Advanced Precision Machining

CNC machining trends, our coordinate measuring machine (CMM), and steps towards ISO 9001:2008 certification

[April 8th, 2013] Spring is in the air, and thoughts at Colorado's Advanced Precision Machining (APM) in Longmont naturally turn to growth, both within our CNC machine shop and across the industry. As reported in our last blog post, our first quarter is off to a great start. Our milling machine capacity has undergone unprecedented growth owing to the expansion of floor space and the procurement of new CNC machining equipment. In addition, we've expanded into somewhat unfamiliar territory with the addition of a new Facebook page, Twitter account, and our LinkedIn company page. But as the grass greens, we must continue to follow and adapt to changes in the milling and machining industry, incorporate new technologies, and work hard to meet the precision manufacturing needs of our clients.  

Analysts report that the economy as a whole is gearing up, gaining steam and growing again. However, at APM, we remain cautiously optimistic when analyzing trends specific to our trade. According to the most recent Gardner's Metalworking Business Index (MBI), a leading economic indicator of manufacturing trends, growth returns via durable goods are increasing with a reading (MBI) in March of 50.9. Good news to be sure; this is the first true increase since June of 2012. With the exception of businesses with 1-19 employees, all operations experienced this growth. Interestingly though, our Longmont machine shop does fall into the 1-19 demographic, but against the trend, we're seeing a surge in new customers; Orders for our CNC milling and CNC turning services have increased. While it may be true that the majority of smaller facilities remain contracted in their growth, Gardner positively reports that they are contracting at a much slower pace, and that for all manufacturing businesses, new orders and production have grown for the third consecutive month.

To keep pace, and continue bucking the smaller machine shop trends, the staff at APM must maintain our reputation for delivering the highest quality precision machined parts on time, on budget, with great customer service. In addition, our industry demands the use of the latest in cutting edge CNC machine tools. The CNC mill and CNC lathe are the staple of any precision machine shop, but today, the services of some lesser known technologies are becoming more important. For example, coordinate measuring machines, or CMM's as they are referred to as, have long been in use. As a geometric tolerancing tool, CMM's are computer numerically controlled, routinely allowing for and ensuring a high degree of accuracy and precision when machining a part.

Today, inspection reports and the demand for parts requiring ISO 9001:2008 certified machining, a set of standardized requirements for quality management, is on the increase. APM's recent purchase of a Zeiss Metrology Spectrum II CMM puts us at an advantage, and one small step closer to full adherence with ISO certification standards. Despite the mixed bag of industry news, we are confident that our commitment to machining the finest parts, while incorporating the latest technical advances, will maintain our client base, and secure future work orders. Have a great Spring!

Need help with an upcoming project? We're here to help and are happy to discuss your machining needs. Call us at at 303.776.1910 or send us an email.

About the Author

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. Before making his home in the United States in 2000, Gerry was born and raised on the emerald isle of Ireland and took an interest in milling and machining from an early age, ranking #1 in the Irish National Apprenticeship Program. In 2005, he partnered with his friend and colleague, Kirk Tuesburg, currently APM’s machine shop manager, together launching what’s grown into a leading Colorado machine shop. Gerry brings over 30 years of machining experience to the shop floor, and is certified in all aspects of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.

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