Choosing a precision grinding vendor that delivers reliable, high-quality work is an important part of the production process. As one of the final stages of production, grinding has a very small window for error. An unreliable grinding vendor can potentially make a mistake or damage a part that has already required a significant investment of time, money, and resources to manufacture. Understanding what to look for in a precision grinding vendor is a crucial element of any preliminary research. Below, see five of the most common mistakes people or companies make when selecting a precision grinding vendor.

1. Not Enough Research

When researching a grinding vendor, you should compose an in-depth analysis of their capabilities, material proficiencies, and equipment. Poorly maintained equipment will be unable to handle complex jobs and can create subtle inaccuracies that may affect product quality during the later stages of the manufacturing process. If your job requires unique materials, it is important your grinding team has the experience, tooling, and supplies necessary to properly process the job.

Look for grinding vendors with a diverse, well-maintained cast of equipment that can be flexibly configured to handle complex grinding processes. A good precision grinding vendor will be able to work with your engineering team to ensure the grinding process for your component is clearly understood before any work begins.

2. Too Many Vendors

Using more than one vendor for multistage grinding processes can lead to costly mistakes typically caused by a failure to communicate. Precision grinding requires close coordination between stages to make sure the tight tolerances and delicate coatings are reliably maintained. Choosing a single vendor to handle complicated grinding processes greatly reduces the risk of expensive production delays or product damage.

3. Forsaking Proper Processing for Lower Cost

grinding tool rack

A tool rack of precision grinding tools.

Planning production around a budget is prudent, but it saves time and money in the long run to pay for quality work. Vendors who offer fixed, low prices for their services typically have limited capabilities and thereby lack the ability to carry out complex grinding processes.

Grinding configurations, grinding wheel selection, and machine settings are all important factors that an experienced precision grinder will consider when working with unique alloys, plastics, coatings, or component designs. Working with a shop that has experienced process engineers means your job will be adequately planned, scheduled, and completed without unexpected complications.

4. Neglecting Vendor Specifications

Machining capabilities vary between companies. Some vendors focus on low-cost, high-volume production while others focus on low-volume, customized orders. Many shops provide value-add services on the side, such as assembly, welding, plating, heat treatments, and more. These additional services may be valuable time savers for certain projects; however, a vendor with such a wide scope in services may lack the focus and attention to detail required to handle complex or delicate components. While doing research into precision grinding vendors, make it a priority to understand the capabilities and specializations of the vendor with whom you are thinking of engaging.

5. Selecting an Inexperienced Vendor

CMM quality inspection

A coordinate measurement machine.

Inexperienced vendors often lack the certifications or capabilities to comply with certain requirements in highly regulated industries. Make sure the vendor you’re researching has a sufficient employee and company experience to avoid costly mistakes. A good way to determine the experience level of a precision grinding vendor is to ask whether they have done any work in the past that relates to the project you need completed. Vendors who value the quality of their work will be proud to demonstrate their capabilities and specializations for you. An experienced vendor will possess the qualifications to produce compliant, durable components.

If your vendor requirements include inspection, experience and proper equipment are crucial to getting accurate results. While many grinders will manually inspect work with various hand tools, a qualified and experienced CMM operator can check not only diameter and height but also relationship callouts and positioning, roundness, and more. This detailed measuring ensures uniform quality and accuracy.  

For the Highest Quality and Reliability, Choose the Experts

Before you select a vendor for your precision grinding job, make sure you understand that vendor and its specific capabilities. Having the right information and research is crucial to choosing a vendor who can provide reliable, high-quality precision grinding services. Understanding your vendor’s equipment and machinery can help you make a better decision for performance in job quality. With full awareness of your vendor choice and product specification, you can avoid costly mistakes and keep production on schedule.

To learn more about how Duval Precision Grinding can help you on your next grinding project, contact the experts today.

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