Written by Marketeer

A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right Machine Shop

No matter the size or scope of the project in question, nothing is more frustrating than having a near-finished product ruined by bad or inconsistent machining. As it’s often a stage left near the end of a production cycle, it can be very costly to set aside a ruined part and start again – let alone the delays that may occur as a result. That’s why it’s crucial to do your homework and research multiple machine shops before making a decision.

Local or Overseas?

Just as with many production services, bigger isn’t always better, but neither is cheaper. Striking the right balance between price, accessibility, location, and specialization is very tricky, which is why it’s so important to visit a machine shop in person and meet the machinists themselves before ordering on a large scale.

If quality control is a major concern, choosing a higher-cost local machinist may be your better option. A smaller firm located near your operation will not only provide shortened shipping and delivery times, but the benefit to the consistency in the final product will be much more noticeable than sending an important first run overseas.

What’s Their Area of Expertise?

While it’s important to select a well-equipped shop for your projects, ask about their other services. Do they provide design assistance? What about assembly? Logistics and operational support? There’s an argument to be made about the strengths of keeping as much of your operation under one roof as possible, the toll of scattered specializations can sometimes negatively impact your project. Choose wisely.

Ask Around

If a machine shop is reputable in their area or has specialization in a specific industry, they won’t be afraid to back it up. Ask around the industry and the community and see if they have testimonials available. If they have plenty of positive experiences and completed projects under their belts, there shouldn’t be any hesitation.

If you’re shopping around for a reliable, high-quality machine work in or around Seattle, give Ballard Machine Works a call. Our experience and expertise working with projects of every size and scale allows us the ability to provide insight into projects still ongoing or in the works, so don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on how we can assist.