Metal Stamping—An Overview
If you require metal in your manufacturing process, then the sheet of metal should conform to your desired shape and design. That is when the element of metal stamping comes in.
Metal stamping will guarantee that you get the exact shapes you want for the metal.
A customer may think, what if I do not form the metals? You don’t have to be concerned. Call a top metal stamping firm, and they’ll take care of the work for you.
But, even if you opt to outsource the service, you must understand the process. That’s why this article will discuss everything you need to know about metal stamping.
Metal stamping is a process used to transform flat metal sheets into specific shapes.
This complicated process involves a range of metal forming methods, such as punching, blanking, cutting, piercing, and bending, to name a few.
These cold-forming methods use stamping presses and dies to ensure that metal sheets are shaped according to the desired specifications.
This procedure requires a lot of force (16 to 500 tons or even more), which mandates special equipment.
The equipment installed in the press is called a stamp. It allows the metal to come into contact with the working tool, resulting in a high-precision part.
Metal stamping has been around since the seventh century B. C. when the Lydians of present day Turkey used a rudimentary form of metal stamping to produce coins.
Since the discovery of metals, there have been many efforts to enhance their utility, which made metal-smithing a highly valued profession.
Although metal stamping dates back to the seventh century, it later became important for weapons production, which required the production of many identical products.
In the 19th century, the active development of stamping production produced household items, for which there was also a need for serial production.
The industrial revolution sped up the development of high-tech metal stamping equipment because manufacturers needed to create products in bulk quantities in order to satisfy market demand. Forging and die casting could not be relied on entirely to complete the task.
Metal stamping has played an essential role in more recent times, with the advent of automobiles and shipbuilding. Metal stamping made it possible to produce products of immense dimensions.
Types of Metal Stamping
There are different types of metal stamping processes, which include progressive die stamping, transfer die stamping, fourslide stamping, fine blanking, deep draw stamping, and short-run stamping.
Let’s have a brief look at each type of metal stamping.
Progressive die stamping is a stamping method that is carried out sequentially. It has several stations, and each stage has assigned a function.
There are sequential stages for cutting, bending, and punching.
After the metal sheet has gone through all the sequences, it will be the desired shape and size.
Progressive stamping is suitable for manufacturing large quantities of parts according to strict specifications and tolerances. This method involves feeding a coil of metal through stamping equipment that sequentially stamps, bends, and shapes the parts. The workpiece remains attached to the base strip from start to finish. Separation of the finished parts from the metal strip is the last step in the operation.
The benefits of progressive stamping include:
- Short preparation time
- Reduced labor costs
- Rapid production
- Long term
- Minimum waste
In short, progressive stamping can repeatedly produce parts with complex geometries quickly and economically.
However, progressive stamping requires an investment in permanent steel tools.
It is also not suitable for parts that require deep pulling. Progressive stamping can use different metals such as steel, aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and copper as primary materials.
Precious metal super alloys, titanium, and Inconel, can also be used. In some cases, non-metallic parts can be progressively stamped.
The method used in the progressive stamping is accomplished by using transfer presses.
These presses transfer components from one place to another with the aid of fingers.
To produce large quantities of stamped components that need intricate in-press processes, it is advised to use progressive presses.
One advantage of this press is the duration of the cycle. Based on the component, the production could easily be over 800 parts per minute.
However, this type of press is not suited for deep drawing with high precision, because the depth of your stamping may be greater than the size of the piece/component.
This procedure is carried out with the help of a transfer press. It operates at a slower speed using mechanical fingers to hold the part in place throughout the forming or shaping process.
The progressive press is just a small part of the forming process that is controlled by sleeves using springs or similar equipment. It can cause issues such as non-uniform thickness of the material.
Another drawback of progressive presses, compared to transfer presses, is the greater amount of raw materials required to transfer the components
The tools cost more because they are built-in blocks. They do not have specific regulations for each station.
Additionally, they can’t perform procedures that require components to leave the strip, for instance, beading, necking thread rolling, curling flanges, rotary stamping, etc.
The number of features determines the cost and the tools needed.
It is suggested to make the tools as basic as possible in order to keep tooling costs to a minimum.
Spaced features that are too close together create problems because they may not provide enough space for punch out, which often results in the need for a second station.
There may also be problems with protrusions and narrow cuts.
Dies are usually made of tool steel, which can withstand the high shock load, maintain the sharp edge required, and withstand the force of abrasion.
Transfer die stamping machines treat each part as a single unit, so the first step in the stamping sequence is to separate the part from the metal strip. The fingers then transport it to various stations that perform separate operations.
The most laborious task in creating a process sequence is determining the number of form stations needed, the tool geometry, overall dimensions, tolerances, residual stresses, and surface finish that meet the requirements of the product.
The transfer die stamping process has similarities to progressive stamping, because it uses sequential processing.
The primary difference is the stamping parts are separated from the metal strip at an earlier stage in the process. This process is best suited for large metal parts and/or parts with intricate design elements such as pipes/tubes, grooves, ribs, and threads.
It can also be used to make deep-draw parts, as there is no metal strip attached to the component. The press can punch as deeply as the raw material allows.
Aluminum, brass, copper, Inconel, stainless steel and precious metals are commonly used, although parts can also be manufactured using ferrous and non-ferrous materials.
Fourslide stamping is a complex metalworking process that incorporates stamping and forming to make tiny, intricate parts/components from wire or metal coils.
This method offers a variety of advantages over traditional pressing methods that include improved flexibility and design versatility, enhanced speed, and lower costs for production.
With these benefits, fourslide stamping has become the preferred manufacturing method for high-precision products and applications in many industries, from automotive to aerospace to medical and electronics.
Metal Stamping, as opposed to the vertical motion of a punch press, A Fourslide metal stamping machine operates at right angles by using four slides that move to carry out the stamping or forming processes.
Fourslide stamping is like multi-slide stamping. However, multi-slide stamping machines have more features than four slides.
Four shafts are linked with a series of bevel gears and driven by a single motor that drives the slides.
Cams connected to each shaft handle the slides which hit the metal workpiece in four orthogonal directions as it feeds through the machine.
This multidirectional method allows you to bend or stamp the workpiece from all four sides simultaneously or sequentially.
A single fourslide operation can produce intricate shapes using many curves, bends, or twists.
Fine blanking is also referred to as precision blanking or fine stamping.
The primary goal of fine blanking is to make parts that have an uncluttered, smooth surface.
The distinction between fine and standard blanking is the fact that the material is blanked only by shear. There is no break after clamping across all sides.
There is no snap-thru force in fine blanking. As a result, it is quieter and has less vibration.
The costs for tooling are more than the cost of conventional blanking, and the procedure cannot be performed at extremely high speeds.
The deep draw stamping process makes the flat metal into a mold/die to create precise, typically cylindrical components.
It is achieved by feeding a flat metal coil through the press, which tools stations then surround. Each station repeats a process on the steel.
The deepdrawstamping process is used to form stamps metal sheets into different hollow axisymmetrical components. Shapes created using this stamping method are cylindrical, however, it can also create box-shaped objects.
Deep draw stamping may be used to make various industrial and household items, such as sinks, baking pans, plumbing fixtures, automobile parts, beverage cans, casings, and much more.
This type of stamping applies a force punch on the sheet of metal, drawing it in a radial direction into the die cavity.
The sheet of metal is first placed on a forming die, and held in place at each end by a compressive force applied by a blank holder.
Second, an axial force is applied to the metal sheet by a mechanical punching tool, causing the piece to deform and flow into the die cavity, forming the desired shape.
“Deep drawing” is so-named because the components contain depths that are greater than their diameter.
Short-Run metal stamping is a process used to manufacture small numbers of perforated metal parts.
Short-run production can be defined as a run that produces less than 5,000 parts (depends on the manufacturers).
Short-run metal stamping has applications in a wide range of industries. It is suitable for small-volume seasonal products, special products, or other situations where high investment in permanent tools is not workable.
Metal stamping is cost-effective, versatile, quick to set up, and provides precise cuts and shapes.
Short-run metal stamping provides a cost-effective method of producing high-quality, reliable parts with a faster turnaround time.
If you are looking for faster delivery, short-run production may be a good choice for you.
Short-run production has applications in various industries, such as
- Commercial lighting
- Home appliances
The short-run metal stamping process creates uniform parts and uses metals such as aluminum, brass, copper, and steel.
Short-run stamping requires a small amount of material, which reduces manufacturing costs.
The Metal Stamping Process—A Step-by-Step Procedure
After designing and prototyping, a series of multiple steps are required to create complex metal parts, components, or pieces. It is a much more arduous task than most people think.
Parts, which may seem simple at first glance, rarely require only one stamping step to be considered complete.
Confusion often occurs when trying to determine the best process for metal stamping.
When choosing a metal stamping procedure, you must consider,
• How will the process impact the design function?
• The design or industry-specific requirements?
• Production time and cost-effectiveness?
There are several metal stamping processes. They include blanking, piercing, drawing, bending, air bending, bottoming &coining, forming, pinch trimming, lancing, stretching, ironing, necking/reducing and hemming.
Here is a video that details each process.
If needed, the blanking process is the first step in your stamping method.
Blanking refers to the process of cutting large sheets or coils of steel/metal into smaller, easier-to-manage pieces.
This process involves cutting a rough draft of the product’s shape you want to get at the end of the entire metal stamping process.
While blanking, major focus points include hole diameter, length, geometry, spacing, and more during the blanking process.
Blanking not only gives you a visual overview of what to expect. It also helps minimize the amount of waste that can appear in later stages.
It also eliminates the problem of wasting time. Blanking usually occurs when a metal object is drawn or shaped.
If the part you are working on requires holes, slots, or other cutouts, the option of piercing is available.
Piercing, which is carried out simultaneously with blanking, creates the required shapes from the sheet of metal or steel.
Drawing is the actual stamping process.
A punch forces a section of metal into the die mold to form the basic shape of the component.
If the depth of the part of a piece is lower than the primary opening, it is considered a shallow drawing.
Parts that have a depth higher than the opening are deep drawn.
Bending is an easy-to-understand procedure. The workpiece is placed on a specially designed die and a ram forces the metal into the required bend.
Bending is done after drawing, because punching a bent metal part will cause the entire piece to deform.
Air bending refers to the process by which a punch is used to bend the flat surface of the part into a die (usually V-shaped.)
The distance between the punch and die is greater than the metal’s thickness, creating a slightly relaxed bend when the component is removed.
Air bending is less energy intensive in terms of pressure and power than most other bending techniques.
Bottoming and Coining
Bottoming &coining are two bending methods similar to air bending but employ between 2 to 30-times the pressures.
The material is forced into a die that fits tightly, resulting in a more permanent bend.
Forming is a bending process that is similar to bottoming, bending, and coining. It is used to make parts that have multiple bends, such as U-bends, in one step.
Pinch trimming involves cutting pieces of a metal sheet and separating them off as scrap metal. It is a novel method, as the metal is pinched against a vertical flat surface.
It is usually, but not always, used to cut deep-drawn round cups from the sheet.
A distinct process, lancing is used to make tabs or vents.
A piece of material is cut across three edges, while simultaneously bent.
This method creates openings or hook-like designs. Expelling scrap is a secondary machining step.
There are various techniques involved in the stamping process, but not every method is effective or even necessary for every component.
When you fully understand of the process, you can create parts that will reduce scrap, reduce costs, and speed up production without sacrificing quality.
Here, we increase the surface area of the metal sheet. To achieve this, tension is increased while minimizing the inward movement of the edges. This process also helps to smooth the metal parts.
The metal sheet is squeezed to minimize its thickness. Ironing is vital in applications like making cans for beverages.
Necking or Reducing
The necking or reducing machine is designed to reduce the diameter of a tube.
In the hemming process, the edges of the metal sheet are folded to make them thick, increasing the strength and stability of the shape.
Custom metal stamping is the process of forming metal that requires customized tools and techniques in order to manufacture the parts.
A variety of applications and industries employ custom-designed stamping processes that satisfy high-volume production demands and ensure that every part meets the exact specifications.
Stamping of custom-designed sheet metal can include operations like blanking, cutting, punching, drawing embossing, among others.
Each step is completed with CAD/CAM software-designed tools that offer the accuracy needed for intricate parts.
Sheet metal stamping is an efficient and effective method of making high-quality, durable parts for various industries, including hardware, electronic, medical, aerospace, industrial lighting, and much more.
When creating and manufacturing precision metal stamped parts, the manufacturing company’s engineers and project managers, its suppliers, and the metal stamper need to discuss options for finishing the piece to ensure optimal performance.
In most cases, the end product of the metal stamping process may not be ready to use. Some finishing operations may be required to make it perfect.
The most common post-stamping operations include tapping, cutting, reaming, and deburring. These finishing processes improve the appearance of the product and make it compatible with other machines.
Deburring removes the residues of metallic material that were left after the punching process. Removes sharp burrs and ensures that all metal parts are smooth.
Preventing corrosion, enhancing appearance, or smoothing sharp edges requires metal finishing and this crucial element of the manufacturing process and should be considered from the beginning.
Finishing options include
- Powder Coating and E-Coating
- Electro polishing
- Heat Treating
Sophisticated metal stamping machines can produce quality parts, but it is also crucial to select the right raw materials in the same way the appropriate machining procedure is selected.
Every alloy and metal has unique properties. Based on the component, one may choose a common alloy or a special metal.
Varieties of common alloys are used in metal stamping and are precision engineered across a variety of industries. They include
- Aluminum alloys
- Brass alloys
- Copper alloys
- Nickel alloys
- Steel and stainless steel.
Engineers and designers must have a basic understanding of the most commonly used, as well as specialty metals, to aid in the selection of materials.
Metal stamping is a well-known manufacturing process because of the advantages it provides.
Mass Production: It encourages bulk production of products and parts.
High Level Precision: If the metal sheet is being cut or bent, the result will bean accurate part/component with the correct measurements. Modern metal stamping equipment is designed to operate with a high level of accuracy.
Uniformity: In bulk production of products, metal stamping keeps every part uniform, with exact shape, design, and size of every part matching specifications exactly.
Cost Effective: Metal stamping is a cost-effective manufacturing method. Through the use of metal stamping, manufacturing firms can produce products quickly and effectively.
Save Time: Outsourcing the metal stamping process relieves you of all hassles, allowing you to save time and put your skill and effort into other projects.
General Info: It’s classified as a cold-working process and, like other cold-working methods, doesn’t alter the properties of the metal due to heat-related changes.
Metal stamping doesn’t expose parts to extreme temperatures, so there is no danger of changes caused by heat. The Metal parts can be formed by stamping without being exposed to heat.
The effectiveness of metal stamping makes it a preferred option for large manufacturing companies.
There are many things to consider before selecting a reliable metal stamping manufacturer.
Expertise and Experience: Metal stamping uses specialized equipment to form simple to complex patterns. It begins with flat metal sheets which can be shaped and/or perforated. You need to check the experience level of the manufacturer to ensure their proficiency in producing the parts you require.
Cost Effective: The price of the project is a function of the volume. Low volume production will cost you more per piece than high volume production. That’s we encourage bulk parts production which takes advantage of the economies of scale.
While cost is certainly a consideration, it is not the only factor to consider once the company’s credibility, capacity, and knowledge have been confirmed.
It shouldn’t be difficult to gauge the reputation of the metal stamping producers that are being considered.
Most Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) will choose a stamping firm near important transportation routes and their primary business location to reduce supply chain problems and make logistics simpler to manage.
Check the timely delivery of orders for the business, ensure the company can be ISO 9001 registered, and look for companies belonging to the PMA (Precision Metal Forming Association).
Besides their business name, ensure whether the stamping companies you are considering have proven expertise in your field.
Many leading manufacturers have decades of experience in offering parts for the aerospace, automotive, HVAC, metal construction, building materials, and developing &supplying special parts &components for these sectors.
Capacity for Production
Production capacity is influenced by lead times on orders and the equipment employed.
Modern facilities use state-of-the-art precision equipment that can complete projects according to precise specifications and with tight tolerances that are not achievable using older equipment and systems.
Determining the Cost of a Metal Stamping Project
Stamping tools, also referred to as “hard tools,” can be extremely expensive.
For jobs with a small amount (less than 10,000 pieces), the cost of a hard tool is greater than any return that could be possible, so “Metal spinning” is a viable alternative.
Spinning tools are inexpensive. Spinning tools are typically 10-to-20 times cheaper than stamping tools.
Cost is a major consideration, but time is also very important. Along with being costly, stamping machines have longer lead times. Spinning tools and parts are completed in just a few weeks, not months.
Metal stamping has a wide range of industrial applications. Industry applications that require 3D designs usually use metal stamping.
Once you have completed the 3D design of your product, metal stamping machines will consistently produce and re-produce parts in mass volumes.
Industries that use metal stamping firms include (but are not limited to),
- Industrial Machinery
- Consumer Electronics
Based on Grand View Research, the automotive industry is the leading market for the metal stamping industry, accounting for 34.7 percent of their revenues in 2016.
However, in this technological era, applications for fabricating metals in the consumer electronics sector are booming.
This means that nearly every business using consumer electronic devices in their workplace relies on products made by metal stamping machines.
Smaller industries that create items such as household appliances and jewelry can make their products on a greater scale with a stamping machine.
Gold Precision: Your Reliable Metal Stamping Company
Gold Precision offers in-house custom metal stamping, manufacturing & production at reasonable prices.
From the initial prototyping phase until the final product, we will complete your order within four weeks.
Gold Precision is the industry leader in customized metal stamping and manufacturing. From exacting prototyping to final product, we do everything in-house. This gives us greater precision, higher efficiency, and the ability to offer impressive cost advantages.
Our experienced team uses cutting-edge technology for highest quality and rapid 4 week delivery. All at competitive prices that give your business welcome savings and fresh opportunities in the marketplace.
Gold Precision excels at custom metal stamping of parts. Since 1999, we have served countless clients with innovation, improved efficiency, and the exacting, quality parts you need to move your business forward.
Our goal is to ensure your experience is smooth and painless. Expert designers and technicians use the very latest technologies and manufacturing techniques to turn your vision into exciting reality. You get the extensive benefit of our specialized knowledge and decades of experience.
We provide custom metal stamping and related services for consumer electronics, NEV, industrial automation, medical, aerospace, communications and more.
It’s easy to work with Gold Precision. Select your material, size, and tolerance. Share your requirements including drawing. Not sure of your product requirements? Send us the information you have in CAD, 3D drawing, or photos. Our team can usually take it from there.
Once product details are finalized and key components are chosen, we then work closely with your technical team to ensure rapid procurement of materials and components to meet our accelerated production schedule.
With Gold Precision, your product goes to market faster to create fresh opportunities for your sales team. You enjoy increased revenues to power your bottom line. Our greatest reward comes when you shake up your industry with the latest innovation. Please contact Gold Precision to discuss your metal stamping and manufacturing needs. Our team can take your ideas from concept to completion quickly at a cost that will please your budget. Insist on the best with Gold Precision. Proudly made in China.
Sheet Metal Forming Processes and Applications by Edited by Taylan Altan and Erman Tekkaya