Metal stamping and fabrication are techniques used to create all kinds of products from thumb tacks to aerospace parts and architectural materials. Depending on your requirements, metal stamping or metal fabrication may be used. So what are these techniques and how do they differ?
Metal stamping is what it sounds like – using a stamping press to transform sheet metal into specified shapes or parts. Metal stamping is sometimes also called pressing and can include bending, pressing, folding or stretching metal according to the necessary specs. Metal stamping begins with blanks (or flat sheet metal) that are fed into a stamping press to create the specific part. First, the feeding system feeds the strip of metal through all the stations of the progressive stamping die. Each station performs a specific operation – this often includes die cutting and tooling. Die cutting is the process of shearing metal, while tooling is the process of forming the metal into a specific shape. In this way, skilled manufacturer’s stamping services can handle production for simple blanks or more complex assemblies.
There are two primary types of metal stamping: short run stamping and progressive stamping. In short run stamping, you use a mix of pre-made tools and custom tools in one-hit stations. When you start on a short run stamping project you “start from scratch” with a schematic of the part you want to build. Typically, short run stampings are cheaper for one-off parts. Progressive stamping is typically what people envision when they think of manufacturing – instead of using existing tools, you begin by creating a part and then creating tools to stamp out exact copies of that part from new pieces of metal. Progressive stampings are a much more economical solution if you find yourself needing large quantities of the same part, repeatedly.
Metal stamping is most appropriate when multiples of the same part are needed repeatedly.
Metal fabrication uses raw materials to construct parts by removing excess material. This process includes creating cutouts, bending or stretching the material. Metal fabrication offers superior versatility but can be labor intensive. It also has a longer production time and slightly higher material costs. Finally, the ability to repeat a process is more challenging than when stamping metal. Metal fabrication is best suited to complex parts or short run parts.
Dayton Rogers has led the metalforming industry for more than 90 years, using stamping and fabrication expertise to create a wide array of parts for multiple applications. Metal stamping and metal fabrication services create solutions that are integral to project success.
Want to learn more about metal stamping and fabrication? Get your FREE copy of the Design Principles Black Book. This Design Principles booklet describes the various common conditions that occur in the fabrication of parts.
Dayton Rogers is your trusted resource for sheet metal fabrication, metal stamping, metalforming and all your manufacturing company needs. Get a free quote today on your custom metal fabrication project.
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