Are Your Precision Metal Cutting Needs Ready to be Re-shored?

Precision metal cutting is a challenging process that requires skilled workers, specialized equipment, and cutting-edge technology. In today’s global economy, it’s not uncommon for companies to outsource their precision metal cutting needs to foreign suppliers to save money or meet other business requirements.

However, you might consider re-shoring your precision metal cutting operations back into the United States for several reasons. These may be a desire for better quality control, concerns over rising costs, and mainly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global supply chain.

The Impact of Covid-19 on Global Shipping

Precision Metal Cutting Needs Ready to be Re-shored: The Impact of Covid-19 on Global Shipping

The impact of Covid-19 has taken a significant hit on the global shipping industry leading to a direct effect on the precision metal cutting industry.

The availability of new ships has reduced drastically due to COVID-19 outbreaks around the world. As a result, vessel capacity has become more limited than ever before – which means that there are fewer available ships for shippers looking to transport their products across oceans.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it considerably impacted container shipping flows and global supply chains.

For example, it reduced the available capacity due to port closures or slowdowns, pressure on equipment availability, possible congestion in specific ports, and extra related costs (such as bunker surcharge).

This can further delay shipments moving through these ports – whether overseas or domestic destinations – making it hard for companies like yours who rely on timely deliveries from overseas partners.

Given that Covid-19 exceptionally hard hit some industries, companies that can source and make their products locally might be in a better position to recover and grow than those in favor of sourcing overseas.

Complexity and Tolerances of Precision Metal Cutting

Many companies choose to re-shore their precision metal cutting needs to keep their costs low and avoid the hassle of managing overseas suppliers. But it’s more than just that.

Knowing the factors determining whether that’s the right decision for you is also essential.

Two main factors determine whether a project is a good fit for re-shoring. The first is complexity, which refers to the number of parts and their interrelationships. If you have a simple task with few unique or interacting parts, it may be possible to find an overseas provider that can do it quickly and cheaply.

On the other hand, if your project has many unique components and tight tolerances, it will take longer and be more difficult for an overseas company to complete without sacrificing quality or efficiency.

The second factor determining whether re-shoring makes sense for your precision metal cutting project is tolerance requirements: how precisely each part needs to perform its function within a given range of acceptable performance (or “tolerance”).

For example, suppose all parts have specifications that are 0.1 mm off from perfect alignment. In that case, any error in manufacturing will translate into errors in assembly, which could lead to a product that won’t work correctly when you install them on-site—and that’s not something you want.

You want to find a company that can handle your project with precision and accuracy—which means having experience working with tight tolerances on parts manufactured overseas.

Supply Chain Issues

Precision Metal Cutting Operation: Supply Chain Issues

If you’ve ever shipped a large order or re-shored your operation, you know how much of a hassle it is dealing with supply chain issues.

These issues can arise from natural disasters, factory closures, and even poor weather conditions. While these things are sometimes unavoidable, they can significantly impact your business if not handled properly.

With offshore manufacturing, there can be longer lead times for parts based on increased shipping time and customs clearance issues. There is also a greater risk for errors due to quality control issues and communication barriers between you and the manufacturer.

Current supply chain issues make it more challenging to find suppliers who can handle overseas large volume orders or smaller domestic ones. Now may be the perfect time to re-shore your precision metal cutting operation. As a result, you will get to serve your customers quickly and more efficiently than ever before.

Quantity Minimums

By re-shoring your precision metal cutting needs, you can avoid the larger quantity minimums often required when dealing with offshore manufacturers to make it worth their time. This is especially beneficial to a small-scale business that is just starting, as it gives them more freedom in terms of budget and capacity.

In addition, by using the services from an onshore manufacturer, you can be sure that they will do your work on time and follow the specifications you set forth.

What Can a Domestic Manufacturer Offer Over a Foreign Manufacturer?

Domestic manufacturers can offer several advantages over foreign manufacturers, including:

  • Faster turnaround time – As a domestic manufacturer, you are closer to your customers and often have shorter delivery times. You also have easy access to the manufacturing facility in case any questions or problems arise during the process.
  • No language barriers – If you need to communicate with your supplier on an ongoing basis, it’s essential that you can speak a common language fluently to prevent misunderstandings between parties. For example, if you call with a question about your product and they can’t understand what you are saying due to their language barrier (or vice versa), this could lead to delays which can negatively impact your bottom line.
  • No shipping delays for metal cutting services- When working with overseas suppliers who aren’t close by, there is usually some delay when shipping products back and forth between countries due mainly to customs issues or exchange rate fluctuations between currencies. This will increase costs significantly as well as affect delivery times which may result in missed deadlines for orders placed by clients who expect quick turnarounds from their suppliers/vendors.

Do You Need a Partner Who Can Deliver a Turnkey Solution?

We are your best option if you need a partner who can deliver a turnkey solution. Glenn Metalcraft provides a one-stop shop for precision metal cutting. We are one of the largest precision metal cutting services providers in the United States, offering our clients speedy turnaround times with high-quality workmanship at competitive prices. Our service includes everything from repair and refurbishing to new production lines for your business needs.

Our highly trained technicians and engineers can easily handle even the most demanding of precise cuts. We offer fully supported rapid turnaround on prototypes and small parts requiring tight tolerances with our in-house precision metal cutting services.

If you need any help with your cutting projects or have questions about what we can do for you, don’t hesitate to call us.


What Is a Weldment Fabrication?

Have you ever sought a one-stop metal fabrication shop that offers machining, heavy metal spinning, cutting, welding, fabrication, and finishing services but didn’t know where to look? You’re in the right place. 

Among the wide-ranging metal manufacturing techniques and disciplines is a service referred to as weldment fabrication. Keep reading to find out:

  • What weldment fabrication is
  • Different metal fabrication processes
  • Various types of welding in metal manufacturing
  • List of industries that commonly use welding in their fabrication process

Contact Glenn Metalcraft if you need weldment fabrication services.

What Is Weldment Fabrication?


In metal production, welding is the process that applies heat to metal parts and then uses a filler to form a joint. Weldment fabrication is joining two or more metal pieces into one cohesive piece. Having an adequately tested design prototype helps determine the kind of weldment required.

The performance of a welded structure is tested by checking and correcting common faults, such as:

  • Improper metal fusion
  • Porosity in the weld metal
  • Undercutting on the base metal

Typical Metal Fabrication ProcessesAdobeStock 83134625

Raw metal passes through a few operations before the final product is client-ready. For example, before an automobile frame reaches the assembly plant, it typically goes through some, if not all, of the following metal fabrication processes:

  • Cutting freshly-made pieces of metal or pre-shaped bars into desired sections using such items as high-tech laser cutting machinery or plasma torches.
  • Folding sheet metal using a press brake or an auto-robotic bending machine that manipulates it into specific angles for the desired shape.
  • Welding is a process that uses heat application to join metals and separate pieces of sheets or panels.
  • Punching involves sandwiching sheet metal between a die and punch-through to create customized contour shapes or holes, sometimes using a process referred to as nibbling.
  • Shearing utilizes a blade controlled by a squaring arm to create precision cuts on metal materials like iron, steel, aluminum, copper, and bronze.
  • Stamping fabrication uses a die to form intricate shapes, images, or letters on a metal panel, as seen in coins.
  • Casting is where molten metal such as gold, silver, steel, or iron is poured into a pre-formed mold and allowed to solidify into a specified form.

Some fabrication facilities may offer specialized metal finishing services, including blackening, cladding, grinding, plating, and powder coating. They are often the last machining operations based on aesthetics.

Commonly Used Welding Methods in Metal Manufacturing

Welding involves a few moving parts to ensure the longevity, integrity, and aesthetics of a weldment centered on industry codes and standards. Depending on the project, some welding facilities apply high-tech lasers, electromagnets, and microwaves. They may also use a simple torch or forge method.

Although there are numerous welding methods, the four most common include:

  • MIG Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) – utilizes an electric arc to heat metals such as carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper to their melting point to form a permanent bond. MIG welding is employed in automobiles’ manufacture, repair, and maintenance.
  • TIG Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) – uses a consumable tungsten electrode, a rigid metal material that doesn’t burn off or dissolve. Because welding TIG also utilizes helium or argon as an external gas supply, it’s primarily applied in the aerospace and automobile industries.
  • Stick Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) – uses a protected welding electrode covered with a thick coating of flux that burns while creating a protective cover between metal pieces. Stick welding is ideal for creating hard surfaces on farm equipment.
  • Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) – combines a base metal power supply and a continuous hollow flux-filled electrode fed through a welding gun into a weld pool. Given that this type of welding provides exceptional penetration, it’s applied in industrial machining to thick weld steel.welding iron spark fire hot steel with power GMAW welder

Industries That Commonly Use Welding in Their Fabrication Process

Below is a list of industries that rely on welding for their fabrication process:

  • The automotive industry turns to MIG welding to manufacture, assemble, and repair all types of vehicles.
  • Aerospace depends on laser MIG, plasma arc, or electronic welding for manufacturing aircraft and performing precision work during the repair and maintenance of all flying crafts.
  • Infrastructure and construction use plasma arc, shielded, and flux-cored welding for building roads and bridges, including commercial and residential properties.
  • The shipping and railroad industry employs electric arc, gas pressure, and thermite welding processes in constructing, repairing, and maintaining cruise liners, ships, railroad tracks, etc.
  • Manufacturing is another industry that utilizes MIG as a standard welding process to produce computer components, furniture, mining machinery, and agricultural tools.

Final Thoughts

With raw material versatility and the assurance of strength and permanence, welding provides numerous benefits that outweigh other methods for joining or fastening disparate elements.

As you search for metal services minus the inflated costs of doing business with several establishments, consider a one-stop shop like Glenn Metalcraft. We are a full-service shop where you can leverage multiple metal manufacturing solutions under one roof to ensure precision, high quality, and value at competitive rates.

Contact our expert team to ensure your fabrication and welding project is completed according to your standards and specifications.

CNC Machining

Is It Done Yet – Ceramic Coating vs Powder Coating

The metal production process is incomplete without coating and finishing. The coating serves various important purposes in metals, including improving their functionality and increasing their durability. However, some coating materials perform better than others, and it is important to pick one that satisfies all of your needs and preferences. 

Powder and ceramic are the most popular metal coating materials. Here is an overview of ceramic coating vs powder coating, their pros, cons, and recommended applications. 

As part of the Elemet Group, we at Glenn Metalcraft specialize in extreme heavy metal spinning and other services, including cutting and welding. We partner with the other companies in our group to provide a complete range of metal fabrication services, including powder and e-coating through Minnesota Industrial Coatings. Request an estimate and put our excellent customer service and industry knowledge to work on your next project.

ceramic coated flexographic printing roller

Ceramic Coating 

A ceramic coating uses a clear liquid polymer. Its clear appearance characterizes it – essentially, you can see the metal through the clear coating. Ceramic coating is also characterized by its glossy, shiny appearance, excellent for aesthetic appeal. 

The ceramic coating process utilizes two methods: 

Spray Application 

Large metal parts typically call for the use of the spray application. It entails spraying liquid ceramic onto the metal’s surface. The process involves exposure to temperatures as high as 750 degrees Fahrenheit, and the parts are required to have high heat resistance. 

Dip-Spin Application 

Smaller metal parts are more suited to the dip-spin method. It entails immersing the entire metal part into ceramic liquid, effectively coating its whole surface. The process uses a specially designed bin perforated on the sides and bottom. It also involves exposure to high temperatures. 


Some of the most notable benefits of ceramic coating include: 

  • Resistance – Ceramic coating exhibits high resistance against heat and scratching. 
  • Aesthetic Appeal – You can see the metal’s original paint through the clear coating, and its glossy appearance adds a shiny and smooth finish to its overall aesthetic appeal. 
  • Easy Maintenance – Parts coated in ceramic are easier and quicker to repair than parts coated in powder. 
  • Affordable – Ceramic coating is also slightly cheaper than powder coating. 

The most notable benefit of ceramic coating is its high resistance against heat, scratching, corrosion, chipping, and other destructive elements. Ceramic coating can withstand temperatures as high as 3,800 degrees Fahrenheit. 


One notable disadvantage of ceramic coating is its limited durability compared to powder coating. Ceramic coating can last for up to five years with the proper care and maintenance. In contrast, powder coating can last for up to 20 years.

When to Use Ceramic Coating 

Ceramic coating is recommended for use under varying circumstances. Most notably, it is an ideal option if you are on a restricted budget and your part has a short lifespan, as it is cheaper than powder coating. 

Ceramic coating is also recommended if the metal being coated will be frequently exposed to harsh elements such as heat and corrosion, thanks to the ceramic’s high resistance against such elements. Ultimately, your choice of whether to use ceramic coating will depend on your needs and preferences. 

powder coating line conveyer with parts hanging

Powder Coating 

Powder coating uses polymer resins and various pigments. The materials are heated, melted, cooled, and then crushed into the final coating powder. Electrically charging the powder makes it ready to stick to the metal’s surface. The powder is then sprayed onto the metal using compressed air and cured. 

Powder coatings are cured under temperatures between 350 and 425 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also worth noting that the surface preparation process entails cleaning the metal using chemicals to make it compatible with the electrostatic painting


Some of the most notable benefits of powder coating include: 

  • Durability Powder coating can last for up to 20 years with the proper care and maintenance. 
  • Resistance – Powder coating is also resistant to destructive elements such as heat, water, humidity, UV rays, and chemicals. 
  • Aesthetical Appeal – Powder coating also comes in many textures, colors, and styles, making for a vibrant, luxurious aesthetic appeal. 

The most notable benefit of powder coating is its durability. The coating is resistant to heat, chemicals, and physical impacts, and it can maintain its glossy appearance for up to 20 years. The coating also helps protect the metal from these and other destructive elements, increasing their durability exponentially. 


Powder coating can be slightly more expensive than ceramic coating, and it may pose more challenges during repairs. However, its high durability offsets the extra cost. 

When to Use Powder Coating 

Powder coating is an excellent option and is especially recommendable for its durability, as it can last for up to 15 years longer than ceramic coating. It is also perfect for aesthetic appeal as it comes in many colors and textures – you can also paint over the coating. It is also worth noting that powder coating is popular for use with used metals. 

a pile of blue powder coated metal ring components

Ceramic Coating vs Powder Coating Done Right 

Now that you understand the differences between ceramic and powder coating, you are ready to start your next project. Glenn Metalcraft Inc. provides the best manufacturing solutions from the first cut through finishing and the final coating via Minnesota Industrial Coatings. Get in touch today to learn more about our services.

Laser Cutting

Fixes for Common Problems With Stainless Steel Laser Cutting

Laser cutting machines have come a long way since they first became available for commercial use. The current ones can easily adjust their operating parameters and cut through medium and thick plates of steel alloys like carbon steel. Even then, it’s not a guarantee that the laser will do a good job. 

Let’s take a look at some of these problems and their solutions. When you need help with your laser cutting or other metal fabrication projects, contact the experienced team, ready to help, at Glenn Metalcraft

stainless steel laser cutting control station buttons

Unfamiliarity With Cutting Parameters

Laser cutting is markedly different from plasma cutting. Five factors determine how the machine will cut the stainless steel for sheet metal fabrication. They include:

  • Beam focus
  • Beam power
  • Gas feed rate
  • Gas pressure
  • Nozzle alignment

Modern machines are advanced enough to control the laser beam characteristics. The beam focus and power are crucial for cutting different types of steel alloys with diverse strengths, thicknesses, and grades.

The operating technicians will need to check on the other parameters, depending on the laser used. These include the centering of the nozzle, beam delivery system, and alignment. 

Getting a good cut implies taking into context all the factors and adjusting them according to the material you are attempting to cut. While imperfections during steel fabrication are normal, it doesn’t mean you should tolerate them. Instead, familiarize yourself with the cutting parameters. 

Being oblivious of these cutting parameters produces sheet metal with imperfections that could become costly. 

Problems Brought About by Mixed Characteristics

While getting the right mix to these parameters is not exactly a science, they have to be in the right proportions; otherwise, various issues will arise. Stainless steel laser cutting is all about striking the right balance between the material heated by the laser beam and the gas flowing through the cut. 

If not done right, the following common issues may appear.

stainless steel laser cutting closeup

Large Heat Affected Zones

Cutting metal requires energy, which converts to heat during the cutting process. By using a laser beam, heat is the medium for cutting steel. Since steel is a good heat conductor, the heat transmits away from the point of contact between the laser and the metal. 

A zone forms between the melted metal and the unaffected one during the process. In this area, the microstructure and metal strength are compromised. A large heat-affected zone (HAZ) signifies having a large area of potential weakness. 

While laser cutting has the smallest heat-affected zone of all methods used to cut steel, it doesn’t eliminate the problem. The adequate gas flow between the cut and additional cooling can help reduce the formation of an HAZ.


Striations are periodic lines that pop up on the surface of a cut in waves. They are undesirable as they affect the final products‘ appearance, surface roughness, and precision. The formation of striations results from the melting and cooling process when the type of gas can influence the cutting method in use. 

It’s impossible to get rid of striations, but decreasing them to a minimal size is possible. You can reduce striations by having a moderately adequate cutting speed. The minor temperature variation provides an almost even heating and melting phase.

Burr Formation

Burrs are created as a laser cuts through the metal by melting the portion it is going over. The gas then pushes the molten metal from between the kerf, solidifying it under the sheet metal. 

Burr formation is impacted by several things, including the sheet metal’s thickness and the type of gas employed. If using nitrogen, the beam is solely responsible for all the energy to melt the metal. Instead of utilizing oxygen, the gas interacts with the heated metal, resulting in an exothermic reaction. This brings about more heat, adding to burr formation.

Though melting the metal is the mechanism for cutting it, regulating the gas pressure is vital to ensuring a high-quality cut. Excess gas pressure is responsible for burr formation and the reason why when using oxygen, gas pressure is lower. 

oxygen pressure gauge regulator monitor for laser cutting machine

Considerations When Using Oxygen 

You have to consider several things if you decide to cut carbon steel using oxygen. This is because oxygen results in an exothermic reaction, and the purity level becomes an influencing factor. Purity above 99.95% indicates that you can significantly increase cutting speed and improve production statistics.

The problem comes in when the purity drops, mostly when changing cylinders or switching to one with impurities such as Argon. When you introduce the new gas to the process, you have to change the controlled exothermic process, and the outcome is a reduction in cutting performance. 

Looking For Innovative Solutions To Your Manufacturing Problems?

Then you’ve come to the right place. At Glenn Metalcraft, we specialize in precision metal works such as heavy gauge metal spinning, laser cutting, and plasma cutting. Request an estimate and see how we can partner to solve your metal fabrication problems. 


How to Paint Over Powder Coat

For durable and lasting protection of metal surfaces, powder coating is an excellent choice. The convenient alternative to traditional paint looks good and protects against the elements, along with wear and tear. 

Even though powder coating provides a beautiful, stylish surface, it does wear down over time. That might leave you wondering how to paint over powder coat and whether you should.

It’s possible to paint over a powder-coated surface, but there are some key details to keep in mind before you try. The good news is that this article will tell you what you need to know. Contact us for all your metal fabrication needs, including powder coat finishing.

What Is Powder Coat?

First, you need to understand what powder coat is and how it’s different from liquid paint. To start, you need to know what you’re working with to get a good result.

While powder coating provides a finish resembling a fine paint job, it’s not the same

The coating uses a fine powder made up of pigment and other compounds to adhere the pigment to the metal. The glossy finish is resistant to chemicals, wear, and chipping, which is ideal for durability.

It also means that a powder-coated surface is tricky to paint over.

technician showing how to paint over powder coat

Challenges to Painting Over Powder Coat

The strengths of powder coating are what make it a challenge to cover with liquid paint and other traditional pigments. The combination of process and the components in the powder coat creates a very slick surface.

Of course, if almost nothing will stick to it, most paint will not adhere to the surface easily either.

Another issue to keep in mind is the condition of the metal underneath the powder coating. Powder coating helps prevent environmental stresses, but it doesn’t eliminate them. 

Over time, different areas of the powder-coating may wear away, but the process can be uneven. As a result, oxidation can attack the metal underneath, creating a surface that won’t cooperate with paint.

How to Paint Over Powder Coat Properly

The best option is to take your powder-coated metal to a qualified professional, who will approach the issue with a few key guidelines. If the coating is completely intact, the technician will lightly sand it. This creates a rougher surface to which the paint can adhere.

If the powder coating has worn away in some places but not in others, the technician may go ahead and sand off the coating entirely. This ensures a consistent surface for the paint application.

If areas of the underlying metal are oxidized, the technician makes sure to get rid of all rust before moving forward. Rust will continue eating away at the metal underneath the paint, increasing the risk of flaking and chipping.

powder coat samples on metal plates

Find Out More About Powder Coating and Other Finishing Options

If you want to spruce up your powder-coated metal, there are a few different approaches you can take. Painting over the coating is one option, but it requires a lot of additional work to get the best results.

If you’re unsure of whether painting is your best option or if there might be other affordable methods to protect your metal, Glenn Metalcraft can help you decide on the right course of action. 

At Glenn Metalcraft, our mission is to provide innovative, single-source solutions. Check out the rest of our site for more solutions, or reach out to us to find out how we can help.

CNC Machining

How to Overcome Precision CNC Machining Challenges

At Glenn Metalcraft Inc, we take pride in serving the OEM industry under the direction of our parent company, Elemet Group. We have the privilege of working alongside other companies in the Group that specialize in a variety of manufacturing processes, including precision CNC machining.

Glenn Metalcraft is unique. We are one of the only companies well-versed in precision CNC spinning. The acronym CNC stands for computer numerical control, a method for automating control of machine tools through microcomputer software located in the tool. 

Precision CNC spinning is an extremely effective and accurate way to approach metal fabrication projects. As with any approach, CNC spinning presents challenges. However, these challenges are also solvable. We have composed a list of possible challenges and remedies that you may face when utilizing CNC machining. 

If you have a project in mind and want to take advantage of our efficient and accurate technique, fill out an estimate request now for a free consultation.

5 Common Challenges of Precision CNC Machining 

The most common issues with machined parts arise with improper maintenance and usage. Below are 5 of the most common errors you may encounter when using CNC machinery. 

1. Applying Wrong Settings and Tools 

Using an inappropriate cutting tool or setting will present challenges and errors. If the cutting tool is not sharp and there is not an appropriate cutting coolant used, a poor surface finish will result. Additionally, this causes a cutter mark on your material and unnecessary wear on your tool. 

Damages occur when the machine settings are wrong. When the feed rate is too high, rough edges and marks appear on your piece. Setting the feed rate too low will burn your workpiece. Wrong settings may even burn your tools. 

2. Machine Vibrating and Chattering 

CNC Machine vibration and chatter are related to tools and settings. If your CNC machine is vibrating or chattering, something needs changing. When the issue goes unfixed, tools will lose durability, the accuracy of dimensions will be affected, and the quality of the workpiece will diminish. 

rack of different metal tube profiles

3. Choosing Inappropriate Raw Material 

The material chosen for your project is an important factor. Some machinists will have an easier time working with certain metals. Moreover, some materials require certain strengths when used for specific functions. 

Each metal responds differently to CNC machining. Some metals need extra steps to produce high-quality products, such as deburring. Note how CNC machining affects different metals and parts. 

If you do not take time to consider what metals are best for your project, you may face avoidable issues had you used a different type of material. 

4. Processing and Programming Data 

CNC machining relies on software. This software can easily affect a machine’s performance. Sometimes, issues may arise when the computer software is not productively communicating with the device. For example, the software may dictate machine instructions too slowly. 

CNC machines are programmed and have a programming language. Lack of knowledge of coding and programming data will lead to errors in production and problems with the machines. 

5. Purchasing and Repairing CNC Machines 

CNC machines are expensive and require a hefty investment. CNC machine repairs are also costly. The machines are notoriously complex and require specific mechanical and programming knowledge to repair. The knowledge required takes years to develop and does not come easily.

metal part being fabricated using precision CNC machining

Remedies for Common Precision CNC Machining Challenges

Fortunately, each challenge has a corresponding remedy. Most of the solutions require educating yourself on how CNC machinery works. Knowledge will allow you to take preventive measures to avoid precision CNC spinning errors. 

Deal with Setting and Tools 

Setting and Tool issues are relatively easy to fix. Consider the following solutions: 

  • Examine the material and decide what tool and setting is appropriate 
  • If a tool is blunt, replace the tool with a sharpened tool 
  • Examine the tool type and adjust the settings accordingly 

Listen for Chatter and Vibration 

When these noises appear, something is wrong. Check these areas if you notice chattering or vibrating: 

  • Adjust the RPM 
  • Use tool holders that are balanced 
  • Check if there is enough lubricant 
  •  Look at CNC machine part positioning
  • Check hydraulic pump and pressure 

Know the Correct Material to Use 

Knowing your metals will help you avoid issues linked to the material. To avoid issues: 

  • Know what material you and your staff can machine well 
  • Know the project 
  • Consider what material will be most efficient based on part function 

technician programming precision CNC machine

Address Process and Program Issues 

Processing and programming pitfalls are not easy for new operators to address. An experienced operator that knows coding is best at fixing data issues. However, there are some steps you can take yourself: 

  • Make sure the machine is aligned mechanically 
  • Try turning off the machine and reboot 
  • Technical upgrades
  • Invest in programming training 

The most beneficial fix for an ineffective CNC machine is to upgrade hardware and computer software. 

Take Preventive Measures to Reduce Repairs 

Upfront, CNC machinery is expensive. Small companies may struggle to adjust to the costs of CNC machinery. In the long run, investing in CNC machining will yield profit. 

Repairs are costly and require expertise. To reduce the cost of repairs, make sure you are proactive. Follow these suggestions: 

  • Invest in preventive machine maintenance programs 
  • Make sure technicians know how to operate CNC equipment correctly
  • Regularly check hardware and software 
  • Clean and perform regular maintenance on the machine, often 
  • Check airflow and lube levels 

Calipers, pen, and other tools laying on a precision CNC machining drawing

CNC Machining Solutions 

There are many challenges presented when operating CNC machinery. However, understanding possible difficulties will help you fix them.

It is feasible to operate precision CNC spinning smoothly. The right information and materials are needed. If you are interested in an in-depth review of the benefits of CNC machines, check out this article. 

To keep away from CNC machinery complications altogether, hire Glenn Metalcraft Inc for your precision CNC spinning needs. Our staff are adept at addressing issues that arise while operating CNC machines. Our highly skilled team is dedicated to fulfilling project needs and providing excellent customer service. Reach out to Glenn Metalcraft today!

CNC Machining

High-speed Machining Formulas and Definitions

Have you ever wondered what high-speed machining is? Are you curious about high-speed machining formulas and definitions?

HSM, also known as trochoidal milling, is all about efficiency. It’s become popular over the last few years, with more and more shops adopting the practice. There have even been some advances in Machine Learning that deal directly with HSM and optimizing your tooling.

This article will explore some of the backgrounds of high-speed machining, how it compares to conventional machining, and touch on some high-speed machining techniques.

Keep reading if you’re curious about the process and how you can apply it to your next project. Then contact Glenn Metalcraft for your heavy metal spinning and other fabrication needs. 

What is High-speed Machining (HSM)?

At its heart, high-speed machining (HSM) is all about increasing material removal rates while decreasing cycle time and improving tool lifetime.

Companies tend to argue about the correct definition of HSM. Some say that the process requires quick milling passes. You may also find the very technical definition — machining at the resonant frequency of the machine. When you break it down, all this means is using spindle speeds that help to minimize chatter.

Even the “High-Speed” part of HSM is disputed. Although generally, HSM is understood to start at 18,000 rpm, various shops have shown that the process can work with slower spindles as well.

Other machinists argue that HSM should deal with high material removal rates only. The argument here is that the true aim of HSM is to give a surface finish that’s good enough after one pass. 

Remarkably, the initial reason HSM became a consideration was the discovery that increasing spindle speed reduces the heat in the cut once you reach a particular point. At the same time, there’s also a change in cutting forces which likely contributes to the lower heat of the cutting edge.

Let’s look at an example using aluminum. At around 300 SFM (surface feet per minute), the surface temperature is approximately 650c or ~1200f. The research shows that at 1000 SFM, you start seeing the same temperatures! Even more interesting, research also shows that there’s a possibility to run faster and get even lower temperatures.

close-up of dictionary entries for machinery, machine tool, machinist

A Few Definitions

You’ll commonly hear a couple of definitions when talking about HSM and you can find a few of them below.

Feeds and Speeds

This phrase will also sometimes show up as “Speeds and Feeds.” In the simplest definition, it refers to the cutting speed and the feed rate. These two terms are often paired up when we talk about CNC cycles, but you can also use them separately.

You’ll usually see this term used alongside calculations for high feed rates and high RPM operations. Feeds and Speeds calculators can help achieve excellent finishes on both sides of the tool’s cutting edge.

Check out the full section on Speeds and Feeds further down.


SFM stands for surface feet per minute. It’s a reference to how quickly cutting tools move across the surface of a piece in a CNC cycle. Obviously, the speed at which your tool head moves impacts the whole process.

Chip Load

The chip load, otherwise known as “feed per tooth,” is the thickness of the material that gets cut away by each tooth. The chip tends to take away some of the heat with it during the milling process.

We care about this, particularly because with the wrong calculations, you may end up clogging your tool teeth and increasing temperature.

Radial Depths

When talking about the radial depth of a cut (RDOC), machine shops mean the distance a tool steps over into the workpiece. This is also sometimes called Stepover and cut width.

Chip Thinning

Chip thinning generally happens when the RDOC varies. When we talk about chip thinning, we’re talking about the thickness of the chip. Chip thinning occurs when the Chip Load and RDOC are not equal.

An easy way to think of this is to remember that if each tooth is working on the surface at a ninety-degree angle, our cut is most efficient. At that point, the RDOC is at 50% of the cutter diameter.

Below 50% RDOC, the chip thickness changes, and the cut becomes less efficient. This decrease in efficiency can lead to tools wearing down faster than expected and poor quality finishes.

industrial professional inputting high-speed machining variables into a CNC machining panel

Milling Variables

Beyond the definitions we’ve looked at above, there are some variables used in calculations for CNC machines that you should be aware of. We’ll discuss the formulas themselves a little further down.

  • Speed – Surface Feet per Minute (SFM)
  • Feed – Inches per Minute (IPM)
  • Feed per Tooth (FPT)
  • Adjusted Feed per Tooth – Chip Thinning (AFPT)
  • Feed per Revolution (FPR)
  • Depth of Cut (DOC)
  • Width of Cut (WOC)
  • Tool Diameter (D)
  • # of Teeth in Cutter (Z)
  • Metal Removal Rate – Cubic Inches per Minute (MRR)

High-speed Machining Formulas and Definitions

So how do you calculate optimal speeds and feeds? There are two main equations to use. Read on for more information on each part of the equation and how you can get the information that goes into it.

The first formula looks like this:

Feed Rate = Spindle RPM x Number of Teeth x Chip Load

You’ll need to know the RPMs (revolutions per minute) of your spindle and if you’re unsure, check with your manufacturer. They will have spec sheets that deal with your particular model.

Once you have found all your variables, plug them into the formula to calculate your feed rate.

The second formula for calculating SFM looks like this:

SFM = RPM x Diameter x pi/12

Now that you’ve got your RPM, you can plug the values to this formula to find the SFM.

Finally, if you have your SFM, you can also work back to get your Spindle Speed:

RPM = 12 x SFM / 3.14 x Diameter

Or, if you prefer a more simplified version:

RPM = 3.8 x SFM / Diameter

CNC high-speed machining center cutting mold

Expert Machining Done Right

The benefits of high-speed machine tools are quite clear. Now, it’s time to put that knowledge into practice. With a little patience and experience, you’ll find that HSM improves milling efficiency substantially.

Although the high-speed machining formulas and definitions we’ve talked about are fairly standard, they can feel complex and overwhelming. Contact Glenn Metalcraft to discuss full-service metal manufacturing when you’re ready to explore HSM further.

Subtractive Manufacturing

How Long Does Powder Coating Last?

Is your business in route for an upgrade? It’s not uncommon for successful businesses to upgrade components to serve their customers better and bolster their brand. Since you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume that your business is ready to level up and lead the competition.

One of the most important things you can do is add a fresh coat of paint to preserve your equipment and maintain a professional look. One of the best ways to do that is with powder coating. However, you may be wondering, “how long does powder coating last?” You would want your coating to be worth the investment.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for answers. This article will show you what you need to know about powder coatings so you’ll know if you should make the right move. Read on to find out more, then reach out to Glenn Metalcraft to discuss your full-service metal manufacturing needs.

So, How Long Does Powder Coating Last?

Powder coating is a powerful substance, but not all coatings are created equal or for the same tasks. Powder coatings vary in strength, application, and usage, all of which will affect the longevity of the coating overall. Here are just a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself that will help determine how long your coating will last.

powder blends in green, rust, yellow color on a white surface

What Are the Different Types of Powder Coatings?

The most obvious thing to look into is the type of powder coating you plan to use. There are several different types of coatings, but the most common ones are:

  • Polyester coating: a popular coating material used in many interior and exterior applications;
  • Epoxy coating: a super strong and durable material that’s great for indoor usage;
  • Fluoropolymer coating: A highly weather-resistant coating that makes it great for exterior use, and;
  • Urethane coating: A coating similar to polyester but is harder and more resistant to chemicals.

Each type of powder coating offers its own strengths, and by choosing the best one for your needs, you can get the most years out of it.

Also, by applying a pre-treatment solution before you add the coating, you will maximize the lifespan of the coating and keep your equipment looking new for a long time to come!

how long does powder coating last on a green powder coated structure in a outdoor winter environment

What Factors Affect the Life of a Coating, and How?

Of course, the lifespan of your powder coating can also be affected by the numerous factors surrounding your business and your application. The first thing to determine is whether you’ll be adding the coating for interior or exterior use. If the item you’re applying the coating to is for outdoor applications, but the powder coating itself is for interior application, you will drastically reduce the lifespan of the coating.

The presence of certain chemicals in the environment could also affect the coating’s lifespan. Although some powder coatings have more resistance to chemicals and corrosion than others, a chemical-laden setting is sure to wear all coatings down at a faster rate.

You’ll also want to factor in the function of the actual machine or part that’s being coated. A stationary machine or component is less likely to wear down the powder coating, while one that’s constantly moving and creating friction and heat will wear the coating down faster.

Hanging conveyors in an industrial powder coating line.

Get the Right Coating for Your Needs

Hopefully, this article gave you some insights into what determines how long powder coatings will last, as well as the type of coating you need for your part or application. That said, you’ll want to make sure you get the right people to add the correct powder coating for the task.

Glenn Metalcraft is the heavy gauge metal spinning leader and provides a full-service machining and finishing options menu. Our mission is to provide innovative, single-source solutions to the OEM industry. Make sure to check out our site to see what we have to offer, or give us a call and start working with us today!


Complete Guide to Welding Types and What Each Means

What are the Different Types of Welding?

Since ancient Egypt, humans have welded base metal in one way, shape or form. Welding does not get the credit it deserves, but few skills human beings have created have had as much of an impact on the average person’s daily life.

Here are the major welding techniques, how they were or are used. Keep reading to learn how you can determine the types of welding processes you need for any projects you are working on.

And for a quote on welding services, contact Glenn Metalcraft today.

Welding’s Impact

A finished weld.

Just about everywhere you look, various forms of welding affect our lives. Your vehicle, furniture, appliances, even some electronics have some form of welding (which is different from soldering.) From the early days of forge welding through today’s most computer-driven, semi-automatic, and sophisticated welding methods, welding has helped us bond metal to create things that truly enhance our lives.

Forge Welding

Forge welding was the earliest form of welding. It started with ancient Egypt and spawned blacksmithing. It involves heating two metals to the point of a molten status and then pounding them into a single metal object.

Braze Welding

What are the different types of welding? Braze welding is a welding method.

This type of welding goes far back as well. Braze welding has been found in archeological sites worldwide. It was used for bonding bronze, silver, gold, and steel. This type of welding is still used today, primarily when working with softer metals that melt under lower temperatures.

Arc Welding

An industrial welder using the arc welding method.

Arc welding is the most common form of welding and was developed in England and France in the early 1800s. It uses an electrical pulse to melt metal at extremely high temperatures and carry it across a joint via an arc to fill the arc with an incredibly strong bond.

Arc welding came into prominence during World War I and eventually became a primary bonding method in modern manufacturing. In the war (and subsequent wars,) it was a vital tool in repairing ships quickly so they could return to battle or be retrofitted with new equipment.

Arc welding has improved in equipment, safety, cost, and weld quality and is now used in several different forms for various purposes. A few of the more common methods of welding are outlined below.

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

What are the different types of welding? MIG welding is a type of welding shown here.

MIG welding is exceptionally simple but produces high-quality welds, and because of that, it is a favorite for many new welders. The welding process occurs by feeding wand-based filler metal into the portion of the weld that is arced, while gas expels to shield it from external elements.

It is not generally used to weld metals outside because of the need for a gas shield. It can be used, though, for many different types of thickness, making it a “go-to” for simple type welds. The wire serves as the electrode and melts when the arc travels from the tip of the wire to the base metal. This action creates a pool that hardens into a weld.

The arc process is controlled by the welder, which allows them to proceed at their own pace. When completed, a MIG weld is smooth, tight, and very linear.

Stick Welding Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

A welder stick welding.

Stick welding is the most used type of welding for non-complex projects because it is easy to learn, inexpensive, and easy to perfect. The downside to stick welding is that it splatters a lot, depending on the welder’s skill. The splatter makes cleanup afterwards nearly inevitable.

An arc from the stick to the base metal is created, and the stick serves as the filler metal. The arc will generate heat and flux, coat the stick, vaporize, and protect the metal from oxidation. It can be used outdoors and in adverse weather, including rain, ice, snow, and wind. Additionally, stick welding works on rusted, dirty, and painted surfaces.

Another upside to this welding method is that there are many electrode types, and they are easy to swap. This flexibility makes stick welding very versatile and able to work with most metals, including stainless steel. Because the process will create heat, it is not the ideal welding method for thin metals.

TIG – Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

A closeup of TIG welding

This type of welding uses a tungsten electrode and requires no filler metal, meaning that you can join the two metals directly. Shielding gas is needed for this type of welding, and it protects the weld from external elements. There is no splatter, and the bond is incredibly precise.

Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

Flux Cored Arc Welding at a construction site.

FCAW uses a wire as the electrode, which has a core of flux that creates a gas shield around the weld. FCAW is best with thicker, heavier metals, making it a favorite for repairing heavy equipment and components with large metal seams, like barges. The FCAW process is clean, does not need external gas, and is affordable.

Plasma Arc Welding

A smaller arc helps create a very precision-oriented weld with Plasma Arc Welding. This method also uses a different type of torch, which runs much hotter than a traditional torch. The torch is so hot that even base metals can melt, allowing plasma welding with no filler metal.

Plasma Arc welding creates deep weld penetration on relatively narrow weld channels. Plasma Arc Welding produces attractive welds that are exceptionally strong. It can also be accomplished at very high speeds, making it ideal for some forms of manufacturing.

Other Types of Welding

A finished welding seam on sheet metal.

While the welding methods outlined above are the most popular, several other types of welding are also frequently used. Each of these methods are used in hybrid situations, usually in some form of manufacturing. A few include:

  • Laser Beam Welding
  • Electron Beam Welding
  • Electroslag
  • Atomic Hydrogen Welding

What are the Different Types of Welding: Final Thoughts

A welder working.

Generally, the two most popular types of welding, stick, and MIG (GMAW), are used because they are easy, require little specialized equipment, are inexpensive, and the weld produced is superior and great looking. They are the most popular because anyone from beginner to expert can do them with little training time.

For more information on welding, contact Glenn Metalcraft.

CNC Machining

CNC Machining vs 3D Printing

Choosing between CNC machining and 3D printing is a common question for anyone looking to create metal products. Both machines produce a wide range of metal parts and offer unique perks. However, not every business will benefit from using both, and the wrong choice could cost you in terms of quality and money. How do you know which manufacturing process your company should invest in? 

This guide will take a look at everything you need to know when comparing CNC vs 3D printing. It will help you make an informed decision and choose a process that’s better suited for your needs. In the end, if you decide you need a reliable expert for your metal parts production, call Glenn Metalcraft to have your parts shipped directly to you.

CNC Machining Basics

A CNC milling machine. CNC Machining VS 3D printing

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. An engineer designs software to guide the CNC machine to build parts. Because the part is built by software and machines, the entire process is very precise. 

CNC machines are capable of producing parts through a process of subtractive manufacturing. With subtractive manufacturing, machines take a block of material and remove (subtract) pieces to form the final metal component. 

CNC machining has been around since the 1950s, which makes it a traditional manufacturing process. However, the original technology has been improving ever since. For example, companies like Glenn Metalcraft now operate on 6-axis machines, making the process quick, efficient, and highly accurate. 

With machines like the HAAS R2000IB 165R, Glenn Metalcraft can handle large payloads and functions such as: 

  • Material handling
  • Drilling
  • Tooling
  • Press tending
  • Spot welding
  • Assembly

3D Printing Basics

A 3d printing machine creating a product. CNC Machining VS 3D printing

One of the biggest differences in CNC vs 3D printing is simply how it works. As mentioned before, CNC machining is subtractive. However, a 3D printer functions as an additive machining process without support structures. 

With the additive machining of a 3D printer, metals are added layer by layer to build parts. First introduced in the 1980s, it has become more prominent and common in recent years. 

3D printing also uses software to build metal parts, but its capabilities in terms of size and handling are limited compared to those of CNC machines.

CNC Machining vs 3D Printing: How To Choose

Metal automotive parts created with CNC machining, not 3D printing.

As you learn how the two manufacturing processes work, you may already start to realize which is right for you. Here are some key differences between the two options to take into account when considering CNC vs 3D printing.


When it comes to large orders, nothing beats computer numerical control. These machines reduce the need for operators as they can handle much of the process from beginning to end. They can also handle large pieces on their own and work quickly from one part to the next. 

While a 3D printer can be fast, it can’t produce large bulk orders as quickly and only takes on what fits on the printer bed. So when you need a large order done accurately and speedily, CNC machining may be the better option for you. 


You may not see any difference in price per unit between the two manufacturing processes for some smaller orders. However, for large orders, CNC machining’s speed makes it more cost-effective. Because large quantities are so well handled by the CNC process, you won’t see a significant increase for a large-scale project.

If you’re truly on the fence between 3D printing and CNC, get some quotes from various experts to better understand how your specific order may affect the prices. As a rule of thumb, medium to large-sized orders will get lower prices from CNC machining engineers. 


You can get it all taken care of, from the smallest to the biggest metal parts, by CNC machines. This is because the equipment is made to handle any large block of material and turn it into the final product. These machines are even used to make metal parts for automobiles. 

If you want a large metal part fabricated, it will be far easier to find engineers with the right CNC machines. 

On the other hand, a 3D printed part is limited to the equipment’s size, which is currently significantly smaller than today’s standard CNC machines. While you might find large 3D printing equipment, you will have to shop around. And, it’s not by any means a guarantee that you’ll find what you need. 


When you send out to have parts created, you want the most professional final product. It won’t do to have jagged surfaces where filaments were laid imperfectly. So when considering whether to choose 3D printing vs CNC manufacturing, know that the 3D printer will work best for less precise components. 

Computer numerical control metal 3D spinning is the way to go for the smoothest surfaces and cleanest lines — it gives you the best results. Any parts needing a tightly toleranced surface, such as key components or tools, require a ready-to-use finish best provided by CNC manufacturing. 

Get CNC Machining Services for Your Products

A CNC machine creating a metal product

Both CNC machining and 3D printing have their own merits. However, one will be better for your project and company’s manufacturing needs than the other.

CNC machining offers a cost-effective, precise, and quick manufacturing process if you’re producing on a large scale. If you’re only looking for a small batch of parts that don’t require the highest quality finish, a 3D printer may give you exactly what you’re looking for at the lowest price. 

If you’re still unsure which is right for you, call Glenn Metalcraft. Our years of experience in providing the highest quality parts and service to our customers make our commitment to growing in the right direction clear. We are happy to answer all your questions about CNC vs 3D printing, so contact us today.