Why Machine Shops Should Build a Network with Each Other
No machine shop wants to turn away customers. However, if the work is beyond a shop’s capabilities, it’s not good business practice to take the job and deliver subpar results.
Fortunately, there’s a third option—one we frequently turn to at Peerless Precision: collaboration between shops. When shops collaborate, we can build partnerships that work off each other’s strengths and manufacture high-quality parts—no matter the requirements. Everyone wins.
Keep reading to find out how we support other shops—and when we know it’s time to reach out and call on other shops for their support.
How Peerless Precision Supports Other Machine Shops
Shops often call on Peerless Precision for our expertise in manual machining methods and finishing processes, tight tolerance parts, prototypes, and low-volume orders.
Manual machining methods
The machinists at Peerless Precision are experts in manual machining—a skill that’s becoming more difficult to find. While budding machinists are taught manual methods initially, they soon move on to CNC machining. This transition leaves little time to develop the feel of manual machining, which can take years. We continuously train our machinists on manual methods so we can perform this type of work for our customers.
Manual machining has many advantages, including short turnaround times. The process involves fewer steps than CNC methods and requires no programming. Manual machining is also ideal for smaller projects, a major focus area for our shop.
Tight tolerances for defense and aerospace machining
A part is considered to have a tight tolerance when its permitted variance is plus or minus 0.002-0.001”. Even a slight variance of 0.005” can lead to part failure and potentially result in severe damage. With our expertise, our team can achieve tolerances from 0.0001” to 0.000005”—a range often required for medical, aeronautics, and aerospace machining.
Prototypes and low-volume orders
Some job shops turn down orders for five, 10, or 25 parts because they prefer high-volume work involving thousands of parts. However, our machinists have decades of experience focused on prototypes and low-volume production. Our problem-solving and critical-thinking skills allow us to build partnerships with our customers to meet their small order needs with quality, efficiency, flexibility, and speed.
Manual finishing processes
Our shop specializes in cylindrical grinding, lapping, and honing. We work with two different honing technologies, including our Sunnen ML-4000 machine. We also have two types of lapping capabilities: match lapping and roll lapping. These manual finishing processes are ideal for high-precision parts common in medical, optical, defense, and aerospace machining.
When We Seek Outside Support from Other Shops
We reach out to our network of precision machining partners for several reasons. Sometimes, a piece of material may be too big for our machines, so we contact another shop that can handle it. Other times, capacity becomes an issue. We may subcontract mill and lathe work to another shop when we see a bottleneck brewing.
With this flexibility, we can ensure our customers get the parts they need when they need them. Working with other shops also improves our ability to control costs—though that’s been challenging in the past few years because of supply chain issues and cost increases across the board in areas like utilities, labor, and materials.
While we enjoy working with other businesses, not every precision machining shop is willing to join forces. They worry another company will steal their customers. But we believe churn won’t be an issue if you provide excellent service. It’s all about trust. We work with shops we know and have good relationships with to fill each other gaps and keep customers in the region.
Learn more about working with our team by requesting a quote today.