What Does a Machine Shop Do?

June 16, 2021 2:51 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’ve never stepped into a machine shop, you might picture it as simply a room with a bunch of machines. While that’s true on a simplistic level, machine shops have very specific purposes. So, what do machine shops do in Umatilla County, OR? Read on to find out.

What is a machine shop?

Machining is a type of subtractive manufacturing—that is, a machinist can take pieces of metal, glass or wood and cut or mill them into specific parts. This can be done using a variety of different machines, including computer numerical control (CNC) machines.

Every machine shop is different, depending on its primary goals, owners and machine types. They primarily work with metals, but may choose to take on projects with other materials. You might see anything from heat treatment to cutting and milling in a machine shop. Most offer finishing services, too.

Many of the tools used in a machine shop can be used by hand (such as cutting, drilling and sawing tools), but there are plenty of automated machines as well. This allows a machine shop to produce multiple parts in an expedited fashion.

Machine shop customers vary, too. They might be local DIY enthusiasts who need professional help to get the results they want. However, most machine shop customers are from the automotive, aerospace and other manufacturing industries. A company may contract with a machine shop to create specific parts or help them work on a new component design. Whatever your need for professionally machined parts, working with a machine shop is the best way to get great results.

History of machine shops

As you can imagine, machining has changed quite a bit over the last few centuries. The Industrial Revolution helped launch many new types of machines into the world, allowing manufacturers to produce items like clothing, ships, household goods and tools in a much faster manner. Instead of small, local workshops (and higher prices), business owners could now open factories with their new machines.

Of course, to create efficient machines that can turn out a precise, consistent result every time, innovators needed to create machines for that purpose. That’s why machine shops rose to prevalence: manufacturers could work with them to create machines for their own factories. The result was an easier way to make goods right on the premises, in a much larger capacity.

While machine shops started out creating steam-powered machine components, the discovery of electricity added a new level of functionality. The electric motor took over in the 20th century, allowing manufacturers—and machine shops—the ability to make even more precise products at a quicker pace.

Today, electricity, computers and robotics drive our machining tools. This removes much of the possibility for human error. Now machine shops can speedily machine high-quality tools and components for major manufacturers.

If you’re looking for a CNC shop in Umatilla County, OR to help with your next project, call N.W. Metal Fabricators, Inc. today. We offer experience in a variety of different machining processes, and look forward to meeting with you to discuss your needs.

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