How To Optimize Your CNC Machine Shop

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Posted on Oct. 29th, 2020, | By WayKen Rapid Manufacturing

Manufacturing is one of the hardest ventures. Forming something from metal is extremely hard and expensive. There is no guarantee that the product you’ve developed will be sold so the risks are high. However, metal production has the most potential to develop. Once you’ve set your CNC machine shop and made it work in some way, you have limitless opportunities to improve and scale up your production. This article will tell you some ways to upgrade your CNC machining service business so that it becomes more efficient. But first, there is one thing you should note for yourself.

A lot of improvements are know-how and work for individual shops while being completely useless for others. You should always seek something that works for you and especially take into account the laws of your country, your geographical position, and your neighbors. There are a lot of examples when people tried the “foolproof 100% technique to peak revenue” or “ways to become another Tesla” while a simple and efficient solution looked them in the face. For instance, a CNC shop owner managed to cut his blank costs down 30% by simply finding out a local metallurgy plant, they’ve only made round stocks so the owner simply took orders that could be made from those stocks and refused to buy any other kind of blanks. That’s why to start from looking around you and once that is done, read the below tips to increase your profits even more.

Go Online

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The worldwide-web has connected everything. The people, the entertainment, and businesses have become integrated into one unity as well. The most influential companies use online marketing as the main source of clients. However, Machining shops tend to stray towards older models. Perhaps, they think that the people online are not looking for manufacturing but for entertainment, wares, or some services. Well, they are wrong. Developing the online presence of your CNC machine shop is crucial for order optimization. The higher your machine shop is on the search engine, the more clients you will get.

Optimize Quoting

Every project starts with a quote. The quality of the quote will determine a lot of things. 1) the numbers of clients- first; 2) the amount of profit and the loading rate of your equipment. Quotes sure are valuable. But what is also important is the time of quote turnaround. A lot of shops have managers do the quotes manually. That ensures a lot of paperwork and there is zero guarantee that it will result in jobs. Perhaps, it would be cheaper to get a developer to program an online automated quoting system for your website. Sure, it won’t be perfect and you can mention that it is a preliminary estimate. However, that type of quoting will be instant, which is very important for the client. And in addition, it will save your employees time doing quotes for the people who would decline.

Gather Data

We are living in a society where information is much more valuable than money. The same thing goes for your CNC machine shop. Each order is a treasure trove of very high-quality data! Make each one of your workers scrupulously write down the time they’ve spent doing certain tasks. Then, analyze this time for the bottlenecks in your workflow. An owner of a Machining services facility had trouble with deadlines. So, he doubled the number of machine tools. That didn’t help. In the end, it turned out he needed to hire a second storage worker because they had trouble addressing all the blanks to their respective equipment.

Offer Follow-Up Services

The manufacturing of a product is a complex and multistage endeavor. The more steps of this process you can offer, the better. The client would probably like to do everything in one place. For example, packing and painting are good methods to add to your machining equipment.

Choose a Consistent Niche

There are businesses that want to succeed in every kind of manufacturing. They try to make something of the best in every manufacturing method and technology. That is, of course, impossible and such businesses often fail at everything. It is much more efficient to choose a specialty and perfect yourself in that area. For example rapid prototype machining, precision machining, heavy machining, and so on. Working for one branch of industry is good as well. Sooner or later, you will be noticed by some major companies (for example, airbus in the aerospace industry ) who can become a constant and well-paying customer. You can also purchase specialized equipment that is only characteristic of one industry. Other CNC machine shops may simply not have it because their specialization is different.

Keep Track of Opportunities and Ideas

Once your shop starts working, your employees will think up a lot of different ways to make their workload easier or the quality of the part better. Some of the ideas may be useless, others you may adopt for the whole shop and there rarely may even be some diamonds among them. Do not be lazy and sign a copyright claim for such ideas. That way you may even get some additional income from copyright claims. And a machine shop with copyrighted technologies sounds much better, right?


As you can see, a lot of the mentioned tips do not directly influence the manufacturing floor. They don’t change the way people will process their parts or the equipment they use. That is because when we get to the actual machining, 90% of the processes are quite efficient. The modern CAM systems and NC programs of the machine tools make cutting very efficient in an automated mode; the setup process is easy with a professional machinist, the quality of the cutting tools allows processing at high feeds.

However, the management of the whole thing and the relationships between workers and the administration or between themselves or in regards to their work are what we should pay the most attention to. Only by noticing the seemingly irrelevant positive (a new setup strategy) or negative ( stocks being held at the storage for longer periods because the loading truck is in the way of the cart) elements and fixing them can we achieve overall improvement.

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