5 Things You Need to Know About CAM Programming

Pickwick is a continuous-flow manufacturing service, not a one-off job shop.  As such our primary goal is developing a repeatable precision processes for creating your product.  That requires us initially to initially convert your product’s prints, CAD files, Bill of Materials and specifications into our own electronic database systems and machine tool programs. This considerable initial investment of time by our engineering team is included in our service to help ensure precise consistency in every re-order, year after year.

Occasionally, this extensive conversion process reveals problems or variations hidden in the original information we received that must be addressed to produce the accurate part, kit or assembly your customer needs. The reasons vary:

  1. The designs may not have been updated to reflect the item as it is currently being built.
  2. The customer requests changes to the product to better answer his requirements.
  3. The CAD model provided is unusable for generating precise machine code. Inconsistencies in points of origin, interferences, material thickness issues and the like may only become apparent during processing.
  4. Alternative materials are required due to unavailability or ease of manufacturing, and the furnished data must be modified to enable the change (such as converting metric to imperial dimensions, for example).
  5. You see the opportunity to use our CAM process data for your own purposes, such as marketing illustrations, maintenance or repair manuals, or even a starting point for further product improvement.

We are pleased to assist you with any of these needs, should they arise, and will keep you informed if they require an amendment to our original quote or extend the lead time necessary before releasing your job to production.

Our Services: Supply Chain Maintenance

Pickwick’s Materials Team provides expert supply chain maintenance of Tier II and Tier III vendors. As a standard feature of our service, we will acquire the generic materials (steel, hardware, paint, etc.) required to build your product independently, using our considerable buying power. Additional specialized components unique to your product will normally be addressed in the quotation process; either they will be supplied by you or purchased by us to your specifications from your current suppliers. In either case, Pickwick can rely on your existing supply chain and your contract for pricing, availability and delivery or with your permission seek more cost-effective solutions.

However, volumes sometimes grow to the point where it may present a cost savings to assign our team to your vendor maintenance, acquisition, inventories, maintaining quality standards and the like. For some clients, this service extends to maintaining stock for aftermarket orders and assuming responsibility for pass-through vendor warranty response. Circuit boards, gear motors, machined components, extrusions and special wiring harnesses are among the hundreds of items Pickwick obtains and stocks for this client against their orders and forecast.

If you have questions about how we can assist with your supply chain maintenance and Tier II and Tier III vendors, please give us a call. For information about other services that may benefit you with faster delivery or improved quality, check out our blog posts and Featured Solutions on our website.

Our Services: Process Engineering – Design Revisions & Cost Reduction

Pickwick’s engineering expertise is our CAD and manufacturing processes. We have also had success with cost reduction projects in partnering with some of our best customers.

If we can make adaptations or revisions to your product’s “Form, Fit and Function,” we do so at our standard hourly engineering rate and at your specific instruction and risk. The latter is because we do not have expertise in your field. We rely on you to identify what it must look like, critical tolerances, how it will be used, stresses it must withstand, safety considerations and any other factors associated with your design.

Cost reduction projects come into play at your request. With our expertise in sheet metal, fabrication and welding, we can review designs for cost-cutting or value-added ideas. This can take the form of a “funded request” or on a “shared benefit” basis.

For more detail about our many value-added services, visit our Featured Solutions page.


Our Services: Process Engineering – Supporting Your Staff

A member of our engineering team manipulates a diagram
A member of our engineering team manipulates a diagram

Once a customer comes on board at Pickwick, they will find a team of process engineers to help with a variety of tasks, such as Computer Assisted Manufacturing (CAM) programming, design and revision assistance and cost reduction projects. First, we’d like to tell you about our team, and in future posts, we will share more about the specific engineering services we provide.

Our goal is to ensure precise repeatability of future reorders. Pickwick is proud to have nine process engineers on our team to ensure that goal with every project. Several staff members have multiple years of experience here, and all are thoroughly trained in creating and working from 3D models in both SolidWorks and AutoCAD. Very few manufacturing services firms provide an engineering support team of this size and with this level of expertise.

Sometimes, our customers don’t need help. They may have an engineer or two experienced in fabrication on staff, which is usually sufficient. In that case, we simply convert the designs into our system and begin production. However, on occasion, we are able to improve a project or process for our customers. This can save money and time in manufacturing the metal parts or metal assemblies they need.

A few quick examples of services we provide beyond the typical design conversion process:

  • We can provide the detail shop drawings from a provided design model
  • We can enable the client’s team to work faster
  • We can provide a thorough “manufacturability” review to discover cost reductions

We have improved many products and processes through this investment of time and process engineering expertise. We’re here when needed with unparalleled manufacturing-specific process engineering expertise.

Our Services: Drop Shipping

Export CratesDo you ship your product to locations in the U.S. or internationally? If so, Pickwick Manufacturing Services is eager to assist. We welcome requests for drop-shipping the product we build to your end customer. We frequently provide heat-treated export crating for overseas shipping. To reduce waste and streamline shipping, we can also provide reusable crates for domestic shipping back and forth to your plant.

Recently, one major client asked us to install its products on the fabrication we built to their requirements and test the final assembly. Then, following their work instructions, we crate and ship the end product in overseas containers to locations around the world. A special connection has been installed to allow their technicians to remotely monitor the final tests before packaging.

We gladly provide a high level of service and technology to our customers. Drop shipping nationally and internationally is just one example. Please visit this blog often to learn more about our other services:

Our Services: Testing & Certification

faro arm certificationPickwick Manufacturing Services provides the support services OEM manufacturers need to ensure quality in their finished products. Everything we manufacture is automatically included within our ISO 2008 Accreditation, which benefits from the oversight of both our Quality Assurance and AWS Certified Welding Inspectors Teams to assure compliance with your design.

But did you know that Pickwick’s expertise can be extended to include performance testing when required? Our capabilities include test fixtures, performance monitoring, compliance affidavits and a professional staff ready to take on whatever specialized training these processes require. For one customer, this includes installing and calibrating their instrumentation while they observe the process via the Internet.

Please contact us with questions about how we can help streamline the manufacture of your product, and visit our blog often to learn more about our other value-added services:

  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • Supply Chain Maintenance
  • Production Scheduling
  • Drop Shipping