The metal stamping process was significantly improved with the introduction of the fourslide metal stamping machine. Also known as multi-slide stamping, fourslide stamping can form metal coils into intricate shapes with multiple curves and bend radii greater than 90 degrees.
A fourslide metal stamping machine is essentially a horizontal stamping press with tools controlled by a series of cams. Unlike regular power press functions, which stamp the metal in a vertical motion, multi-sliding uses a combination of laterally moving slides.
The slides are driven by four shafts connected by a series of bevel gears. One shaft is powered by an electronic motor which, in turn, drives the shafts of the other slides. Each slide is equipped with a tool that strikes the workpiece from four orthogonal horizontal directions to form the final product. This arrangement allows the workpiece to be worked on four sides with precision and repeatable accuracy.
Benefits of Fourslide Metal Stamping
Fourslide metal stamping performs several operations almost simultaneously, enabling them to form the workpiece start to finish. As a result, for certain parts, the process requires less handling, fewer machines, and fewer secondary operations.
In some instances fourslide metal stamping can greatly reduces the amount of material wastage when compared to methods that rely on dies. In progressive stamping, material is needed on either side of the strip for the die to punch through the metal sheet. With fourslide methods, however, the material can be purchased at a specified width, resulting in less working material and greater cost efficiency.
Furthermore, the fourslide action of the stamping machine is repeatedly done at high speeds, making it capable of producing large quantities of identical products (30-250 parts per minute) of uniform quality within a short time period.
Fourslide Metal Stamping vs. Traditional Power Press Stamping
In addition to the benefits outlined above, fourslide metal stamping can offer several other advantages over power press stamping that make it an ideal choice for many applications. Some of these advantages include:
Versatility – Conventional power press stamping is only capable of pressing sheet metal in a single vertical direction, which can limit the types of shapes that can be formed. Sharp bends, in particular, cannot be achieved by power presses without using additional costly mechanisms. On the other hand, fourslide metal stamping machines can manipulate the workpiece from 4 axes.
This added versatility means that multi-sliding can easily handle bends greater than 90 degrees. Some of the components commonly produced using fourslide metal stamping include flat springs, spring clips, brackets, connectors, friction plates, and collars. Round parts are particularly efficient by fourslide stamping.
Lead Time – Design and post-production processes can sometimes slow down production timelines. Fourslide metal stamping machines, however, require simpler tooling and less intensive after-production adjustments, streamlining the final stages of manufacturing.
Design Modifications – In today’s fast-paced market, changes are inevitable. Traditional power presses sometimes have less flexibility regarding design modifications. For changes to take effect, an entirely new die may need to be constructed, which can result in increased production time and additional costs. In contrast, changes in fourslide metal stamping machines can be made by making relatively simple adjustments to each sliding tool individually.
Fourslide metal stamping is quickly becoming the preferred manufacturing method for metal components in a variety of sectors including the automotive, medical, and aerospace, industries. If you’d like to find out more about how our fourslide metal stamping process can meet your unique specifications, request a quote from us today to see our competitive pricing.
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