Laser cutting is a commonly used process throughout the manufacturing industry and employs a high-powered, focused laser beam to cut materials into a variety of custom designs and shapes. It has become indispensable in a wide range of settings, from hobbyists to small industry to major industrial manufacturing. Below are some of the many advantages precision laser cutting offers.
The pinpoint accuracy of lasers gives them unparalleled precision when cutting parts from a variety of materials. They are equally effective at cutting metal, glass, wood, plastic, gemstones, paper, and more. Traditional cutting methods required different techniques for each material; but with lasers, you can control the beam in a number of ways by adjusting the heat it generates, its intensity, and the duration of the beam, letting you work with a variety of materials and cutting styles.
Lasers can easily be adapted to produce nearly any shape in materials of all thicknesses. This flexibility makes them useful in an array of projects, including vehicle bodies and cell phone casing.
Less Time Consumption
The setup process of laser cutting is simpler than traditional processes, saving manufacturers a great deal of time and labor. Because there is no hard-tooling involved, the setup times are dramatically shorter. Eliminating the need for tool changeover and maintaining a punch press frees up expensive time.
In contrast to traditional cutting processes, the only setup time laser cutting requires is loading the needed material and programming the machine. This makes the entire setup process faster and lower in cost. Manufacturers can also quickly adjust the laser cutting equipment meet different needs, so they can easily change projects.
Contact American Industrial for Your Laser Cutting Needs
Laser cutting is an extremely accurate form of cutting, using highly focused energy and pressure. This capability enables precise cuts on smaller surfaces. The precision of laser cutting also conserves material, because it significantly reduces heat waste and leftover scrap material. Because the point of the laser is highly focused and compact, lasers can cut intricate and complex shapes. The resulting products have smooth edges and precise finishes.
One of the manufacturing sectors that uses laser cutting heavily is stamped metal manufacturing. As with many other industries, American Industrial finds the effectiveness, versatility, and time savings of laser cutting to be irreplaceable.
Since 1981, we have manufactured top quality metal products, with unwavering attention to detail. We have the highest attention to ISO 9001:2015 standards and ensure each project is completed to our client’s satisfaction.
The popularity of metal stamping shows no signs of slowing down as we move into 2020. By 2025, the worldwide demand is expected to reach almost $300 billion. This significant growth is in part due to the process’s use in a wide variety of applications in many booming industries, such as industrial machinery, automotive, aerospace, consumer appliances, and more. As these industries continue to grow, they’re also increasing their use of—and reliance on— metal, which further supports the proliferation of metal stamping.
Factors Affecting Metal Stamping’s Growth
In the manufacturing sector, many of the factors influencing the growth of metal stamping stem from the process’s use of metal. Compared to other materials, the advantages of using metal for the manufacture of parts and products include its:
These material qualities allow manufacturers to produce high quality parts with lower investment costs, resulting in greater profits.
As the demand for metal products grows, so too does the creativity within the industry. To remain competitive and set themselves apart, manufacturers are forced to come up with new methods of using the material. This drive for innovation is good for everyone as it results in technological advancements that further expand the scope of the process. As more and more businesses see the value of metal and offer stamping capabilities to their customers, their competitors increasingly feel the pressure to invest in it as well.
Industry Trends in Metal Stamping
The applications for metal stamping are nearly countless, and you come into contact with metal stamped products every day. Here are just a few of the ways metal stamping is used:
Automotive. The strength and flexibility of metal stamped parts allow automobile manufacturers to maintain the required safety standards while reducing consumer costs. There’s also a push to make vehicles more fuel efficient, which necessitates the use of lightweight materials like aluminum. According to Forbes, one result of this push is Ford’s 2015 F-150 model, which has a curb weight that consists of roughly 25% aluminum.
Aerospace. In the United States, due in part to low fuels costs and increased worldwide trade, the aerospace industry is expected to grow 2.8% in 2018 and 3.4% in 2019 and 2020. To meet these demand levels, one of the biggest pushes in the industry is for greater fuel efficiency. Ultralight planes—such as those produced with metal stamping techniques—facilitate lower fuel usage and related costs.
Solar. It’s not always possible or economical to bring traditional power sources to remote or impoverished areas. For these situations, solar energy is an ideal solution, and metal stamping makes it easier to provides solar energy to these regions.
Agriculture. Automated processing equipment and other machinery that uses metal stamped parts often cost less to maintain and repair, saving farmers and ranchers time and money.
Contact American Industrial for Your Metal Stamping Needs
Since 1981, American Industrial Company has offered turnkey packages—from initial design to delivery of a finished metal stamping—to domestic and international customers in a variety of industries. Our team is excited to be part of an industry that is experiencing so much growth and development. As a company, we’re committed to staying on top of metal stamping trends and advancements so we can continue to offer high quality products and services.
Located in the heart of the Midwest, American Industrial Company (AIC) has delivered high-quality precision metal stamping services for almost 40 years. Filling orders from our 25,000-square-foot facility in Gurnee, IL, our metal stamping services enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of a wide variety of appliances.
Whether you need fastening components for a refrigeration unit or industrial mounts for wraps, AIC’s American-made solutions will meet all your household appliance needs.
We offer stamped metal solutions from brackets to bolts to complex contact elements. Each piece delivers the precision, polish, and functionality to match your specifications without sacrificing durability and efficiency. Our metal stamps can withstand hard and repetitive use, and they hold up against inclement weather, extreme temperatures, and wear and tear.
Find our metal stamps in:
Ranges, ovens, and cooktops
Outdoor, indoor, and industrial refrigerators
Freezers and ice machines
Trash compactors and disposals
Microwaves and toaster ovens
Industrial mounts and dispensers for wraps, tapes, and foils
We also craft fastening components for products including furniture, luggage, packaging, and industrial machines. Our range of products, from simple latches to complex pneumatic contact elements, literally hold our world together.
We work with you to incorporate unique finishes, designs, and polishes into all our components to match your product’s branding, and we ensure that all processes meet our high precision and craftsmanship standards. Our elite industry specialists produce all metal stamps in-house.
End-product manufacturers use our components in a wide variety of appliances. We work with the materials you specify to give you the product you deserve.
On top of these services, we provide state-of-the-art prototyping, producing quality products for testing and marketing. Our full suite of ISO 9001:2015–certified manufacturing equipment guarantees that we’ll fill your order without delay.
We pride ourselves on our experience, our employees, and our American-made solutions. From prototyping to finishing, we’ll help you craft the perfect parts for your appliances. We’re proud to offer turn-key solutions for your tool-making, forming, design, stamping, and finishing necessities, and we’ll work relentlessly to ensure that every client walks out our door satisfied.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of working with a full-service stamper and discover why we might be the right metal stamper for you, download our guide on finding the best metal stamping solutions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to learn more about our precision metal and custom appliance stamping.
The robustness of manufactured products are crucial to the success of mining operations, and American Industrial understands the importance of precision tools in the mining industry. The harsh environments in which workers, parts, and equipment need to operate demand durability, accuracy, and safety to ensure that operations continue smoothly and efficiently with minimal downtime.
Leaders in the American Mining Industry
Being an established manufacturer since 1981, American Industrial provides excellent quality products to our clients. As an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we follow best practices in our manufacturing operation to ensure quality and safety.
These standards enable us to fabricate premier products within given design parameters using precision processes such as close-tolerance stamping and precision machining. Using hot rolled and cold rolled steel, we’re capable of meeting the stringent demands and tolerances of a variety of applications within the mining industry.
Hot Rolled Steel
In the hot rolling process, steel is first heated above its recrystallization temperature – typically above 1,000° F for most types of steel. After heating, the steel becomes malleable, which allows it to be easily molded into a wide range of desired shapes and forms. The steel contracts as it cools, which offers reduced control over the size and shape.
Hot rolled steel is recommended for:
Large products with easily manageable tolerances
Designs where exact dimensions are not required
Applications with strict budget requirements
Fabricating hot rolled bars and sheet metal for construction, welding, and other applications
Cold Rolled Steel
Cold rolled steel is a refined form of hot rolled steel. Cold rolling refers to the additional processing the steel goes through after the hot rolling process. Cold rolling involves strain hardening, which occurs when the hot rolled, cooled steel is rerolled once it reaches room temperature.
Cold rolling increases the strength and hardness of the steel, ensures a smooth finish, and allows for increased precision and meeting exact design dimensions.
Cold Rolled Stamped Box Filter Assembly for the Mining Industry
Recently, we manufactured a cold rolled stamped box filter assembly at the request of a prominent mining industry client. They required a custom solution to filter out fine dust and particles during mining operations. The solution was integral to improving quality of life and safety for the miners.
We set our most experienced design engineers and technicians to work laying out a production plan. The box filter was manufactured from cold rolled 1008/1010 steel with 12-gauge galvanized wires. Despite the custom nature of the project, we completed design, fabrication, and delivery in only 10 days while adhering to our high-quality in-house practices.
American Industrial Company (AIC) is proud to be an American manufacturer and reliable contributor to the U.S. mining industry. With more than 37 years of experience in the precision metal stamping industry, we offer advanced solutions at great costs – all while providing safe environments to our workers and boosting the domestic economy.
Our ISO 9001:2015 certification attests to the quality and precision we uphold in our operation every day. Our expertise, flexibility, and experience ensure have helped us to earn the trust of clients from a comprehensive range of industries and applications.
Contact our experts today to hear more about hot rolled steel, cold rolled steel, or to discuss how we can help with your unique application,
American Industrial Company (AIC) takes pride in being an American manufacturer with an intense focus on creating American manufacturing jobs and quality products. From our Midwestern facility in Illinois, our dedicated staff assists a wide range of customers across myriad industries with the design and fabrica
tion of metal stamped parts that meet the most stringent standards in the industry.
Whether we are inside our own manufacturing facility or working with customers across the United States, providing safe conditions for our workers and top quality products for our customers are our two highest priorities. Our ISO 9001:2015 certification speaks to our commitment to quality management and represents our pledge to our employees and customers.
The metal stamped parts we fabricate for the construction industry must be durable, able to withstand hard uses, and resist exposure to all manner of elements—from brutal weather fronts to sub-zero temperatures. Metal stamped parts must also hold up to repetitive and aggressive employ, resist wear and tear, and tolerate the impacts and lifting associated with building operations as they are implemented to support current or future populated structures.
At AIC, we have been contributing to American manufacturing, across diverse industries, for almost four decades—everything from dental offices to homes, from skyscrapers to tools.
Our metal stamping serves the needs of applications large and small, such as:
Carbon Steel Metal Stamping: Progressive Die-Stamped Wear Plate
Carbon steel is idyllic for pipelines, structural beams, axles, and gears. It is ductile and easily molded into myriad shapes that can serve a variety of purposes. At AIC, we are often called upon to produce carbon steel to an exact specifications, such as:
High levels of complexity
We were approached by a prominent manufacturer for the construction industry about designing a wear plate that adhered to a very specific set of durability requirements and difficult geometric tolerances. We developed a progressive die stamping method which enabled us to meet all of the complex bends, angles, and strength requirements of the application. Within two weeks, we designed the wear plate, fabricated 150,000 units from cold rolled tempered steel, treated the wear plates with nitrocarburizing treatment to guard against corrosion, and delivered to the customer.
Spring Steel Stamping: Shear Block
At AIC, we fabricate custom-made precision dies that play a major role in American manufacturing. These dies enable the fabrication of custom precision parts that meet a range of extremely tight tolerances requested by clients.
For example, a client approached us for a custom shear block that required coining and extruding, which means die tapping and eliminating the entire post framing process. Requirements for the finished part were 3.45- by 2.554- by 0.093-inches in thickness. Through the use of high-quality materials and advanced heat treating processes, we were able to design and fabricate a part that required no secondary finishing. This enabled us to manufacture and deliver on the order in advance of the client’s deadline.
AIC Supports the American Building Industry
American Industrial Company brings nearly four decades of key contributions to American manufacturing to the table. We are humbled to see our innovations at work every day at U.S. construction sites. American manufacturers offer advanced technologies at a great cost while providing safe environments for American workers. American-based manufacturing boosts our domestic economy, and it is through American ingenuity that productivity and innovation thrive.
The U.S. manufacturing industry produces almost 20% of the world’s goods and continues to look for innovative technology and techniques. These constant updates means there are many options when choosing products, services, and associated vendors. With this variety of choices, it may seem difficult to differentiate between each company. If you’re searching for a metal stamping vendor, there are four distinct factors to consider.
Question Their Services and Capabilities
As you begin the search for a metal stamping vendor, learn what specific services and capabilities the manufacturer provides. Stamping can be one of many available processes, including coining, progressive stamping, piercing, and shallow draw stamping, so it’s important to understand precisely what services are offered. Additionally, many companies have ancillary services that can reduce delivery time and costs.
When you are talking to metal stamping companies, consider the following questions:
Do they have the necessary capabilities to meet the requirements of your project?
What specific services are offered and how might they benefit your company?
Is the company using the most current AutoCAD and Edgecam software?
What are their testing procedures for material hardness, as well as destructive and non-destructive testing?
You should also think about the overall capacity of the metal stamping vendor. Some suppliers only serve large volume customers, so if you’re a hobbyist or inventor looking for limited production, it may be harder to find a vendor that can meet your needs in an efficient and timely manner.
When investigating supplier capacity, ask the vendors:
At what capacity do you primarily perform?
Is my project a good fit for your capacity?
Look for High-Quality Practices
When selecting a vendor, make sure they are committed to the quality of their output. Suppliers who are focused on this will have specific programs in place, such as capacity studies, statistical process control, and quality assurance systems.
To better understand what steps a vendor is taking to ensure quality, ask:
Do you know the industry standards required for manufacturing my part?
How often do you perform tooling maintenance?
What quality assurance measures do you have in place to prevent mistakes or defects?
How do you test the parts you produce and how do you document your testing?
Delivery Track Record
Once you have found a vendor that meets your quality and capacity expectations, ask about their delivery record. A reputable company will have documentation to show they meet the timeline requirements of their customers.
Questions to ask:
Do you have documentation that shows you can deliver on time?
What will you do to ensure on-time delivery if there are disruptions to your supply chain?
A Metal Stamping Vendor for Your Project
American Industrial Company has been serving customers for over 33 years. Our goal isn’t just to meet your metal stamping needs; it’s to exceed your expectations.
The old saying “you get what you pay for” still holds true today––particularly when it comes to manufacturing. For those looking to get the best value for their money in a manufactured product, you should look no further than your own backyard. While the allure of cheaper products may be drawing many companies to look abroad for manufacturing partners, there is tremendous advantage in using a domestic-based manufacturer instead––especially when it comes to quality.
There’s a reason American manufacturing has been known for its high quality for more than a century. In the United States, there are many standards and regulations in place to ensure that manufacturers are selling their customers the highest-quality products. American manufacturers are also known for using advanced technologies in high-grade facilities to produce consistent products supported by exceptional customer service.
When working with a manufacturer in the United States, you can rest assured knowing that the workers making your product are working in a safe environment with the proper amount of labor protection. Unlike many other nations, the United States enforces strict labor laws and safety requirements to protect workers operating in potentially hazardous work environments. The United States also has more intellectual property laws in place than many other nations, helping to safeguard your ideas and trade secrets against competing companies.
One of the greatest benefits, however, is the proximity that you’ll have to the manufacturing process. Because your product won’t need to be shipped halfway around the world, you can be sure that it will get to you much sooner––and at much less cost. With less travel time required, there is also less chance that your product could be damaged during transit or become lost or displaced.
Should an issue arise, the closeness of a U.S. manufacturer means they’ll be able to inform you of the problem much sooner and rectify it before it causes significant delays. If the manufacturer is close enough, you may even be able to visit their facility to see their operations for yourself and weigh in on the finished product before it ships.
Maybe most importantly, working with American manufacturers helps support local companies and provide jobs––providing an overall boost to our domestic economy.
At American Industrial Company (AIC), we pride ourselves on being an entirely American-based manufacturer. Our facility is located in the heart of the Midwest in Gurnee, Illinois. It is here that our talented team designs and manufactures all of our parts, ensuring that each product meets the highest of industry standards. Within our facility, we demonstrate an ongoing commitment to providing a safe and comfortable work environment for our team with our current ISO 9001:2015 certification.
We are experienced in providing a number of manufacturing services for our customers with a commitment to satisfaction and quality. We work closely with our clients throughout the entire manufacturing process––from initial design to final product––to ensure that everything we produce not only meets customers’ desired requirements, but exceeds them. Our in-house capabilities include metal stamping, laser cutting, prototyping, design and engineering, tooling services, and other value-added services.
If you’re looking for an American-based manufacturer who offers a large selection of customization options, a full range of in-house capabilities, and a demonstrated commitment to quality and reliability, consider working with AIC.
Metals, collectively, provide a versatile and adaptable range of construction materials for countless applications. They are widely available in different compositions with various physical and chemical attributes. However, what makes metals unique is the ability to customize their properties by combining them with other metals to create alloys. Specific properties can be intentionally modified to make them fit for environments that would otherwise be unsuitable.
Each metal or alloy comes with its own unique set of benefits and limitations that lend themselves to different ideal uses. Selection of the most appropriate metal is, therefore, of utmost importance to achieve the best results for a particular metal stamping project.
In this article, we will look at typical metals used in the metal stamping industry, their most common applications, and their primary weaknesses.
Carbon steel is the most common type of steel used today. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) defines carbon steel as steel with a carbon content of up to 2.1% by weight. It may also contain traces of other elements such as chromium, cobalt, nickel, and titanium, among others.
One of the most desirable properties of low-to-medium carbon steel (0.05% to 0.6%) is its malleability and ductility. It can be easily bent, cut, twisted, and welded to create a wide range of shapes. This makes it ideal for auto parts, pipelines, structural beams, axels, and gears. High carbon steel (0.61% to 1.5%) is considerably stronger, and is commonly used for metal and woodcutting tools such as axes, drills, saws, and knives.
Low carbon steel, however, possesses a relatively low tensile strength, making it unsuitable for applications where the material will be subjected to high levels of stress. On the other hand, while the yield strength of high carbon steel is significantly higher, it is difficult to weld and susceptible to brittle failure.
Stainless steel is a carbon steel alloy with at least 10.5% of chromium by mass. Stainless steels are renowned for their superior corrosion resistance, which increases with increasing chromium content. This steel alloy is usually combined with other elements such as molybdenum, and nickel to further enhance corrosion resistance.
Due to its excellent balance of strength and corrosion resistance, stainless steel is used in numerous sectors, including the food and beverage, medical, automotive, and aerospace industries. It can be rolled into sheets, bars, and wires to be used in cookware, cutlery, surgical equipment, kitchen appliances, and sanitary piping fixtures.
One of the main disadvantages of stainless steel is its considerably higher cost when compared to carbon steel. This extra cost is usually due to the addition of alloying elements.
Non-ferrous metals are a subdivision of metal elements and alloys that do not contain iron. Examples of non-ferrous metals include titanium, aluminum, tin, lead, zinc, chromium, copper, and brass. Unlike ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals do not rust when exposed to atmospheric conditions.
Non-ferrous metals possess several desirable properties such as a light weight, electrical conductivity, non-magnetic properties, and corrosion resistance. Depending on the actual metal used, these metals can be used in a wide range of applications, including electrical circuits and wiring, aerospace components, jewelry, and automobile parts.
Although the price of non-ferrous metals varies according to the specific metal, they are generally more costly than ferrous metals. Also, even though their light weight can be advantageous in some situations, they are typically excluded from use in applications where strength or heft is required.
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of various types of metals can help in predicting the overall quality and effectiveness of the material in a given environment, which can ultimately save time and money in your metal stamping application.
Metal stamping is used across a huge range of industries. Original equipment manufacturers(OEMs) typically utilize metal stamping to produce parts in situations in which casting would be too expensive. Metal stamping is much more cost-efficient, as sheet metal is easily recyclable.
OEMs, especially those in the automotive, appliance, and aerospace industries, often drive the need for metal tooling. Some OEMs produce their own stamped metal parts onsite, while others outsource to Tier 1 suppliers. These suppliers build the dies for stamping down the line.
Metal Stamping Components and Processes
A metal stamping operation involves a metal being cut and formed into a desired shape or profile. Three basic items are essential: the metal from which the part is to be made (typically steel, though all kinds of metals can be used, including golds and advanced super alloys), the stamping press, and the stamping die. During metal stamping, a flat metal sheet, also known as a blank, is pressed between a die and a punch to achieve the desired shape.
These parts comprise the press:
Blank — The portion of the metal that is punched through the die
Die — Defines the outside shape of the part
Punch — Defines the inside shape of the part
Ram — Component that presses down on metal with upper die pattern
Bolster plate — Stationary lower part of the die
Blank holder — Holds the blank for control during stamping
As blanks are punched out of the sheet metal, they come through the die, which is built with a slight angle so blanks don’t get stuck inside. Punch presses are powerful machines. It takes about 71 tons of pressure to cut a 10” circle out of 0.125” sheet metal. Modern presses range from 10 tons to 50,000 tons of force.
There are a number of workers involved in the metal stamping process. A machinist cuts die components to correct dimensions. A diemaker tests dies for consistency and assembles stamping tools. A maintenance technician repairs and maintains stamping dies, correcting any problems.
Some parts require further work after stamping. During deep drawing, for instance, a flat blank is slowly drawn over a forming die to achieve the desired shape. Excess material is cut from the deep drawn metal. The metal might then need to be flanged.
Our manufacturing operations are designed for forming of a wide range of materials. Some of the most common materials we work with include stainless, cold/hot rolled and galvanized steels, aluminum, brass, copper, and high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel.
Metal stamping is used to create a huge range of products, including many everyday items. Common household products, such as washers and dryers, are made using a sheet metal stamping process. The flatware we use for eating, the pots and pans we cook with, and the soda cans we drink from are also manufactured partially with metal stamping.
Sourcing materials is essential to ensuring a project runs smoothly and cost-effectively. Vendor qualification serves as an important step to ensuring a successful sourcing process. Each project requires a different set of standards and can determine a vendor’s ability to match your needs. For example, your thermoforming vendor will be quite different from your precision metal stamping vendor.
By qualifying vendors, a company gains product and service consistency to its desired requirements. Going forward, they also have a tried-and-true choice to source materials from.
1. Set a process
Initiating and maintaining a process for vendor sourcing allows for consistency and proper analysis of vendor selection each time. First determine material specifications. Know what your goals are and be able to interpret these to the potential vendor. This will allow you to properly evaluate the validity of a sourcing partnership.
Next, establish fee restrictions, as well as any service requirements. Once you evaluate risk, set up and send out questionnaires to potential vendors. Within these steps, material failure evaluation is crucial. Understanding the risk associated with a vendor and their supplied materials helps prevent catastrophic failures in manufacturing.
2. Customize a questionnaire
Beyond the general and informative questions, include questions that are specific to the type of vendor you are looking for. A customized questionnaire will help to ask questions specific to the manufacturing process that could impact your project’s timeline.
While it’s great to get specific with your questions, avoid invasive questions. Asking about a manufacturer’s backend finances may deter the vendor from completing the qualification questionnaire. Treat the questionnaire as an introduction to what vendors can expect from working with your sourcing company.
3. Track and Evaluate
If you have a set process and questionnaire in place, it only makes sense to have a set evaluation process, as well.
Recording capabilities, certifications, quality assurance, equipment, referrals and more lets you put the data side-by-side. Each candidate will have to stack up to your standards at the very least, with one prevailing above the rest as the vendor for your project.
As metal stamping experts, our staff at American Industrial Company created a helpful guide for choosing a metal stamper. Access our Metal Stamper Must-Haves Guide for useful information on sourcing companies and vendor selection. For more on selecting the right vendor, especially for metal stamping, get in touch with our team today.