How Are Parts Made Using Progressive Die Stamping?

Tag Archive: progressive die stamping

  1. How Are Parts Made Using Progressive Die Stamping?

    Comments Off on How Are Parts Made Using Progressive Die Stamping?

    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. Progressive Die vs. Transfer Die vs. Compound Die Stamping: What’s the Difference?

    Comments Off on Progressive Die vs. Transfer Die vs. Compound Die Stamping: What’s the Difference?

    Compound die, progressive die, and transfer die stamping are all processes used to stamp metal parts for applications across various markets. Because each market has different end uses that require different tolerances, designs and production sizes, manufacturers who understand each stamping method can quickly select the right partner to carry out the work for their project.

    Let’s take a look at these commonly used metal stamping processes and note the differences of each. 

    Progressive Die Stamping

    progressive-die-stampingProgressive die stamping is suitable for producing large volumes of parts with strict tolerance specifications. This stamping method involves feeding a coil of metal through the stamping press that simultaneously punches, bends, and shapes the parts.

    The workpiece remains attached to the base strip from beginning to end—separating the individual finished parts from the base metal strip is the final step in the operation.

    The main advantages of progressive die stamping include:

    • — Quick production of many small parts with tight tolerances
    • — Low setup time
    • — Reduced labor costs
    • — Long run lengths
    • — Minimal scrap
    • — Combining multiple operations saves time/money

    In short, progressive die stamping can make parts with complex geometries quickly, economically, and with high rates of repeatability. However, progressive die stamping does require investing in permanent steel tooling. It is also not suitable for parts requiring deep drawing.

    Progressive die stamping may use a variety of metals as the base material. Steel, aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and brass are all commonly used. A range of noble metals, titanium, and the superalloy Inconel are also used. Even non-metallic components can be fabricated with progressive die stamping in some instances.

    Compound Die Stamping

    Compound die stamping is used for making simple flat parts such as washers. A strip of metal is fed through the compound die, but unlike progressive or transfer die stamping, compound stamping tooling performs multiple cuts, punches, and bends in one stroke rather than multiple strokes. This can be cost effective for medium- to high-volume production runs.

    Speed is a key component to compound die stamping; however, the speed also depends on the size of the part. Large components require more time to exit the die, whereas small components can exit more quickly. Compound stamping is:

    • — Suitable for fast and efficient production of simple parts
    • — Helpful for single-die cases to ensure high repeatability
    • — Cost effective

    However, where speed offers a major benefit for both compound stamping and progressive stamping, parts with complex designs are best delivered via progressive because of its multi-stroke system.

    The primary advantages of compound die stamping over progressive die stamping are:

    • — Compound tooling is less costly and faster to build than progressive tooling
    • — Compound stamping will result in flatter parts because the part is made in one stroke

    Transfer Die Stamping

    Transfer die stamping works on each part as an individual unit, so the first operation in the stamping sequence is the separation of the part from the metal strip. The part is then transported through the tooling with ”fingers” to multiple stations that perform separate operations on it. Transfer die stamping is suitable for making parts with intricate design elements like knurls, ribs, and threading.

    It is the ideal operation for manufacturing tube applications. Transfer stamping is also used to manufacture deep-draw components — because there is no metal strip attached to the part, the stamping press can punch as deep as the raw material will allow. Transfer die stamping is the appropriate technique whenever an operation requires that the part be not connected to the base metal strip.

    Aluminum, brass, copper, Inconel, stainless steel, and noble metals are all common base materials for transfer die stamping. It can also fabricate parts with many non-ferrous and ferrous materials.

    Looking for differences between Progressive and Fourslide Stamping? Check out our article here.

    Metal Stamping from ESI

    Need further direction for your metal stamping project? Engineering Specialties Inc. (ESI) has been a specialist in the industry for nearly 30 years. Please contact us for all your metal stamping needs.

    Request a Quote

Have any questions? Click Here X
Starting a project? Use our material selection tool X