What is Aerospace Machining?
Aerospace machining encompasses a broad field of machining. In the general sense, anything that is produced for the Aerospace industry in a machine shop could be classified as Aerospace Machining. Since airplanes need to be as light as possible, virtually all components for the aerospace industry are made from materials that have the highest strength to weight ratio – within economic limitations.
When it comes to precision parts made by machine shops, the vast majority of parts are made from aluminum. Aluminum meets the primary criteria of being light weight, high strength, and cost effective. Today, most of the precision machined parts for the aerospace industry are produced on CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machines. CNC machines have the distinction of being extremely accurate, very productive and very adaptable. Additionally, as machines go, CNC machines are very cost effective. A machined part that takes 2 hours to machine today on CNC equipment might have taken 50 hours or more to produce on manually operated machines 40 years ago.
To be competitive in aerospace machining, a modern machine shop must use the absolute latest technology in equipment and tooling. Since CNC machines are available to shops all over the world, precision machining in the United States has become extremely demanding. That, combined with the extremely critical nature of the parts being produced, means that there is an extremely small margin for error – especially for small machine shops. For many years now, small machine shops all across the country have been closing down due to the fact that they could no longer generate a sustainable profit.
In order to remain viable, it is necessary for machine shops of all sizes to operate extremely lean. However, the key to surviving in today’s climate is to operate as lean as possible without sacrificing performance in the areas of quality, delivery and pricing. One shop that has been performing very well despite the current contraction is CNC Industries, Inc. in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
(A component part for the Aerospace industry, precision machined by CNC Industries)
To remain profitable in an extremely competitive environment CNC Industries has implemented a sophisticated, home grown ERP II system. The system, comprising both hardware and software, is distributed throughout the company and manages literally every aspect of each job from top to bottom. This insures that every last detail of each job is performed exactly as planned.
Due to a group of talented and dedicated people as well as their use of leading edge technology, the company enjoys an excellent track record for quality and on-time performance. For that reason, most of the company’s customers consider CNC Industries to be their preferred supplier. One aerospace customer in particular holds CNC Industries up as the standard by which they measure other suppliers.