Metal stamping is an economical manufacturing method that uses pressure, a die surface, and tooling to produce precision metal components in large quantities. This high-speed metalworking process encompasses a variety of cold-forming techniques like bending, cutting, blanking, punching, and coining that shape a workpiece from sheet metal.
Some metal stamping techniques are more cost-effective than others, however, with two of the more affordable options being progressive die stamping and four-slide stamping. Both of these methods offer advantages that make them suitable for creating diverse components.
Progressive Die Stamping
Progressive die stamping uses multiple stations to perform successive tasks that collectively make up the stamping process. A connective stock strip moves into a die press from a coil, transporting metal workpieces horizontally between stations where they undergo a different cutting, punching, or bending task. Once the process is complete and the metal parts reach their desired specifications, the system separates the finished components from this strip.
Progressive die stamping offers many advantages, including:
- Accuracy. As a part must remain connected to a stock strip while forming, stamping movements are inherently accurate. Progressive die stamping produces high-quality, precision parts to meet your designated specs and performance expectations as part of highly uniform production runs.
- Efficiency. Manufacturers can use progressive die stamping to produce complex metal parts without needing multiple presses, numerous tool changes on one press, or excessive secondary machining. Each station adds to the work that the previous station completed to ultimately generate a finished part.
- Longevity. The dies in progressive die stamping equipment have a long life span, requiring minimal replacements and facilitating high repeatability in a production run.
- Speed. The rapidity of progressive die stamping increases efficiency in metalworking processes, allowing for faster turnaround and short production run length.
- Reduced costs. This process is popular among manufacturers for its low cost in producing high product volumes. Regarding maintenance, its dies take a long while to wear out, keeping retooling costs low. Progressive die stamping also reduces labor costs and minimizes waste.
Another metal stamping technique you can use to reduce costs is four-slide stamping, or multi-slide stamping. This process forms metal into designated shapes using four tools that move laterally, all at the same time. The four slides efficiently stamp, cut, bend, or otherwise form a metal sheet, striking it orthogonally as the material feeds through the machine. Four-slide equipment is capable of producing multiple folds or punches in a single step.
This stamping technique is beneficial for its:
- Comprehensive operations. Machinery performing four-slide stamping will use one single operation to complete several stamping and forming processes. As a result, manufacturers benefit from a start-to-finish procedure that doesn’t require any secondary operations to complete a component.
- Design and material versatility. Four-slide stamping forms metal from multiple directions, giving you greater flexibility to generate complex designs with intricate, unique configurations. Additionally, four-slide stamping is compatible with a wide variety of materials, such as aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, and steel.
- Adaptability. It’s often challenging and time-consuming — not to mention costly — to optimize metal part designs using conventional press systems. In some cases, you need to use a brand-new custom die. However, because of its ability to complete multiple operations, you can simplify metal stamping with a versatile four-slide. It only requires minor modifications to meet the needs of a new component, and this optimal flexibility will save you time, money, and energy.
- Faster turn times. Four-slide stamping offers quick turnarounds through rapid production. Its equipment typically works in conjunction with other processes, which also improves production speeds. Greater throughput and reduced turn times will, in turn, lead to cost benefits.
- Cost-effectiveness. Four-slide stamping is a cost-effective metalworking option because of its efficiency, material use, and minimal waste production. Its equipment can produce small or complex components in high volumes at high speeds while maintaining consistent part quality. In fact, it’s possible to generate around 15,000 individual parts per hour for components featuring simpler designs. All of this is helpful to your bottom line.
Cost-Effective Metal Stamping at ESI
Progressive die stamping and four-slide stamping are efficient, reliable metalworking techniques for affordable production. If you’re in the market for cost-effective, IATF-certified stamping services, the experts at Engineering Specialties, Inc. (ESI) are here to help. Regardless of your project specifications or requirements, ESI will work to meet them with advanced automation equipment, quality services, and tight tolerances, delivering superior custom results at competitive prices. Request a quote today to get started on your next project.