A machining parts manufacturer produces precision-engineered metal and plastic components for a wide variety of industries. These complex pieces are fabricated with cutting-edge technology, using turning, milling and other machining processes. They often have highly intricate dimensions and tolerances, and are subject to stringent quality control measures throughout production. In addition to manufacturing components, these companies offer prototyping and customization services, allowing clients to test their designs before committing to full-scale production.
The machining process involves creating workpieces that meet the specifications set by engineering drawings or blueprints. For example, an unfinished piece of metal may need to have a certain outside diameter, which can be achieved through the use of a lathe. A lathe works by rotating the workpiece so that a cutter can cut away material, giving it the desired diameter. Similarly, an unfinished plastic workpiece could be given its final shape by the use of a drilling machine.
Machined parts are more cost-effective than molded or 3D printed parts, and offer a number of other benefits. They are much stronger than molded parts, since they do not have thin walls like those required for molding. They are also less prone to warping or deforming, making them ideal for parts that must perform a certain function in the real world. Finally, a moderate amount of post-processing can give a machined part a far superior surface finish than a 3D printed part, even before any sanding or chemical treatment is done.
Machining parts are used in almost all sectors of industry, from aerospace to medicine. They are particularly popular in the manufacture of spacecraft and aircraft, and many medical devices and surgical tools are made from metals such as titanium or stainless steel that have been machined to precise specifications. Other common applications include consumer electronics, household appliances and sporting equipment.
Contract manufacturers of large machining and large fabrications usually build to customer order, meaning that they will only produce parts in the quantities that are authorized by a firm customer order. This allows them to control inventory and thereby mitigate risk. However, it can lead to market volatility that can affect a contract manufacturer’s ability to keep customers satisfied. In the future, articles in this series will explore how a contract manufacturer can manage this volatility through various means, including material authorizations, operator instructions, welding and machining, and scheduling. These articles will also discuss the interface between a customer and a contract manufacturer, addressing topics such as documentation, material handling and shipment, and communication. Part one of this series can be found here: