The Fundamentals of Modern Manufacturing

A person is welding in the dark with sparks flying.

Melting the Manufacturing Glacier

Modern Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the glacier of industry.  Because production is such a behemoth of material, process, scale, regulation, safety, establishment, and bureaucracy, any changes or innovation in the business of “making things†is slow to come. However, in the last decade, we’ve seen massive shifts in the way this industry does business.  

Slowly, the manufacturing sector is beginning to catch up to the on-time demands of customers who are used to point-and-click sale, payment, and shipping. A growing movement toward product customization, small quantity runs at competitive pricing, all with a new standard for precision and accuracy with increased automation is giving smaller, more modest manufacturing companies an edge over the big players.

Those same small makers are driving evolution industry-wide. The writing’s on the wall–the fundamentals of modern manufacturing have evolved.  Here’s a snapshot of some of the changes that are pushing manufacturing into new technologies and customer service frontiers.

The Way Things Were

It used to be that getting a part or product manufactured meant long lead times, colossal quantity requirements, and a lot of trial and error to machine parts that are accurate to customer specifications for optimal fit and function.  

A typical production job lasted for weeks or months, which would, in turn, cause bottlenecks and sometimes even complete breakdowns in the supply chain.

Taking completed products to market depended on endless spec collection, as well as repetitive back-and-forth dialog between customers, part designers, assembly line supervisors, and shop floor workers. Each piece of cutting equipment required a skilled worker for operation.

A New Technological Movement

With the advent of CNC manufacturing, website ordering systems, streamlined shipping, and more efficient communication protocol, smaller, more agile manufacturing companies like United Scientific are making names for themselves. The days of large-quantity minimum orders and “hair-on-fire†expediting nightmares are almost over.

How is CNC Technology Helping Speed Things Up?

Helping Technology Speed Up

Computer Numerical Control or CNC manufacturing is the messenger of production that can respond in real time to customer needs. CNC is a machining process that uses pre-programmed computer software as well as customized coding and memory storage to cut parts that offer a higher standard of precision fit.  

Further, because of the automation and digital aspect of CNC, near-perfect parts can be made every time with a significantly lower error rate than that of human-controlled machines.  

Unlike in previous decades where machinists did the cutting by “hand†with several implements, in CNC manufacturing, humans do most of the work on the “prep and design†end of the part or product.  

A design team or individual takes the specs of the desired product and feeds them into a CAD (design software) program. Once the design meets with customer approval, the part-maker then feeds the CAD design into a CAM program. CAM programs generate the “G-code†needed to tell the equipment (lathes, grinders,  or mills, for example) how to fabricate the piece.

G-code is specific in its communication with cutting equipment, providing instructions that detail the place and pace of each cut, coordinate multiple cuts on a part, and determine the feed rate of the product material through the whole process.

Once the cutting equipment has all the instructions, a product or part can be machined with a few clicks of a button, and repeated at the same precision standard for any product quantity. Also, instead of requiring a skilled worker for each cut with every piece of equipment, one worker can now “tell†several machines when and how to do the job, with a much lower margin of error.

Changes in Manufacturing Skills

The manufacturing workforce is undergoing a shift in current times. Shop floor workers must now be skilled in software operation more than the traditional machining skill sets. Machinists continue to be in high demand in the manufacturing sector. However, the new skill sets include familiarity and competence with both CAD am CAM software as it pertains to mills, lathes, grinders, and other part-making equipment.  

Real-Time Fulfillment

Just as we’ve all seen demand for online retail product ordering and free or reduced shipping skyrocket in the last decade, we are now noticing the same trend in manufacturing. Customers want their parts, and they want them delivered with both haste and precision.  

Also, huge quantity minimum orders are becoming a thing of the past as small manufacturers (like United Scientific) become experts at anticipating and delivering on the needs of their clients by adopting advanced technology like CNC programming, software, and equipment. Better technology means companies that build things can streamline their staff and efficiently use raw materials.  The result is a product that is both “lean†and “green†and ready for speedy delivery.

A Connected Company is a Successful One

Connecting with Those who Need CNC Manufacturing

Another aspect of the changing world of manufacturing is connectivity and communication. Customers expect to have updates and “tracking†ability in not only order shipment, but also in the whole process from design to completion.  

If our customers can access the exact progress of the part they need for their finished product, they can better plan for their growth, their future product innovation, and the satisfaction of their end users. United Scientific is with you every step of the way as we build the part you need, cut to the highest precision standards, delivered on your timeline.

Safety and Integrity

With the ethically minded consumer now ever more at the forefront, rest assured that United Scientific has always placed a priority on the safety of our staff and the ethics of our sales and partnerships. Even though our manufacturing uses state of the art technology, our people make our company tick.

When our people are happy, it shows in our work ethic, our communication with our clients, our overall customer service, and your end product.  

We are proud of our high ISO 9001 Certification Audit score, and ultimately, it’s our team that got us there. We are here to serve you with efficiency, accuracy, and relationship. That’s why at United Scientific, we are “scientific in process and united in purpose.â€

What is CNC Manufacturing?

A machine that is working on some kind of metal

What is CNC Manufacturing?

CNC Manufacturing

At United Scientific, our customers are in the “making things†business. The things that make the world go ‘round. These various items permeate several industries, including:

  • Aerospace service
  • Automotive service
  • Defense
  • Agriculture
  • Recreational equipment
  • Medical Device

United Scientific is a parts manufacturer, using a manufacturing process called Computer Numerical Control or CNC. In other words, we make the stuff that goes into other stuff, and we make it with a high degree of precision and engineering, via computer software and code-writing. Our lathes, grinders, and other machines can be commanded digitally instead of manually, raising the bar on quality control and product measurement accuracy.

Let’s contrast CNC manufacturing with numeric control manufacturing or NCM. In NCM, cutting instructions are placed into a machine via punch card guided by a human. In CNC, design specs and machining instructions are entered into a computer, which allows for higher memory and automation, like a robot.

Programming code is easily edited or changed to produce customized results in a CNC process, and those changes remain in the computer memory for future use if desired or needed. CNC means we use a combination of human design and computer software and sometimes custom code to make your part. Here’s how this works.

A brief overview of the CNC process

First, we talk. Our professional staff will consult with you to determine the size, scope, and details of your parts project, as well as delivery deadlines, and competitive pricing. Our end goal is to deliver a defect-free, precision-made part that fits your application the first time, flawlessly.  

Next, we program. We use precision pre-programmed software and sometimes specific code to map out the machining cuts we need to perform and materials we will use to create your part.  We create the specs for your project from design to execution to delivery.

Then, we cut. With your carefully communicated part specifications, we will “measure twice and cut once,†as the saying goes, to ensure the fit and function of the part you order. Our internal audit protocol is one of the most stringent in the nation, providing an accuracy factor of 99-plus percent.

Finally, we deliver. We listen to your feedback, requests for refinement, and budget concerns to tweak the overall project to your specifications. We make sure the parts you request are accurate to your specifications and machined safely, with the highest “lean and green†standards we can offer.

Service Manufacturing in “The Gap.â€

Service Manufacturing in the Gap

Precision manufacturing is a fascinating operating system for a parts company. We understand that leading-edge machine technology like CNC is paramount to providing top-quality product and maintaining accuracy throughout the cutting process.

CNC manufacturers are often “gap specialists.†What do we mean by that? Well, at United Scientific, we focus on servicing part gaps in the “making things†process. How does this work?

Let’s say that one of our clients has several large contracts with other parts manufacturers for the primary widgets in their products. The parent company needs thousands upon thousands of those widgets for the finished product they make. However, the same company also requires a much smaller number of gadgets for their product to function optimally as well.

The widget-maker has a minimum part quantity order requirement that would result in an excess of gadgets with no product in which to place them. The parent company now has a problem: order a large quantity of gadget and leave a ton of capital sitting on their shelves tied up in unusable gadgets, or provide a sub-par finished product and risk losing customers.

That’s where United Scientific comes in. Our service-based manufacturing approach allows us to customize orders for exactly the part and quantity you need. The client gets what she wants, built with the highest precision and quantity standards, so there is no wasted time or materials.

Evolving From Pushing Products to Selling Services

Of course, we sell parts. Parts are actual products. You can touch them, hold them, box them, and use them. However, in the CNC industry, we are now beginning to look at our products, more like services. This change in perspective is a subtle but significant shift in the way we do business at large, with many positive outcomes to be had for the customer or partner.  

The precision of CNC–the programming, the software, the tools we use, as well as the human component, allow us to come alongside our customers and partners to ensure a high degree of customization and flexibility in the parts we make and the jobs we complete.

We view our products to be part of our overall service, keeping you on the winning side of your project budget and providing only through-put with little to no waste, as well as on-time custom delivery.

Nimble is Where it’s At

Agility in Creating What You Need

Our CNC process makes us agile. We can easily complete several projects concurrently with our technology. Which makes us a reliable partner for a client’s changing needs, as well as allowing us to manufacture parts in a variety of industries. We can handle any job from large to small and provide the most competitive pricing on the market.

Our Partnerships Seal the Deal

We are a trusted collaborator for other manufacturing companies as well as servicing our own clientele. We assist aerospace and automotive manufacturers as a “second†builder, and our product quality and on-time delivery standards cement those relationships. When other big builders trust us, you know you can trust us for any custom part project you have, no matter the size.  

Choose United Scientific as a Trusted Resource for Your Next Part Order

Our commitment to quality, to the right fit and function the first time, and our high level of customer service make us the clear choice for your next CNC project. We are manufacturing trailblazers with a small business heart. Our customer relationships are paramount to our success.  We mean it when we say Scientific in Process-with our leading-edge technology, and United in Purpose, delivering you the best parts, made lean, made right and making your business work.


What is Innovative Manufacturing?

A person is holding a computer screen in front of a building.

What is Innovative Manufacturing?

Innovative Manufacturing

Innovative manufacturing is the creation of cutting edge technologies at a fast pace and for a reasonable price. Many of the companies that are in this business require precision and high tolerance parts goes beyond the everyday run of the mill manufacturing that has been going on for ages. Parts machining and CNC work have been going on for a very long time now, but we are in a modern age when technology is advancing and evolving at a breathtaking rate.

While some companies are okay with stagnating and creating parts that are for the machines and technologies of yesterday, some companies are determined to lead a revolution in the way that parts are made as well as in the quality and function of those parts.

At the forefront of the companies leading the innovative manufacturing, revolution is United Scientific Inc. United Scientific has not only a commitment to being on the cutting edge of precision machining and innovative manufacturing but also a passion for quality and customer service.

You can see for yourself here on their website as well as meet the team

Manufacturing Revolution

We all live in a fascinating and exciting point in human history. The twenty-first century is known as the age of information. We are in a time when sciences and technologies are advancing faster than ever. As technology progresses more and more, the demand for precision and high tolerance parts grows.

At this point, you may find yourself asking this question: What companies need machined parts? That is an excellent question, as the scale and scope of the businesses and companies that need machined parts increases at a rapid pace. Here is a list of some of the industries that may need parts machined.

  • Agriculture
  • Oil and gas
  • Construction
  • Weaponry
  • Food processing
  • Defense
  • Transportation
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Recreational equipment
  • Medical equipment

Now let’s talk about some fields of innovative manufacturing, and what types of companies require machined parts for their operations.

3D Printing

3D Printing

Three-dimensional printing is a relatively new and innovative way of manufacturing a wide variety of things, using many different materials. A three-dimensional printer is capable of producing complex geometrical shapes and even items that have moving parts all at once. Before 3D printing, it may have taken many different processes and machines to create a piece that 3D printing is capable of producing all in one process.

Information technology plays a significant and essential role in 3D printing. 3D printers connect to a computer that has special software to direct the hardware of the printer. For a 3D printer to produce anything, there first needs to be a CAD or computer-aided design.

The computer-aided design is essentially a three-dimensional model that shows what is going to be created, first as a computer image. This process is very beneficial because any mistakes that may exist in the model can be corrected before the printer produces an item.

Three-dimensional printers require hardware that is precision machined. As the need for many different things that are 3D printed grows, so will the need for machined parts to create 3D printers.

Handheld Devices and Wearable Technology

Handheld devises such as smartphones and tablets are now a very regular part of everyday life. Often the first thing that people reach for when they wake up in the morning is their smartphone or tablet. These devices help us stay connected with the world. They help us stay up to date on our jobs, hobbies, projects, families, and friends.

These handheld devices fill some of the roles of computers. They serve as an intermediary between a person and a computer as well as carry out the task of a phone. For a modern person that is on the go always, these handheld devices are a necessity. They make calls, capture photos, allow us to check our emails, and put any information we could ever need right at our fingertips.

Wearable technology is another field where innovation is leading to success. Many new wearable technologies are coming out. We already have technologies such as the Google glasses that can not only serve as protection for the eyes but can also provide the wearer with a heads up display that can show statistics or instructions on specific jobs that can increase workplace efficiency.

There are also other wearable technologies that serve as extensions for our phones or computers that can be safely used at times that might be inconvenient for larger devices.

One excellent example is the smartwatch, which is worn on one wrist and operated with the opposite hand. There are also smart headsets which can be operated hands-free and feed instructions audibly to the user.

Not only are smartphones and wearable technology being mass produced at a significant rate, but they also require a high degree of precision to be made. For this reason, phone manufacturers use robots that are connected to computers for direction for much of the process of manufacturing smartphones and tablets.

Many of these robots and much of the equipment used for manufacturing these devices require precision machining.


Making Parts for Drones

Drones have been around for a while now. The military has been using them for surveillance and recon for years, as well as using weaponized versions for defense purposes. However, drones are now much more common in the last few years than they were in the past. They have become smaller and cheaper.

Drones have started being mass produced and made available to the general public for a wide range of reason, including for recreation. These smaller drones that are more readily available cannot necessarily carry heavy payloads, but many of these drones are fitted with cameras that can either record or stream live back to a smartphone, computer or tablet.

These devices can be used to do jobs that are hazardous to people, or even that are not able to be done by people. They can be used to inspect pipeline and infrastructure in high places, to take inventory of large amounts of items or to scour large sections of land for inspection.

Automated Guided Vehicles

Most people are familiar with automated, guided vehicles. Some tech giants have been testing and using these vehicles for years to create street views for their map systems and survey the roads. This technology has come a long way and has mostly been deemed to be safe.

These vehicles use onboard computers that process road conditions and give cars informed instructions in real time that allow them to operate on surface streets safely. They use a global positioning system (GPS) navigate.

There has been much talk, and testing of services involving these vehicles that will give people lifts to wherever they need to go as well as deliver food and packages. This is an industry that will see much growth in the years to come.

Final Thoughts

Precision machining and the manufacture of high tolerance parts is an essential part of innovative manufacturing. To build the robots and machines that manufacture all of these innovations, you need these machined parts!

The team at United Scientific Inc. has over 30 years of combined average experience in machining high-quality parts and providing exceptional customer service. United Scientific manufactures results, not excuses. Learn more at their website here