Your new product demands a certain level of quality that you have to budget for. For run-of-the-mill products, that might be the level of quality to ensure it survives the warranty period without breaking, or whatever level of quality you can achieve within a given price point.
For Ben Machine customers, it’s more likely the level of quality that will ensure it keeps working in outer space, or that it won’t fail during a nuclear reactor crisis. There are always external influences on how much quality you need to buy.
As a manufacturer, Ben Machine has to be very careful when calculating our costs to provide that quality. Our infrastructure imposes costs some other CNC machine shops don’t have. Fortunately, we never set out to produce the cheapest CNC machined parts –only the best.
The Path to Producing CNC Machined Parts
Do we quote a job with the cheapest material source we can find, or do we spend extra to get stock from a trusted local supplier? The tradeoff between the risk of shipping delays and order mix-ups on one hand and quick, reliable -but more expensive- delivery on the other is a calculation we often have to consider. Can our engineers find a way to reduce material waste, and can we use that savings to offset a higher procurement cost? After all, finding added value is part of our responsibility to our customers.
The cost of running a CNC machine shop depends on many factors, the first of which is the number of axes the machine has. More axes of movement mean more operations can be carried out on a part with a single setup, and the setup is where our costs lie because of the labor involved.
That means producing a part on a 5-axis CNC machine (while more expensive to operate on an hourly basis) may be the cheaper alternative because it saves setup operations that would be required on a 3-axis machine. Our engineers then have to consider scheduling to determine what resources are available for the project. Every step along the way these decisions have to be factored into determining how best to provide for our customers.
The Built-In Costs of Quality
We are heavily invested in quality assurance measures because most of our customers require it. Maintaining those measures is no small consideration. Fully ten percent of our workforce is involved in metrology and quality control. Much of our integrated software is devoted to making sure specs are met and every aspect is logged.
We maintain AS9100 and ISO9001 certifications, ITAR-level security protections, and other quality measures to make sure we always measure up to our customer’s expectations, and all of that incurs costs.
Ben Machine focuses on low-volume production and prototyping. We help develop the procedures for getting the quality results other shops can’t figure out, and we’ve been doing it for 50 years. The aerospace, defense, medical, and nuclear industries effectively have no margin of error. The components we produce for them have to deliver every single time.
Rather than assuming that Ben Machine is too specialized for your project, you should have us take a look at it. You might be shocked at the level of quality we can bring to your product, and for a price you can ultimately afford.
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