What is Contract Manufacturing & How Does it Work?

Contract manufacturing is the process  of hiring another company to make  products on behalf of another business or company. This practice helps small businesses keep costs low and focus on other areas of a business without having to build or run an onsite factory to routinely build its own products.

For example, a t-shirt designer may hire a contract manufacturing company to print their designs so they don’t have to buy a print machine, ink or other associated materials.


Types of contract manufacturing

Contract manufacturing  depending on the needs of our clients. Some different types of contract manufacturing include:

  • Complex or complete assembly
  • Machine control assembly
  • Casting
  • Metal forging, or metal shaping (for example, grinding or milling)
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining

More specifically, we offer precision metal fabrication, plate cutting, laser cutting, welding, powder coating as well as brass and copper cutting.


How Does Contract Manufacturing Work?

A contract manufacturer is the company which is hired by another company or organization to execute manufacturing services like the ones we mentioned above. Often, they are overseeing and building the product. In some instances multiple contract manufacturers are used to engineer many different parts while another altogether will provide assembly.


For this reason, the first step in contract manufacturing is always research. You want to make sure you select the right contract manufacturer for your particular need.  Don’t skimp on this step! Taking the time to find the right company  can help you establish a working relationship with the right contract manufacturer that stands the test of time.

While most of our work is done in-house, AP Precision Metal partners with a collection of high-quality US Suppliers in order to access the best materials and finishing processes. Typically our manufacturing process works as follows:

Phase 1.  Design

Our team works closely client to define:

  • Scope
  • Usage and
  • Other details of your product design.

During this stage, we review materials options as well as methods in order to best satisfy your budget and ensure we meet the criteria for the product’s use.


Phase 2.  Production

AP Precision handles large portions of  products in-house. Using LEAN Manufacturing principles, we provide rapid production while maintaining all the benefits of material and process controls.

In this stage we will:

  • Engineer
  • Cut
  • Form
  • Weld
  • Powdercoat and
  • Assemble


Phase 3. Quality Control

AP Precision has a dedicated quality control department to guarantee the consistency, accuracy and quality of all our products. Because many of our customers are ISO 9001 and CE certified companies, we operate with ISO Standards in order to help our customers meet these requirements. In this stage, we leverage our in-house processes to guarantee quality while also ensuring we meet our agreed-upon production and delivery dates.


Phase 4. Packaging & Delivery of Final Product 

After production is complete, we carefully package all of our parts in-house, using product-safe materials.  Our in-house delivery service truck makes regular deliveries throughout the region, while long- distance shipments are sent through our contracts with ESTES and UPS.


About AP Precision 

Founded in 1998, AP Precision was created to fill a need for metal products in order to meet the demands of their growing robotics company. Twenty-three years later, AP Precision has progressed to offer an array of contract manufacturing services in San Diego. Their founding principle is quite simple: to provide stable, long-term, precision metal fabrication for businesses of all sizes and shapes throughout Southern California.