A Comprehensive Guide to Metal Stamping Parts
Learn more about this manufacturing process and everything that goes into a quality stamping program.
Metal stamping is a common manufacturing process used to create a variety of precision metal parts by shaping and cutting sheet metal using a press and die. This process is widely used in various applications in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, and other industries. The use of metal stamping allows manufacturers to produce high volumes of parts efficiently and cost-effectively, making it a popular choice for many industrial and commercial applications.
Learn more about every facet of this process.
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History of Metal Stamping Parts
Historians believe that the first stamped coins were created in the 7th century B.C. using metal blanks that were hammered between two dies. In the 18th century, the introduction of steam power revolutionized the metal stamping process, allowing for the creation of more complex parts and components. Over time, the industry evolved and became more sophisticated, leading to the development of new methods and techniques for stamping metals.
Since then, metal stamping has continued to evolve and improve, with advances in technology, steel properties, and automation leading to greater efficiency and precision in the manufacturing process. Today, metal stamping is used in a wide range of industries, from automotive and aerospace to electronics and consumer goods.
Demand for Metal Stamping
Metal stamping parts permeate much of our lives, with components found in many everyday products. As consumers’ demand increases for these products, so will the growth of metal stamping. According to Precedence Research, the metal stamping market is expected to grow from $205 billion in 2021 to more than 283 billion by 2030. The upsurge is being driven in part by the consumer electronics market, where metal stamping has applications in the metal frames of headphones, mobile phones, speakers, and controllers.
Metal stamping is also widely used in the automotive industry, where there has been a growing demand for electric vehicles. According to reports from the Stamping Journal, electric vehicles will represent new market opportunities for metal stampers. For example, there is expected to be an increased need for battery enclosure applications as well as upper body changes to accommodate sensors, cameras, and other technologies.
Basics of Metal Stamping
Stamping involves using tools and dies to form the coiled or flat sheet metal into a desired shape. Stamping techniques used to form the metal include punching, blanking, bending, coining, embossing, drawing, and flanging.
There are several types of metal stamping techniques. The type used will depend on your product. Some commonly used types include:
Progressive stamping involves a succession of stamping stations performing distinct functions that work on the same metal sheet to create complex and intricate parts. Once the sheet metal strip has run through all the stations, the part is complete and cut off. If running a coil of sheet metal, once the first part has progressed through all the stations, a finished part is completed every time the press closes.
In addition, in-die tapping and hardware insertion are also possible as part of the process. In-die tapping uses specialized tooling integrated into the progressive stamping die to create threads in the metal part as it is being stamped. Tapping the threads directly into the part during the stamping process makes the resulting threads more precise and consistent, and the need for a separate tapping operation is eliminated, reducing the overall manufacturing time and cost.
Similarly, in-die hardware insertion integrates hardware placement, such as nuts, screws, bolts, and clips, during the stamping process. The benefits of in-die hardware insertion include increased efficiency, higher precision, and improved consistency in the manufacturing process.
Deep Draw Stamping
Deep draw stamping involves pulling a metal sheet into a die cavity to create a deep, cylindrical shape. This technique is often used to manufacture parts such as fasteners, eyelets, and enclosures.
Compound Die Stamping
Compound die stamping performs multiple operations to create a finished part in a single press stroke. This contrasts with progressive tooling, which uses multiple press strokes to create a finished part.
Transfer Die Stamping
This type of die is similar to progressive dies but uses fewer materials since there is no strip. The part is picked up and moved through the press to each station.
Four-slide stamping uses four tools that bend and shape the metal in multiple directions. The process involves sliding the metal through a series of dies, with each die bending or shaping the metal in a different way. With more than four tools it is called a multi-slide. This process is similar to progressive stamping, except progressive die stamping takes less time to set up and is more accurate.
Part design is a critical step in the manufacturing process to take a product from concept to reality. Part parameters, such as tolerance, material, form, fit, and function, must be detailed to manufacture and assemble the part as intended. Part design can impact the final product’s overall quality, cost, and functionality. Working with a partner that uses design for manufacturability principles will lower your total costs and increase efficiencies in your processes.
Prototyping Your Metal Part
A typical step before full-scale production is prototyping. Taking a sheet metal product from design to market is a complex process. Various metal properties and thicknesses can impact how the part will react. Prototyping can validate a product’s design (form, fit, and function) and ensure it can be transformed into a cost-effective custom precision part before it gets to production.
Quality Tooling and Regular Maintenance
High-quality tooling helps to ensure that the metal stamping process produces parts that meet specifications and are free of defects. Quality tooling also ensures that the metal stamping equipment runs smoothly and efficiently, minimizing downtime and reducing damage to equipment.
Regular preventative maintenance of tooling is essential to ensure that the equipment operates reliably and consistently over time. Improper maintenance can lead to inefficiency, parts of lower quality, and unplanned downtime. Working with a partner with an in-house tool room for preventative maintenance and repairs can save you time and reduce unexpected delays.
Ensuring Quality Parts
Having a robust quality system is essential for producing quality stamped parts. A quality system, such as one outlined by ISO 90001:2015, takes a two-pronged approach to prevent poor parts from reaching a customer. Quality assurance prevents non-conforming products at an operational level by setting and monitoring procedures and processes within the quality management system. Quality control is used to ensure you are meeting the customer’s requirements through part inspection.
Finding the Right Electronics Manufacturing Partner: In today’s technology-driven world, the demand for electronics manufactured with precision and efficiency in mind has never been greater.
High Quality, Precision Metal Stamping
At LMC Industries, our metals division employees are experts in precision metal stamping, progressive die stamping, in-die tapping, and in-die assembly. In addition to stamping, our capabilities expand to press brakes, shears, and screw machines. Using DFM processes, we ensure your product is being manufactured most cost-effectively. We also provide welding, riveting, chemical passivation, heat treatment, plating, finishing, and assembly, delivering full-service, single-vendor metal fabrication.
Through prototyping, our experts provide your engineering team with the support they need to thoroughly vet your part and tooling designs before you enter full production.
As an ISO 900:2015 and IATF-certified manufacturer, we have implemented a robust quality system. You can be assured of receiving high-quality metal stamped parts because we implement a part sampling program designed to fit your needs. Our quality team has expertise in feasibility, mechanical, visual technology, and tolerance testing, and we offer PPAP support to help streamline your approvals.
Contact us to start your next metal stamping project.
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