Scalable CAM Technology Helps Small Shops Grow

How small shops can use advanced CAM software features to achieve steady incremental growth

Part 3: Make the right opening moves

Growing a manufacturing shop is very much like playing chess or some other complex board game. There are a great many pieces that can be brought into play depending on the situation the shop finds itself in. How efficiently the owners make these moves will determine how successful the shop will be from that point forward. The ability to make the appropriate moves to grow a small manufacturing business depends to a large degree on the robustness of the CAM software that will become integral to the shop’s CNC manufacturing workflow.

This is why the owners should avoid getting boxed in with simplistic CAM software that presents well but does not allow them to go deep with more advanced capabilities as the company grows. Simpler CAM software costs less early on. But as the shop’s requirements multiply, it will eventually have to double back and invest in a more comprehensive solution and, even worse, spend already scarce time learning how to use it.

A better alternative for startups is to choose a scalable CAM package that allows users to purchase at various levels and upgrade as needed so that the business can keep moving forward.

With scalable CAM software in place, here are two important game pieces small shop owners have employed to move their start-up businesses into a stronger position:

Customized posts: Getting your CNC to behave exactly as you would expect based on the code output generated by your CAM software. This allows for higher operating efficiencies as additional CNC equipment is installed because each machine will behave consistently as expected. The customized post will also ensure that code is presented in the same format if some editing is to be done on the machine.

Robust computers and infrastructure: Powerful computers with fast processors and sufficient RAM make programming faster. Networks give multiple users quick access to common files so that CNC programming solutions are easy to share and post at the machine.

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