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Expert news, information and analysis. Get expert technical advice on high quality CNC machining of components for a wide range of industrial sectors. Find out how to ensure improved consistency and lower production costs.

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Are Badly Specified Engineering Tolerances Pushing Up Your Costs?

19th Jul 2021

It can be a tricky balancing act to specify components in industries where:

  • there is a need for volume but also for safety
  • competition is high
  • the market is commoditised.

Designers and product development teams facing these challenges understand that tolerances must be detailed. And the datum must be precise. If they get any of this wrong, they risk compromising the product’s fit, form and function.

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Specifying The Right Aluminium Grade And Plastic Type For Medical Devices

14th Jun 2021

You love the brushed aluminium finish on your top-of-the-range designer laptop. And you want the same finish for the high-end medical device you’re specifying.

But this may not be as easy as you think. The aluminium grade you want may not be readily available. Or the finishing may require special techniques.

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Has Pre-Production Exposed Your Prototype's Hidden Problems?

17th May 2021

Prototypes are not as easy as you might imagine. You probably had to do a bit of filing and fettling to get your prototype to work. Perhaps a few tweaks to ensure a perfect geometric fit.

But did you update your drawings to reflect those changes? If not, your poor machining company may have been working from outdated and inaccurate drawings.

Our experienced engineers get lots of calls and emails from medical device/component manufacturers who are in this situation. They need help to fix the problem (along with other issues they haven’t discovered yet).

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Who's At Fault? Your CNC Machining Supplier Or Your Drawings?

12th Apr 2021

You’re having difficulties with a precision component for a critical medical device. The part won’t fit the assembly. Or the finish isn’t right. Or the quality/consistency is hit and miss. Or any number of other issues.

But your existing supplier – who perhaps has been reliable up until now – is pushing back: they did “exactly as instructed”, they protest. They followed your drawings/CAD models “to the letter”.

So what went wrong? And how can it be fixed quickly and cost-effectively? You want a second opinion – is the issue with the supplier, the drawings or both?

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Why Are My Existing CNC Machining Suppliers Less Helpful Now?

29th Mar 2021

Are your machining suppliers fine when it comes to 3D printing or basic prototype work…but less good when production ramps up? Does their quality suffer when the pressure is on?

Or do they do a great job when it come to the initial prototype…but then fail to take into account special requirements that come to light during pre-production and initial production runs? 

Quality and consistency issues can make some suppliers very defensive – and therefore painful to deal with.


3 Vital Questions To Ask Your Medical Machining Suppliers

15th Mar 2021

Procuring subcontract precision engineering for medical device components can be a minefield. Sourcing the right fit for your supply chain is far from easy because of the sheer number of players out there.

Many claim to be specialists in their own particular sphere of CNC machining (while still taking on plenty of non-core work). And you will know from experience that some precision engineers are more precise than others.

Engineering drawing

How To Shortlist Your New CNC Machining Suppliers

1st Mar 2021

You’re not happy with your existing CNC machining suppliers. You’re seeing warning signs relating to quality, SLA breaches and late deliveries. That’s never good – particularly for critical sectors such as medical or aerospace.

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Four More Reasons To Change Your CNC Machining Suppliers

15th Feb 2021

Quality issues and inconsistency…failure to meet SLAs…wrong skill set…late deliveries. These are four of the biggest issues involving suppliers. They make procuring CNC machining challenging and stressful. They waste time and money.

But they’re not the only reasons to change supplier. Here are four more…

CNC turning of shaft

Four Reasons To Change Your CNC Machining Suppliers

1st Feb 2021

If you’re unhappy with your CNC machining supplier(s) then you don’t need anyone to tell you it’s time to look at other options. But if the jury is still out, this blog post (and free guide) will help you to review your options and decide on the best course of action.

Here are the four most common reasons that procurement professionals – either buyers or specifiers – contact us because they’re unhappy with their existing machining suppliers…

Aluminium machining of medical device components

Specifying Aluminium Machining For Medical Applications

10th Nov 2020

Aluminium is not like stainless steel: there is no one ‘stand out’ grade that is the first choice for medical devices. There is no ‘316L’ of aluminium.

Instead, as a purchaser of medical component machining solutions, you are confronted with a plethora of aluminium grades – any, all or none of which may suit your specific medical application.

To suggest that’s a challenge is an understatement. But it also offers you a great opportunity to improve quality, consistency and savings. How so? Simply this…you won’t be on ‘316L autopilot’ as sometimes occurs in the world of stainless steel medical components.

Pharmaceutical engineering component

Specifying 316L And Other Medical-Grade Stainless Steels

25th Sep 2020

316L is usually the first choice for medical manufacturing but it is not the only stainless steel that is available for healthcare applications.

Other grades of medical stainless steel may be better suited for your purposes and/or more cost effective.

But let’s start with 316L. Here is why it is the ‘go-to’ stainless steel for most medical applications…

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Types Of Plastics For Medical Devices

14th Sep 2020

Plastics can be harder to machine than metals: they can be less forgiving. Machining plastics requires specialist expertise – the kind that comes only with years of experience.

But that’s just half the battle. Not every plastics machining specialist has the experience needed to meet the stringent requirements of medical equipment OEMs.

Choosing the right machining partner for medical applications is vital to ensure quality, consistency, validated processes and traceability of materials.


"I have always found Penta to be very professional when dealing with them. I find good communication to be very important, something Penta excel at." Ben - Buyer

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