The stamping manufacturing of a metal part has not been as simple as today. In the earlier days, the manufacturer had to spend hours changing the single press or using multiple presses and progressive tool to produce a fabricated metal sheet. However, this complex process can now be finished within a few minutes with advancements in technology. All there is to do is put the metal sheet into an automatic feeder.
There are mainly two methods of fabricating and designing metal sheets with precision – progressive stamping die and transfer die stamping. Understanding the importance of each helps the manufacturer create intricate and high-quality metal tools. This article discusses how these methods work and provides tips to manufacturers for improvement in designs.
What factors affect Progressive Tool Designs?
A manufacturer’s decision to use a progressive tool design for creating a product is based on two important factors.
- The complexity of the specific part
- Total number of components required
Apart from these factors, there are several other vital points that a stamping manufacturer should keep in mind to produce consistent and high-quality end-product.
6 design tips for stamping with Progressive Tool Design
- Identify the number of stations required
The first step toward using progressive tool design to make a product is determining the number of stations required. Any negligence in doing this can result in progressive tool damage.
If the product order is complex and requires several stages of work, you must add more stations to the tool. Similarly, if your product does not require a difficult and lengthy process, you can reduce the number of stations.
- Plan the strip layout and orientation
You need to decide the part that is to be designed first. It is because the material properties & thickness and the desired surface finish influence the strip layout. In most cases, the progressive tool design are carried out by rotating a part along the metal strip. However, the rotating and camera angle sometimes has to be compromised, which creates a difference in the tool cost.
In addition, ensure that the force is distributed uniformly across the metal strip. If not taken care of, this may damage the dies, impacting the consistency and quality of your products.
- Determine the way metal parts will be carried
A carrier or web is a device that transports the metal parts through various Progressive tool design stations. To create your product, the carrier must be two times wider than the thickness of the material. If you need more than two carriers, ensure that they are of uniform length. It avoids twisting the strips. Besides, the carriers should be placed at easy-to-remove places so that easier access can come in handy during any damage.
- Orientation of the metal strip
It refers to how the stamping manufacturer inserts the metal strip into the progressive stamping die. There are two important terms used for orientation that significantly impacts the quality of the end product; they are:
- Feed Height: All metal strips must be lifted to progress them to the next die, irrespective of whether they are flat or irregular. This breaks the oil seal of the metal strip with the die.
- Strip Lifter: The metal strip used needs to be progressed from one die to another. For this, a strip lifter is used.
As a strip passes through the progressive tool design, the pilot fixes and aligns it through the machine. The location and type of pilot used during the process are determined based on the carrier used. Engineers and workers determine the location and number of pilots based on the client’s requirements.
- Plan an Exit Strategy
Planning an exit strategy to stamping manufacturing is the most crucial step of progressive tool design. Factors such as materials used, the carrier type used, and the number of pilots should all be considered while planning. Any negligence can damage the progressive tool.
More about progressive Tool Design
With advancements in technology, fabricating metal strips has become easier. Long gone are the days when you had to change multiple presses to form a complex product. With progressive stamping die, you have the benefits of production speed, less scrap material, a quicker setup, and lower labor cost per part.
To ensure the consistency and quality of the final product, the design tips mentioned above should be kept in mind. You should also remember that a small mistake can damage the progressive stamping die, thus increasing manufacturing costs. You should be careful on this count.