Precision Metal Stamping Vs. Fabrication
Metal components are critical for many products across industries. When determining how to manufacture your metal part, you can choose from precision metal stamping fabrication. Working with an experienced metal fabricator will ensure that the most economical process is used.
Precision Metal Stamping and Fabrication Markets Compared
The global metal stamping market was valued at over $200 billion in 2022. The largest market segment by revenue share was automotive and transportation, as most vehicles (passenger, light commercial, heavy trucks, coaches, and buses) have parts, such as body panels and battery enclosures, that are stamped. The increased demand for electric vehicles is fueling growth in the industry. Metal stamping is also used to make parts for the aerospace, agricultural, industrial machinery, electrical and electronics, telecom industries, and others.
Metal fabrication is used in similar industries. In comparison, the global metal fabrication market was valued at $20 billion in 2021, and is expected to see some growth but is being hampered by a lack of skilled labor.
Meet Rising Automotive Standards: Learn more about our commitment to high-quality automotive components.
Precision Metal Stamping
Precision metal stamping is a cold-forming process that starts with a flat or coiled metal sheet, and a stamping press is used to shape the object. Techniques include progressive die, deep draw, compound die, transfer die, four slide, and fine blanking. The complexity of your part and the required shape will decide which technique suits your application. For example, progressive die stamping works well on parts with multiple piercings, flatter shapes, and multiple forms. Deep draw stamping can be an excellent choice for stampings that are more than a half-inch deep.
There are many benefits to metal stamping, including the following:
- Less material waste
Precision metal stamping is a cost-effective choice for mid-to-high volumes and those that require precision and consistency. It is also well-suited for producing thin, flat parts and those with features, such as holes, bends, and embossing. Some parts cannot be made by other metal fabrication methods, such as cup-shaped products made by deep draw stamping. In addition, the use of dies and automated processes makes product manufacturing generally faster and more consistent than metal fabrication. Since metal stamping is designed to use a sheet or roll of material efficiently, it often results in less waste than fabrication.
Metal fabrication relies on machinery and human labor to cut, punch, and bend sheet metal to create a part. The machinery may include press brakes, turret punches, and laser cutters, and fabrication can require more skilled staff since there is more equipment involved. For example, an operator must be skilled when using a press brake. It requires manual manipulation of the sheet metal from bend to bend, and some large sheets may require more than one person to manipulate it. Back bending is a common issue that occurs from manual manipulation if the operator doesn’t keep up with the speed of the press during bending or the material hits the forming tool before the bend is complete. This results in an unwanted kink in the part. However, metal fabrication is beneficial for low-volume and highly complex parts.
Further Your Investment: Learn more about the essential role of tool and die engineering in manufacturing.
Which Method is Best?
Choosing the best method is like many manufacturing processes, dependent on the part. If you are unsure, the best thing to do is consult with an expert, such as our engineers at LMC. We can evaluate your part and let you know if precision metal stamping is right for your product.
We excel at transforming problems into solutions. Our engineers will work side-by-side with your engineers to solve the issues and ensure your stamped product gets to market. With 20 stamping presses and 86,000 square feet of production space, we have the capacity to get your product completed on time.
We offer in-die tapping and in-die assembly, which eliminate additional secondary steps, saving you time and money and producing a higher quality part since the opportunity for human error is significantly reduced. As an overarching philosophy, we implement poka-yoke mechanisms in our processes. Poka-yoke is a concept developed by Japanese manufacturers as part of lean manufacturing for putting mechanisms or processes in place where something can go wrong to prevent human errors before they happen. This ensures your products will meet your quality expectations.
Our services don’t stop there. If you need insert or overmolding, plastic injection molding, finishing services, or assembly, we can be your single-source solution.
Contact us to learn if precision metal stamping is right for you.
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