Planes, trains, and automobiles. These transportation vessels wouldn’t exist without CNC machine shops. Nor would most of the products we rely on every day.

But the landscape of manufacturing is changing. Fewer shops will exist in the future due to shops closing or downsizing for various reasons—including a shortage of skilled labor.

While CNC machine shops will always have a place in the world, they must adapt and evolve to continue thriving.

The World Will Always Need CNC Machine Shops

CNC machine shops are the backbone of innovation. Just think about how a new product is made. 

First, an entrepreneur comes up with an idea and invests in creating a prototype. Next, they test the prototype and gather feedback to make improvements. Then, the finalized part or product goes to market. It’s CNC machine shops that make the prototypes (and the finalized parts and products) that keep America—and the world—moving. 

The manufacturing industry drives more innovation than any other sector in the US, performing more than 55% of all private-sector research and development (R&D). Products created from manufacturing R&D include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Pharmaceuticals 
  • Computer and electronic products
  • Semiconductors and other electronic components 
  • Motor vehicles and parts

These products help enhance lives, uphold the economy, and sustain national security.

The manufacturing industry also contributes $2.3 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP) in the US and employs more than 12 million people. By 2030, manufacturers will need to fill 4 million positions, according to a study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.

Keeping up with the demand for CNC machining

As you can see, the demand for manufacturing work is there. The challenge is ensuring that there are enough people to keep up with that demand. If more people don’t start pursuing manufacturing careers, over 2 million of those 4 million jobs will stay open, according to that same study. When jobs aren’t filled, businesses close.

The number of manufacturing businesses has already decreased by about 25% in the US since 1997. Many CNC machine shop owners are reaching retirement age and shutting down, with no one to carry on their legacies. Mergers and acquisitions also contribute to the dwindling number of shops.

It doesn’t help that fewer qualified machinists are entering the industry because of a lack of training. In the past, potential employees took part in apprenticeships to learn the trade on the job. Now, a prospect starts at a shop without the real-world, hands-on training they need to advance their career. 

There are some solutions to these challenges. For instance, CNC machine shops increasingly rely on robotics and automation, which helps experienced machinists do more with less to maintain productivity. 

How to Choose Your CNC Precision Machining Partner

When you’re ready to work with a precision machining partner, it’s important to look for a shop with a track record of success, a finger on the pulse of modern manufacturing challenges, and an eye toward the future. Here are a few questions to ask as you research your options. 

  • History—How has the business evolved over the years?
  • Longevity—How long has the company been in business?
  • Quality—Is the production high quality?
  • On-time performance—Does the business meet deadlines?
  • Reputation—What do people think about the company?

Heinz Engineering has built a solid reputation with our customers. We’re proud to be recognized as a reliable source for custom precision products and assemblies.

Heinz Engineering: Your CNC Machining Services Partner

Modern manufacturing doesn’t work without CNC machine shops and machinists.

The landscape of the industry and the roles of the players may change, but innovators will always need prototypes and parts.

To adapt to this evolution, Heinz Engineering combines our precision machining expertise with proactive thinking, efficient operations, and continuous improvement.

Request a quote for our CNC machining services today.