A Journey Through the Modern Machine Shop

Identifying Your Shop's Biggest Challenges

Delivering top-quality parts to your customer is an absolute necessity for machine shops. However, various challenges undermine time-to-delivery efforts. When shops are in the midst of facing challenges among models preparations, toolpaths, and unreliable verification G-codes, valuable time and money is put at risk.

Fortunately, advancements in manufacturing technology offer solutions to the challenges engineers are facing.

In this complimentary e-book, learn the ins and outs of modern-day digital machine shops that pinpoint challenges and identify solutions to make machining processes more efficient.

Reduce time-to-delivery 56%
Lower machining turnaround times 32%
Increase customer acceptance rates 28%
Decrease tool wear and breakage 24%
Shorten bid turnaround times 24%

2017 study by NC Machining: 215 respondents identified the top goals for machine shops.

What is the Biggest Challenge in Delivering Products On Time?

Out of five different categories, time-to-delivery was identified as the most important need for change in machine shops, surpassing the second top choice by a whopping 24%.

Time-to-delivery is ultimately a huge financial measure that machine shops can easily obtain. In turn, the more quickly the company can deliver parts, the sooner they can send invoices, deliver orders, and generate revenue all while maintaining bottom line costs.


Reduce time-to delivery
Lower machining turnaround times
Increase customer acceptance rates
Decrease tool wear and breakage
Shorten bid turnaround times
Data must be transferred between software 27%
Painful to accommodate design changes 27%
Difficult to work with design and tooling models 25%

In a 2017 study by NC Machining, model-related challenges were surveyed. The top 3 challenges were highlighted.

What is the Biggest Time Waster for Your Company?

A few other factors that cause a struggle to reduce time-to-delivery includes imported models with geometry issues, model design changes, and the need for model modifications. These factors not only cause machine model problems, but they also cause data loss between teams and software programs.

Without integrated CAD and CAM programs, machine shops are stressed with starting the process from the very beginning, making changes along the way, and re-preparing it for machining.


Data must be transferred between different software (CAD, CAM, CMM) and teams
It is painful to accommodate design changes from internal to external stakeholders
It is difficult to work with design and tooling models from customers
Machined parts require rework 27%
Machine operations are inefficient 26%
Generating good toolpaths is difficult 21%

In a 2017 study by NC Machining, toolpath challenges were surveyed. The top 3 challenges were highlighted.

What Are the Biggest Toolpath Challenges?

Creating toolpaths is a complex task and typically involve careful crafting to be effective.


Most respondents from this study found that they were tasked with unplanned polishing and extra modifications due to their chosen CAM software being unreliable.

With so many toolpath issues causing problems for machine shops, they are forced to redo the parts in order to meet market standards.


Machined parts require rework (quality surface finish, aesthetics, etc.) to meet requirements
Machine operations are inefficient due to air cutting, low material removal rate, tool overload, chatter, etc.
Generating good toolpaths is difficult due to part model prep, many toolpaths iterations, editing, etc.
The need to manually validate G-codes 24%
Machine tools behaving differently than the software 16%

In a 2017 study by NC Machining, verification challenges were surveyed. The top 2 challenges were highlighted.

What Are the Verification-Related Challenges?

A large issue companies face involves G-code verification. Many shops work on verifying their G-code virtually as a simulation, which eliminates the risk of breaking products and equipment. For some companies, this can be problematic.

When virtual verification using CAM applications cannot reliably catch such issues, the company must manually review the G-code that includes the instructions for the CNC machine which is a painstaking task.


Need to manually validate the NC programs (G-code) work as expected
Machine tool often behaves differently than simulated in CAM software

Grab a Copy of the Digital Journey of the Modern Machine Shop

With advancements in manufacturing technology, many of the challenges being faced can be solved. Fill out the form below to get a copy of the ebook.

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