The first step to producing big quantities of parts by CNC machining technology (mills, lathes, laser cutters) is the preparation of well-thought-out orders.
Although the matter of 'CNC order' can look simple and obvious, the right way to prepare such a document can be tricky and impact further communication with the CNC machining factory.
How to prepare a CNC job to avoid further problems with delivery and what types of information you should put into the first message? The knowledge you find below will help you to optimize the whole quotation process and allow you to fast-track even the most complex CNC job.
CNC machining jobs - what type of information should you include in the first message?
Niezależnie od tego czy są to małe czy duże zlecenia CNC, w pierwszej wiadomości do firmy zajmującej się skrawaniem powinno się zawrzeć niezbędne informacje, które pomogą specjalistom w przygotowaniu wyceny usługi oraz oszacowaniu planowanego czasu realizacji.
Big or small CNC jobs require clear communication between the client and the CNC machining factory. In the first message to such a company, you should put the maximum information that will help to create well-suited quotations and make the whole process faster and easier. For clients and the machining shop.
What you should put into the CNC machining order:
- Desired technology of manufacturing parts – does it should be milling (eg. 2D, 5-axis, 3+2, or in other technology), turning, sanding, or different. Such information allows to fast-track the whole quotation process (sometimes different CNC machinists estimate the cost of milling and turning),
- Shape and dimensions of the ordered part – it is best to put in millimeters, but if you need – put that information in metrics. But remember to give information on the used system for the CNC company team,
- The quantity of the whole order (amount of ordered batch),
- Type of desired material for the product type – the more precise specification, the easier it is to prepare quotations for the CNC job and estimate the cost of the whole manufacturing process. If it is available – sending the part's specification to the CNC machine shop would be a good idea. If you are not sure what type of material should be used in the machining process – describe the desired mass of the part and the conditions in which it will operate. Our specialists will help you to find the perfect material (among metals and plastics) to manufacture such parts,
- Additional information related to surface processing or other bettering parts – eg. aluminum anodizing (eg. desired color for SALANDOR process) or laser marking surface (perfectly – with vector file with an example of such marking, its shape, position, and size),
- Parts documentation, which includes technical drawing of a machined part, eg. in the form of a CAD (CAM translatable) file or vector PDF that describes precisely the dimensions and desired shape of the ordered part,
- Delivery /pick-up details – eg. do you need courier services for the machined parts or prefer personal pick-up from the CNC machining plant,
- Desired time of realization – in other words: when do you need parts ready. Such information can highlight the priority of such work and impact the cost or the overall possibility for the parts manufacturing,
- Contact information – a good email address (without typos!) and a phone number can save a lot of nerves in further communication.
CNC job briefing, constructed in such a manner, gives the company that focuses on computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine manufacturing the possibility to prepare the quotation to the best of their abilities.
Of course – if some of the above information is missing, CNC operators or project managers will return with feedback.
If you are not sure what type of CNC machining you should choose to manufacture desired parts or what type of (raw) material would be perfect – mention that in the first message.
CNC specialists will help you to find the best one for your requirements.
Their knowledge can also lead to significant savings on the project – for example, not every part should be manufactured out of metal; in many applications, polymers are more than sufficient.
As an answer for a well-constructed CNC job description, you can get:
- first: information on the availability particular CNC machining plant for executing the manufacturing process,
- estimated quotation of the production,
- initial time schedule for the whole process (eg. 4 working days from the acceptance of the price and timeline),
- sometimes – additional questions for the additional service (eg. if you mention the aluminum part will work in a corrosive environment, the CNC shop can suggest additional anodization to provide the best corrosion prevention). It is worth mentioning that outsourcing a bigger amount of processes in one shop can reduce the cost of the whole manufacturing than seeking the best prices in different factories (eg. manufacturing in one, surface better in another),
- information related to a possible delivery/pick-up.
After agreeing on these terms or determining their final form the manufacturing process begins.
When is CNC machining profitable?
Industry-level CNC services have their amount limitation. That is why many factories have their 'minimal threshold for the CNC jobs profitability'. Of course – from the client's perspective.
Such limitations are strongly related to the CNC machine operation – preparation of the whole machining process includes:
- creation – sometimes from the scrap or hand drawings – a computer program for the CNC mill, lathe, or laser cutter in the G-Code,
- verification and testing of every parameter before launching them manufacturing,
- preparation of proper amount of materials or machine tools (eg. cutting bits or cutters for particular material).
Such preparation can take time and usually makes the whole preparation very time and labor-consuming.
That is why the biggest advantage of CNC machining – low unit cost of manufacturing – can be achieved above the threshold.
In RADMOT we estimate such levels for:
- CNC milling – from 100 units per batch / from 400 units yearly,
- CNC turning – from 250 units per batch / from 1000 units yearly.
Below such level units, the cost of CNC manufacturing can be less than profitable for the customer.
Of course – each project is different; for manufacturing small batches of complicated parts that should be manufactured with minimal tolerances CNC machining can remain profitable and we are more than happy to talk about it.
Every CNC job we analyze individually to provide our clients with the best estimations, and quotations, and to provide the best answer.
It is worth mentioning the maximum parameters of parts we can manufacture in RADMOT:
- for the CNC milling (2D, 3D, 5-axis) – maximal dimensions are 500 x 500 x 350 mm (19.685 x 19.685 x 13.7795 in.),
- for the CNC turning – diameter from 3 to 250 mm (from 0.11811 to 9.84252 in.) and the maximum length 680 mm (26.7717 in.).
We will quote your order quickly and for free
Send us a quote and tell us what type of CNC machined parts you need. We have offered professional CNC services for over 40 years and our quotation is completely free.
If you have any questions regarding CNC manufacturing processes – send us a question: and we will help you to understand it better. Our knowledge is at your service.