Of all the metalworking processes today, metal stamping is one of the most popular and cost-effective methods. It includes several forming processes in a single production cycle. These are punching, embossing, coining, piercing and blanking, among others. Each of these processes has different sets of fundamentals that help manufacturers in producing the best quality parts at the lowest cost possible. Understanding them can help in:
- Avoiding costly business errors
- Setting the right expectations for lead time and costs
- Receiving high-quality parts that allow apps to perform at their best.
Five Steps Towards Effective Progressive Tool and Die Design:
Step 1: Identify the component’s orientation:
Progressive die and tool design are primarily determined by the way the component will run through the die and tool. A key challenge of progressive die and tool design is rotating the part on or along the strip. Rotating parts for material optimisation is the only way to proceed in several use cases. In other use cases, a compromise needs to be made between cam angling and part rotation. This directly impacts the design and cost of the progressive tool and die.
Another factor that determines a part’s orientation is the lift needed for carrying the strip from stage to stage. However, the progressive tool and die can be designed in a way that the component rotates properly so that it doesn’t need a lift anymore. Additionally, you can also eliminate the lift by forming the progressive tooling upwards. If the part forms in the opposite direction, by making certain adjustments between suboptimal material usage, excessive lift and tooling complexity.
Rotation of a component is another factor to consider that could shorten the material feed. The shorter the feed is, the faster it runs and the fewer issues it has. If there is a significant difference in the width and the length of a component, it is more effective if you design your progressive die and tool to have shorter leads.
Also, Read: Major Challenges in Piping Design Course
Step 2: Determine how parts will be carried:
Being able to feed raw material well, lift the metal strip to feed the material and being able to create high-quality components consistently are all directly impacted by how each part is carried. This demands certain specific configurations. The other alternative is carrying a component on a single side of the strip. But here, it is harder to lift the strip, so you will require lifters in the middle of the metal strip. Since the camber can be potentially problematic, you can increase the width of the carrier.
Ladder style is another alternative. This is better suited to complex components or parts that require greater lift. Engineers working on the die and tool design need to ensure the right type of carrier is chosen for the task.
Step 3: Piloting:
To determine the pilots, die designers and engineers need to consider the tolerance and configuration requirements of the project or business.
Step 4: Determining an exit plan:
An exit plan is a crucial part of progressive tooling design. Several factors should be considered while manufacturers prepare the die and tool design. These include the weight of the component, carrier type and the shedder pin. Thus, manufacturers need an exit plan from the start to design the progressive die and tool design effectively.
Step 5: Identify the precise number of stations needed:
When you finalise the progressive die and tool design, reconfirm how many stations you will need. If you don’t consider such factors beforehand, the resulting design can fundamentally damage the existing progressive tooling. A complex progressive tool and die design tells you that more empty stations are needed. Similarly, you can cut down on the number of stations for a simple design. Without considering the factors mentioned above beforehand, you might need to add additional stations that could compromise your progressive tooling’s integrity.
To produce a cost-effective and high-quality die and tool, you need to understand the fundamentals of sheet metal stamping dies and progressive tools and die. As the die gets increasingly complex, the decisions based on die design fundamentals become more crucial. By properly evaluating and compromising, you can determine the best available option. The result will be a good-feeding strong progressive die that is easy to maintain. This die will consistently produce superior quality output.