Get A
Free Quote

    Everyone knows that metal fabrication can get expensive. Between labor costs, materials, troubleshooting, and mass manufacturing, the price tag grows with every new detail you add or subtract. Fortunately, there are nearly half a dozen ways to cut costs on metal machining projects. The key is to work with the right company that can streamline the design and production processes as much as possible.

    Why is metal machining so expensive?

    CNC metal machining can cost quite a bit even if you’re working on small projects. That’s because the shop will typically calculate hourly rates based on a wide variety of unique factors such as the materials used, any special tools required, etc. Plus, the more precise your part needs to be, the more money it will cost to manufacture it. That’s just basic economics.

    Meanwhile, cutting costs should never mean sacrificing quality. Instead, try to work with a CNC machine shop that can stay focused on the bigger picture. More sustainable cost-cutting tactics are far better than risky compromises and impromptu solutions. So, let Pioneer Cuts demonstrate how a little understanding of material properties and advanced machining techniques can go a long way.

    5 ways to cut costs on metal machining

    Cutting costs on CNC metal fabrication isn’t always easy. In fact, it almost always requires a well-equipped CNC machine shop with heavy-duty rigs, highly skilled experts, and industry-leading software. Those amenities combined are what help project managers maintain budgets, deadlines, and designs without forfeiting precision. They’re great for ensuring each order adheres to your industry’s standards as well, further eliminating the need for expensive redesigns, redistributions, and recalls.

    As such, the following five tips do more than just help you save money on metal machining. They can also do this:

    •  Reduce project lead times by a measurable degree
    • Decrease the demands on your working capital
    • Increase your project’s speed to the market
    • Promote a higher industry standard

    When your team finds a CNC machine shop that can handle large-scale metal fabrication projects with speed, efficiency, and precision, you’re more likely to become a leader in your industry. So, use these five methods to make a major impact for a lot less money:

    #1. Identify the right materials and quantities.

    Start here with this crucial step because you’re about to invest a ton of money into the materials required for this project. Therefore, work with a team of metal fabrication specialists who can tell you which materials are best and how much you need. Remember, understanding material properties means better manufacturing outcomes.

    #2. Verify the accuracy of your design.

    Mistakes can happen even if you properly prepare but verifying the accuracy of your design can help cut costs by reducing the need for do-overs. This is usually when rapid prototype machining comes into play. The process lets teams collaborate around a working model of their order to determine whether it’s fit for mass production or not. Many times, prototyping saves companies thousands of dollars.

    #3. Simplify and/or limit tight tolerances.

    Tight tolerance features are only essential on certain parts and surfaces, so don’t be afraid to put a limit on it. Work with your design and engineering teams to make favorable adjustments where they’re needed the most. While you’re at it, be sure to consider the bend radius, diameters, and distances to help further enhance the value of your product without driving up the cost.

    #4. Use the best tools for each job.

    Choosing the right tools and techniques is crucial here, so think about the cost-cutting benefits of using automation to produce metal components. Most industrial rigs feature pre-set production processes that allow project managers to basically “set it and forget it.” And while picking the best tools and using automated machinery may cost more upfront, it can save you big time in the long run.

    #5. Demand high-tech CAD/CAM software.

    Automation requires top-notch CNC manufacturing software to function properly, so the best machine shops typically use ProShop ERP to handle projects large and small. This software allows machinists to make minor and major adjustments to the approach at various intervals, plus it provides unique insights about every part of the process to further streamline prototyping and production.

    In addition to these five helpful methods, remember this: it’s all about how you approach the situation. There are a variety of different ways to cut, form, and assemble your metal products. So, let your team of experts provide money-saving advice and make adjustments wherever they’re needed.

    Pros tips for saving more money on metal manufacturing

    Still, looking for ways to save capital on your upcoming metal fabrication projects? Here are some quick tips from the pros:

    •  Think about your approach to the project and consider new ways of creating the products you need. For example, plasmas, lasers, waterjets, and oxyfuel cutters each have unique pros and cons to consider before becoming steadfast on your preferred techniques.
    • Work with machining partners who know how to consolidate multiple steps on one piece of equipment. That way, you can cut back on hourly labor costs a little bit.
    • Consider the part’s intended use. Then, let your design and engineering teams suggest ways to reduce the operational costs before mass production starts.

    For more detailed information on how to further cut costs on your metal machining projects, talk to an expert at Pioneer Cuts today. Ask a representative about getting started or submitting data for a quick 6-hour quote using advanced manufacturing software.

    Share this article!

    CNC Design for Manufacturing eBook

    Design Parts with the manufacturing process in mind.