Forming metal into tools or everyday items is not a new idea. The practice has been going on for thousands of years, but in the past, the best way to shape the metal was by hand. It was a long process and often resulted in a lot of waste material. Today there are better options for working with metal that allow manufacturers to control the quality as well as produce products in large quantities.
Metal stamping is a process that starts with a piece of metal, typically a flat plate, and uses force and a die to shape the plate into the part needed. The amount of pressure applied in the process is extremely high and requires a hydraulic press. The die can be changed to form several pieces in the same press, but it is not a small job, so most manufacturers will run a large quantity of one part before changing the machine over to run another part.
Many different metal products are made using a stamping process. From small items like the aluminum frying pan you use to make breakfast, to large things like the body panels on your car, stamping is a widely accepted way to shape the material in the primary stage of production. Most products require some amount of finishing or additional work before they are ready for market, but some are parts of a larger assembly and can be used in the condition they came out of the press.
Sheet Metal Stamping
Like traditional stamping, sheet metal can be formed into products with a press as well. Products like the hood or fenders of your car are stamped from sheet metal. The force required is lower because the sheet metal is easier to form, but the press uses the same parts to do the job. Sheet metal can be steel, aluminum, copper, or a mix of several metals and the thickness used is based entirely on the requirements for the product being made.
Even when every part is stamped in the same press, the product undergoes an inspection process before it can be used. Inspecting the parts is the only way to ensure that the press and die are working correctly. If something is not adjusted right or has shifted, running hundreds of parts without a quality check could result in a large amount of scrap and lost revenue. Lost time, wasted materials, and scrap will all be reduced with the implementation of a good quality control process.
Contact a company, like Hub Manufacturing & Metal Stamping, for more help.