Ensuring Quality in Automotive Stampings
The automobile industry has an ever-expanding global market,and that means more competition among auto-makers. The best way to compete, tolead, and to stay at the forefront of the industry is to produce quality productsthat speak for themselves. In the last decade quality improvement has become acrucial strategy for gaining and maintaining that competitive advantage. Thisstrategy applies to every aspect of the manufacturing process includingautomotive stampings, which is a process used to make many car parts, mostlyfor the body of the vehicle, such as doors, hoods, trunks, and roofs. So howdoes a company ensure that each of these components are defect free and in tip-topshape?
Newly developed vision systems can assist in this crucialpart of the process. The systems are used to inspect parts that have just beenstamped for cracks before they are transferred to the next press. TheIntelligent Sensing equipment employs quick disconnect mechanisms, which allowsfor fast tooling changes. These vision systems are designed to check parts forcracks and mis-welded items on challenging surfaces that could otherwise gounnoticed. Having the ability to catch errors at an early stage greatly increasesefficiency throughout the manufacturing process and improves overall quality aswell.
When it comes to metal stamping, particularly forauto-bodies, the integrity of the parts as well as their outward appearance arevital to a company’s survival and success in this competitive market. Newvision technology is making it faster, easier, and cheaper than ever before toensure quality both of these levels. With an industry that is over one hundredyears old and constantly changing and expanding, it is crucial to keep up withtechnological advances in automobile stamping. As more and more companiesutilize new technology, customers continue to receive higher quality productsat better values every day.
Automotive stamping is a metal forming process in which flat stock sheet metal or metal coils are precisely shaped into three dimensional automotive parts in a stamping press. Automotive metal stamping presses offer rapid stamping as well as repeatable and programmable dimensions which in turn increases both dimensional control and standardizing accuracy.
A cost-effective process, automotive stamping forms metals such as pre-coated steels, Inconel, brass, bronze, cold rolled steel, copper, stainless steel and aluminum into various automotive parts. Automotive metal stampings is able to form a broad range of automotive parts including fenders, hub caps, trim, engine mounts, connectors, terminal leadframes, pins and oxygen sensors. Additional auto parts include braking, fuel delivery, sunroof systems, seating, powertrain systems, fluid sealing systems, air bag cups and bayonet sockets. Not only beneficial to the automotive industry, automotive stamping is also used in industries such as appliance, hardware, pharmaceutical, HVAC, plumbing and fire prevention.
Automotive stampings are most commonly formed on progressive stamping presses. Progressive stamping is a metal forming process done with large, heavy duty presses that use several dies together on the same piece of sheet metal. A die is a press tool for cutting or forming material in a stamping machine. Progressive die stamping combines the forming and cutting processes for efficiency and economy. In progressive die stamping, multiple dies stamp the sheet metal at the same time. This metal stamping process is used to form automotive components quickly. Transfer presses can also be used to form automotive stampings. Transfer presses are a type of hydraulic press that work by feeding flat metal blanks automatically into the right end of the press. From there, feed bar fingers take the part and move it from die to die. There are two types of transfer motions used in transfer presses; the simplest system uses dual-axis motion. The first axis moves in and out, centering the part in the transfer press; the second axis motion transfers the automotive part from die to die. The second system is the tri-axis motion, which is used for indexing parts between dies in the transfer press. The transfer feeder bars are mechanically driven synchronously with the slide motion, and the feed bar fingers inserted into the transfer feeder bars hold the part during indexing.
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