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.
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.
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.
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.
Curious to see how a part is made in a “one-stop shop” like ESI? Check 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.