Founded out of a residential garage in 1995, Computer Integrated Machining Inc. (CIM Santee, CA) has worked hard to establish a reputation as a company eager to take on work deemed too difficult by many of its competitors.
Sustained, substantial growth in serving customers across the country, in industries including aerospace, energy, photonics, lasers, sound, automotive, military, and medical has led CIM to move to new facilities six times, most recently to its current 10,000 ft² facility.
CIM has succeeded in establishing and sustaining competitive advantage by specializing in areas for which foreign production is a poor option. These can range from jobs requiring quick turnaround times to difficult parts with high-quality requirements to targeting companies that value deep working relationships that are difficult to forge with suppliers on another continent.
“When we started, we knew we wanted to build a diverse customer base so that we wouldn’t be too susceptible to a downturn in any specific industry,” says Mike Brown, president of CIM. “To accomplish this, we decided our niche would be focusing on work that required manufacturing capabilities that would be beyond most of the competition. We specialize in work that other companies don’t want to deal with because of its difficulty.”
To accomplish this, CIM constantly evaluates new manufacturing technologies and integrates the ones that seem a logical fit within its operations. The company also builds and maintains partnerships with other manufacturers that specialize in complementary areas of the production chain.
These relationships allow CIM to act as a single-source supplier for customers, so that every aspect of an order is machined or purchased and assembled, and then delivered to the customer as a final product.
In recent years, CIM has focused increasingly on working with small parts containing complex geometries, made from difficult-to-machine materials. In late 2008, the company ventured into the realm of nano machining, defined as using milling tools smaller than 0.02" (0.51 mm) in diam.