The Most Important Factors When Choosing A Machining Solutions Partner

From helping create prototypes to assisting in production of custom parts for a full product run, anyone in the business of creating machinery needs a machining solutions partner to help create the components they need.

Of course, anyone with a lathe can call themselves a machining shop. You need a partner who can keep up with your needs, with the experience and technology needed to produce modern solutions – and fast. When choosing between potential machining partners, these are the traits to look for.

Five Critical Factors When Choosing Between Machining Solutions Companies

1. Levels of achievable precision

It’s fine if a shop has a basic lathe or 3D printer for quick-and-dirty prototyping – but when you need a work-ready part, what level of precision can they achieve? Facilities with a micro machining option, for example, can achieve tolerances of one micron – or even less!

True precision in a machining service is what often makes the difference between great parts and a service nightmare.

2. Versatility

When you’re looking for a general-purpose machining partner, you want one whose equipment can handle a wide range of product and part types. Usually, this calls for them to have several different machines for different tasks, or even the capability to utilize multiple machines for, particularly complicated jobs.

3. Solid software support

If you hand your machining shop a file created by your preferred CAD program, will they be able to accept it without problems? Beware shops which are locked into custom software or can only work with a few different file types. These can cause issues because it’s often not easy to transition between file types without introducing new flaws.

4. Speed

How quickly can your precision machining services produce a single prototype component? How quickly can they ramp-up to full-scale production, and at what rate? Your speed requirements will depend on numerous factors but be sure to inquire into their speed and capacity.

5. Experience

How long have they been in business, and what sort of past work have they done? A good precision machining service should have plenty of case studies and customer testimonials attesting to their expertise. If you find a shop with a long history and up-to-date equipment, you’ve almost certainly found a winner.

Integral Machining

Integral Machining offers Swiss turning machining solutions alongside highly precise micro machining as well! Contact us to consult on your next project.

How Expanded Beam Connectors Preserve Your Fiber Signal in Difficult Conditions

When sending fiber signals across long distances, maintaining signal quality without loss of information can be a challenge – particularly in difficult outdoor environments. Even minor disruption to a fiber cable can partially or entirely scramble the signal, and this is easy to accomplish if the cable is being buffeted by winds, dirt, debris, and other physical hazards.

Fortunately, there is a solution: expanded beam connectors. These highly specialized modules require incredible precision to create but allow for reliable cable runs in otherwise inhospitable environments. If you run fiber in similar conditions, it might be a good idea to partner with an expanded beam connector manufacturer!

How Expanded Beam Connectors Preserve Your Fiber Signal

Typical “butt joint” style connectors have one major flaw when it comes to deployment in harsh conditions: the fiber connectors must make physical contact, which means it’s far more likely that dirt or debris can make it inside the connector and disrupt the signal.
Expanded beam connectors avert this by avoiding that direct physical contact, instead utilizing a pair of lenses.

On the transmitting end, the fiber data is sent through a (relatively) large lens, which significantly increases the diameter of the beam – which is why these connectors are called “expanded.” On the other connector, the lens then takes that expanded beam and refocuses it to a smaller diameter before sending it through the fiber cable.

Without direct contact, the signal is difficult to disrupt via physical means. Also, this expansion of the beam’s diameter makes the transition less error-prone as well. Tight beams are easily interfered with, while larger beams have more error resistance.
Also, the connectors themselves are “hermaphroditic,” without requiring male/female pairing. This greatly simplifies deployments. Both single-mode and multi-mode connectors are available, to fit both transmission types.

So, expanded beam connectors can maintain error-free performance even across thousands of mating cycles – and without the need for consistent monitoring and cleaning. This doesn’t just improve the reliability of your fiber signals; it also significantly cuts down on overall maintenance costs!

Trust Integral Machining for Your High-Precision Manufacturing Needs

We specialize in the creation of highly precise mechanical and electronic items, and our equipment is capable of achieving tolerances of 0.0005mm (half a micron) or less! That makes us an excellent choice as an expanded beam connector manufacturer, along with our full portfolio of precision machining services.
Please contact us to discuss your manufacturing needs.

Reducing Overhead Costs to Price Components More Competitively with Micro Machining

One of the hardest parts of being a micro machining component manufacturer is finding ways to compete on price.  With hundreds of shops in Ontario alone, and untold thousands (millions?) around the world, there is certainly no lack of competition.  Being able to honestly say your components are among the best is nice to talk about, but if your prices aren’t as low as possible, it’s still going to be a hard sell. Read more

Conducting the Swiss Turning Orchestra

It’s little wonder that there are so few manufacturers in North America offering Swiss turning services. Doing Swiss-style machining right is both an art and a science. Like conducting an orchestra, there are many “moving parts” – both in the literal and figurative senses – that must all come together perfectly to create a well-crafted component. Read more

Process of Micro Machining Hard Materials

At Integral Machining Ltd., we love a good challenge… and few things are more challenging than working with tough, brittle, and just downright hard metals. It’s obvious why an engineer would want parts made from seriously hard materials like 4130 alloy steel or 17-4 stainless steel, but that still requires a process that can handle such substances. Read more

Swiss Machining Services for Long Parts

For over twenty years, we’ve built the reputation of Integral Machining on doing what other North American machining companies cannot. We were the first company on the continent to deploy Swiss machining services, and that put us far ahead of the curve in custom-machining extremely small diameter, long length parts. Read more

Get the Best in Micro Machining Quality Control

Smaller. Thinner. Lighter. This has been the mantra for both consumer and professional products since at least the 1980s, and it shows no signs of changing. Even highly complicated machinery and electronics today can be almost absurdly tiny, to the point it would have seemed like science fiction a few decades ago. Read more

Can you give us a challenge?


The Challenges in Bringing Top-Grade Swiss Turning Services in Canada

When we purchased our first Swiss-style Tsugami lathe in 1991, it was virtually impossible to find quality Swiss turning services in Canada. Even though at the time many industries were already looking towards miniaturization and micro pieces, solutions on the North American continent were effectively nonexistent. Vendors who needed high-precision, small-scale, complex components had to look overseas.
Read more

Modern Machine Shop Cover Story, July 2016

Micro machining changes your perspective on all machining.

Micro machining changes your perspective.

Modern Machine Shop came to our facility in May to see what we’re up to. We are proud to share with you the cover story for the July, 2016 edition which focuses on our transition, challenges, and lessons learned while moving into the micro machining market.


Click here to read the article.