CNC Machining Outsourcing: Know Where You're Going
As in any manufacturing process, if you don't know where you're going, or at least know where you came from, chances are you're going to get lost. In selecting a source for your CNC Machining work, the same rules apply.
As motivational author Steven Covey says, "Let's put first things first."
- What's the scope of the work? Is it a casting, or from bar stock? Why?
- Is to be plated, ground, heat treated or broached, etc?
- Are the tolerances really necessary, and why?
- Are there specific attributes that, if not closely maintained, will wreak havoc at subsequent operations (Geometric, Tolerancing, etc.)?
- What CNC Machine or Machines and in what order?
- Manpower requirements (skill level)?
- Can the vendor demonstrate an ability to do the work? (more on that later)
There's more on this but let's leave it here.
Write it down. Most shops have highly skilled people who have been with company for years. They know how to do the work. What happens if they leave the company or get sick. A library of this knowledge should be maintained on each and every job so it doesn't have to be reinvented. Same with vendors. Have them maintain a process sheet, not necessarily to share it with you, but if it worked the first time you want him to repeat that process.
Ask questions. I was once told by my Dad that I will do more to impress a person by the questions I ask than by my answers. If a vendor has read the drawings, even if it's a thoroughly accurate document, we must remember that we are still trying to convey a concept, and most people will filter or see it through their own personal perceptions:
I.e.: A doctor may notice a person's arm bent in an unnatural position. Until he asks a few questions about the incident and x-rays it he doesn't know what has happened. Use this thought with a job, and with vendor selection. Would you want a new doctor to treat you without at least getting some family history?
Foranne Manufacturing approaches each one of your jobs with the same concept. You probably know you have a problem. Let us ask some questions, maybe we can't solve it. But we might know someone who can.
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