Adding Value to Complete Contract Machining with Precision Grinding, Gun Drilling, Broaching, and Wire EDM

Since 1998, MultiSource Manufacturing LLC has supported original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other customers in a range of industries with computer numerical control (CNC) machining and expert fabrication work. The prototypes, parts, components, and full assemblies we build meet production needs for precision, material quality, and just-in-time delivery in the medical device, semiconductor, defense and aerospace, financial processing, and food industry. Across our network of six well-equipped facilities, we are able to implement operations from machining with over 140 multi-axis CNC centers to plastic fabrication with polymers like Teflon™ and more. In addition to comprehensive design/build facilities, expert project management systems, and quality materials sourcing, we also provide value-added finishing treatments to parts and assemblies, such as laser marking and heat treatments. If you need contract machining and fabrication services for your components, parts, or assemblies, MultiSource has the staff, equipment, supplies, and facilities to get the job done.

Contract Machining Operations

While a significant part of our contract machining operations relies on the performance of our 3-axis and 5-axis indexed CNC machine centers, Swiss turning machines, lathes, and other programmable, high-powered CNC equipment, our access to supplemental tools also allows us to meet the closest tolerances possible with the greatest accuracy. Some of those supplemental tooling operations include:


We utilize several grinding systems to finish component surfaces and interiors to the exact tolerance required. We can also treat surfaces with powerful grinding systems to create desired cosmetic and functional finishes, use gear grinders to create perfection in high-precision gearing parts, apply center grinders for meticulous shafts, use tumble grinders to reduce imperfections quickly, and implement many other specialized grinders in the machining process.

Gun Drilling:

Fluted straight gun drills utilize cutting fluid to make deep holes into working materials. The cutting fluid provides both cooling and lubrication as the drilling is done. We can apply gun drilling on our mills, lathes, and other machining tools for the best precision possible. With gun drills, we can cut accurate holes with depths over five times their diameters.


Using linear and rotary broaching tools, we can efficiently perform specific cuts when building parts that require asymmetric machining. Toothed broaching cutters are frequently used in manufacturing gear systems, dies, keyways, castings, and more. Broaching allows us to rapidly perform unusual cuts with tolerances as tight as ±0.0005 in (±0.01 mm).

Wire EDM:

Electrical discharge machining (EDM) uses current to remove material from a workpiece in subtractive manufacturing operations. Wire EDM can cut plates up to 11.81 in (300 mm) in thickness with CNC guided programs. These systems are useful in precision-cutting hard metals that would cause unnecessary wear on other machining systems.

Grinding, gun drilling, broaching, and wire EDM are just some of the many supplemental operations we use to complete a fabrication project. For more about our contract machining capabilities, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You can also request more information or a quote to get started with us today.

Just-in-Time Delivery and Lean Manufacturing with Design & Build Practices


MultiSource Manufacturing LLC was founded in 1998, more than 30 years after the use of lean manufacturing solidified in most automotive and other industrial plants. The “Toyota Way” or lean, just-in-time manufacturing utilizes precise operations to eliminate waste, reduce inventory, and prevent unnecessary production. Lean manufacturing is better for customers, suppliers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the industrial world, and even the environment. Since our foundation, we have made it our mission to practice lean manufacturing and make just-in-time delivery a core value. Today, we offer precision based design & build services to a wide range of industries to supply components, parts, and full assemblies to OEMs and many other customers. Not only do we provide innovative solutions for the food industry that meet high sanitation standards, we also build complex, highly regulated parts and assemblies for the medical device, semiconductor, and defense industries.

Design & Build

As a design & build contract manufacturer, MultiSource is able to provide one-stop-shop services for any project. From the ground up, we work with clients to turn their specifications into a fully developed prototype that is then manufactured to scale in size and quantity, including packaging in-house and shipping for just-in-time delivery.


There are many benefits of lean manufacturing and just-in-time delivery practices, not only for us as a company, but also for all of our customers. Some of those advantages include:

Cost Savings:

Because we can limit costs for materials and production time by only manufacturing exactly what we need to comprehensively meet the specifications of all customers, we can also provide more affordable and efficient services to our clientele.

Waste Reduction:

Every aspect of our production, from materials to worker output, sees waste reduction with lean practices. This also includes elimination of wasted time, overused storage space, energy, and excess equipment maintenance.

Continuous Improvement:

By following the lean manufacturing standard of kaizen, we practice making small, continuing improvements in all areas of our facilities, project management, worker safety, recordkeeping, and more.

Supplier Relationships:

As we work more and more frequently with our trusted materials suppliers, those partnerships grow and become stronger like any other relationship. Lean manufacturing supports constant contact with the people who help us get the exact tools, solutions, and materials we need to build.

Increased Precision:

Thanks to strong relationships with our materials suppliers and our dedication to kaizen/continuous improvements, we are able to increase the quality of our products daily. Every day we find ways to improve precision, not only in our parts, components, and assemblies, but also in our safety practices, operational procedures, and customer service.

As a design & build company, we rely on our lean manufacturing and just-in-time delivery standards to provide the best quality possible to our clients. To learn more, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You can also request more information, or request a quote to get started with us today.

Part 1: Numerical Control Systems and the History of CNC Machining

Many items that people utilize and interact with on a daily basis were manufactured with computer numerical control (CNC) operations. CNC machining, as we know it today, dates back to the 1940s. Like many industrial operations and equipment, CNC systems were a result of military advancements to an existing technology in response to the demands of war. The even longer history of numerical control and CNC machines goes back as far as the mid-1700s, as you will read in the following.

CNC Machining

Modern CNC tools are precise machines capable of operating on multiple axes to manufacture products for a range of industries. At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we’ve provided high-quality, versatile CNC machining services since 1998. Across our multiple locations today, we have access to 140 machines, including 3-axis and 5-axis indexed mills, lathes, and turning equipment.

With our broad range of CNC technologies, we provide parts and assemblies for the medical device, semiconductor, aerospace and defense, food, financial processing, and many other industries.

Turning Machines and Cams

The history of CNC machining starts with the development of turning machines in 1751. These early tools were capable of limited automation to increase precision and eliminate some handcrafting steps in the production process. In the 1820s-1830s, American inventor Thomas Blanchard created gun-copying lathes. Following his footsteps, Christopher Miner Spencer created turret lathes in screw machines.

These were both cam-based systems of automation. Eventually, hydraulics were incorporated into cam systems, which allowed tracing machines to develop. These cam tracers could replicate the movement of a human machinist, trace templates, or otherwise record and replay fabrication patterns. Cams continued to develop into the First World War. Precision, control, power, and other technical aspects of manufacturing were also addressed in these early forms of automation. The main limitation of cam systems is their inability to read abstract programming.

Abstract Programming and Numerical Control

John T. Parsons and Frank L. Stulen, while working at Parsons Corp. in Traverse City, MI, are generally credited with the development of the first numerical control systems in the early 1940s. Parsons and Stulen worked with the first systems of punch card calculators to predict engineering queries. The use of punch cards inspired Parsons and Stulen to develop a rudimentary milling program that operated as a prototype of today’s 2.5-axis machine. They called this system the “by-the-numbers method” or “plunge-cutting positioning.”

After testing this system extensively, Parsons and Stulen engineered (on paper) a fully automated machining tool. However, they did not have the funding to fabricate a prototype, let alone perform tests and diagnostics. So not until 1949, when the U.S. Air Force arranged funding for Parsons Corp. to build the machines, were Parsons and Stulen able to start real developments that eventually led to manufacturing of the first fully automated computer numerically controlled machine.

In Part 2 of this blog, we will cover the history of Parsons’s and others’ invention and advancement of CNC machines.

To learn more about our services for CNC machining and contract manufacturing, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500, request more information, or request a quote today.

Our Core Capabilities as a Precision Machining Company

As a precision machining company providing contract manufacturing to a broad range of industries, MultiSource Manufacturing LLC utilizes a wide variety of equipment and high-quality tools in our state-of-the-art facilities. Across our five manufacturing facilities in the Upper Midwest and Colorado, we offer comprehensive precision CNC machining services, including milling, EDM, turning, and Swiss turning. In total, we work with 50+ lathes, 120+ mills, 20+ EDMs, and 20+ Swiss turning machines.


As a customer-focused company, all our precision machining capabilities are put to providing the best service and the most reliable results. When you work with MultiSource Manufacturing, you can be sure you’ll receive the integrity of a true partner in precision machining.


For over 20 years, MultiSource has worked to grow and improve our manufacturing capabilities. Today, our network provides complete prototyping, manufacturing, and assembly for components in the medical, defense and aerospace, semiconductor, food and bakery, financial processing, and many other industries. Our core values as a precision machining company are built on the capabilities of our machining centers and our skilled CNC technicians. Our biggest advantages in the precision machining industry are our close-tolerance CNC technology, our team of expert engineers and technicians, and our leading CNC software.


Close-Tolerance CNC Machining


The MultiSource network utilizes a broad range of current precision-based CNC machining equipment, including several multi-axis machining centers. Our production floor is also continually updated, working in new products that increase our ability to meet fabrication standards and even stricter accuracy ranges. With our CNC lathes, mills, turning machines, and multi-tool centers, we can perform at some of the closest tolerances in any machining industry.


Our Team


Not only does our team of skilled engineers work to build a strong foundation with complete prototyping abilities, our machining technicians then manufacture an exacting product or assembly. With value-added services including grinding, gundrilling, broaching, welding, and wire EDM, technicians can provide any necessary final touches. Within our core values, quality assurance and quality control are both critical. Thanks to our team’s expert use of our Quality Management System technology, we are able to continually receive ISO and AS certifications.


CNC Software


Paired with our advanced machining equipment and the knowledgeable hands of our team, CNC software plays a critical role in our core capabilities as a precision machining company. With continual software updates at hand, we can operate with the newest abilities in our tool kit. Our CNC software systems mesh seamlessly with precision-based machine operations to guarantee exact results, no matter how complex or intricate a part or full assembly.


To learn more about our extensive capabilities outside of our core operations as a precision machining company, contact MultiSource Manufacturing at (952) 456-5500. Request more information, or request a quote online to get started with us today.

Clean Room Airflow for Contract Manufacturing

For many types of manufacturing services, a highly sanitized and isolated workspace is key. To prevent contamination and poor production practices, sealed clean rooms with varying degrees of quarantine are necessary. At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we ensure the protection of semiconductor components and assemblies during fabrication with our ISO Class 3 (FED STD 209E Class 1) clean room.


The certification of our clean room to a Class 3 is critical for all our semiconductor services and many medical component and assembly production. When you choose MultiSource for your clean room-required contract manufacturing services, you can trust our facilities to protect every part of your product from start to finish.


Each clean room across the industrial world needs to meet highly specific requirements in order to qualify for ISO (globally) or Federal Standard (in the U.S.). A large part of meeting these specifications has to do with the airflow.


Airflow in a clean room is a critical part of what makes it so clean. Put simply, all clean rooms need a down-and-out flow of air. The ventilation systems are installed in the ceiling and push airflow directly downward while other vents pull the flow outward, removing air continuously from the isolated room. This also continuously removes any particulates, bacteria, and other contamination from the room as it’s passed through with the air.


There are two main types of clean rooms that the majority of contract manufacturers use for any industrial processes that require extreme isolation from contaminants. These include:


  1. Single Pass: These simple-type clean rooms push the airflow down-and-out continuously. This means there is new air constantly introduced to the room through high-grade filters in the top vents and that air is then removed from the room entirely. These clean rooms can be used for manufacturing processes that don’t need climate-control options, such as temperature and humidity.
  2. Recirculating: For manufacturing processes that need exacting humidity and temperature control as well as high air filtration, more complex clean rooms that use recirculating systems are vital. Recirculating systems have an additional wall containing the interior room. This passageway around the room seals airflow and the air pushed down-and-out of the interior room is forced back upwards to the top of the room and re-filtered through the top vents. This ensures continued filtration and exposure to the same allotment of air for as long as the room and exterior passage is sealed.


For semiconductor and medical device manufacturing, single pass clean rooms can be effective, but a recirculating room is recommended for true quality in production. Our Class 3 clean room uses a recirculating airflow for excellence and safety in all our manufacturing processes that require zero-contaminant exposure.


Contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500 for more information about our clean room. Request more information, or request a quote for contract manufacturing services today.


The History of Additive Manufacturing and Its Use for Prototype Production

At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we provide a wealth of manufacturing services, including extensive, precision-based, prototype fabrication. Our prototype capabilities range from single components to full assemblies with rigorous testing and full diagnostics of the final product. When you work with MultiSource, you gain the benefits of a state-of-the-art prototyping program that promises quality from the very beginning. Our prototyping technicians utilize additive manufacturing technologies to build unique components and assemblies for a broad range of industrial applications.


Additive manufacturing today is synonymous with 3D printing, and while it’s a newer industrial process, it has a rich, albeit short, history starting in 1974.


Additive Manufacturing Timeline


1974:  David E. H. Jones published a conceptual overview of 3D printing in his column in the New Scientist journal.


1981: After the development of early additive manufacturing technologies in 1980, Hideo Kodama, working at the Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute, created two ways of additive manufacturing with a thermoset polymer.


1984: The stereolithography process was developed and patented by Olivier de Witte, Alain Le Méhauté, and Jean Claude André. Soon after, Chuck Hull from 3D Systems Corporation patented his own stereolithography fabrication system that used ultraviolet light lasers to cure photopolymer layers.


1988: Fuel deposition modeling (FDM), the type of 3D printing used by most commercial consumers, was developed by S. Scott Crump. His well-known company, Stratasys, marketed the first commercial FDM machine in 1992.


1995: The Fraunhofer Institute introduced selective laser melting processes.


2009: Any original patents for FDM machines and the FDM printing process expired. Because the industry was now open to competition, the development of this and other printing processes rapidly increased. In the 2010s, various metalworking forms of 3D printing were introduced, though limited, as were 3D printing of other materials than polymers, such as ceramics.


2012: Filabot, a 3D printing and filament company, developed ways for FDM and fueled filament fabrication (FFF) printers to utilize a broader range of more durable plastics.


2014: Dr. Manos M. Tentzeris and Dr. Benjamin S. Cook, working at the Georgia Institute of Technology, displayed the first use of new 3D printing software technology. This was a vertically integrated printed electronics additive manufacturing platform (VIPRE) that allowed the 3D printing of electronics with operational capacity up to 40 GHz.


Since 2014, software programs and 3D printing tools have been developed to even greater capabilities, and commercial consumer 3D printers have saturated the market. At MultiSource, the use of 3D printing is a key tool in the manufacturing of precision-based prototyping.


To learn more about our uses of additive manufacturing and prototyping capabilities, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500 today. Or request a quote or more information online to get started with us today.



Improving Safety Standards and Global Payment Card Use with Custom Manufacturing

As early as 1958—when American Express first developed what can be considered close to the credit cards we use today—charge card systems have been utilized in different ways across the U.S. Throughout the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards, and other charge cards began to take their place in mainstream spending systems. By the 1990’s, payment cards with magnetic strips were almost commonplace, and today, those without credit cards or debit cards are considered social anomalies. As the cards have evolved, custom manufacturing has had to follow suit.

Despite their familiar role in our lives, payment cards require a strict system of production and secure processing to maintain their viability as a product. MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC provides custom manufacturing for parts used in financial processing.

MultiSource has provided precision manufacturing for parts and components utilized in financial processing for virtually as long as the industry has been used for mainstream consumers. For over 40 years our network of technicians and facilities has worked to improve operations in designing, building, and assembling high-quality precision-based parts, including parts for financial processing of payment cards.

We work with a wide range of clients in financial processing from identification card manufacturing specialists to card stamping and credit card manufacturing companies. More than 75% of payment cards across the globe are manufactured in part by MultiSource engineers and technicians.

Custom Manufacturing for Industry Standards

In 2006, major payment card companies established the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI). This council generates and dictates the development of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). With the PCI DSS the PCI Council outlines for all payment card brands in place today, manufacturing companies must be committed to designing and creating parts that adhere to these standards as well. The MultiSource network is capable of providing the manufacturing expertise and facilities needed to uphold security and quality in the financial processing industry. With precise CAD/CAM design and a wide range of CNC precision machining equipment, we’re able to provide unparalleled, comprehensive services for components used in financial processing.

If the parts and components used in financial processing systems don’t meet the quality and security standards set by the PCI Council and other federal government regulations, payment cards could become a serious risk for consumers. Protecting the identities and finances of those who use any form of payment card starts with quality financial processing equipment.

MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC strives to continue providing the high-quality machined parts for the financial processing industry needed to fulfill our obligation to protecting consumers. To learn more about our complete services and custom manufacturing, contact us at (952) 456-5500, request more information, or request a quote today.


MultiSource Clean Room Capabilities and Applications

In any manufacturing process, contaminants should be avoided. Certain manufacturing processes, however, require an avoidance of contaminants far more stringent than others. Semiconductors and semiconductor assembly fabrication, for example, cannot have exposure to common air contaminants.

To protect manufacturing processes like these and the materials involved, fabricators make use of clean rooms with varying levels of contaminant-free standards. MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC provides contract fabrication services for the semiconductor and medical industry, and because of this, our facilities have in-house Class 3/1000 clean room capabilities.

With our clean room capabilities at our Burnsville, MN location, the MultiSource network is able to provide the contaminant-free workspace our engineers and technicians need to perform operations on semiconductor components and full assemblies as well as a range of advanced medical devices.

Clean Room Principles

Clean rooms are designed to prevent the introduction of contaminants in a varying range of sizes to the manufacturing process, as well as other potentially damaging factors such as humidity, pressure, and temperature. This prevention makes use of High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters and a sealed “bubble” of a room. All the air in a clean room is passed through HEPA filters or recycled through them. The level of HEPA filtration determines the categorizing of a clean room. These categories are determined by ISO standards rating from ISO 9 (standard city air quality) to ISO 1 (less than 10 particles measuring 1µm per cubic meter).

Our Clean Room

The MultiSource clean room is rated as ISO Class 3 (Class 1 rated FED STD 209E). This means a maximum of 1,000 1µm particles per cubic meter are left unfiltered. It is one of the highest quality clean rooms utilized for semiconductor and medical parts manufacturing. Our clean room uses advanced HEPA filters to eliminate the potential of any damaging infiltrates during the manufacturing and assembly process.

Protective Equipment

Like the rest of the outdoor and common indoor air, humans carry contaminating particulates such as dander, dirt, skin cells, pollen, bacteria, and mold spores. The technicians who work in our clean rooms are required to wear protective equipment to prevent any potentials of component damage in the manufacturing process. This protective equipment includes full-body suits, gloves, boots, and masks/respirators.

Air Flow Concepts

Acting similarly to a car air flow system set to recycle, clean rooms have a specific movement of air throughout their interior. Our clean room uses laminar air flow which pushes a continual stream of filtered air from ducts in the ceiling. This ensures any potential contaminants are pushed into the air filters immediately, instead of drifting through the clean room on an uneven current.

Our clean room capabilities give our engineers and technicians the contaminant-free space they need for specialized manufacturing processes. To learn more, contact MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC at (952) 456-5500, request more information, or request a quote to get started with us today.

Utilizing Exotic Metals with the Right Facilities for Custom Manufacturing

At MultiSource Manufacturing, LLC we’re dedicated to providing quality products with excellent customer service. For over 20 years our network of facilities and in-house engineering and fabrication capabilities has continued to expand and improve across the board. Today, we offer comprehensive quality at every step of the way, from the design and engineering process to assembly and delivery. To maintain our reliable, unparalleled quality in all the products we work with our customers to create, we believe in starting with a solid foundation. When it comes to custom manufacturing in Minnesota and Colorado, that foundation is made up of our deep understanding of the engineering process of a product, the materials we use in the fabrication of that product, and the long-term conditions a product will endure.


Because every part starts with raw materials, the first resource we depend on for quality engineering and production is our materials expertise. Not only do we work with materials that adhere to major industry standards and general installation requirements, we also specialize in utilizing exotic metals that are often necessary for the production of a wide range of parts.


The MultiSource network works with sheet metal, surgical grade, military grade, and basic stainless steels, aluminum, titanium, magnesium, high-nickel alloys, and brass. These common industrial materials play a large role in many of the high-quality precision parts we design, fabricate, and assemble, but the exotic metals we use are also critical to comprehensive production.


MultiSource Exotics


From pure gold to super alloys, the exotic metals the MultiSource network utilizes makes it possible for us to complete the production and assembly of an even greater extent of parts. The use of exotic metals breaks limits on several part specifications and the exposure and functions any given part may be put to. For example, our engineering team is able to push durability and strength with the use of super alloys, while other metals may offer a greater resistance to high temperatures and corrosive environments. Additionally, MultiSource can control electrical or thermal conductivity in a part, provide specialty coatings and finishes, machine complex components, reduce unnecessary weight, and more with the use of our rare and exotic metals.


The MultiSource network is committed to providing the best for our customers with comprehensive facilities suited to working with standard and exotic metals as well as basic, exotic, and Teflon™ plastics. With a strong foundational understanding and experience with these materials, we’re able to put that expertise to use with full in-house capacity for engineering, complete custom manufacturing, and assembly.


To learn more about the metals we use for custom manufacturing or our plastic fabrication expertise submit a request more information, or request a quote today.


Quality CNC Precision Machining Practices for Custom Manufacturing

Despite the changes in industrialization and global incorporation most of the world sees today, many parts of the manufacturing industry are still quite diversified. Custom manufacturing in particular is comprised of many different companies ranging from home-garages to multi-branch facilities. Because there are so many skilled custom manufacturers, the industry is highly competitive, and companies must continue to improve and update systems, equipment, and technology to hold their place.


MultiSource Manufacturing is committed to hold our own in this industry and strives to produce high-quality parts designed and built in-house and deliver excellent customer care at every step in the process of custom manufacturing.


Because CNC precision machining is an integral part involved in the process of MultiSource custom manufacturing, it’s critical that the way we perform that operation adheres to tried and true practices.


The MultiSource network has six locations across Minnesota and Colorado, each facility follows the same practices for quality CNC precision machining in the production of reliable custom parts.


Best MultiSource Machining Practices


  1. Invent: To successfully machine a part that precisely fits customer specifications, our engineering team utilizes advanced prototype software and imaging systems to design a cutting pattern. This pattern will provide our CNC machines with the most efficient program to lathe, mill, and machine a part.
  2. Instruct: Our engineering teams will then instruct a CNC machining center to follow the design of the cutting pattern. This involves programming the designated geometry and pattern into CNC software.
  3. Select: Our facilities host a wide range of 140 CNC machines with 3-axis and 5-axis indexed milling. Selecting the appropriate tools for the machining of a part is critical to successful production. Our machinists and engineers have a deep understanding of which mills, lathes, and turning machines will offer the most efficient and reliable cutting depending on the part.
  4. Monitor: Our CNC precision machining centers may be automated but continued human monitoring of the process is an important practice that should never be disregarded. On each MultiSource floor, operations are continuously monitored for worker safety and to prevent production mishap.
  5. Record: When a machining operation is complete, our engineers, technicians, and machinists all take part in thorough recording and analyzing of the data our CNC software provides as well as quality inspection of machined parts.
  6. Communicate: Throughout the full production process our team is also communicating with customers to continue understanding their needs and provide consistent information about part design, production, and assembly.


The MultiSource network has developed a strong system of CNC precision machining and custom manufacturing with a set of quality practices. To learn more about our services and locations, submit a request more information, or request a quote today.