5 tips for working with your machining vendor

Machine tech welding

The way you work with your machining vendor can either spell success or disaster for your project. Ensuring a positive result means working together coherently with your machining vendor and ensuring your goals are understood and met. You want to make sure that your vendor is not only qualified and equipped to do your work, but that you will also communicate and work well together. Here are five tips to help you work with your machining vendor, and assess their capabilities.

CHECK THAT THEY ARE CAPABLE (AND WILLING) TO TAKE ON YOUR PROJECT

A busy machining vendor might be popular, but that might also mean they don’t have the time or interest to take on your project. You want to work with a vendor who is keen and capable of taking on your work and has the energy and resources to bring the best results to your project. An excellent machining vendor will be up to date with the latest technology and have an efficient turnaround time to ensure your project is finished professionally and promptly.

Custom and sample parts for precision machiningTALK ABOUT CUSTOM PARTS AND SAMPLE PARTS

Every project is different and every part has different specifications and requirements. It’s essential that your machining vendor understands what you need. In some cases, you may need a particular custom part, and you may also want to provide a sample part to ensure your design and the tolerances are correct. Your machining vendor can discuss your specific part needs and develop a sample part for you to review in order to ensure that the part will work as designed.

CHOOSE A VENDOR WITH IN HOUSE DESIGN CAPABILITIES

Plans for your part design and specifications can change throughout the machining process. You may also decide that you want new parts designed and developed along the way. Ensuring that your machining vendor has engineers and design staff on site helps to make sure that they have a deeper understanding of your needs and the ability to keep up with your requirements throughout the project. It also saves time on outsourcing design to other companies or professionals.

KEEP LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN

From when you first contact your machining vendor to the time the project is completed, you want to ensure you have open lines of communication with your machining vendor. Keeping lines of communication open not only helps keep you up to date with the progress of your project, but it also contributes to ensuring everything goes according to plan. Open communication can help make things like pricing and specifications clear, ensuring your machinist’s job is easier, and you get the result you wanted.

BE CLEAR WITH SPECIFICATIONS

It’s essential that either you or your designer provide detailed specifications for every aspect of your part, from materials to tolerances. If you’re having your part designed in-house, it’s important to specify your requirements in as much detail as possible. Aspects of the minimum specifications you should include are material specifications, surface finish requirements, default dimensional tolerances, maximum and minimum corner breaks or chamfers, maximum and minimum filet radii, plating and passivation specifications.

By following these 5 tips, you can work more efficiently and effectively with your machining vendor to produce the outstanding machined part or piece you need.