How Are Parts Made Using Progressive Die Stamping?

Tag Archive: metal stamping

  1. How Are Parts Made Using Progressive Die Stamping?

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    Progressive die stamping processes involve feeding strip metal through a series of workstations that perform unique actions to shape and fabricate materials into highly durable parts for a range of industries. Die stamping equipment operates at extremely high speeds for the large-scale replication of various parts.

    Progressive Die Stamping

    Progressive Die Stamping Process Overview

    A standard progressive die stamping process involves four stages:

    1. A progressive die is properly positioned into a stamping press to accommodate proper opening and closing functionality when the press is raised or pressed down.
    2. Metal strips are then sent through the stamping die, where each press stroke precisely executes the necessary blanking and forming actions. Some stamping dies automatically remove excess material, increasing automation.
    3. The feed then automatically moves the metal strip onto the next station which performs a different process progressively to achieve the intended design.
    4. At the final station, the finished part is cut free from the feed line for further processing and/or assembly.

    Learn more about our in-house tool and die manufacturing

    How Parts Are Made

    Through the following processes, ultra-high tolerance standards are achieved at every stage of the process.

    Stock Strip Layout & Design

    To begin, manufacturers design the progressive die utilizing advanced computational models. The graphical model is shaped into a finished tool by optimizing the position of every punch, bend, and hole on the blank strip.

    Tool Steel and Die Set Machining

    With the stock strip design complete, CNC machining processes create the die blocks according to exact specifications. These provide extremely precise part repeatability and undergo extensive quality control before committing production material to them.

    Secondary Processing: Grinding & Heat Treating

    Parts are strengthened through heat treatments that raise the part beyond the alloy’s critical transformation temperature. The part is then rapidly cooled, improving its durability and dimensional stability. Grinding may also be applied for parts requiring even higher dimensional accuracy and/or surface quality.

    Wire EDM

    Using an electrically charged brass wire, the die blocks are further shaped with a controlled metal spark. Wire EDM processes can achieve intricate shapes, angles, and contours with ±2 µm cutting tolerances, as well as surface qualities that can go as low as Ra 0.1 µm.

    Die Assembly

    When all necessary tool components are complete, an engineer assembles the die according to the exact specifications of the original design, using precision instruments. 

    Stamp Parts

    Next, the finished die is set up in a stamping press.  The metal strip travels through the die where each process adds to the next. The metal strip is cut, punched, and bent into the exact form intended, completing the production process.

    Package and Ship

    The completed parts are now ready to ship. Automated packaging equipment can scale up efficiency and fill cartons according to exact counts and weights for each order. 

    Parts Made Using Progressive Die Stamping

    Many industries rely on progressive die-stamped parts in their manufacturing processes. Mass production of appliances, automobiles, medical devices, and plumbing supplies are examples that require progressive die stamping. Mass-scale production is made possible because progressive dies are durable enough to handle the high speeds required for high-volume production.

    Read More: Progressive vs. Fourslide vs. Traditional Power Press Stamping

    At ESI, we’ve created and improved upon many essential components for numerous industries, including:

    progressive die stamped parts

    • Aqua Lung SCUBA Diving Part — Aqua Lung chose us due to our advanced design which dramatically reduced material waste, enabling us to cut costs while improving quality. Our “D-ring” solution is a crucial component of “The Wave” diving vest and was made more affordable for our client when our engineers discovered they could utilize raw material two times more than the traditional fabrication methods previously used.
    • Seismic Cable Restraints for Building Protection — In eight weeks, we manufactured 20,000 safety-critical cable restraints after improving their finish and smoothing the portion that interfaces with the cable.
    • Pre-Plated Cover Plate for Push-Button Lock — By increasing process consistency over the customer’s previous vendor, we were able to produce difficult shapes with incredible consistency (within 0.002-inch tolerance), saving the customer $70,000 over a year.

    Progressive Die Stamping Services from ESI

    ESI continually invests in new technologies to reduce costs for our customers while improving our already outstanding quality. We’ve been an industry leader in all things metal stamping, assembly, and mission-critical parts for over thirty years. To learn more, please contact us or request a quote. We look forward to learning about your tool and die-making needs.

    Free Project Analysis

  2. Sheet Metal Stamping vs. Metal Fabrication

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    progressive-die-stampingWhen manufacturing metal parts and components, some applications may use either sheet metal stamping or other metal fabrication processes. People often mistakenly use the terms “sheet metal stamping” and “metal fabrication” interchangeably, but they refer to a range of manufacturing processes with significant differences.

    Sheet metal stamping is a form of metal fabrication, but there is a wide variety of metal fabrication processes available. To determine which is right for manufacturing your metal products, it’s important to know the differences between these processes.

    What is Sheet Metal Stamping?

    Sheet metal stamping is a fabrication process that uses dies, punches, and other tools to bend, cut, punch, flange, or otherwise shape the sheet metal into the end component. This method is a cost-effective option for large production runs and can be done in a single or multiphase process. Multiphase or progressive die stamping involves pulling a strip of metal through a tool, with each of the tooling stations performing different punches, cuts, or bends. As the part moves along the process, each station contributes to the work of the previous one, forming a completed product at the end of the run.


    Advantages of metal stamping include:

    • — Lower cost per piece with larger runs
    • — Capable of complex designs
    • — Highly repeatable
    • — Secondary processing available

    If you require parts manufactured in large numbers, you may benefit from sheet metal stamping over metal fabrication. However, you may want to consider metal fabrication for other applications, such as one-off products. Additionally, stamping costs may build due to tooling expenses and longer preparation periods. 

    What is Metal Fabrication?

    Metal fabrication is a broad manufacturing term referring to processes such as cutting, bending, and punching. It normally pertains to more labor-intensive practices with long production times. The process involves shaping metal into parts through the removal or change of materials. For instance, some metal fabrication processes may involve creating cutouts or holes in metal materials. Other processes may change the shape of the metal by stretching and bending it. 

    Bend Relief

    Advantages of metal fabrication include:

    • — Rapid prototyping
    • — Versatile fabrication techniques, including laser cutting and shearing
    • — Diverse customization options
    • — Quick and easy design adjustments

    While sheet metal fabrication is ideal for many metal manufacturing applications, this process requires more labor and longer production periods compared to metal sheet stamping. In addition, the costs of materials tend to be higher than that of stamping, and it’s often not possible to fabricate parts and components that are more complex in their designs. 

    Another potential disadvantage is the lack of repeatability, which makes metal fabrication less compatible with high-volume production runs. However, this process can provide a cost-effective and efficient solution for applications requiring the low-volume production of pieces with simpler designs.

    Quality Metal Stamping Services from Engineering Specialties, Inc.

    If you require reliable sheet metal stamping services, the professionals at ESI can meet your needs. For over three decades, we’ve worked to deliver some of the most dependable manufacturing services and engineering solutions using state-of-the-art automated systems. When getting started on any metal stamping project, we look closely at the use of each part, from production to completion. 


    Our automation capabilities enable us to boost quality assurance and reduce labor. We’re also capable of manufacturing anywhere from a few thousand parts into the millions. Our skilled employees include Six Sigma Black Belt Trained QA personnel, which further increases quality across all of our products and services.

    For more information about our capabilities and to get started on your next project with us, request a quote today.

    Talk to our team

  3. How to Select the Right Material for Your Metal Forming Project

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    Metal forming encompasses a wide range of operations — bending, cutting, drawing, stamping, and welding, to name a few — which can be performed individually or jointly to create more complex pieces and assemblies. When an engineer identifies which metal forming method to use, they have to look at the part’s requirements, restrictions and end use. The process is no different when selecting the metal materials used in the project.

    metal material selection

    From aluminum to copper to stainless steel, there are many material options for a metal forming project. While this broad range of options can make it challenging to determine which one is right for your needs, knowing what factors to consider when browsing the materials available can make the selection process easier.

    If you need help choosing the right material for your metal forming or metal stamping project, the experts at ESI have you covered. We’ve put together the following guide that outlines some of the key factors to consider when selecting a material.

    Key Material Selection Considerations for Metal Forming Projects

    Some of the key considerations to keep in mind when selecting the right material for your metal forming project include:

    Average Cost

    The material you choose should suit both the application requirements of your product and the specifications of your production order while fitting within the budget of your project. For example, if you require a material that offers high weldability for a project with a strict budget, steel is an excellent option.

    On the other hand, if you need a material for a project where high strength, low weight, and corrosion resistance are critical, and cost is not a concern, titanium may be a suitable option.

    Bend Rating

    The bend rating of a material is a measure of its formability based on its ability to bend without breaking or tearing. This factor influences how easy or hard it is to form it into different shapes.

    metal bend rating key

    ESI created a Bend Rating scale that designates materials with high formability as green and materials with low formability as red. Materials are marked accordingly from green to red (e.g., yellow-rated materials are less formable than green-rated materials but more formable than red-rated materials).


    The intended product and its application significantly influence the type of material you should pick. For example, copper is ideal for components used in electrical or thermal applications due to its high thermal and electrical conductivity, while stainless steel is appropriate for components used in food and beverage applications due to its high corrosion resistance.

    Recommended Finishes

    brass metal plated partMaterials can be finished in numerous ways to accommodate different functional and aesthetic specifications. For example, stainless steel can be passivated or electropolished, while titanium can be anodized or hard-coated.

    If you have a particular metal finish in mind, you should choose a material that can accommodate it. If you have a particular material in mind, you should choose a finish that fits your application requirements.

    See also: Metal Finishing Selection Guide

    Minimum Tensile Strength

    Tensile strength is a measure of how much force a material can withstand without fracturing. This factor is important for materials used in components subjected to high forces. You should select a material that exhibits the tensile strength needed for the intended application.

    Suitability for Different Forming Operations

    Regarding the actual metal forming process, some of the material properties to take into account when choosing a material are weldability, machinability, ductility, and formability. These factors influence how easy or hard a material will be to turn into the desired part or product, which, in turn, can affect your project timeline and budget.

    • metal forming material selection guide– Weldability refers to the ease with which a material can be welded.
    • – Machinability refers to the ease with which a material can be cut using machine tools.
    • – Ductility refers to the pliability of a material; how easy or hard it is to draw into a wire.
    • – Formability refers to the bendability of a material; whether it can bend without snapping.

    You should pick a material with properties that suit the operations needed to create your components.

    Partner with the Experts at ESI for Your Metal Stamping Needs!

    Need helping selecting the right material for your metal stamping project? Check out the resources on the ESI website! You can find all of the above information and more about various materials by downloading our material selection guides or checking out our online material selection tool.

    raw material selection guides-thumbnail

    Download Material Selection Guides

  4. An Inside Look into ESI’s Metal Stamping and Manufacturing Capabilities

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    Before we begin a metal stamping project with our customers, we make sure to understand how they work and how their component will work. Understanding the complete manufacturing process is important, from a part’s design and the equipment it runs on, on all the way through to delivery.

    That’s why we compiled a virtual tour of ESI’s facility — so that you could see how we work. The video provides a glimpse of our automated equipment and state-of-the-art technologies. Our goal is to show you why top-tier manufacturers choose ESI for tight tolerances and tough challenges, so we packed as many processes from our facility as we could into this 3-minute video.

    A Glimpse at Our Capabilities

    Inside our video, we show off the variety of skills and capabilities we’ve perfected at ESI since our start in the late 90s. This includes:

    Metal Stamping

    ESI provides metal stamping for virtually any product at high and low volumes.

    metal stamped pieces moving down a conveyor belt

    We offer our clients progressive stamping to eliminate inefficiencies and cost-effectively complete multiple actions on one single press rather than repeatedly switching tooling or utilizing multiple presses. Additionally, we offer fourslide metal stamping to enable horizontal alignment and four different tools for the simultaneous bending of the workpiece.

    Tool and Die Manufacturing

    Beyond our metal stamping abilities, ESI can also partner you with our design and engineering experts to help manufacture tools and high-precision progressive dies for the most complex project specifications.


    ESI provides their customers tolerances as tight as .0005″ (.01 mm) for parts and .0002″ (.005 mm) for dies, high-level technology like CNC machines, blueprints, and quality inspection devices, and high volume production loads.

    Finishing & Assembly Services:

    Additionally, ESI offers both finishing and assembly services across a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, and medical.


    Our assembly services help simplify your production process by manufacturing, automatically assembling, and then inspecting your part all in one place with one vendor. Furthermore, we offer a wide breadth of metal finishes for different applications based on corrosion resistance needs, pricing restrictions, aesthetics, thermal conductivity, and a whole host of other decision factors.

    Quality to Meet Your Exact Specifications:

    ESI is certified IATF 16949, which is the latest automotive quality standard—similar to ISO and built on the same platform, but more stringent in certain areas. 

    quality inspection equipment

    However, no matter what your product, or what your specifications, ESI is driven by the demand to deliver quality for all their customer’s projects.

    Contact ESI:

    At ESI, the customer and the quality of the customer’s product is our top concern. Check out our new company video to learn more about we talked about above and to get an answer to the question: “Why ESI?”


    View Our Sample Gallery
    For questions about our capabilities and services or to request a free project analysis, reach out to contact us today!

  5. Metal Fabrication Design Practices That Reduce Scrap

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    More manufacturers are focusing on reducing scrap from production — not only is it beneficial to the environment and to the manufacturer’s bottom line, but customers also see a reduction in cost and turnaround time.


    Rather than selling a lot of excess scrap to a scrap dealer — which only generates about 5% of a manufacturer’s original material cost, plus additional handling and transporting costs — manufacturers like ESI are instead concentrating on minimizing the amount of scrap produced in the first place. Those savings are then passed onto customers to save them time and resources.

    In this article, we’ll discuss three metal stamping design and production practices that reduce scrap: nesting practices, repurposing scrap for parts, and identifying production techniques that use less material scrap.

    Leverage Nesting Practices

    Design engineers can leverage nesting practices to get the most out of each sheet of material. “Nesting” refers to setting smaller parts of the same thickness inside larger parts within a sheet so that both parts are created in subsequent tool strokes. This generates both cost and time savings by reducing total tooling costs and eliminating the need for a second press and operator. progressive-die-stamping-part

    When planning out nesting operations, ensure the following:

    • — The production volume for the larger of the two parts is greater
    • — Production speeds are the same for all parts
    • — The sheet material’s grain direction is not parallel to the bending direction — this can result in cracking

    In one example of stamping a small part from within a larger part, ESI was asked to handle production of 20,000 D-rings per year for a scuba diving equipment brand. Our engineers examined the challenge and realized we could stamp an additional smaller ring if we utilized the material from the inside of the larger “D” cut, enabling us to stamp two parts for the price of one.

    Using our progressive die tooling techniques, we were able to create stainless steel rings in multiple sizes using scrap, significantly reducing process waste. Ultimately, our design saved the client money on materials and improved production speeds.

    Repurpose Scrap to Produce Parts

    While nesting will not completely eliminate scrap, there are options available before sending scrap to a dealer.  It is common practice for stamping shops to use offal dies — also known as recovery dies — to produce other parts by loading the scrap into a line die.

    Scrap may also be fastened or otherwise combined to produce a continuous strip that is fed into a progressive die. However, it is important to avoid strained or work-hardened material and to note that scrap metal can lose some of its ductility and forming characteristics.

    Consider Different Forming Methods

    Ultimately, you should always use the metal forming method that delivers the design you need at the highest quality. However, there are also designs that can be manufactured via multiple forming methods. For those, it’s worth looking into an alternative method that results in less scrap and other benefits, like higher quality or even faster turnaround.

    For example, ESI has found that some metal component designs our customers bring to us can actually be stamped instead of machined. During the design consultation, we’ll work with the customer to understand the part’s application and specifications, and will then make recommendations that deliver better results. If a part can be stamped instead of machined, it cuts turnaround time and costs significantly.

    Metal stamping also generates less material scrap than machining, and will result in a cheaper price per piece than machined parts — in part due to the reduction in scrap brought on by scrap-reducing practices such as nesting, described above.

    Looking for more design tips and best practices? ESI has you covered — our Metal Stamping Design Guide includes drawings and tips to avoid costly errors and design higher-quality components. Download it today for free!

    metal stamping design guide
    Download Free Guide

  6. Which Metal Finish Works Best for Your Application?

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    Manufacturers turn to metal finishing solutions to provide corrosion resistance, surface hardness, or other mechanical property improvements to their metal components.

    barrel paint finish

    Metal finishing may involve different coating techniques including electroplating, where the coating and the metal components are immersed in an electrolytic “bath.” An electric current is then applied to oxidize the metal atoms, depositing the coating onto the component and changing its surface properties.

    Because many of ESI’s metal stamping customers ask questions about the best finishing options for their projects, we’ve teamed up with one of our finishing partners – Northeast Metal Works – to put together a short step-by-step guide on selecting the appropriate metal finishing for your project.

    Step 1: Identify Corrosion Resistance Needs

    Different finishes offer varying degrees of corrosion resistance. It’s essential that materials are matched to both the environment they’ll be operating in, as well as to the length of time they can resist corrosion.

    ESI examined some of the most popular metal finishes, the applications using those finishes, and the hours each finish could withstand damage caused by oxidation or other chemical reactions. These finishes were then categorized by their salt spray test results — a standardized corrosion test method where salt spray is applied to coatings and appearance is evaluated over time. The longer the period of time before corrosion or rust appears, the higher the material’s corrosion resistance.

    corrosion resistance key

    High corrosion resistance indicates that a finishing material can protect a component from salt spray for over 1,000 hours, while some finishes may only provide protection from water alone for up to 50 hours. For example, here are two finishes that feature significantly different results:

    • Imitation chrome tends to be costly because of its aesthetic and corrosion-resistant properties. Offering a bright silver finish, excellent lubricity and corrosion resistance, imitation chrome is also environmentally friendly and is sought by manufacturers in the marine and medical industries.

    imitation chrome metal finish

    • Zinc is not as resistant to corrosion as imitation chrome, making it lower in cost. That being said, it offers other notable properties like ductility and adhesion, making it an ideal finish for automotive and industrial manufacturers.

    zinc metal finish

    Step 2: Analyze Pricing

    Pricing is a significant factor in the finishing selection process. The level of corrosion resistance and aesthetic qualities will impact price, but keep in mind that other factors can influence pricing, as well, including:

    • Market conditions
    • Finish availability
    • Complexity of coating process

    For example, barrel paint is widely considered to be an inexpensive finish. It is frequently utilized by the consumer product and construction industries due to its ready availability in many colors.

    Barrel paint can be cheaper than powder coating options and offers full coverage. However, it is not nearly as durable as a powder coat. It can also only be applied to parts with simple shapes. This influences how pricing actually plays out over the lifetime of an item and what that means for your company’s budget.

    Step 3: Consider Other Needs: Aesthetics, Thermal Conductivity, and More

    Products that will be visible in their end use typically require aesthetic considerations. When selecting finishes by aesthetic appearance, factors include:

    • Color availability
    • Matte vs. gloss choices
    • Smoothness

    Based on the application, electrical or thermal conductivity may come into play as well. The medical industry in particular often requires components that offer electrical or thermal conductivity. Furthermore it is essential that coatings for medical devices – such as pacemakers or artificial hips – do not pose any harm to human tissue. As such, the cytotoxicity potential and medical cleanliness of surfaces must be taken into account, and should play a part in the selection process for finishing materials.

    If you aren’t sure which finishing option is best for you, work with an expert. ESI offers complete services from design to delivery so you can receive a finished metal component without having to worry about moving it between providers. For more information, download our Metal Finishing Selection Guide today.

    Learn how to select the right finish

  7. Ask an Engineer: Metal Stamping Design

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    Metal forming is a complex process that can include a number of tactics — blanking, punching, bending, and piercing, to name a few.


    When used effectively, these tactics allow manufacturers to produce high-quality and cost-effective metal components. However, a few factors play into this quality and efficiency, and each project varies in materials, design and complexity:

    • – How do you know whether your part’s design will work for the intended application?
    • – Will your material of choice withstand all the elements it needs to function?

    ESI brought in our Engineering Manager, Mack Hodges, to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about the metal stamping process.


    Q: How do I keep costs low for a metal stamping project?

    A: Optimizing the cost of your metal stamping project involves careful consideration of three main factors: material selection, dimensional tolerances, and secondary or post-production processes.

    • Material

    Appropriate material selection is usually the first and most effective step to lowering costs. For a given application, consider whether an alternative metal with similar properties can be used. For example, when creating components for use in corrosive environments, another, more cost-effective metal with similar corrosion resistance could be considered.

    • Tolerances

    Achieving tight tolerances during manufacturing can be complex due to the sensitivity of the component’s dimensions. Tight tolerances often require additional tooling maintenance and downtime which adds to the part cost.  Revaluate your project and determine whether the tolerances need to be as tight as specified.

    • Secondary Processes

    Post-production processes – such as smoothing the edges of the stamped part – can also incur additional project costs. Vibratory deburring and edge grinding usually involve complex machinery and can be potentially expensive depending on the size of the component and its production volume. Evaluate whether less costly methods of edge smoothing, such as coining, can be used for your stamped metal parts.

    Q. How long does it take to build custom tooling?

    A: In general, custom tool building can range anywhere from 10 to 20 weeks. Design and construction of custom tooling typically involve several steps—from 3D CAD/CAM engineering and design, to EDM machining. These processes are highly dependent on the size and complexity of the tool design, the total number of stamping operations needed to produce the part, and the overall production volume.

    Q. What are some common defects that happen during metal stamping?

    A: Defects typically occur when proper procedures and best stamping practices are not followed. Some of the most common metal stamping defects are:

    • Improper Edge-to-Hole Spacing and Bulges

    The clearance between the edge of a hole and the edge of the part should be at least twice the material thickness.

    edge-to-hole spacing

    E = 2T

    E = edge distance
    T = part thickness

    If the edge-to-hole distance is less than this recommended value, bulging at the outer edge of the material can occur.

    • Deformed Holes

    If a part is bent too close to a hole, this can cause the shape of the hole to distort and become deformed. For holes less than 2.5 mm (0.1 in), the distance between the outer edge of the hole and the outer edge of the bend should be at least twice the material thickness plus the bend radius:

    deformed holes metal stamping

    D = 2T + R

    D = distance between edge of hole and bend
    T = material thickness
    R = bend radius

    For holes greater than 2.5 mm (0.1 in), this distance should be at least 2.5 times the material thickness plus the bend radius:

    D = 2.5T + R

    • Burrs at Stamped Edges

    When metal is cut, the downward stress caused by the weight of the material causes the metal to fracture – or “shear off” – when the cut nears the end of the metal. This results in a fracture angle known as a stamping burr.

    burrs at stamped edges

    While burrs are usually not problematic, they can cause dimensional issues in applications with tight tolerances. Burrs can be addressed by secondary processes such as vibratory deburring, grinding, and coining.

    • Bending Cracks

    Some high-strength metals possess lower amounts of ductility and plasticity when compared to lower-strength metals such as mild steel. They are, therefore, more brittle by comparison, and are not as easily bent into shape.

    bending cracks - metal stamping

    This makes some high-strength alloys prone to cracking when bent in a direction that is perpendicular to the grain direction. It is therefore essential that high-strength materials be oriented in such a way that bends are done parallel to the direction of the grain.

    Q. How do I find a company with faster lead times?

    A: Lead time for the production of a custom component is usually related to a company’s manufacturing capabilities and work load. The advent of newer metal stamping equipment and technologies have allowed manufacturers to produce high-quality parts at a faster rate. For example, multi-out tooling allows multiple components to be stamped simultaneously.

    We hope that some of your most important questions were addressed in this article. Should you have any further questions, our engineering team is more than happy to answer them for you. Feel free to contact us with your questions, and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can also download our comprehensive Metal Stamping Design Guide.

    Download free Metal Stamping Design tips

  8. Fourslide Metal Stamping Vs Traditional Power Press Stamping

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    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.

    fourslide metal stamping

    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.

    Fourslide Metal Stamping – The Benefits

    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 Compare to 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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  9. The Benefits of In-House Tool and Die Design

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    Are you getting started on a stamped metal part project with your OEM? If so, you’ll likely be looking for vendors who can form your part quickly, accurately, and at a cost that meets your budget.

    in-house tool and die design

    But before you even start your search, consider how the tool and die design process will affect your end result.

    There’s a lot involved in the tool and die design and manufacturing process: here are the steps to keep in mind to ensure you receive a high-quality, reliable part at the best possible cost.

    Die Quoting

    Quoting the price of a die’s design and build can be tricky, since dies are usually one of a kind. To provide an accurate estimate, companies should have a solid understanding of sheet metal processing techniques and the intricacies of the design and building process. Make sure that your supplier uses the latest sophisticated die design software tools incorporating 3D CAD.

    Many factors can influence tooling cost, including:

    • Type of tool needed
    • Delivery deadline
    • Volume the die must produce
    • Contract payment terms
    • The shop’s location, capacity, and niche.

    Once the customer approves the quote, work on design and build can begin.

    Stock Strip Design

    The first step in a stamped part’s production involves designing the progressive die, or “tool.” The designer is responsible for optimizing the position of each punch, bend, and hole in the blank strip. Computer-aided design (CAD) techniques are used to design the strip and determine key characteristics such as dimensions, tolerances, feed direction, and scrap minimization.

    Tool Production

    Once the stock strip is complete and approved the die design can begin.  This includes detailing each and every component in the tool.  At this point, all the tool materials can be ordered.  Die blocks are machined, ground and EDM cut using the final 3D CAD.

    This is where working with a single, full-service tool designer/manufacturer can come in very handy, as delays and quality issues are avoided when all needed processes are kept in-house. Plus, in-house tool and die design is extremely cost-efficient for getting parts to production. Not only will you save money, you’ll save time, too.

    Learn More

    Curious to see how a part is made in a “one-stop shop” like ESICheck out our video story today detailing the specifics of how a Ford part was manufactured in our ESI facility — from design, all the way to delivery.

    View Our Video Story

  10. Inside ESI: How Our Manufacturing Equipment Works

    Comments Off on Inside ESI: How Our Manufacturing Equipment Works

    Committed to continual improvement, the team at ESI is constantly on the lookout for new equipment and processes that will ensure the highest-quality, fastest production — especially for the largest runs.

    ESI MachinesTo accomplish this, we’ve even custom-built a few machines of our own.

    You may have heard about our latest venture in 3D printing to expand our metal stamping capabilities and better serve our diverse clients. But this isn’t the only valuable investment we’ve made over the years.

    Below, we explore the state-of-the-art machines that have helped us solve our customers’ toughest challenges.

    State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Equipment

    • Swiss-Made Wire Electrical Discharge Machine (EDM)

    swiss-made-high-speed-EDMAdded in March of this year, the AgieCharmilles CUT 300 mS specializes in high-speed wire EDM cutting and boasts cutting tolerances of ±2 µm and surface qualities as fine as Ra 0.1 µm.

    In addition to its high precision and fine surface finishes, it also provides significant time and cost savings. What does all this mean? Higher-quality products, faster turnaround times, and lower costs for our customers.

    Read more about how our EDM machine saved a customer money while allowing for design flexibility.

    • 150-Ton Stamping Press

    Progressive die stamping provides a cost-effective way to produce metal components with complex geometries at extremely high speeds while ensuring high reliability and minimal scrap. With a bed size of 48 in. x 60 in., our 150-ton press can stamp a variety of formed and flat parts.

    Discover how our 150-ton stamping press saved one client 80% of their part order and cut their lead time from 10 weeks to four.

    • Custom Vision Inspection Machine

    laser-sensor-inspectionTo ensure reliable quality, ESI designed a proprietary vision inspection machine that can inspect parts based on dozens of criteria — in milliseconds.

    A laser sensor triggers a camera, which captures an image of the part as it drops through a window in the machine. These quality inspections are faster and more accurate than human inspection and allow us to deliver millions of parts at a quicker turnaround, with zero defects.

    To get an inside look at how this groundbreaking technology works, download our eBook, “High Volumes, Zero Defects: How It Works” or see it in action here.

    • Automated Assembly

    In addition to our metal stamping capabilities for complex parts, we also offer assembly services. Through our automated assembly and inspection services, we can increase production rates while reducing your costs and turnaround times.

    See for yourself how we were able to increase productivity and decrease defect rates for one of our recent customers.

    • Automated Packaging Line

    As an extension of our automated assembly services, ESI’s automated packaging line weighs and counts bulk parts to precisely fill cartons, allowing for speedy and accurate packaging before delivery.


    About ESI Precision Metal Stamping

    Here at ESI, we pride ourselves on our precision metal stamping expertise and one-on-one personal service. With a variety of high-quality metal stamping machines, we can work on projects of any size, for any industry — from aerospace and medical to military and automotive.

    We invite you to visit our cutting-edge facilities in North Branford, Conn., where we have 57,000 square feet of manufacturing space. To see our equipment in action. Contact us today to schedule your visit.


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