While machining technology keeps changing, machining best practices mostly stay the same.

Suppliers that use the best machining approaches can save you time and money by delivering parts faster.

In this email, I’ll walk you through Patriot’s best practices for machining complex parts.

1. Embrace standardization where possible

We use standardized production methods and parts to reduce costs and maximize flexibility where possible/appropriate. This makes it a lot easier for our customers to incorporate our parts into their assembly.

By reducing the overall number of part types for a particular project, we can greatly speed up the production process. This also helps us keep overhead costs down and ensure JIT delivery.

2. Use lean production methods

Lean production increases our productivity by cutting production times, minimizing inventories, preventing errors, and reducing scrap. Because of this added flexibility, we can deliver parts to our customers with fairly short notice, or we can deliver reliably based on a monthly production schedule too.

3. Invest in the best machines & the best people

We use state-of-the-art multi-axis CNC milling machines operated by experienced machinists who know how to unlock the efficiency/quality benefits of the technology. Our operators find opportunities to push the limits of the machining process to produce parts faster, without compromising quality.

For example, on a regular 3-axis mill, you can make most parts with six different setups or less. That means an operator has to manually adjust the part position six times. But with our multi-axis mills, we can make the same part (with higher precision) in just one setup. That drastically reduces machining time, especially when we get to high-volume production.

Is your supplier using the best technology and machining techniques?

It’s in your best interest to find out.

Be sure to ask your supplier how they ensure they’re fully utilizing their technological and intellectual capacity to get you the best quality parts fast and at the best price.

If your supplier is still using old 3-axis technology to produce complex parts, you should encourage them to invest in multi-axis milling. If they’re unwilling to upgrade, then it’s likely time to find a supplier that adheres to machining best practices.

Your team will thank you for delivering higher-quality parts, and you’ll thank yourself for avoiding future headaches from late deliveries and bloated budgets.