How we ensure quality control of the CNC machining process at Macfab

We get it.  Quality control isn’t the most exciting topic.  You get paid for production, not QC.  But we’ve never looked at quality control that way at MacFab.  More than anything else, quality control is what brings our customers back.  It’s also how we gauge our own professionalism.  We derive a sense of pride from the standards of quality that we maintain on every project.

Metrology is Part of the CNC Machining Process

QC is part of every job we do, of course.  Every component that comes out of the CNC machining process undergoes testing and measuring.  Every critical curve and dimension is checked against the design.  From the simplest folded metal to the most sensitive CNC machined components, we make sure that it’s within tolerances at every point specified by the customer.

We’re heavily invested in optical vision systems and coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), giving us micron-level accuracy in our measurements.  That’s well beyond the tolerances most components require.  Not only do we measure the locations of specific features, but also complex shapes.  Compound curves, parabolic curves, recesses and pockets, and radii all get tested and compared against specifications and tolerances.

Our metrology department is fully integrated, as well.  Our reporting and tracking software receives readings directly from the equipment -even tools like calipers and micrometers.  That ensures that measurements are accurate, with no reliance on reading someone’s handwriting, typos, or measurements not getting written down.

Our State of the Art Inspection Management Software Automates Tracking.

The software that records all of this information is ridiculously advanced.  Images and measurements of features, curves, and even surface smoothness are all recorded and tied back to ballooned drawings of each component, making it easy for your engineers to verify information at a glance.  That same software creates all of the documentation our customers need, from the First Article Inspection Report (FAIR) on down to lot tracking for materials and production batches.  The software output is more than sufficient to meet any requirements your job may bring.

There’s another benefit we glean from all of this metrology.  We can run every piece of a job through full metrology or use representative sampling.  Basically, we can provide any level of measurement your job needs.  All of the results tell us how we’re doing on your job.  Are we seeing a particular point that is marginal on the specs?  Are parts being rejected because of one particular feature?  Does the problem lie with our set-up or tooling?  Is a particular CNC machine having a problem?  Quality control tells us quickly, allowing us to adapt and fix it quickly.  That saves both us and our customers money and time.

Our investment and commitment to metrology is extensive.  We maintain a level of precision that’s often an order of magnitude higher than required by the work we do.  That will likely never change.  Precision will continue to increase, but we’ll stay ahead of it simply because we know it will never stop.  We don’t ever want to find ourselves in the position of telling someone we can’t do their job because we lack the accuracy required, either in the CNC machining process or quality control.  We want you to feel confident that MacFab is more than able to handle whatever your project entails, and we look forward to sitting down with you to plan it out.


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