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The Working of Progressive Dies and Transfer Dies

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The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way every industry around the world works. With the long phase when production had stopped around the world, manufacturers are rushing to fill the gap now and recover losses. Large-scale manufacturing companies are quickly switching to progressive die stamping as their production method to increase efficiency and profitability.

A large number of power press stamping manufacturers carry out single stroke stamping procedures that run for shorter periods. But this method is time-consuming, labor-intensive and costly. Moreover, creating complex parts using these stamping methods is a challenge.

On the other hand, progressive die stamping combines several operations such as stamping, piercing, drawing and folding. It is the process of transforming raw sheet metal into components of different shapes and sizes. These parts are then assembled across different industries to create different products. It is quickly becoming one of the most used stamping methods across the world, predicted to grow into a $289.2 billion industry by 2023. Precision metal stamping parts  is ideal for creating intricate parts required in large volumes.

How Does Progressive Stamping Work?

Progressive die stamping is a method of metalworking that combines and includes coining, bending, punching and several other ways to modify raw material. These operations work in combination with an auto-feeding mechanism.

The feeder mechanism of the progressive die pushes a metal strip in coil form through several stations that are present in the stamping die. One station carries out a specific task and performs a certain operation on the metal strip before passing it onto the next station. This process is repeated till a finished component is formed. The final station performs the cutoff operation, separating the component from the web. This carrying web and the metal that is left after punching comprise what is known as scrap metal. They are both cut off and removed from the die, before getting ejected from the die set. Manufacturers who mass-produce components install conveyor belts that transfer scrap metal to underground bins to get rid of it all.

Benefits of Progressive Stamping:

Every station within a progressive die has a unique function and operation to perform. These operations combine to create a final finished part. There are several advantages of using progressive die stamping.

  • Production is speed up and lead times are reduced
  • Since most of the processes can be automated, labour costs are lower
  • Minimal scrap metal is produced using this stamping method
  • The progressive stamping press and tools take lesser time to set up
  • After the initial setup and process automation, the high quality of output is maintained
  • Parts produced are more cost-effective

Transfer Die Stamping

The progressive stamping process can also be carried out using transfer presses. Transfer presses, as the name suggests, transfer parts from station to station using ‘fingers’ made of machine parts. Large volumes of production require complex operations within the press. For such stamped parts, you should ideally use a progressive press instead of a transfer die.

One major advantage of transfer presses is the time taken for each production cycle. Depending on the part, a cycle can run over 800 parts per minute. However, this type of press is not well suited to deep drawing, a high precision stage when the stamping depth exceeds the diameter of the component. This process is carried out on a transfer press if necessary. A transfer press runs at a lower speed and relies on mechanical fingers so that the part stays in place throughout the product life cycle. 

Benefits of Transfer Die Presses:

In progressive presses, only a certain part of the product life cycle is guided by the sleeves that are spring-loaded, which often results in the non-uniform thickness of materials and issues with ovality and concentricity. Other benefits of transfer presses are

  • Less material needed for the transfer of parts, compared to progressive presses
  • More cost-effective tools
  • You can perform individual processes that need the part to leave the strip from time to time, such as flange curling, beading, and rotary stamping.

While choosing a progressive die manufacturer to partner with your business, make sure you choose one that uses the latest technology and tools. Don’t forget to check their market reputation and industry experience before finally making a decision.

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