. Depending on your circumstances and project requirements, you’ll want to evaluate if you’ll need a toll manufacturer, contract manufacturer or full-fledged manufacturer.

Toll Manufacturer

Materials, goods, inventory and selling risks are assumed by the organization that hires a toll manufacturing company (you in this case). Under this type of situation, the toll manufacturer provides the plant, machinery and labor force to manufacture parts, and you must provide all materials and goods necessary for manufacturing. You also would hold ownership of all intangible assets such as patents and designs and assumes all selling risks.

You can count on paying a toll manufacturer on a routine basis.

Contract Manufacturer

This type of manufacturer is the body that owns the plant and machinery and provides the labor to operate the machinery – similar to a toll manufacturer. You would have access to the company’s resources (plant, machinery and machinists) to make your parts and components, and you ultimately assume the risk of selling the goods. Similarly, a contract manufacturer would also be paid on a routine basis.

What makes contract manufacturers different from toll manufacturers is that they source and supply the materials necessary to manufacture the parts.

Full-Fledged Manufacturer

A full-fledge manufacturer is the most involved of the three types. This company is responsible for providing the space, machinery and team to manufacture the parts, as well as, all materials and goods necessary for production. Ultimately, this type of manufacturer assumes all risks associated with selling the products and has rights to intangible assets such as designs and patents.

5 Top Signs of a Successful & Quality Contract Manufacturing Company

It’s important to know what to look for when researching contract manufacturing companies to handle your outsourced manufacturing needs in order to ensure that you’ll get the best possible quality and care. Here are 5 fundamental signs that a contract manufacturing company is worth your business’ time, money and resources.

Customer-Centric Approach

Every good contract manufacturing company is purposeful at placing the focus and importance on its customers.  This should be reflective in how they answer their phones or how they speak with people in person as well as on their websites and through testimonials and reviews from past customers. Every good company is focused on how they can better serve you as a customer.

First Class Machinists & Staff

Apart from the actual machinery, a high quality contract manufacturing company should be equipped with top notch contract machinists and staff. From the front desk and customer service team to the machinists running the parts, every part of the team should be trained, equipped and visibly on top of their game from the time you begin conversations with them through the process of running the parts.

Expert Educators

What truly sets one contract manufacturing company apart from another is the emphasis on education. A company that places a lot of importance, time and resources on educating their customers and prospective customers is more readily viewed as a reliable, thought-leader within the industry, For example, this type of company would be one that provides educational downloads, informative blog articles, and maybe even how-to videos, providing information beyond the norm to the public.

Approved & Certified

This element may be obvious to most, but it is the single most important aspect to ensuring your parts and project are handled properly from quote to delivery – Certifications. The ISO certification in particular ensures that your team as well as your project will be handled with honesty, integrity and precision. Any contract manufacturing company you work with should have the proper certifications and checks in place, which ensures your protection as a customer.

Positive Track Record

Past and current customer reviews and testimonials can tell you a lot about a company. If a company you’re researching for your contract manufacturing job has pages of negative reviews on websites like Yelp or Better Business Bureau, than you might want to think twice before digging deeper into “why” and signing a contract.