What is Precision Machining?

The term precision machining is used to describe subtractive manufacturing processes that create highly accurate components with high tolerances. During the precision machining process, excess raw material is removed from a workpiece to shape it into a part that meets exacting specifications.

Computer numerical control (CNC) machining methods are frequently used in precision machining, including milling, turning, drilling, grinding, and other processes. The precision component is created from solid raw materials such as bars, castings, plates, or ingots.

Materials Used

A diverse variety of materials are suitable for precision machining processes, including metal and nonmetal options. At California Machine Specialties, we craft precision components from materials that include:

  • Aluminum
  • Stainless Steel
  • Alloy Steel
  • Titanium
  • Plastics
  • Composites
  • Castings
  • Forgings

California Machine’s Precision Machining Process

Developing a precision component from raw materials involves several steps and requires expertise. At California Machine Specialties, our 11,000 sq. ft. facility houses state-of-the-art 4-axis CNC mills, CNC lathes, and other machining equipment, as well as a temperature-controlled inspection room. Our precision machining process begins with engineer-led planning and is completed with thorough quality assurance processes.

Manufacturability Review and Planning

After placing your order, our team of engineers and machinists conduct a thorough review of your specifications and drawings to develop a manufacturing workflow. We document detailed instructions and establish a step-by-step process for all required machining techniques, as well as criteria for first article, in-process, and final inspections.

Procuring Raw Materials

California Machine Specialties works with an approved supplier list of raw material vendors. We can procure raw materials from our vendors, or assist you in locating or assessing your own material supplier. When necessary, we can subcontract any required specialty process, such as brazing, heat-treating, or plating. We record and document all relevant supply chain information for traceability.


Once we receive the raw materials, the production process can begin. This involves programming tool paths, gathering required tooling, creating special fixtures, and other processes. Our team carefully inspects and approves the first part of every operation. Then, full production begins until your order is fulfilled.

Quality Management and Shipping

At the end of production, we perform a final inspection to ensure all components adhere to your specifications as well as our own internal quality requirements. We provide full inspection reports and quality packages when requested. California Machine Specialties is compliant with all ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100:2016 standards to ensure the highest possible part quality.

Export Controls

As an ITAR-registered manufacturer, we use all appropriate export controls to ensure your components meet all relevant regulatory requirements. After performing a thorough quality assurance review, we carefully package your parts for shipping and prepare all necessary labels and paperwork. We understand how critical it is for precision parts to arrive undamaged and take special care to package all orders securely for transit.

Precision Machines Services From California Machine Specialties

California Machine Specialties has been crafting precision components for demanding industries since 1970. Our capabilities include precision milling up to 40.0 in., precision CNC turning up to 14.0 in. diameter, and accuracy to +/- .0002 in. If you have any questions about our capabilities, get in touch with our team or request a quote today.