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Preview: One Shop's Evolution from Vertical to Horizontal to Five Axis

Advance CNC Machining’s progression from vertical machining centers through five-axis machining changed more than the complexity of its parts. Ultimately it transformed core business operations.

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In 2014, we wrote about a machine shop that had recently invested in horizontal machining centers after spending years using vertical machining centers. For the shop’s owner, Jeremy Hamilton, the investment was not taken lightly. “For the price of one horizontal, I could have bought three more verticals,” he said at the time. 

It’s now been nearly five years since we published that article, and the continued evolution in machine tool investments at the shop seemed worthy of another visit. Most notably, the shop, Advance CNC Machining located in Grove City, Ohio, has since added five-axis machining to its operations. This change has not only altered the nature of day-to-day manufacturing there—including the need to make peripheral investments to take full advantage of five-axis—but also indirectly influenced core business operations, such as the company’s approach to requests for quotes (RFQs) and potential business acquisitions. 

In an upcoming story about the evolution at Advance CNC Machining, Kyle Dunaway, Advance’s VP of manufacturing, ties together how five-axis machining and deliberations surrounding requests for quote (RFQs) influence further investments around five axis:

“When we first bought the first (five-axis machine), I didn't think that we would have to go buy an expensive CMM. But as we started to get better with it, suddenly we had opportunities to quote more complex jobs. But now you have to figure out how to check it and qualify it, and you've got to have a great CMM to do that. So we had to buy another great machine to check the great machine's work, and then there are the learning curves to run the software.”

Maybe this sounds familiar. Or maybe this is a problem you wished you had. But the decision to continue making capital investments taught Advance CNC Machining a lot about the interconnectedness of technology and business. Luckily, they were willing, once again, to share those lessons with us. 

Stay tuned for the full story. Coming soon.