Frequently Asked Questions
Who is your typical customer?
TCI's typical machine-ready blank customer is a medium to large job shop or machine shop looking to increase productivity on their CNC machines. The customer is looking for a way to load, lock and cut chips without squaring up material prior to final machining. Some of our customers need their parts flat and parallel beyond what they can achieve in house. Our parts show up on their dock with tight-tolerances, flat, square and parallel so they can cut chips immediately with minimal clamp changes.
TCI's contract machining customers are looking for a way to outsource their overload, or looking to place a single PO for machining, processing, plating, painting, etc. We can supply machined parts from material to paint, or anywhere in between. These customers are from many industries including: medical device, semi-conductor, oil tool, food packaging, aerospace, defense, etc. We aren't a captive shop, so we'll take a look at almost any job that fits our capabilities.
What is your typical lead time?
Our lead times are based on current shop loads. If we have the material on the floor or you are supplying the material, our machine-ready blanks typically roll off our dock within 5-7 days. If we need to source the material, allow 5 days to process the parts along with the vendor's lead time. Our lead times vary by day, so please be sure to contact us on your current requirement.
On our contract machining, you can expect lead times to vary as well. Depending on the machine availability, we've been able to ship parts in under 4 weeks, but it can be as long as 10 weeks depending on the job. Many of our customers issue blanket orders, allowing us to deliver parts on an as-needed basis. We can produce parts ahead of schedule, hold them in inventory for you, and ship them out the second you need them.
Can you make a prototype part, machined-complete?
Typically, no. We are not equipped to be competitive on making one part at a time. In some cases, however, we make exceptions for large, complex parts. We also may do one piece in conjunction with a follow-up contract order.
If you are looking for one piece on a machine-ready blank, that's no problem. In fact, if you are unsure about whether blanks will save your machining process time and increase production, we'll typically make a sample for you with your specific dimensional requirements.
What file-types can you read?
We are able to read most file-types. If in doubt, send what you have. We'll let you know if there's any issue.
Do you ship all over the country?
Yes! Nearly half of our blanks end up in shops outside of California. With our negotiated freight rates, you won't even know that the parts have traveled a few thousand miles. Lead time will naturally increase, as it may take 3-4 days to get to the east coast.