Frequently Asked Questions

Horizon Precision Machining has the answers you're looking for.

About Our Company

Can Horizon Precision Machining provide additional production services?

Horizon Precision can also provide additional services to help complete your project, including: Heat Treating, Grinding, Plating, Powder Coating, Painting, and Anodizing. We offer these services through our strong partner network which allows us to provide a wider range of steps in the production process without losing our core focus.

What capabilities does Horizon Precision Machining have?

Horizon Precision’s capabilities include: Precision CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machining, CNC Swiss Machining (High Volume Machining), CNC Milling, CNC Turning. We help our customers take their project from prototype to production and have a team of highly trained and skilled precision machinists who deeply understand the art of precision machining.

How long has Horizon Precision Machining been in business?

Horizon Precision started in 2001 and is in its 20th year of continuous business. The company changed hands in 2017 and is now led by Spencer Sheldon, a certified machinist who gained practical and leadership experience in the aerospace, steel, mining and oil and gas industries before fulfilling his goal of owning his own machine shop. He saw the opportunity to take a well-established business and grow the breadth and depth of Horizon Precision’s capabilities from a solid base.

What sectors does Horizon Precision Machining serve?

Horizon Precision Machining serves many different sectors, so we welcome all inquiries. Examples of sectors we have experience serving: Aerospace, Mining, Military, Industrial Components, Hydro, Electrical Systems, Oil and Gas, Performance Racing, Hardware and Steel Industries.

What geographical areas does Horizon Precision Machining serve?

Horizon Precision Machining serves the Canadian industrial sector and can supply companies in:

The Niagara Region, Hamilton, Burlington, GTA (Greater Toronto Area), Guelph, Waterloo, Kitchener, and Eastern Ontario locales. We also serve customers across Canada.

Where is Horizon Precision Machining located?

Horizon Precision Machining is located in Fort Erie, Ontario Canada. We are close to the US border and readily accessible to many markets.

What does Horizon Precision Machining do?

Horizon Precision Machining is a “prototype to production” precision machine shop. We work with companies of all sizes to manufacture parts and components that are perfectly aligned with their specifications and project needs.

Industry Definitions

What is Turning?

Turning is a machining process where the workpiece rotates against a cutting tool which is held stationary. Milling machines, by contrast operate in the opposite way where the workpiece is stationary, and the cutting tool rotates.


What is Milling?

Milling is a machining process that uses rotary cutters to remove excess material from a workpiece while the workpiece is fed into the milling tool. Milling can produce a wide range of sizes and shapes and is a popular part of the machining process.

What is Precision Machining?

Precision machining is a production process where excess, raw material is removed from the work piece being machined. The final part must adhere to very narrow specification tolerances.

About CNC Machining

What is CNC Programming?

CNC programming (Computer Numerical Control Programming) is the process of creating program instructions for computers to operate a machine tool. This is commonly achieved through the use of CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) software.

What is a conventional CNC Lathe?

A turning machine is also known as a lathe machine. These machines can be manual, or CNC (Computer Numerical Control) operated. A turning machine is used to modify the dimension of a workpiece diametrically. Turning must also be done while the workpiece rotates at certain rpm (rotation per minute).

Is CNC Machining Dangerous?

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining is not a dangerous process as the operation is largely automated. It is however, imperative that a skilled machinist be operating the CNC machine and Horizon Precision’s team is trained in machining at a very high level.  Horizon Precision Machining operates with very high standards around safety so proper ventilation and training to avoid health and safety issues is part of our mandate.

What is the process of CNC Machining?

A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining process produces a workpiece to tight specifications, directed by a programmed instruction without a manual operator. CNC machining is more consistent than manual machining and is suitable for automation.

How was CNC Machining Invented?

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machining was invented to replace numerically controlled machines that ran on data from punch cards that were made by hand. Industrial weaving looms were the origin of the punch card system that many industrial sectors adopted. CNC was born when punch cards were replaced with computer control, which coincided with the development of computers, as well as computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs. Machining was one of the first industrial applications of computing.

What is CNC?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) equipment is used in precision machining and refers to the automated control of  various machining processes (such as drilling, turning, milling) and 3D printers by using a computer.

About Swiss Machining

What is the advantage of Swiss turning over conventional turning?

The advantage of Swiss turning over conventional turning is that the production process enables the production to happen in the main spindle and sub spindle simultaneously. Swiss turning allows for: quick removal of material, it can adapt to many different substrates, it is very scalable to different volumes. The need for secondary processing is eliminated, labour is reduced, and the quality, production speed and accuracy of the part is enhanced. Swiss type lathes are capable of running unattended, keeping the labour costs down.

How does Swiss CNC Machining differ from CNC Machining?

In a conventional lathe, the part is fixed while the tool moves. On a Swiss type turning center, this is reversed: the part moves (in a Z axis) while the tool remains stationary. The machine holds the bar stock, which is then supported by a guide bushing. Bar stock is machined by stationary tools as it exits the bushing. The segment being machined is the only part of the stock exposed from the guide bushing. Material can be held tightly, which reduces deflection while boosting accuracy. The Y axis is capable of full milling with rotating tools, a feature which saves time and is lacking on the majority of conventional CNC (Computer Numerical Control) lathes. Swiss type machines offer unique benefits, in addition to rigidity with small diameter parts, multiple tools can be cutting simultaneously using a main and sub spindle.

What is a Swiss Screw Machine?

A Swiss Screw Machine is type of lathe that allows for high volume production of high precision parts. The older manual style of high production is a “screw machine”. Horizon Precision has 2 davenport multi-spindle lathes which are more commonly known as screw machines. The reason they are called screw machines is that they were used to make extremely high production items – like screws and bullets during World War 2.

What is Swiss CNC Turning?

Swiss CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining feeds the stock through a guide bushing. This means the OD turning tool cuts the stock close to the bushing, which is close to the point of support…regardless of the workpiece length.  The workpiece is fed out of the spindle and past the tool as it is produced. CNC Swiss turning is highly effective for parts that are small in diameter and long.

What is Swiss CNC Machining?

Swiss CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining is controlled by a CNC unit. The enhanced direction provided by the CNC allows, these machines to use a broader range of tooling. This capability allows the machine to perform several operations on a workpiece in a shorter amount of time.

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