Machining shop size matters

Written by CNCxpress

On April 23, 2019
CNC precision machining

Machining shops size matters for the following 5 reasons.

 There are thousands of different machining shops from single operators to 100’s of machines.

Choosing a machining shop may impact both the quality and price. 

1. Purchasing power for materials.

The smaller the operators, the less likely they have the materials in stock. Increasing the likely hood they, will need to pay more for the raw materials.

Purchasing larger quantities usually give the bigger companies an advantage. When purchasing the raw materials needed for the projects.

The bigger Machine shops, usually carry stock of standard or often used materials.

This can have effects on prices of materials and ultimately the cost of the machined parts.

Machining shop size matters 1

2. Project set up.

While smaller businesses operators usually have a lot of experience from doing varied projects.
They generally rely more on previous experience and training to set up the machines.

Most larger business have dedicated CAD/CAM systems and operators, With a management structure allowing  them to easily plan the efficient use of the materials and machine time. Because of the greater number of projects both completed and under way they have a varied experience for newer style of projects.

Saving both time and money.  

3. Types of Machines and tooling.


The machines are the biggest investment in any Machining shop.
Second to the machines is the tooling required for a project.

CNC services

Machining parts can use a variety of machines to get the best result.

Some smaller operators have to make do with older machines and in some cases get some of the work done outside their workshop.
Tooling may be needed for just one project and can be very expensive.

Larger operators will generally have a variety of machines choosing the lowest cost cnc services to process the parts.

Machine shops generally have a big selection of tooling that can be used on various projects. 

4. Operators experience.

Smaller operators usually have varied types of projects and can be more experienced with a range of projects. Their projects can be limited in scope according to the machines and the time spent on a type of project.

Larger workshops have more operators with greater experience with individual types of projects.
The operators usually spend more time on a single type of machine.
This enables them to program the machine for the project more efficiently, since they are aware of the small differences between machines. 

5. Quality checking and other services.

Depending on the CNC precision machining of the parts, the devices required to check can vary.

Smaller operators usually have limited access to
high grade very precise instruments.
In many cases, they would need to send work out for some additional finishes or options.
Such as Laser etching, Anodizing, heat treatment in some cases even polishing.

Larger companies could have in house 3d checking machines to ensure the project meets the exact specification. 

They could also have additional services inhouse for laser etching to help categorize parts or add branding to the finished parts.


Many people believe using smaller operators will save money. While it is possible it is not always the case even for small projects.

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