Not all shops have the good fortune to have skilled CNC programmers on staff, which — in today’s leaner manufacturing environments — often makes outsourcing CNC programming a beneficial strategy. Why would outsourcing CNC programming be preferable to keeping CNC programming in house? Let’s weigh the options.
The Main Advantages of Outsourcing CNC Programming
One of the primary advantages to outsourcing CNC programming is cost. Rather than having the expense of full-time CNC programmers on staff, outsourcing allows you to get the necessary knowledge when you need it.
There are other benefits as well. Outside experts who specialize in CNC programming are likely to have come across a variety of CNC machining scenarios. They have been put in numerous situations calling for them to use their knowledge and experience to resolve diverse issues. In other words, CNC programming is their particular area of expertise. They can work with in-house CNC programmers not only to develop solutions but also to find better and more efficient ways to conduct production.
Specific Areas for Improvement with Outsourced CNC Programming
Utilizing the skills and experience of an outside CNC programmer can help your organization make a variety of improvements in multiple areas.
Specialized Cutting Tools
Outsourcing CNC programming can give you access to more knowledge about specialized cutting tools which an in-house programmer may not be familiar with. Because outside resources have probably seen various tools used in different manufacturing settings, they can likely recommend cutting tools that are more efficient or accurate.
Better Cutting Techniques
An outside resource is much more likely to have been exposed to a variety of cutting techniques in different scenarios. While in-house programmers may be accustomed to the “way things are done” in their specific environments, there can be great value in applying cutting techniques that may have proven successful in other applications.
Material Knowledge & Analysis
Outsourcing CNC programming can give you access to better material analysis, leading to opportunities for improved cutting and machining performance. Wouldn’t it be great to have access to a knowledgeable resource who can tell you, “I’ve seen this happen before with this material. Here’s how we resolved the issue.”
Cutting & Cooling Fluid Evaluation
Properly evaluating cutting and cooling fluids can improve efficiency and reduce expenses. An experienced outside CNC programmer may very well have much more experience performing cutting tests and evaluating fluids. It may not be an area where in-house programmers excel.
Where to Begin Outsourcing CNC Programming
An obvious place to seek assistance in outsourcing CNC programming is your CNC machine company representative. At least it should be. Unfortunately, most CNC machine manufacturers are far more interested in selling machinery than they are in partnering with customers to help them get the most out of them.
At L.K. Machinery, we’re less focused on machine sales, considering ourselves more of a consultancy for our client partners. We have in-house CNC cutting experts who can advise on performance optimization, as well as machine selection.
In one recent case, our in-house experts were able to cut a client’s cycle time from 22 to 11 seconds. That’s a 50 percent increase in productivity and efficiency. Now, we can’t promise a 50-percent reduction in cycle times for every situation, but our team will do everything we can to help you get the most out of your purchase.
Our turnkey CNC solutions are designed to make sure our customers are comfortable with their choice of machinery and that they have a secure platform to build on moving forward, knowing that they have access to our team of CNC programming experts, as needed. This approach helps our customers acquire the degree of CNC machining knowledge and equipment they need to attain higher levels of quality, consistency and efficiency. We think this is the way business should be conducted and it’s how we do things at L.K. Machinery.