Progressive metal stamping offers high repeatability and eliminates waste — both ideal benefits for mass fabrication of parts. So, when Aqua Lung SCUBA Equipment contacted ESI with request to manufacture a D-shaped stamping for a diving vest, (buoyancy compensator), our engineers jumped in to design an out-of-the-box idea. Not only would they provide an ingenious, cost-effective solution – they’d reduce scrap waste, too.

The Problem

Aqua Lung, a pioneer in diving equipment since their founding in 1943 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, needed a cost-effective way to produce 20,000 D-rings annually for their scuba diving equipment. As a world-renowned supplier for recreational and military dive equipment, Aqua Lung needed a precise, efficient way to produce the part they required.

The Solution

ESI engineers realized we could stamp the ring twice and use the scrap from the outer “D” cut to produce the second ring — essentially stamping two parts for the price of one. We ran stainless steel material through a progressive die stamping machine and used the scrap within the punched material to create rings in multiple sizes. Ultimately, our design saved the client money by eliminating waste and using less raw material.


The Result

Despite being on the West Coast, Aqua Lung chose Connecticut-based ESI for the contract when they realized how our process and design could reduce material costs and turnaround time to provide an effective, efficient solution.

Today, you can find our D-ring solution on the Aqua Lung vest named “The Wave,” a rugged, value BCD which features two stainless steel D-rings for accessories.

Project Specifications

  • Progressive die
  • Flattening
  • Finishing: Matte Finish for Aesthetics
  • Stainless Steel Material
Industry for UseMarine/Retail (Dive Equipment Retailers)
Volume20,000 per year
Lead Time
  • Tooling: 14 weeks
  • Stamping: 4 weeks
Delivery LocationSan Diego, CA

Advantages of Progressive Die Stamping

Low Labor Cost & Part Cost

Thanks to automation and technology, one operator can oversee many machines which run unattended due to electronic monitoring embedded in our custom tooling.

Minimal Scrap

Scrap metal is an inevitable part of manufacturing, but by optimizing the tool design of progressive stamping, the skilled staff at ESI can minimize waste significantly.

Quick Setup

Complex parts require multiple setups, tool changes, and die changes when using conventional short-run stamping methods. Progressive stamping, on the other hand, only requires one setup to produce completed parts. Fewer equipment changes save time and money.

Complex Geometry

By building die stations in a progressive tool, ESI can delivers custom metal stamping capabilities to create parts with complex geometries and tight tolerances.

High Repeatability

Progressive dies are hard tooled. Therefore, they can withstand the high volume stamping runs without degrading, which maintains the high quality of the parts produced from the first part to the last.

The highly efficient process of progressive metal stamping saved Aqua Lung time, money, and raw materials throughout the manufacturing process. Talk to one of our experts so can assist with your fabrication efforts and improve your bottom line.

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