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Frequently Asked Buyer's Questions

Buyer's Tips, Terms, and Terminology for Trouble-Free Contracting of Machined Products

We try to anticipate questions you might have about our Screw Machining and provide the answers here.



What are the advantages of making a part on a screw machine?

Mostly the reduction in the time required to machine a part and thus lowering the costs.


What is your minimum run quantity or most economical run quantity?

Part size and quantity play a key role in the machine selection, and must be reviewed on an individual basis. Generally speaking, we like to start with a minimum of 10 parts for our CNC Lathe, 1000 parts for our CNC single spindles and others up to EAU of over 5 million parts a year.  We supply weekly as needed.


Can you help with new part designs or suggest changes that would save money on existing parts?

We can offer technical assistance in machining methods, raw material and finish applications. Many times, a slight design change, tolerance review, elimination of secondary machining, etc. will allow a problem part to fit into a low-cost screw machine application. Send us a sketch; we'll take a look.


What kinds of materials are you capable of machining?

The following is our "short list" of the most common materials run in all standard, and sometimes irregular, shapes.

  • Low/Medium Carbon: 1018, 1117, 11L17, 11L41, 1144, 12L14, 1215, Stressproof, Fatigueproof.
  • Alloy Steel: 8620, 86L20, 4140, 41L40/42/47, 41L50.
  • Stainless Steel: 203, 303, 304/L, 316/L, 416, 420, 174.
  • Aluminum: 2011, 2017, 2024, 6061 and 6062.
  • Brass: 360, 353, 464, 485.
  • Copper: 145, 147.
  • Plastic: Nylon, Delrin, Acetal, Teflon, Polyethylene, Polypropylene and PVC.


Do you perform your own secondary operations?

We perform most of our own secondary machining operations, such as milling, drilling, tapping and deburring.  Also, all finish processing such as cylindrical grinding, heat treating, plating, etc. is subcontracted to approved suppliers.


Your price looks good for higher quantities, but I don't want to stock that many parts. What can you do?

Barring design changes, we can produce your six-month or annual requirement, inventory your finished parts for up to 12 months, and ship from our stock weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or six-month releases to match your production schedule.


What is your average lead-time?

Normal lead-time is approximately 2-4 weeks affected by tooling, work load & complexity of part configuration. Engels Machining with our CNC equipment and in-house wire edm tooling can always be your on time producer of production parts.


Do you operate on more than one shift?

Currently, we operate on a single shift from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time Zone.  We can plan to add a second or third shift in as needed for our customers needs.  We will exceed your expectations!


Is your company ISO 9000 compliant?

Yes, we are.  Engels Machining meets International Organization for Standardization requirements for consistently high-quality products and manufacturing processes. We audit to current standards and maintain documentation and records in the event we need to be certified.


Other Questions

I know I need a turned parts specialist. What type of equipment should my supplier have for my product?

In general, high volume parts without really tight tolerances are best made on multiple spindle automatics. Miniature parts or products that are long and slender are best made on Swiss machines. Shorter run products are best made on CNCs. If your products have cross-holes or milled flats, they may be best suited for three to five axis machines. At times, even the tool engineer has to carefully consider several alternatives before arriving at a final decision, so keep your options open. See Engels Machining capabilities.


Should I pay a tooling expense?

The buyer should be informed of the non-reoccurring costs related to a production order. Costs of programming, tool design, fixtures and cams will not occur on a repeat order. It is really best for the buyer to have this cost differentiated from the part cost.


How does quantity impact price?

In production machining, quantity has a tremendous impact on price. For very high volume jobs we use different types of machines to reduce cycle time and increase output. However these machines frequently cost more time and money to set up. Once set up, production can be run in multiple shifts with production efficiencies improving as the job runs longer and longer. We can easily provide you with price breaks for multiple order quantities.


Should I consider an annual contract or blanket order?

For a stable part design with steady usage, there is no better way to optimize your costs and your supplier’s.


We will be buying a high volume part that is critical for our production. Is buying from a single source rather than dual sources wise?

Single sourcing gives you several advantages. First, having one larger order in one shop gets you a better price. Second, if you have any quality problems, you know where they came from. Third, buying parts from one supplier will likely result in parts that are more consistent. Select your strongest supplier and you will have less than half as many scheduling, delivery, and quality problems. Yes, a stable, single source really is better than two. Engels Machining has been a stable supplier since 1965.


How about requirements for heat treating and plating, can I save money by handling those myself?

If you really want to shave the nickels you can handle these processes yourself, but you do assume responsibility for potential problems. At times, part dimension will change after heat treat. Furthermore, plating buildup changes dimensions. If you buy the part before plating , make sure you adjust your print to pre-plating dimensions. Most customers would rather not have these headaches.


Engels Machining is offering the best domestic price that I have been quoted but I have an off shore price that will save my company so much money, I can't pass it up. Can we keep you in mind for our backup source?

First, you should realize that many companies buying parts offshore never know what factory will really make their parts. Often brokers move the jobs around as they overload a supplier or find lower prices. Many companies have also been burned by losing control of their design and later discover they have helped establish a foreign competitor. Beyond this, few manufacturers fully capture the REAL cost of importing. Beyond the added freight costs, duties, increased inventories, costs of communication delays and overall purchasing management costs increase, the strategic loss may be the single biggest added cost factor. What is the value of having a domestic supplier that will not be shut down in the event of a dock strike, an embargo or a war? What is the value of having a manufacturing expert readily available to support your engineering team? What is the value of having a manufacturing supplier that can ship you parts before a shipping container is filled? What is the value of having fewer parts in the pipeline, allowing your engineering to implement design changes faster? What is the value of having a manufacturer that is a long-term strategic partner in meeting your business objectives? Fully accounting for all these cost factors before the assumption is made that "offshore is cheaper", would be more than prudent, it is critical for your long-term business success.