There are just as many shitty large scale manufacturers as there are shitty indies. Machines at your disposal do not dictate the end result of the project. The operator of the machine and acceptable end results really dictate how the machine is used. CNC technology is really a game changer in manufacturing but also opens up a whole new can of worms and human error.
ON3P has been profiling cores with a planer crib and a planer since day 1. We are working on developing some new machines and techniques to replace that process with CNC. In the mean time a planer crib passing through a non CNC planer is the method that we use and trust.
For the past 2 years I have profiled the majority of the cores at ON3P. We work within tolerances as tight as CNC tolerances. When we switch profiles we have 40 check points per pair of cores until all those points are dialed in. Profiling cores this way is just as consistent as cores that we profile on our CNC.
Edge and base meets are something that generally make me cringe. Most companies large and small are using edge stock bent to the profile of a ski on a CNC edge bender. A lot of large companies bend their edges in house and others including a lot of indies order their edges pre bent from an edge manufacturer. Most of these companies do fine tune bending before attaching to the base or layup. Next time you are in a ski shop look for gaps along the base edge meets on skis. I guarantee you find these gaps on large manufacturers and indies alike.
Any manufacturer, large or small is capable of having tight edge meets. The truth is it is generally more labor intensive to have solid edge meets.
I could go on for days but the size of the manufacturer really does not dictate the consistency of the final product.
rozboonRealistically, and with all due respect to the smaller companies, the consistency of skis from a larger outfit is always going to be better than a smaller one. When you're using CNC machines to mill your cores and things like that then they're all going to be exactly the same, versus a guy with a jig and a router who might be tired, grumpy, hungover, whatever.
You just hear about big brands skis failing more because there's so many more out there. 1% failure rate on 10000 skis is still a lot more than 5% failure on 100 skis.