Located in the metro-Detroit area, Prosper-Tech was started as a mold-making shop by Heidi and Bob Devroy primarily serving the automotive industry. After many prosperous years, Prosper-Tech started to delve in production machining as they diversified into new industries such as medical device, aerospace and defense. To make this transition, they identified many requirements were needed to provide production capabilities to meet these unique industry standards. Below you will find 5 tips for transitioning from a mold-making shop to a production precision machining company.
1. Identify key customers and their needs
The first step for transitioning from a mold-making shop to a production precision machining company is researching and identifying key customers and their needs. It’s important to understand what certifications (such as AS9100 or CMMC level 2, as discussed later) and capabilities such as quality inspections and automation requirements that your ideal customer would want. Identifying these needs and action planning to close the gap on these requirements will enable a company to pivot to become a production precision machining company.
2. Invest in right type of equipment to meet customer needs
To better meet the needs of production machining customers, it’s recommended to invest in the right type of equipment for production capabilities. This includes reviewing table sizes and tolerancing capabilities to ensure that they are in line with customer expectations. It also can mean researching and investing in automation for larger quantity orders. Finally, it would be wise to look into value-added services such as part marking to add to your suite of offered capabilities to meet customer requirements in-house.
3. Implement Quality, Cybersecurity and Industrialization systems
When becoming a production precision machining company, there are a few essential requirements that are commonly needed to certify quality, cybersecurity and industrialization. The first is becoming certified in a quality management system such as ISO9001 or AS9100. This signals to potential customers that you have systems in place to ensure quality product. Another requirement is cybersecurity measures in place such as CMMC level 2 or NIST800-171 compliance. Finally, a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) will enable you to process more jobs efficiently from quoting through delivery. All three of these systems require a significant time and monetary investment to implement but ultimately set the foundation for growth in a production precision machining company.
4. Attract, hire and retain the right talent
Talent is an important facet to any company but is extremely critical when pivoting from mold-making to production precision machining. There are many transferable skills between a mold maker journeyman and a production machinist, specifically the problem-solving capabilities. However, it is imperative to have the right talent that understands how to design fixturing and program for production machining versus a single mold. It’s also important to be able to attract, hire and retain the right talent. Workplace culture is critical for any type of manufacturing company and should be at the forefront of leadership’s priorities. Prosper-Tech invests in its talent pipeline through its U.S. Department of Labor sponsored apprenticeship program to attract, hire and retain talent that meets our core values and believes in our mission.
5. Target marketing to key customers
The marketing to production machining buyers is unique and includes different channels to reach potential customers. For example, trade shows may be a fruitful experience for a production precision machining company to gain new customers. These can be regional or industry specific and provide an opportunity for companies to display sample parts and share their capabilities with many stakeholders at once.
Contact us to learn more about Prosper-Tech’s production precision machining services.