Progressive stampings are formed through a metal forming process that is often referred to as progressive die stamping. A die is a press tool for cutting or forming material in a stamping machine. This process utilizes several dies together on the same piece of sheet metal. As a result, it can encompass punching, coining, bending, and many other ways of shaping blanks, or raw metal material, into various parts and components. Since multiple dies stamp the sheet metal simultaneously, progressive die stamping can combine forming and cutting processes for efficiency and economy.
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Applications of Progressive Stampings
This metal stamping process is used to form small metal components quickly and as a result, is used in many applications requiring high-precision. Some examples of applications and industries that progressive stampings are utilized include: medical, for critical components such as surgical instrumentation and dental grinding disks; industrial manufacturing, for use in the production of tools and automation equipment components; food and beverage, which are utilized in various forms of packaging such as lids for pop cans; and automotive, in which they are used as braking systems, fuel delivery systems, and bayonet sockets.
Progressive Stamping Designs
A wide range of materials can be formed using the progressive die stamping process, which includes: most aluminum alloys, brass, cold rolled steel, copper, zinc, stainless steel, titanium, and galvanized steel. A feeding system pushes the first strips of metal through a series of progressive stamping die stations to begin the progressive die stamping process. The dies in these stations are housed within a reciprocal stamping press, typically hydraulically-powered. The reciprocal stamping press stamps the material by the process of the press moving up, and the top die moves with it so that when the press moves back down, so does the die, which results in the stamping of the material. Additional work is performed at each station that the material is brought through. Although the cost of the multiple dies that are used in progressive die stamping are expensive, they usually last for the life of the project. Manufactured from tool steel, the dies offer many advantageous characteristics such as high abrasive force resistance, high shock load resistance, and the ability to retain a sharp cutting edge. Thus, the final price per piece is exceptionally low despite the initial cost.