Ever increasing competition in the automotive industry demands productivity improvements and unit cost reduction. Managers and engineers in the manufacturing and production of car body panels are changing their strategy of operation. The days are gone when we had a simple washer to a very complicated fender, with all in-plant stamping facility. In-house manufacturing facilities preferably produce a limited number of major car panels.
Stamping refers to the process for making metal parts or tools from the slab. It is a process or method that involves forming a metal element by means of heat and thus achieving the desired shape and size.
The stamping of metals takes a set of both mechanical and chemical operations to achieve the transformation of the piece, so there are different methods of stamping metals such as cold stamping and hot stamping, the latter allows greater metal handling.
In the design of the progressive stamping die, so many exclusive elements are involved that have their manufacturing plane, as standardized or commercial elements (screws, springs, etc.). In order to carry out the design, the recommended plate thicknesses and a number of pre-calculations have been developed.
The stamping processes which is to be employed for a specific panel will depend on the type of design. However, the traditional processes used extensively are hemming, trimming, notching, forming, piercing, drawing, blanking, etc. Blanking prepares the initial approximate form of the part in a flat sheet. Generally, the first operation to attain depth related form is ‘Drawing’. Piercing, notching, hemming, are product design related operations. Trimming generally removes the extra material on the periphery of the panel provided for blank holding during draw operation. A decision on trim line is very important and becomes a deciding factor to obtain a good draw.
Due to the rigorous work that is needed to process metals, you also need tools of optimum quality. Among the tools required, we have the major ones like the press, existing different classes such as the spindle press, the eccentric, among others.
The die is another part of this process of metal stamping, which is going to mold the metal and give the shape of the die to the solid material. It is also possible to use dice systems or punches in metal sheets for modifications, such as bending, cutting, among others.
With a hot stamping machine (which reaches high temperatures) and the design on the plate for engravings commonly known as cliché, metal stamping can be achieved.
This operation of metal stamping is mostly made as decorative elements such as calendars, advertising or promotional items, cosmetic packaging, cardboard boxes for drugs or cosmetics, shoe boxes, paper bags, leather goods or textile industry, business cards, among other materials resistant to this high-temperature process.
Finally, safety measures and maintenance guidelines are established which must be complied with to ensure the safety of the operators and the proper operation of all elements that are part of the progressive stamping die.