With many manufacturing methods available, it can be difficult to choose the best option for your project. In this blog, we will compare progressive die stamping to various other methods to help you determine if this technique is the most suitable choice for manufacturing your components.
What is Progressive Die Stamping?
Progressive die stamping is a unique metal forming process that is used to create parts for various industries and applications. This type of metal stamping incorporates various work stations, each of which carries out different operations on the part. Key benefits of progressive die stamping include:
- Minimal scrap
- Decreased labor costs
- Short setup times
- Fast production of small parts with tight tolerances
- Saves time and money by combining multiple operations
- Long run lengths
Progressive die stamping offers an efficient and cost-effective method for producing parts in large volumes, making it a great choice for industry applications such as:
- Food and beverage
- And more
Progressive Die Stamping Process
Progressive die stamping uses a type of tooling called a progressive die, which contains multiple stamping stations to carry out simultaneous operations on a sheet metal strip. By combining all the necessary tools into one die set, progressive die stamping is a great solution for high-volume production runs.
To begin the process, the die is placed into the stamping press. At Hudson Technologies, our straight side progressive presses feature a 60 to 500 ton capacity. The die opens as the stamping press moves up and closes as the stamping press moves down. While the die is open, the metal moves through the die, being precisely fed into the die with each press stroke.
When the die closes, it performs its work on the metal, which can include coining, bending, cutting, embossing, and more. Once the metal has moved through each station, the finished part is ejected from the die.
When to Use Progressive Die Stamping vs. Traditional Metal Stamping
When choosing between progressive die stamping and traditional metal stamping methods such as stage tooling and transfer press tooling, it’s important to consider factors such as cost, production volume, and lead time.
When considering cost, it’s important to think about tooling setup costs as well as per-piece cost. Stage tooling boasts lower setup costs but has the highest per-piece cost. Progressive die and transfer press tooling have higher setup costs compared to stage tooling but offer lower per piece costs.
Progressive die stamping is specifically designed for high volume production, typically exceeding 50,000 pieces per year. While transfer press tooling is also good for high volume production, it differs in that the part is separated from the metal strip during the first operation. Stage tooling, on the other hand, is ideal for small, low-volume production runs of less than 50,000 pieces per year.
When considering the needs of your project, it’s important to think of project timelines to determine which method is best. While stage tooling features a relatively slow fabrication speed, progressive die and transfer press tooling offer medium to fast production speeds.
Progressive Die Stamping Services from Hudson Technologies
If you determine that progressive die stamping is the best manufacturing method for your project, let the experts at Hudson Technologies help. We offer custom progressive die-stamped components as well as progressive die tool manufacturing. With over 80 years of experience, we have the necessary equipment and knowledge to meet your progressive die stamping needs. To learn more, visit our capabilities and tooling pages or download our Turnkey Solutions Ebook. You can also contact us or request a quote to get started.
A production run is the period of time in which it takes to produce a predetermined quantity of products. For custom metal stampings, production runs can be short or long, depending on the needs and goals of the application. Here, we will discuss the advantages associated with both short-run and long-run stamping production durations, as well as the applications each is best suited for.
What Is Short-Run Stamping?
Short-run stamping is a multi-step process that produces complex metal parts in small quantities. Typically, short-run stampings describe production runs of 5,000 parts or fewer that take place over the course of six months or less. During production, a metal blank is placed between a die and a punch and formed according to the customer’s specifications. A variety of metals can be used for this process, such as aluminum, steel, brass, and more. Short-run stamping has several benefits, including:
- Reduced production and material costs: In addition to tooling and labor costs, other metal stamping costs include those for materials. Since a small amount of material is required for short runs, indirect costs for materials are reduced.
- Less waste: Sheet metal blanks generate significantly less waste than fabricating parts using multiple pieces of metal.
- Reduced lead times: Short, low-volume production runs can be completed quicker than standard runs.
A wide variety of industries use short production runs to produce high-quality components quickly. From automotive to aerospace, the medical industry, electronics, construction, and more, there is a high demand for this service. The stamping process works best with symmetrical parts and is frequently used to produce components such as engine cylinders, fire extinguisher housings, and aluminum cans, to name a few.
What Is Long Run Stamping?
Long-run stamping is used to produce large quantities of stamped parts quickly and cost-effectively. There are several production methods that can be used, including coining, deep drawing, bending, and piercing. In most circumstances, long-run stamping productions can produce over 800 parts per minute. Long-run productions can last anywhere from six months to one year and deliver many significant benefits, such as:
- Fast production capabilities: This type of production run creates large quantities of components at once and is ideal when speed is a concern.
- Cost-effective pricing: Long-run production delivers the most cost-efficient components and is typically the lowest price-per-piece manufacturing method, as long as the production volume of stamped parts required offsets the cost of tooling.
- High repeatability: Long-run stamping is ideal high volume production of the same part multiple times.
Long-run stamping is used by appliance manufacturers, the lighting industry, electronics companies, and more. The process produces both large, complex components as well as small and highly detailed parts. Items such as metal washers, brackets, springs, and more are well suited to long-run stamping production.
Choosing a Precision Metal Stamping Process
There are several factors of production to take into account when choosing a metal stamping process. Which materials and tooling methods will be used, how much lead time is acceptable, and the budget must all be determined. For short-run productions, at least one of these factors should remain fixed while the rest can remain flexible and be adapted over time. If a long-run production is selected, all of these factors are flexible and can be changed freely during the production process.
When choosing a precision metal stamping process, one of the factors you should determine is if you’re planning on a short or long production run. Each metal stamping process and tooling technique require different lead times. Long production runs offer the most flexibility and the largest selection of processes. Stamping processes include:
- Deep draw stamping
- Shallow draw stamping
- Progressive die tooling
- Transfer press tooling
- Stage tooling
In general, short production runs are often ideal for design teams looking to perform user tests and make part adjustments, or when you’re looking to reduce tooling expenses and marginal costs. Long production runs are best in situations where a high volume demand justifies the required tooling costs. Long-run stamping delivers the lowest price per piece.
Custom Deep Drawn Stamping Services From Hudson Technologies
Long and short-run metal stamping both provide numerous benefits. Determining which method is right for your application depends on factors of production such as your budget, time frame, required tooling, and the number of parts you require. Hudson Technologies is a leading provider of metal stamping services, including custom tooling and deep-drawn manufacturing services. Learn more about the turnkey solutions we offer in our free eBook, or get started on your project today by submitting a request for a quote.