Leading the way in Precision CNC Machining
CNC Machining Services
Computer numerical control (CNC) machining is among the most versatile and widely used manufacturing methods in modern industry. Leveraging computer-guided cutting tools, CNC machining guarantees precision and consistency for even very large components.
Trade Tech, Inc. has been taking on challenging machining projects for over 30 years, and we’ve established ourselves as a premier supplier for large and complex components. Our expertise has served a variety of applications within complex industries such as aerospace, mining, military and defense, nuclear, and more.
The Basics of CNC Machining
CNC machining is a grouping of subtractive manufacturing processes in which a computer guides cutting tools to shape a workpiece. “Computer numerical control” refers to the digitalized control mechanism whereby the computer converts a digital model of the component into a series of turning and/or milling steps.
How Does CNC Machining Work?
A typical CNC machining project begins with a series of crucial preparatory steps:
- Design. As with other manufacturing processes, the first step is to design a 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) model of the final product. This file is what the computer will use to program the action of the CNC machinery.
- File conversion. Once the CAD model is finalized, it needs to be converted into a language that the computer can understand. Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software takes in a formatted CAD file, analyzes the part geometry, and outputs a program file that can be used to instruct the CNC equipment.
- Machine set-up. The first step in preparing the machinery is to load the CAM file onto the CNC machine. Next, an operator will set up the machine itself to ensure that the proper tooling is installed in the machines tool carousel or turret. The technician will also load the blank, or workpiece, onto the machinery and ensure that it’s properly located and secured. If the workstation has an automated feeding mechanism, the worker will load that instead, although this is more common with smaller components.
Careful monitoring and measurement of the results of CNC machining are necessary to adjust tooling offsets and determine the cutting performance of the computer-generated NC files. The CNC program contains all of the instructions necessary to guide the tooling and execute the design with extreme precision, but it requires a skilled operator to verify the initial production quality, adjust to material and other variables and optimize the program, as well as to monitor that production stays in tolerance throughout the run.
Which CNC Process is Right for You?
Although all CNC processes operate based on the same basic principles, there are many different types of machines and tooling available. Trade Tech specializes in horizontal and vertical CNC machining, and we draw on 12 distinct processes to execute even the most technically demanding jobs.
Horizontal vs. Vertical Milling
In horizontal CNC milling, the spindle is parallel to the floor. With vertical milling, it is perpendicular to the floor. Vertical spindle mills are far more common and their horizontal table makes it easier to set up and fixture parts as gravity is making setups and work holding easier. However, horizontal mills can often be more productive; although parts must most often be supported on a vertical surface, horizontal machines also often have a rotating table that makes access to multiple sides of the part possible. Also, in horizontal machine chips fall away whereas, in vertical machining centers, they often need to be removed in other ways.
Horizontal vs. Vertical Turning
Horizontal turning centers have a spindle that is horizontally oriented, with tools mounted out of the side of the tool holder. This helps them cut across the object being machined. Horizontal turning centers are more common and they also benefit from gravity as it pulls the chips away from the workpiece. Vertical turning centers are also called vertical turret lathes or VTL. The vertical and horizontal turning centers are very similar but their configuration and shape are upended allowing the headstock to sit on the floor and the faceplate to become a horizontal rotating table.
When you begin your relationship with Trade Tech, we’ll help you determine which type of machining is best suited to your project.
Both our horizontal and vertical machines are capable of a wide range of cutting operations, which allows us to target our capabilities and select the ideal process for every project. These capabilities include:
- Milling – Removing material with a rotary cutter.
- Drilling – Creating drilled holes in the workpiece.
- Boring – Enlarging a hole in a workpiece, gaining precision.
- Turning – Rotating a workpiece while a cutter uniformly removes material.
- Threading – Cutting a groove in the workpiece.
- Counterboring – Creating a flat-bottomed hole in the material.
- Countersinking – Deburring an existing hole in the workpiece.
- Pocketing – Cutting to a specific depth, often creating a groove.
- Profiling – Roughing, semi-finishing, or finishing the surface.
- Reaming – Enlarging a hole to a precise size.
- Parting or cutting – Removing a finished workpiece from bar stock.
- Facing – Cutting a flat surface in the workpiece to reduce the length and improve the surface finish.
Get to Know Our CNC Machines
Trade Tech’s advanced facility is stocked with cutting-edge CNC equipment, including the following categories of machinery:
- Horizontal mills. Efficient and sturdy, horizontal mills are ideal for large production runs or for components that require a great deal of material to be removed. It is also easier to achieve pocketing or facing on these mills.
- Vertical mills. Vertical mills are the workhorses of CNC machining, suitable for completing most short-run applications quickly and with precision. They are easier to program and operate than horizontal mills, which can speed production times on less complex orders.
- Boring bars. Boring bars allow us to cut the inside of a workpiece as it spins on a lathe.
- Machining centers. A catch-all term for both horizontal and vertical CNC milling machines. In these machining centers, the tools rotate while the workpiece remains stationary, and an automatic tool changer allows the machine to perform multiple operations in a single pass. These machining centers are an ideal choice for complicated projects.
- CNC and manual lathes. We are also fully equipped with CNC lathes that can precisely remove material from a rotating workpiece. When necessary, our highly skilled technicians can also operate manual lathes to form your components.
These powerful pieces of machinery afford us the following capabilities:
- Bridge Milling 157” in X-axis 106” in Y-axis x 46” in Z-axis with right angle capability
- Boring Bar Milling 118″ in X-axis, 98″ in Y-axis, and (combined 24″ in Z-axis + 47″ in W-axis) with rotary table and many others with various smaller capacities.
- 5-axis milling: 197″ x 37″ with indexer
- CNC horizontal turning up to 31.5″ Ø and 125″ long
- Manual horizontal turning up to 36″ Ø over ways or 16.25″Ø x 160″
- CNC vertical turning up to 81.5″ Ø
- Manual vertical turning: up to 90″ Ø
- Maximum lifting capacity: 25 tons (cranes)
- Tolerances: ± 0.0005″ (depending on size)
- Machinery axes: 2, 3, 4, 5
Which Material is Right For You?
Trade Tech works with all common metals and a variety of rarer materials. Popular options include:
- Aluminum. Aluminum is lightweight and offers excellent insulation properties, although it lacks the strength of steel.
- Brass. Brass is an alloy consisting of copper and zinc known for excellent mechanical and electrical properties.
- Bronze. Bronze is copper-tin alloy and is much harder than copper. It is harder than Brass.
- Carbon steel. Carbon steel is available in a number of formulations and heat treatments with different levels of strength. Carbon steel is commonly used for large components.
- Alloy Steel. Alloyed steel is strong and is often chosen for its strength-to-weight ratio.
- Stainless steel. Stainless steel’s main benefit over carbon steel is its corrosion resistance, allowing it to maintain strength even when exposed to harsh environments.
- Inconel. Inconel is a heavy-duty metal that is stronger than many steels and maintains its performance at high temperatures.
- Hastelloy. Hastelloy is another extreme environment alloy known for its strength and excellent corrosion resistance.
Our full capabilities include the above, along with most exotic metals and plastics.
Premium CNC Machining Services in Wisconsin
At Trade Tech, we pride ourselves on serving industries that require the utmost precision and performance from their machined parts. Our machining capabilities allow us to achieve precision levels that other suppliers can’t match. Industries that benefit from our superior quality standards include:
- Defense and military
- Expander tools
- Marine industrial
- Mining and rock crushing
- Mold and die-cast
- Oil and gas
- Spin tools
- Wind energy
Industry & Quality Standards
Our ISO 9001:2015-compliant quality system and our experienced staff are committed to using the most advanced manufacturing methods to provide you with products and services of the highest quality and the ability to resolve any and all manufacturing and engineering challenges. Some of the products we specialize in machining include shafts, spindles, bearings, housings, gears, rollers, dies, and molds.
Trade Tech Precision Machining
Trade Tech is a proudly family-owned manufacturing company based in Hartford, Wisconsin. From our full-service machining facility, we provide specialty production, prototyping, and low-volume runs with precision results, supported by knowledgeable manufacturing engineering and customer service. We are best known for our skills in large machining and fabrication, as well as for our ability to achieve extremely tight tolerances on large work.
- Machining Processes
Horizontal & Vertical
Horizontal & Vertical
- Boring Bars
- Machining Centers
- CNC and Manual Lathes
- Equipment Capabilities
CNC & Manual Control Capabilities
CAM Programming Services
- Machinery Axis
2, 3, 4, 5
In-House Fixturing & Tooling
- Turning Capability
CNC Horizontal Turning up to 31.5 in. Ø 125″ long
Manual Horizontal Turning up to 36 in. Ø over ways or 16.25″Ø x 160″
CNC Vertical Turning up to 81.5 in. Ø
Manual Vertical Turning up to 90 in. Ø
- 5 Axis Milling Capability
197″ x 37″ with indexer
- Milling Capability
118″ in X 98″ in Y, and (combined 24″ in Z + 47″ in W) with Rotary Table
- Maximum Lifting Capacity
25 Ton Cranes
± 0.0005 in
Dependent on Size
- Production Volume
Specialty Production Shop
- Lead Times Available
Quoted on Job by Job Basis
Emergency/Rush Services Available
- Industry Focus
Mold and Die-Cast
Oil & Gas
- Industry Standards
ISO 9001:2008 Compliant
- File Formats
AutoCAD (All file formats)
SolidWorks (All file formats)