Producing metal parts at a high volume quickly is the goal of any metal fabricator. Larger components can be cut, folded, and formed in a variety of ways, but smaller, more intricate parts are often formed via metal stamping. A combination of automation and human labor makes metal stamping an incredibly efficient and productive method of fabricating components large and small, and it is a key aspect of what we do at IMH Products. Let’s learn a little more about the stamping process and how it works on a large scale.
What is Metal Stamping?
Another name for metal stamping is pressing. This is a low-cost, high speed manufacturing process that produces identical metal components. It is a cold-forming process in that it does not involve molten metal or molds. The most critical aspect is an accurate and precise die.
The first step in metal stamping is designing the tooling for the machine. A CAD/CAM engineer designsthe proper tooling for the press, and this requires great attention to detail. This precision ensures that each punch and bend maintains the proper clearance for optimal part quality. A single tool 3D model can contain hundreds of parts, so the design process is often quite complex and time-consuming.
After the tool is designed the tool & die shop creates the die. This process uses a variety of machining, grinding, and other manufacturing processes. The die is the component added to a stamping press so the parts can be manufactured. IMH Products has dozens of mechanical and hydraulic presses with bed sizes up to 60’ x 84″. We also have on-site tool and die technicians and engineers capable of developing the dies needed for each of those presses.
Once the die is created and installed on the press the real production begins. If a coil press is being used, the strip unrolls steadily from a coil and into the die press, where each station in the tool then performs a different cut, punch, or bend. This continuous feed process allows for fast, mass production of components. If parts are created from pre-prepared blanks a laborer places each blank on the press before manually operating it to create the part. These presses can be quite intricate. An example is a fourslide press. This process uses horizontal alignment and four different slides. In other words, four tools are used simultaneously to shape the workpiece.
A continuous feed press is also often used in creating blanks for manual presses.
Faster Turnaround at Lower Costs
The efficiency of the stamping process is where its main benefits come. By producing a reliable die a fabrication shop can turn out hundreds of parts in a day, if not thousands. Stamping has high rate of repeatability and a need for shorter run lengths, which lowers the costs for our customers. With the number of presses that IMH Products operates we have the capability for lower labor costs that can help your business.
To learn more about our stamping capabilities contact us at email@example.com.