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Need CNC Milling Services? Here’s What to Look for in a Machine Shop

June 28, 2023by Gerry Dillon

If you need complex parts that can only be manufactured by CNC milling, it’s important to find the right machine shop to do the job. Before you can select a reliable and competent company with confidence, however, you must know what to look for in a machine shop. Otherwise, there’s no way to be sure your project will be in the right hands. 

Here are some of the most important considerations to keep in mind:

1. Experience and Expertise

  • Years in the Industry: Choosing a machine shop with a proven track record and substantial experience is vital. Look for a company that has been operating for several years and has successfully completed projects similar to yours.
  • Specialization: Determine if the shop specializes in CNC milling services. Expertise in this particular area ensures that they have the necessary skills, knowledge, and equipment to deliver high-quality results.

2. Advanced Technology and Equipment

  • State-of-the-Art Machinery: Check if the CNC machine shop utilizes modern, well-maintained equipment. Advanced machinery increases efficiency, accuracy, and the ability to handle complex projects effectively.
  • Diverse Capabilities: A reputable CNC machine shop should have a wide range of machining capabilities, including 3-axis, 4-axis, and 5-axis CNC milling. This ensures they can accommodate various project requirements.

3. Quality Control and Certification

  • ISO Certification: Look for a CNC machine shop that is ISO 9001 certified. This certification guarantees that the company follows strict quality control processes and maintains high standards.
  • Inspection and Testing: Ensure that the shop has robust quality control measures in place. This includes thorough inspection and testing procedures to verify the accuracy and precision of the machined parts.

4. Material Selection and Sourcing

  • Material Expertise: Different materials require specific machining techniques. A reliable CNC machine shop should have expertise in working with a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, composites, and more.
  • Material Sourcing: Inquire about their material sourcing capabilities. A reputable shop will have established relationships with trusted suppliers to ensure the availability and quality of materials for your projects.

5. Customization and Flexibility

  • Customization Options: Discuss your project requirements with the CNC machine shop and ensure they can accommodate any customization needs. The ability to adapt and tailor their processes to your unique specifications is crucial.
  • Quick Turnaround Time: Timeliness is essential in today’s fast-paced manufacturing industry. Choose a CNC machine shop that can deliver projects within your desired time frame without compromising quality.

6. Customer Reviews and References

  • Online Reviews: Research online to read customer reviews and ratings about the CNC machine shop. Pay attention to feedback regarding their professionalism, communication, adherence to deadlines, and overall satisfaction.
  • Request References: Don’t hesitate to ask the CNC machine shop for references from their past clients. Contact these references to gain insights into their experience working with the shop

Selecting the right CNC machine shop is a critical decision that directly impacts the success of your manufacturing projects. By considering factors such as experience, advanced technology, quality control, material selection, customization options, and customer reviews, you can make an informed choice. Remember, finding a reliable CNC machine shop that aligns with your requirements will ensure top-notch CNC milling results and a fruitful collaboration.

About APM

Advanced Precision Machining provides a wide range of CNC milling services. Founded in 2005, we have earned our reputation as the leading machine shop in Colorado because of our cutting-edge technology, meticulous attention to detail, and exceptional customer service. To discuss your manufacturing needs, reach out today.

by Gerry Dillon

Gerry Dillon is a co-founder, current owner and certified CNC machinist at Advanced Precision Machining (APM), a full-service machine shop located in Longmont, Colorado. Gerry has over 30 years of precision milling and machining experience under his belt.