What are blanks, anyway?
TCI's Machine-Ready Blanks are square or round aluminum, stainless steel, or other alloy blanks that are ground and milled to a tight-tolerance enabling a CNC machine to get right to final machining. This eliminates the need for squaring up the material prior to finishing the part.
Our typical customer is a medium to large job shop or production machine shop who uses blanks for several reasons.
To know if blanks would be a fit for your shop, ask yourself the following questions:
...using up valuable time squaring up your parts prior to final machining?
...frustrated with trying to hold flatness, squareness, parallelism or other dimensional tolerances?
...trying to increase your throughput or productivity on a machine center?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, blanks may be a good fit for your operation.
"Machine-ready blanks cost more than oversized stock."
Although it is true that our blanks are value-add and will cost more than oversized stock on the front-end, your cost savings will come from decreased cycle times. The time saved almost always exceeds the increase in material cost.
"My horizontal mill can rip through material so fast, I won't be saving much time."
Any time saved is increased productivity and gained throughput. Calculate how much time you spend squaring up your parts and multiply that by your quantity. Even if it's just seconds per part, it can come out to hours or days by the end of the job. That time saved can be spent starting on your next job.
"It takes too long to get blanks that are squared up. It's much faster to get oversized stock."
This can be true. With TCI adding more value to the part than just oversized saw-cutting, it may take a day or two extra to get material on your floor. But, if you place a blanket order with us, we can have your blanks finished ahead of time and on the shelf awaiting your next release.