One of the most common reasons to hire a Contract CNC Programming Services is a lack of a CNC programmer in your facility. Currently, there is a large shortage of experienced skilled workers in manufacturing. There are scores of manufacturing jobs available that are unfulfilled, and this trend is expected to grow, to over 2,000,000 within the next decade. (Craig, Dollar, Gangula and Rodriguez, 2015)
Although there has been a lot happening to address the labor shortage problem over the past several years, like STEM education and other educational initiatives, these initiatives have not been able to keep up with the demand for experienced, skilled workers. One of the ways manufacturing has tried to alleviate the labor shortage problem has been to become more high-tech. Currently, the US is more productive then every before in its history with fewer workers due to these advances. However higher technology as a solution creates difficulty filling positions in the advanced manufacturing environment. The technologies developed leading the productivity gains have been software and automation related. These technologies work well, but take a high degree of technical experience to implement successfully. CNC Programming is high tech a value-added process that uses advanced manufacturing software. CNC programming controls the machine to turn raw material into value added goods. The software alone does not create the processes, the programmer does. The programmer manipulates the software to create the part programs and processes that they have learned over time. Hiring an experienced contract CNC programmer is a solution to keeping your machines running successfully.
Another consideration for hiring a contract CNC programmer involves the software used in programming. There are many different CAD/CAM packages on the market. Selecting the right one can be an expensive, difficult decision. When you have a product demonstration of a potential CNC programming software, it looks easy. However, it takes a seasoned programmer approximately one year to learn how to use a new CAD/CAM software efficiently. The cost of the software can vary too costing up to tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention the maintenance costs of the software that can run almost as high as the purchase price annually in some cases. A contract CNC programmer will have their own software that they use efficiently without the learning curve or the cost involved in training a new programmer.
Balancing your capacity and load is another reason to hire a contract CNC programmer. Having been in this trade for over a couple of decades. I know that the work flow is rarely consistent and at a smooth pace. Sometimes we have a large capacity, and sometimes we may have a large load. The cost of keeping a CNC programmer on staff is 1.25-1.4 times their hourly rate when looking at all the facets like benefits and employment taxes. Hiring a contract CNC programmer can balance your loads appropriately when needed at a fraction of the overall cost of hiring a full-time CNC programmer. Because when times are lean, the CNC programmer that you just put on staff may become an expensive operator.
A contract CNC programmer has made the investments in software and has the experience in metal working. A contract CNC programmer will be able to accurately and efficiently create and communicate the part programs when you need them. These are all good reasons to consider hiring a contract CNC programmer before hiring a full-time programmer.
Griffi, Craig A., Dollar, Ben, Gangula, Bharath, and Rodriguez, Michelle Drew. (2015) Help Wanted: American manufacturing competitiveness and the looming skills gap. Deloitte University Press. Retrieved from: http://dupress.deloitte.com/dup-us-en/deloitte-review/issue-16/manufacturing-skills-gap-america.html.