Understanding Traditional Metal Stamping Services
Metal stamping describes a manufacturing process used to convert flat metal sheets into specific shapes, a rather complex method that can encompass a number of metal forming techniques including punching, blanking, piercing and bending – to name just a handful. With thousands of entities across America offering such stamping services for the purpose of delivering components to industries in the automotive, medical, aerospace and other markets, an escalated demand for quickly-produced large quantities of complex parts has emerged, ready to respond to an evolving global marketplace.
Stamping has been the conventional method of choice when it comes to metal forming, and there is a roster of companies operating within the industry that offer a range of services for every need. This post will be shining a proverbial spotlight on some of the more popular types of these services to clarify any misconceptions about stamping, while also providing a unique look into the world of these stamping operations.
Progressive Die Stamping
This type of stamping describes a sequence of stamping “stations” wherein a coil made of metal goes into a reciprocating stamping press using progressive stamping dies. These dies move with the press, and at the time the press motions downward the die clamps down to stamp the metal – thus forming the part. When the press motions upward, there is horizontal movement on to the following station; indeed, these movements must be aligned precisely because the metal strip remains connected to the part.
It’s the job of the final station to separate what’s left of the metal and the newly-fabricated part.
Transfer Die Stamping
Very close in execution to progressive die stamping, transfer die stamping differs in that, early in the whole process, the part is separated from the metal trip, and from there is sent from one stamping station to the next via an alternate mechanical transport system – such as a conveyor belt. This type of stamping service is normally utilized on somewhat bigger parts that may be in need of a transfer to different presses.
Also referred to as four-way or multi-slide stamping, the four-slide technique remains ideally suited for creating components of a complex nature that boast multiple twists or bends; in utilizing sliding tools as opposed to one vertical slide, four-slide stamping shapes the workpiece by way of multiple deformations. Two slides – or “rams” – horizontally strike the workpiece to begin the shaping process, with no dies used during this time. This type of stamping can also exhibit in excess of four moving slides and remains a versatile kind of stamping because a myriad of tools is able to attach to each slide.
Also referred to as fine-edge blanking, fine blanking describes a process that provides supreme accuracy and smooth edges, normally done on a mechanical or hydraulic press or by a fusion of the two. The operation consists of three specific movements: Clamping of the work material (or workpiece) in place, blanking operation performance and the finished part’s ejection. Further, such presses operate at higher pressures compared to the ones used in stamping operations of a conventional nature, hence the machinery and tools associated with them must be designed with higher operating pressures taken into consideration.
There are three types of common stamping presses, and these include:
- Mechanical Servo Technologies
Presses are usually hooked up to an automatic feeder responsible for transferring sheet metal through the press either in blank or coil form.
Similarly, there are two major types of stamping dyes used in the metal shaping process, and these include:
Multi-station dies encompass both transfer and progressive dies, where the aforementioned approaches of punching, notching and cutting operations take place in sequence from the same die-set.
Metal stamping remains a complex process that should be thoroughly understood prior to any major projects being undertaken.