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Progressive Die Stamping

Progressive Die Stamping

Manufacturers around the world frequently utilize progressive die technologies, including progressive die stamping. Metal stamping works especially well in forming parts from sheet metal. This process permits high volume production very cost-effectively under certain circumstances.

Today progressive die stamping typically employs a variety of different manufacturing processes involving the use of sheet metals. Production may occur in an automated or a non-automated environment. 

Metal stamping involves either a single stage or multiple stages. In the first situation, a single press stroke will transform a strip or piece of sheet metal in a desired way. By contrast during multi-stage operations, the work piece undergoes a series of strokes in order to attain a designated form.

 

Defining Progressive Die Stamping

Progressive die stamping describes a sheet metal forming process in which a manufacturer depends upon an organized series of stamping workstations to produce a metal part. Today, this process commonly occurs within an automated environment in which a conveyor system moves parts systematically from one automated stamping die station to another. Some robotic production lines include sophisticated sensors, enabling each stamping machine to perform with a minimum of human assistance.

The rapid production process begins with a roll of sheet metal and ends with a series of metal parts rolling off the line. A slower system may generate from 7 to 8 pieces per minute, while some high volume operations can produce 1500 metal parts per minute. 

Typically a stock strip carries parts seamlessly through the conveyor system. Stamping operations differ slightly at each workstation along the route. Modifications may include striking, coining or bending the part, which usually becomes separated from the stock strip only during the final phase of the progressive die stamping conveyance line.



Progressive Die Stamping Process

How does the process of progressive die stamping differ from the use of line dies? During automated progressive die stamping, a manufacturer affixes all of the required stamping stations for each individual operation onto a single die set. 

The operator, usually with the assistance of a computer, carefully sequences every operation, calculating the precise length of time required for an individual work piece to proceed through the conveyance line. The presence of multiple stamping stations along the conveyor enables the mass production of pieces. Carefully calculating progression and "pitch distance" make it feasible to remain in continuous production for extended periods of time in some situations.

Essentially, a single press stroke at each progressive die stamping workstation impacts a large number of parts. This efficient process helps make high volume production more cost-effective.



Applications

Manufacturers frequently utilize progressive die stamping in modern materials fabrication environments to help keep costs low during the course of high volume production runs. Today, this industrial process accounts for the generation of huge quantities of metal parts used in numerous industries.

Popular metals used during progressive die stamping include brass, copper, nickel, aluminum and stainless steel. For instance, many metallic automotive interior trim accents lend themselves to this form of industrial production. Beverage container manufacturers frequently produce pull tabs using this process.

The decision whether or not to use progressive die stamping with a conveyor or a transfer press may depend upon the total size of the anticipated production run, the dimensions of the individual work piece and the complexity of the manufacturing steps required to generate the desired component. Production cost factors typically enter into this analysis.

 

KEY Advantages

Progressive die stamping enjoys broad popularity during this century as a manufacturing process because of the numerous advantages it offers. Just consider a few of the benefits manufacturers may obtain by using this technology:

First, automated progressive die stamping can generate a high volume of metal parts very cost-effectively in some situations. The use of mass-production techniques may substantially lower the individual price-per-unit, for instance.

Second, the continuous operation of metal stamping workstations in a progressive die stamping assembly line may enable very rapid turnaround times. Since a single press stroke often impacts multiple rows at a time, this process possesses the potential to generate work pieces quite efficiently. Speedy manufacturing may justify the investment in automated production technology.

Third, manufacturers can use this process in an efficient way to reduce waste. By devoting careful attention to the setup process, firms can utilize as much of the raw material as possible, generating a lower quantity of scrap materials. This fact may contribute to the cost-effectiveness of the production process.

Fourth, the adoption of automated progressive die stamping conforms well to the application of robotic workstations. It potentially requires the use of fewer human workers than some other forms of fabrication. Progressive die stamping conveyances may operate on a 24/7 basis in some facilities, permitting optimized high volume production.

Fifth, by using this type of die stamping, potentially manufacturers can achieve very close tolerances. This advantage depends to some extent upon the tools employed and the careful calculation of progression and pitch distances. Since computers can measure and cut materials with far greater precision than human beings, companies may discover significant advantages in utilizing finely automated mass production methods such as automated progressive die stamping.


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