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PROGRESSIVE STAMPING

WHAT IS PROGRESSIVE STAMPING

Progressive stamping is an advanced metalworking process where a progressive die and stamping press is used in combination with an automated material feeding system to form sheet metal.

It is widely used where complex parts with tight tolerances are required in large quantities. Progressive stamping allows for the production of these parts at typically very low cost per part and is favoured where possible in the production of high volume parts.

The progressive die set is designed with multiple stations along the direction of the material feed. Each station is designed to perform one or more operations on the sheet metal strip. This allows a single die set to perform multiple operations without any change in setup.

The stations are equally spaced between each other by a pre-determined pitch. This pitching is input into the feeding system and material is fed the same distance each stroke of the stamping press to move them through the different stations in the die. This movement requires high levels of precision as the semi-finished parts in the material strip needs to be well aligned with each subsequent station in order for the operation to be carried out. This is usually achieved by using pilot pins to guide the material strip along the direction of travel.

Some examples of operations which are commonly carried out in a progressive stamping operation are:

  • Punching – A cutting process to remove specific shapes out of the sheet metal as scrap

  • Bending – Material is deformed over a straight line or bending axis.

  • Forming / Drawing – Material is stretched to form a desired shape.

  • Deep drawing – A subset of the drawing process where the depth of the final drawn part is greater than its diameter.

  • Coining – Material is compressed to form a certain shape or create features on the sheet metal such as counterbores.

  • Blanking – A cutting process which removes either the finished product or a ‘blank’ for further operations.

BENEFITS OF PROGRESSIVE STAMPING

High Production Rates

Progressive stamping dies can be tailored to handle production rates ranging from 30 strokes per minute to over 1,000 strokes per minute depending on the design of the die and the stamping press in use.

These dies can also be customized to include multiple cavities within the same die. Every additional cavity means an additional part produced per stroke. This means that the dies can be further customized to suit your production volume needs from medium to very high volumes. NVT has experience in designing and fabrication progressive metal stamping dies with up to 9 cavities in a single die.

To illustrate what this means in terms of productivity, a 9-cavity progressive stamping die manufacturing products at 100 strokes per minute can produce over 8.5 million parts per month on a 5-day work week with one 8-hour shift a day. A significant production volume on one press machine alone!

Low Cost Per Part

A progressive metal stamping method of production will greatly reduce cost per part produced.

  1. Reduced labour costs – due to the highly automatic nature of the process (presses run themselves after initial setup and only periodic monitoring and sampling is required) progressive stamping will significantly improve the labour cost per part as each operator can now potentially serve multiple machines.

  2. Reduced capital investment costs – The impressive production rates achievable by progressive stamping means you can achieve the same volume of parts using fewer machines and tools. This reduces the amount of capital investment required to either start a new production line or redesign your current products.

  3. Quick setup times – Setup is simple and fast with a progressive die as all the operations to produce a part is contained within a single die. This eliminates or reduces the time taken to have multiple tool setups or secondary operations and translates into a direct cost saving.

  4. Reduced material wastage – Progressive stamping allows you to work with extremely thin materials. NVT is accustomed to working with materials of up to 0.13mm thickness. The die can also be designed to reduce the amount of scrap material produced with each part which will further improve your cost of production per part.

High Complexity & High Precision

Progressive stamping can be used to produce very complex geometries including very fine and detailed features in your parts. This enables product designers and planners to be creative with the way they work.

Some major advantages of producing a part by progressive stamping are:

  1. Repeatability – Parts can be produced up to a tolerance of +/- 0.05mm even at the high rates of production. This consistency allows for confidence to design parts to close tolerances without exceeding the allowable costs on a product.

  2. Seamless construction – as parts can be formed and drawn from a single sheet of metal, within the same environment, parts can be designed to be seamless.

  3. Eliminates or reduces secondary operations – A product made using progressive stamping technology typically does not require any secondary operations such as welding, machining, or sub-assembly. Even processes such as deburring and tapping of holes can be built into the progressive die design. This means reduced labour, time, and cost for any production line.

THE NVT ADVANTAGE

NVT Technology is experienced in delivering world-class solutions in progressive metal stamping. A number of our long-standing clients began their business relationships with us after approaching us with engineering problems where others have failed them.

In order to reap the full benefits of progressive metal stamping, it is important to work with an experienced toolmaker like NVT. When you work with us, you can expect the benefits of:

  • An integrated toolmaking approach. Our design, fabrication, assembly, and testing are all done in-house with our team of experienced personnel. Our internal review processes ensure that when we handover a tooling to you, we get it right the first time and every time.

  • Expert consultation along your product design or manufacturing process by our team of designers and toolmakers.

  • Best material selection advise from experienced designers tailored to your production needs and budget. NVT is experienced in dealing with a wide variety of materials from mild steels, alloy steels, high speed steels, and carbides.

  • 17 years of experience in deep drawn products with complex geometries including reverse drawing processes and other compound operations.

  • Low downtime during production due to better die design and construction.

  • Shorter lead times translating to faster speed to market with your products.