There is much more to metal stamping than most people take into consideration.
Complex parts often require a series of several different steps to create. Parts that may seem simple at first glance rarely need only one stamping step to be considered properly completed.
Confusion is often found when determining the appropriate process for metal stamping. When selecting a metal stamping process, one should consider:
- How the stamping process will impact the functionality of the design
- The design or industry-specific requirements
- Production time and cost-effectiveness
Common Metal Stamping Processes
Disregarding steps such as design and prototyping, which are necessarily performed prior to stamping, there are nine primary processes involved in the actual stamping of metal parts.
When required, blanking is the first step of the stamping process. Blanking is the process of cutting larger sheet or coils of metal into smaller, more manageable pieces. Blanking is usually performed when a stamped metal piece will be drawn or formed.
If a part requires slots, holes, or other cutouts, piercing can be employed. Piercing, which can be performed simultaneously with blanking, punches the requisite shapes out of the metal sheet.
Drawing is the actual stamping in the metal stamping process. A punch forces a section of metal through a die, providing the primary shape of the part. When the depth of the part is less than the primary opening, it is considered shallow drawing; parts with a depth greater than the opening are deep drawn.
Bending is a fairly self-explanatory process. The part-in-progress is placed on a specially designed die and a ram pushes against the metal, providing the required bend. Bending is performed after drawing, as attempting to punch an already bent piece of metal causes the entire part to deform.
Air bending is when the flat surface of a part is bent by a punch into a die, often V-shaped. The space between the punch and die is larger than the metal thickness, resulting in a bend that relaxes slightly when the part is released. Air bending uses less power and pressure than other bending methods.
Bottoming and Coining
Bottoming and coining are bending processes are similar to air bending, but use anywhere from two to 30 times the pressure and the material is forced fully into a tight-fitting die, resulting in a more permanent bend.
Forming is a bending process similar to bending, bottoming, and coining. It creates parts with multiple bends, such as U-bends, in one step.
Pinch trimming is a method of cutting a piece from the metal sheet, separating it from the scrap metal. It is an unconventional process: the metal is pinched against a flat vertical surface. It is often, but not exclusively, used to cut deep drawn round cups from the sheet.
A unique process, lancing is a type of metal cutting used to make vents or tabs. A section of a part is cut along three edges and simultaneously bent. This creates the opening or hook-like feature required but eliminates a scrap collection or secondary machining step.
There are many different processes involved in the stamping process and, clearly, not every process is the best, or even required, for every part. With a full understanding of the processes, you can better design parts to minimize scrap, create cost savings, and increase production speed without ever sacrificing quality.
American Industrial Company, a single source metal stamper since 1981, recently published an eBook, “Understanding Metal Stamping: Design to Prototype to Production.” To learn more about these different stamping processes, as well as the metal stamping process as a whole, download your free copy today.
Types of material, plating, and cost-to-quality concerns are critical for design and fabrication.
The power tool industry holds a unique set of challenges. Designers and engineers have to respond to a demanding combination of high voltages, sharp edges, high revolutions per minute, and operation by a wide range of users, with the potential for some users to be novices.
The design of power tools poses as a test for an engineer’s design capabilities and a manufacturer’s expertise and precision in the fabrication. It is vital to be able to identify those metal stamping solutions that result in the most efficient combination of performance and cost-effectiveness.
Here are three concerns to keep in mind when designing power tools.
The first decision you will need to make is the material for your product. Steel is one of the most popular materials across industries, with a large variety of grades for multiple applications. You will need to decide whether to choose cold rolled against hot rolled steel, each with its own durability, strength, and machinability properties.
Carbon steel is an alternative to steel that offers improved draw quality compared to decreased hardness, while aluminum offers better lightweight and conductivity properties.
Strength to weight ratio
Due to the sheer range of environments and applications in which power tools are used, the ratio of strength to weight is imperative for the success of your power tool. For heavier duty applications, choose robust and durable materials like steel. For smaller power tools for wide consumer use, lightweight materials like aluminum will allow you to offer competent performance at accessible price points.
Quality and cost of steel
One of the most common mistakes is to save on costs by cutting back on quality. This can lead to performance issues or even potential recalls that ultimately hurt your bottom line, not to mention your reputation. With the varieties of steel available, there will be options to meet all your quality concerns will not breaking the bank.
American Industrial’s new eBook, Metal Stamped Component Concerns in the Power Tool Industry, has much more detail about what power tool designers need to look for in order to produce a successful final product. Inside, you will find in-depth information about how to select material, how to ensure precise thermal and electrical conductivity, and what proper plating and coating mean for you.
Visit us today to download your free copy, and contact us with any questions about designing and producing your next product for the power tool industry.
AIC Expands Turnkey Metal Stamping Services
American Industrial Company (AIC) is pleased to announce the acquisition of a new VyTek FiberCAB 44 laser cutting system, adding an important new service to our already considerable offerings.
Our new fiber optic laser cutting machine expands our capabilities to include metal laser cuts or etchings in house – within budget and without delays – while adhering to the company standard of the highest possible Quality Assurance.
VyTek FiberCAB 44
The FiberCAB 44 is among the most advanced laser cutting systems available. The 3,000 watt fiber laser cuts and engraves various metals, including stainless steel, aluminum, brass and copper, in thicknesses of up to a quarter of an inch. It operates at high rates of speed and with pinpoint accuracy.
Our main consideration in selecting a laser cutting system was to minimize overhead without sacrificing speed or quality. The FiberCAB 44 meets both of these criteria. It is highly energy efficient (reducing operating costs), and is cooled by air as opposed to liquid, which virtually eliminates the need for maintenance. These are savings that we pass on directly to our customers.
See an example of what our laser cutting machine can do here. Our new FiberCAB 44 will be available for new custom jobs beginning this month. For more information, call AIC at 847-855-9200 or contact us online.
Know what materials to use, which finishes you need, and comply with environmental standards.
Every industry has unique requirements and considerations of which companies in the space need to keep track. Designers and engineers need to be fully aware of each of these specifications when creating components for use in industry applications.
For the energy industry specifically, metal stamped components or assemblies must respond to a few possible issues that can arise with applications like electric power generation, where the conductivity of metal may be the most important factor.
To achieve the highest quality and cost efficiency when working with metal stamped components for energy industry applications, here are three tips to know when starting out.
Recent innovations include metal stamped probe, progressive die stamped wear plate, and a host of value-added services.
In manufacturing and engineering, innovation is everything. It’s what makes a company go from good to great, while staying competitive and growing consistently and effectively.
Metal stamping is a critical aspect of many OEMs’ manufacturing processes. As such, it’s of course extremely important to choose the right metal stamping supplier—one who has the experience and expertise to provide quality work at an affordable price.
But with the abundance of choices out there, how do you know who to choose? While there are many factors that make a metal stamping supplier great, here are the top three considerations when looking for the best metal stamper for your needs.
Do your research and be sure the stamper provides you with these important factors:
When it comes to manufacturing, quality is everything. Many companies can say they offer quality products and services, but there’s one definitive way of guaranteeing it.
ISO certification is the ultimate global benchmark for quality and performance. The standards set by ISO are recognized internationally, and serve as the best way of assuring across-the-board quality. (more…)
The selection of the particular surface finish for a stainless steel fabrication is an integral aspect of many machining projects. After all, each type of finish carries varying advantages and benefits, as well as multiple characteristics specific to that particular finish that may play a role in the end use of the piece.
Whenever you are facing a major metal stamping project, you want to make sure you choose the correct materials. Every job has a unique set of demands. Some call for higher levels of strength, while others might need corrosion resistance, and with some, the aesthetics take precedence.
We’re ready for government contracts – American Industrial has been issued a CAGE ID.
What social security numbers are to people, the CAGE ID codes are to government contractors. In order to do business with the government, it’s important for a company to obtain its exclusiveNAICS, DUNS and CAGE ID codes. These unique code numbers are essential for promoting and marketing purposes, and are must-haves before the company begins the bidding process for government contracts.