To Machine or not to Machine, that is the Question

Are you getting your filters and multiplexers from a well-rounded, full-featured manufacturer? Do you feel as though you are not getting the full story on their manufacturing processes? If so, I am here to help. Today, I’ll discuss the Machine Shop aspect of our operation at Reactel and why I think machining our parts in-house is essential and by the end of this post, you will have a good set of expectations for your vendors.

So, let’s dive in!

We have a great Machine Shop at Reactel – clean, modern and efficient. Currently, we have five CNC milling machines, one CNC lathe and a terrific, high-precision Swiss Screw Machine. Bolstering these high-tech machines are several semi-automatic and manual milling machines and lathes along with grinders, saws and drill presses. Like I said, a really great Machine Shop.

Early in our history, we decided to do as much work in our facility as possible and outsource only those processes – like plating – that were beyond our core competency. Clearly, we did not build a Machine Shop like ours overnight. We started with a single manual mill and over time, as business dictated, we made additions that ultimately got us to the point we are at today. To me, it seems that the decision to machine or outsource is made very early. Imagine if we had outsourced for 40 years and then decided to bring it all inside – the cost of getting everything we have accumulated over the years all at once would far outstrip our financial resources. Slow, steady, managed and thoughtful growth has allowed us to machine everything we make.

So, you might ask, what is the benefit to the customer? The benefit is two-fold. Primarily, it allows us to control the base upon which all filters are manufactured. It all starts in the Machine Shop, and having that inside is critical during prototyping, where quick changes are always necessary. The time saved by doing it ourselves is incalculable. The other benefit is that it allows us to shorten delivery times or react to expediting requests from our customers. Imagine if you needed something fast (or faster) and your vendor had to check with the company they outsourced your work to for an answer. Awful, right? That is never an issue at Reactel.

We are a manufacturer of RF, Microwave and Millimeter Wave Filters, Multiplexers and Multifunction Assemblies up to 67 GHz. Please get in touch with us ( with questions, specs or if you need general information about how we can help.