Tips for Choosing a CNC Machine Shop
Regardless of the type of CNC machining job you need, you have to choose a reputable CNC machine shop. Like in any industry, such shops are not all the same. Just a little research and it will be easy to see their differences on many fronts, from experience to expertise to pricing and even to customer service. That’s why it’s crucial to do your homework before selecting a CNC machine shop.
First of all, consider location as you look online for a CNC machine shop. The easiest way to do this is to search with your zip code. With close proximity, processes can be streamlined and you will be able to build a long and productive business relationship with them.
Find a shop that has been around for a minimum of 5 years and employs expert personnel. Competition in this industry is very tough. Surviving it for half a decade means they must be doing a great job.
Client References and Online Reviews
Ask your prospective shop’s manager or owner for a client list, as well as images of completed work. Talking to these people lets you in on how the shop handles its customers. On top of that, you will know the quality of work they do. Certainly, pictures will be very helpful. You should also ask whether their projects were completed on time and within the allotted budget. You don’t want problems with your schedule or resources with a shop that gives less than accurate estimates.
Advanced technology has allowed CNC machine shops to do their jobs harder, faster and with greater precision. As a result, turnaround is quicker, regardless of the size of the production run, and errors and defects are dramatically minimized. On the other hand, it may also be beneficial to combine old and new machinery. With more offered services, a shop will also need more machines to match the demand. Be sure to ask what machines are going to be used and how. Remember, the wrong machine can delay the completion of the job and/or increase your costs, so you should really be as clear about this as possible.
Lastly, observe the level of difficulty in terms of getting in touch with people at the shop. Do they always make themselves available? Are they prompt when replying to your emails or SMS or when returning your calls? Are you confident in the knowledge of your project manager? Rapport is important and can even be crucial, especially if you’re looking at a long-term relationship with the shop. If you can’t take their “attitude,” don’t hesitate to go looking for another shop.