Hastreiter Industries

5 Vital Factors to Consider When Hiring an Aerospace Machine Shop

Are You In Search of Aerospace Machining Services?

Like most other industries, the aerospace and aviation industry faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Good news lies ahead, however, as the aerospace is now expected to see a decade of growth (Forbes)

As a result of this, demand for quality aerospace machining services is rising. Verified Market Research estimates that by 2030 the aerospace parts manufacturing revenue will reach $1.36 trillion (Verified Market Research)

As with any decisions we make in business, finding the right partner for your aerospace CNC machining services can mean the difference between success and failure. 

If you’re searching for an aerospace machine shop to trust with your critical projects, you already understand the importance of quality when it comes to aerospace machining. 

With so many companies advertising their aerospace machining capabilities, the challenge is it’s not always easy to identify which companies to trust with your crucial aerospace manufacturing needs. 

First: The Importance of Quality Aerospace Machining

CNC Machining Aerospace Parts

Precision in Action: A Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) ensures every aerospace component meets the highest standards of accuracy and quality.

Quality CNC machining is of paramount importance for aerospace machining due to the critical nature of aerospace components and the rigorous demands they must be able to withstand.

Quality machining plays a key part in aerospace manufacturing due to its direct impact on safety, performance, compliance, and the longevity of aerospace components. 

Top-quality aerospace machining companies have the knowledge, equipment and processes in place to ensure that every part meets stringent requirements.

Searching for Top Aerospace Machine Shops

As you may have found, a quick Google search of “Best Aerospace Machining Company” will yield an endless number of results.

And as the aerospace industry grows, so too do the number of manufacturers offering their CNC machining services. That said, there are several factors that will help you to zero in on the top aerospace machining suppliers. These five key factors can make all the difference in ensuring your aerospace components are manufactured with precision, quality, and adherence to industry standards:

5 Factors That Will Help Lead You to Aerospace Machining Success

1. Cutting Edge CNC Machining Technology

Look for an aerospace machine shop equipped with cutting-edge CNC machining capabilities. Advanced computer numerical control technology guarantees unmatched precision and repeatability in producing complex aerospace parts, meeting even the most stringent tolerances required for aviation applications.

That said, quality machining is dependent on much more than the CNC machines themselves.

Speed, accuracy and repeatability in machining are heavily dependent on many factors including:

  • The quality, precision and characteristics of the tooling being used
  • The CNC operator, or machinist using them
  • Cutting speed & feed rate
  • The condition of the CNC machines – How often are they calibrated?
  • Coolant – both purity and age
  • Internal stress of the workpiece
  • Thermal deformation – ambient temperature

The list goes on from here, but it’s important when interviewing aerospace machine shops to have an understanding of how they manage their machining processes. 

2. Extensive Materials Knowledge

When it comes to manufacturing parts and components for the aerospace industry, choosing the right materials is critical. Performance, weight, strength, resistance to heat, resistance to fatigue as well as many other factors need to be considered.

It’s important that the CNC machine shop your working with has a  comprehensive understanding of a wide range of materials, from traditional metals to high-performance alloys and composites.

By integrating DFM (Design for Manufacturability) principles into our process, we can help guide you to a successful manufacturing outcome. With our experience with DFM, we can help you improve project success from the prototype stage to volume runs and production runs of precision machined parts and components. 

3. Industry Certifications

Has the aerospace machine shop you’re considering invested the time, energy and commitment as a company to achieve industry certifications? Here’s why this is important.

Third party validation can give you piece of mind when selecting the best aerospace CNC machine shops, and can remove much of the guesswork for you. Achieving certifications (including ISO9001) means a quality management system is verified to be in place along with processes following industry best practices. 

ISO 9001, is a globally recognized standard that includes a rigid set of standards including customer focus, management, processes and continuous improvement. 

ITAR certified machine shops are also an indication that you’re working with a qualified aerospace machine shop.

ITAR compliance is crucial when selecting a machine shop for aerospace, as it ensures legal adherence, protection of sensitive information, and compatibility with defense-related projects.

Working with an ITAR-compliant machine shop provides peace of mind and fosters trust in the handling of critical aerospace components and projects.

4. Dedicated Engineering Support

You’ll have a better experience when working with a machine shop with a team of engineers. A team with an understanding of building parts, components and assemblies for aerospace companies.

Many of our aerospace customers appreciate our expert guidance and collaboration from the initial design phase to the final production of their parts.

Dedicated engineering support streamlines the development process, enabling design optimization and cost-effective solutions to meet your project’s unique requirements.

5. Comprehensive Testing and Inspection Capabilities:

Reliable aerospace machine shops invest in state-of-the-art testing and inspection equipment to validate the quality and integrity of the manufactured components.

Proper testing ensures superior quality, defect prevention, compliance with regulations, and verification of complex geometries, ultimately contributing to the safe and reliable performance of aerospace components in the field.

What type of investment and commitment does the machine shop have in inspection technology? Better yet….do they have a metrology lab in-house?

Do they have a CMM (coordinate measuring machine)? Vision inspection system? Do they have calibration records on their inspection equipment? 

Aerospace projects often involve producing multiple identical components.

Implementing Statistical Process Control (SPC) in the production of multiple identical components empowers us to maintain consistent quality levels, identify potential variations, and make data-driven decisions, ensuring a high level of precision and reliability throughout the manufacturing process.

The use of a CMM and other advanced inspection equipment ensures consistent and repeatable measurements, leading to a uniform quality output across all batches.

Due to our parts inspection strategy and innovative testing and inspection technology, we were recently featured in Production Machining. You can read about it here.

Summary

If you can gain an understanding of how your potential aerospace CNC machine shop addresses these five critical areas, you’ll be in a great position to make an informed decision for your machining project. With the right aerospace machining partner you can rest assured that your aerospace components will be crafted with precision, efficiency, and the utmost attention to quality, helping your projects take flight with confidence and excellence.

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