There are a countless number of manufacturing companies across the globe that offer production services for automotive, agriculture, aerospace, medical and other industries. As global markets evolve and competition increases, manufacturers need to quickly produce large quantities of complex, high-quality parts.
Among the many manufacturing processes is the stamping process. Stamping converts flat sheets of iron, steel, stainless steel, aluminium or copper into a designed shape. The process can be complex, through many forming techniques that include punching, blanking, bending, coining and tooling, to name a few.
A growing sector of the manufacturing industry, stamping is a fast, cost-effective process for components that are needed in large quantities. When outsourcing your stamping productions, look for these three important qualities in an OEM supplier:
- High-quality, durable components
- Affordable costs of production
- Quick lead times from production to delivery
The following blog post illustrates the different types of stamping, as well as the forming techniques used for developing high-quality components.
Types of Stamping Processes
Also called pressing, stamping is a process in which a flat metal sheet is placed into a press. Then, a tool and die surface form the sheet into a designed shape through a stamping technique. Prior to shaping the metal, the component is designed as precisely as possible to ensure that the punch and bend maintains the standard for dimensional tolerances, so the component will fit into the final product.
Once the design is complete, manufacturers use one of three major types of metal stamping techniques: progressive, fourslide or deep draw.
Progressive Die Stamping
Progressive die stamping features multiple stations that have unique functions. Typically, the process follows these steps:
- The metal sheet is fed into the progressive stamping press.
- The metal sheet progresses through the machine, where each pressing station performs a cut, punch or bend.
- To complete the component, each action of each station adds onto the work of the previous stations.
Progressive die stamping machines offer an alternative to the outdated process that uses a number of presses, each dedicated to one action. This makes progressive die stamping an ideal solution for components that have more complex formations to meet demands for:
- High repeatability
- Fast turnarounds
- Lower cost of labor
This stamping process uses four tools to shape the workpiece on a horizontal alignment. The tools provide intricate cuts and complex bends to produce highly complex parts that require 90-degree bends.
Where traditional press stamping lacks, fourslide stamping makes up for by:
- Producing more versatile and complex parts
- Allowing flexibility with design changes
As the name suggests, this tool has four slides, each with a different tool to achieve multiple cuts and bends simultaneously.
Deep Draw Stamping
In this stamping process, a metal sheet is pulled into the die and formed into shape by a punch. This process is ideal for producing components that need multiple series of diameters, such as coffee tin tops. In other words, the end component is often cylindrical or circular, and used for:
- Automotive components
- Aircraft parts
- Electronic components
- Medical devices
Deep draw stamping is one of the more cost-effective stamping processes because it doesn’t waste much raw material.
Designs for Stamping Processes
Now that we have a broad understanding of the stamping process, let’s jump into the specifics of forming processes. The three most commonly used forming processes include blanking, bending and coining.
Blanking creates a cut of the rough outline or shape of the component. Blanking minimizes or avoids metal burrs, which can waste raw material, driving up costs and decreasing lead time.
In an early stage, designers determine the hole diameter, geometry, and spacing between the edge of the component to the hole and the first punch.
Bending requires enough material to perform the bend. If the bend is too close to the hole, the component can become deformed. Additional factors to remember with bending include:
- Allowing enough width on notches, tabs and slots to avoid breakage from the force exerted by the punch
- Ensuring the radius of the original piece of piece is at least half of the material thickness
- Avoiding sharp corners and complex cutouts to minimize the severity of burrs
Coining is the process of striking the edges of a stamped metal part to flatten or break any burrs. Doing so creates a smooth edge in the coined areas of the component. Coining can also add additional strength to the struck section of the component. Coining is often utilized to avoid deburring and grinding, which otherwise cause a halt in the production process.
Partner With a Manufacturer That Stamps With Standards
In a partnership with VPIC, we don’t just provide our clients with manufacturing services. With each production project, we test chemical composition of raw materials, review designs, test for quality, find areas of cost reduction and remain in constant contact with our customers.
Ready to join the ranks of our satisfied customers? Contact us today.