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.
Quick links to Automotive Stamping Information
Applications of Automotive Stamping
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 are able to form a broad range of automotive parts, including fenders, hub caps, trim, engine mounts, connectors, terminal lead frames, pins, and oxygen sensors. Additional auto parts include braking, fuel delivery, sunroof systems, seating, powertrain systems, fluid sealing systems, airbag cups, and bayonet sockets. Not only beneficial to the automotive industry, but automotive stamping is also used in industries such as appliance, hardware, pharmaceutical, HVAC, plumbing, and fire prevention.
Machine Types for Automotive Stamping
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 to 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 works by feeding flat metal blanks automatically into the right end of the press. From there, feed bar fingers take 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.
Ensuring Quality in Automotive Stampings
The automobile industry has an ever-expanding global market, which means more competition among auto-makers. The best way to compete, lead, and stay at the forefront of the industry is to produce quality products that speak for themselves. In the last decade, quality improvement has become a crucial strategy for gaining and maintaining that competitive advantage. This strategy applies to every aspect of the manufacturing process, including automotive stampings, which is used to make many car parts, mostly for the vehicle's body, such as doors, hoods, trunks, and roofs. So how does a company ensure that each of these components is defect free and in tip-top shape?
Technology in Automotive Stampings
Newly developed vision systems can assist in this crucial part of the process. The systems are used to inspect parts that have just been stamped for cracks before they are transferred to the next press. The intelligent sensing equipment employs quick disconnect mechanisms, allowing fast tooling changes. These vision systems are designed to check parts for cracks and mis-welded items on challenging surfaces that could otherwise go unnoticed. Having the ability to catch errors at an early stage greatly increases efficiency throughout the manufacturing process and improves overall quality as well.
When it comes to metal stamping, particularly for auto-bodies, the integrity of the parts and their outward appearance are vital to a company's survival and success in this competitive market. New vision technology is making it faster, easier, and cheaper than ever before to ensure quality at both of these levels. With an industry that is over one hundred years old and constantly changing and expanding, it is crucial to keep up with technological advances in automobile stamping. As more and more companies utilize new technology, customers continue to receive higher quality products at better value every day.