Every precision CNC machine shop has its specialties, preferred methods, and processes. To ensure you find exactly what you are looking for, give some due diligence when searching for the best CNC machine shop for your project. Of course, the one way to find exactly what you need is to know exactly what you need. With that in mind, we have assembled a list of questions to ask during your search for superior CNC machining in Indiana.
While distance isn’t everything, a long distance can often mean slower delivery. If you are searching for a quick turnaround, we suggest looking at the precision CNC machine shops closest to you. Ask about pick-up and delivery services; for rush jobs, they may even be able to bring it to you upon completion. Flenar offers delivery within a 60-mile radius, encompassing metropolitan areas such as South Bend, Fort Wayne, and Warsaw. We handle shipping regularly and love to facilitate in-person deliveries when possible.
Most machine shops are capable of reading common file types, but their services should hardly stop there. Flenar regularly reviews drawings and designs to offer insight into the manufacturability of a customer’s project. This includes identifying the processes required (turning, milling, 3D printing, etc.) and pieces involved, as well as determining whether there are conflicting dimensions or tolerances in order to avoid overtolerancing or undertolerancing. We look for three things when reviewing a drawing or design: fit, form, and function. If your drawings allow for all three, we will be off to a great start. Read our blog about tolerancing or contact Flenar today to learn more about our capabilities.
There is no universally recognized definition of a “precision” CNC machine shop, so it’s always best practice to ask about a shop’s machining capabilities. CNC equipment is designed to provide accuracy and repeatability, but it is also important to ask if a shop turns, mills, grinds, and cuts – not to mention the machines they use. Newer equipment will likely be more accurate. For reference, Flenar uses 4-axis and 5-axis milling machines.
If you are using stainless, brass, magnesium, or more exotic materials such as Inconel or titanium, it is always a good idea to ask what experience a CNC machine shop has with the specific material in question. There are some tricks to achieving accuracy and a good finish when working with these materials, and the same applies to welding them. We commonly work with stainless steels, titanium, aluminum, carbon steels, and plastics.
A clean, well-organized precision CNC machine shop should be able to meet general tolerances, follow GDT, and minimize part-to-part variability. If you require especially tight tolerances, definitely speak with the shop in advance about their capabilities. Flenar has made parts to tolerances as tight as ±.0001”. For more information about our capabilities, we recommend scheduling a virtual or on-site tour.
A precision CNC machine shop may often focus on a particular niche, application, or industry. A shop that is familiar with your industry is likely to deliver exactly what you are looking for as they will understand the expectations that aren’t spelled out in print. Flenar has experience meeting standards for a variety of industries, including aerospace (AS9100), medical (ISO:13485), automotive, and more. Additionally, we are FDA certified and regularly meet general ISO:9001 compliance guidelines regarding quality management systems.
Consider also what kind of inspection your parts will require. As a part of ISO:9001 QMS guidelines, Flenar is capable of things like hard-gauging and utilizing a state-of-the-art CMM. Our QMS also requires that we send out our gauging instruments for third-party calibration, allowing for one more set of eyes to validate the accuracy and quality of our tools.
Sure, all CNC machine shops can cut metal, but you should aim to work with a precision machine shop that understands your industry, requirements, and expectations. Rather than picking a shop simply based on price or convenience, it is important to ask the questions that will inevitably result in the best possible product. Flenar encourages you to explore our website and contact us for fast and affordable CNC machining in Indiana.