The world of metal stamping has evolved dramatically over the past century. The quality and precision that present-day metal stamping provides makes it a pillar for many industries. The advancements in innovation and precision are incredibly substantial, especially when compared to the challenges faced with metal stamping’s distant ancestors, also known as forging and casting.
So how is a stamped part manufactured? In short, tooling is fastened to a stamping press that cycles up and down. Think of it as the modern-day equivalent to a hammer and anvil. The process uses male and female dies to create the final product, forming, drawing, trimming, blanking, and/or piercing the metal for your specifications. Normally, the process can be used for both sheet and coil forms of metal.
Engineering a specific die cast to press sheet metal can have limitless applications in industrial fabrication. The following list addresses five specific industries that benefit from metal stamping.
1. Fluid Power
If you’re part of the fluid power industry, which is characterized by its powerful and pervasive (yet hidden from the public eye) hydraulic and pneumatic systems, you require complex engineering and high-quality stampings to complement your fittings. Environmental conditions such as moisture, pressure, and temperature — coupled with desired part longevity — warrant metal stamping as an efficient design choice to support supply chain longevity and product viability. Precision machining, durability in all-element conditions, and high-quality aesthetics make metal stamping an optimal solution for the fluid power industry.
Some examples of these metal products could include mounting flanges, valve sealing components and washers, brackets used in harsh environments, and handles.
The aerospace industry requires rigorous quality controls and ongoing documentation to conform with governing body standards. The engineering process in metal stamping is tightly choreographed with precise results from design through fabrication. Metal stamping allows for all safeguards to be measured, visible, and controlled with adjustments made in real time without sacrificing the cost benefit. The direct result is a carefully engineered process that will support the strictest quality control.
In this industry, it’s imperative that stamping engineers document production and control processes to ensure they align with the most current standards and regulations, such as AS9100, the rigid ISO 9001 aerospace standard that satisfies Department of Defense (DOD), NASA and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements . It’s their responsibility to put in place quality control measures to deliver the highest-quality traceable part.
3. Industrial Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM)
Industrial OEM presents its own unique challenges as it relates to product engineering and supply chain viability. Whether it is your own brand of products or you produce parts marketed by another manufacturer, your reputation depends on quality and on-time delivery. Metal stamping meets the demanding nature of OEM by streamlining the design-to-fabrication process under one roof.
More expensive processes can benefit from evaluating metal stamping as cost per piece can be reduced exponentially and improve time-to-market through advances in technology and virtual modeling. Additionally, material integrity will ensure return on investment by providing product longevity without the need for replacement.
In the manufacturing industry, short run metal experts should be able to use modular tooling for flexible and efficient solutions, provide customized processes and tooling designs, utilize both national and global OEM applications, and provide continuous customer support for your needs.
4. Oil & Gas
Mechanical failure in the oil and gas industry is not an option. This industry is dependent on the strictest quality controls for safety, efficiency and peak production. Environmental conditions of the oil and gas industry such as temperature, exposure to light, corrosion, and volatile materials make metal stamping a clear choice for its durability and longevity. With increased precision, specifically with advances in wire EDM machining, product failure is lower than other methods in metal stamping. Precision metal stamping allows for tighter seals that also function in the harshest conditions.
In the oil and gas industry, metal stamping can be used for brackets, handles, washers, and internal sealing components. All are designed to withstand harsh and hazardous environments.
Similar to the industries mentioned above, precision and durability are critical needs for the medical industry – an industry that has a direct effect on people's health. When the stakes are that high, it’s important that metal stamped parts make your machine work on time and without interruption. Product specifications are also easier met with greater process control and engineering.
With lives at stake, metal stamping is a clear solution for precision and durability within medical equipment to meet the needs of the evolving medical industry. Compared to thermoplastics that might offer more competitive pricing, the durability of the part will contribute to metal stamping, offering a better solution over longer periods of time.