Metal stamping is a $36 billion industry, but many people don’t even realize it exists until they need metal stamping for their own project.
But even when you know you need metal stamping services, you might not entirely understand what this means.
So, what is metal stamping? How is it done? And what makes metal stamping better than other metal forming practices?
Keep reading to learn more about metal stamping and how to choose the right metal stamping company for your next project.
What is Metal Stamping?
Metal stamping is a manufacturing process that cuts and shapes sheets of metal into finished pieces. These pieces are typically used in the creation of larger products.
Metal stamping can make something as simple as a metal washer, or as delicate is fine jewelry.
One of the largest advantages of metal stamping over other metal shaping processes is its accuracy. Metal stamping can produce 1,000’s of identical parts — made to exact specifications.
What are the Different Steps in Metal Stamping?
Blanking & punching
Blanking is the process of cutting shapes from a large sheet of metal. The cut circle, square, or other shape is then manufactured into its designated final product. The leftover sheet metal is scrapped or recycled for another project.
Punching is very similar to blanking, but with one key distinction. The piece that is cut out from the original sheet of metal is scrapped, and the surrounding metal is what is kept for continued processing.
Metal stamping combines both of these processes into one step. The outer shape and any inner cutouts are stamped from the sheet metal simultaneously. This is more efficient and allows for the precise mass production of a finished product.
Piercing is a broad term for any type of indentation-making process in metal stamping.
This process presses a die into the working metal piece but does not completely break through. This leaves a cavity in the metal piece’s surface.
This process is pretty self-explanatory but is an essential step to creating most finished metal stamping products.
There are many different bending techniques used in metal manufacturing. The key to a strong, accurate finished product is working with a metal stamping company that knows the proper techniques for your project.
Drawing is a process that stretches a single sheet of metal into a 3D object. Common examples of this include metal cans or tubes, but this process can be used for many different projects.
There are two types of drawing: shallow and deep. The difference in these types is simple. Shallow drawing adds a depth lesser than the blank’s diameter, while deep drawing adds a depth greater than the diameter.
Coining is the process of embossing the surface of a metal blank with lettering, numbers, or an image. As the name implies, this is how the designs are imprinted on metal coins.
Coining in metal stamping allows for incredibly intricate, detailed designs.
Common uses for this process include adorning jewelry and dog tags, as well as adding serial numbers or other identifying information to metal parts.
What Does Our Metal Stamping Process Look Like?
Metal stamping is not as simple as feeding sheet metal into a press machine. There are many steps, from conception to finishing, which go into creating a high-quality finished part.
Planning and design
A perfect finished product requires a level of detailed planning and design before the metal stamping process can actually begin.
The first step, after conceptualization, is a digital rendering of the piece. At Frontier, we then build a prototype using 3D printing or another method. This ensures that your part’s specifications are all correct.
Creating the die
Before the metal stamping process can begin, the manufacturer must create a die. This die is the shaped tool that actually stamps and bends the metal sheet.
Once this die is created, it can be stored and used many times over to manufacture additional pieces.
Cutting and shaping
Depending on the part, a number of the processes previously discussed will come into play.
A qualified metal stamping company will know the best machines and series of processes to create your desired final product.
At Frontier, we have a diverse range of metal stamping machinery. These machines vary in weight, size, and speed to accommodate almost any type of project.
After cutting and shaping, the finished parts must be inspected to ensure they meet all requested specifications.
As an ISO 9001:2015 certified manufacturer, Frontier Metal Stamping guarantees the quality of your final product every time.
Why Choose Metal Stamping?
There are many benefits to metal stamping compared to traditional metal cutting and shaping methods. Here are just a few to consider:
- Metal stamping is the fastest method for creating a large number of parts.
- After the initial cost of creating a die, metal stamping costs significantly less than other methods.
- Metal stamping can create parts to extremely precise specifications.
- Each part produced using metal stamping will be identical — this is not always true for traditional methods.
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So after all that, what is metal stamping?
Metal stamping is both a science and an art. And Frontier Metal Stamping excels in both of these fields.