Ordering custom machined parts with a new machine shop supplier

In continuing the last post on finding a new precision machine shop for custom machined parts, I am going to go over a bit of what to expect with the first order or two.

Communication is still the key to the process.  At CNC Industries, we have often been told that our communication is a large part of the reason we are a favored suppliers.   Precision Machining is a relatively demanding process still today.   The information overload that comes with each part drawing can often lead to overlooked features or specifications.

Aerospace components often contain numerous mil-specs, customer-specific specifications, large amounts of technical call-outs, and even separate purchase order specifications.   Parts that are less complex than aerospace components may have critical details that are easy to overlook.  Part Revisioning can cause increased complexity and another chance to overlook a crucial piece of information.   If you have not checked it yet, it is important to carefully evaluate into your supplier’s information management system.     The Boeing Company has stated that they consider a supplier’s information management system an important part of their selection process.

It is important for the new machine shop supplier to ask any clarifying questions necessary to get the complete picture of the machined part that they will be producing.   Ideally all questions from the machine shop should come out during the RFQ process.    However, it is not uncommon for the engineering team to take a deeper look at the part as they plan the production process.    For example, during the RFQ process for new customer that we recently acquired we were able to ascertain that they had mislabeled a set of drawings they had sent us to quote.   Through our examination of the part we noticed that some of the details seemed to be wrong for the stated use of the part.   We consider our discovery of this error on their drawing to be a large part of the reason we received the initial purchase order.

Another important aspect of the first job is to carefully select which parts you will be sending to the new supplier.    Looking toward a long-term relationship, it has worked well at CNC Industries for a new customer to order a variety of potential parts in the initial order.    That way we have a good feel for the potential piece-part complexities.   If you are to beging working with a new precision machine shop and send only small simple parts to them, you may find that they are not capable of handling the more complex machined parts that you want to order down the road.   Likewise if you are sending only complex parts and you want to have a single source to deal with for machined parts, you may find that the machine shop is not price competitive on simpler parts.   

As you can see from our parts profile page, CNC Industries works with a large variety of complexities and quantities on a daily basis.

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CNC Industries is a Fort Wayne, Indiana based machine shop specializing in precision CNC machining, fabrication and assembly of application-critical and custom machined parts for the Aerospace, Defense, Medical, Industrial and Transportation markets. The company presently employs approximately 55 people.

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June 1st, 2010|