Metal stamping presses can be categorized into hydraulic presses or mechanical presses. Depending on the liquid, hydraulic presses can be further classified. Generally speaking, both types of metal stamping presses are the primary machine tools used to press sheet metals. They can vary in size as well as the amount of force output.
What is a Metal Stamping Press?
A metal stamping press is a metalworking machine tool that precisely cuts or shapes metal based on the specific requirement through a die. Figuratively speaking, it is like the modern-day hammer and anvil.
The metal stamping press is essentially a molding technology. The process includes forming, stretching, punching, and trimming of metal, with sheet metal being the main production material.
Metal stamping presses are widely used in a wide variety of industries, such as household appliances, electronics, computers, communication, furniture, transportation, as well as automotive which largely involves the stamping and forming of hardware parts.
Types of Metal Stamping Press
Metal stamping presses can be categorized into hydraulic presses or mechanical presses. Depending on the liquid, hydraulic presses can be further classified. Generally speaking, both types of metal stamping presses are the primary machine tools used to press sheet metals. They can vary in size as well as the amount of force output. To comprehend better:
- Mechanical Presses: The mechanical presses are operated based on the mechanical connection between the horizontal coring system of the parts and the ram. In the sequence of movement, the punches enter laterally as the upper die closes against the lower die, thus all mechanical components are connected to one another. This also entails that adjusting the movement of one component will trigger the modification of other ones automatically. One key advantage of mechanical stamping presses over the hydraulic counterpart is the higher productivity during metal hot forging. Vertically forged parts like the nuts or straight junctions are especially ideal to be forged by the high productivity mechanical presses.
- Hydraulic Presses: Unlike mechanical presses, the movement of hydraulic presses is prompted by hydraulic cylinders instead, with independent control on each axis. This enables a more flexible programming capability as you can operate on a single component and acquire superior material flow management inside the mold. The mechanism described above enables superior control over single components, making a hydraulic press more ideal for the realization of parts that are more geometrically complicated (e.g., slide gate valves).
:: Read More: What is An Automatic Press Machine?
Components of Metal Stamping Press
Metal stamping presses typically consist of a bolster plate, a ram segment, and other components like the metal block and the mold to be pressed. To look at them more closely:
- Bolster Plate: The bolster plate of a metal stamping press is mounted on top of the press bed and is stationary. Larger metal stamping presses like the ones used in automotive industries may be equipped with die cushions to cope with withdrawal forces. This is especially necessary when the deep drawing is undertaken using a single-acting press.
- Ram: The ram is a solid piece of the material located at the top portion of the progressive die and enables vertical movement as if a hammer is striking on an anvil. This allows parts to be produced as metal sheets are fed through the die. The Ram stamping process is distinctively different depending on the type of stamping press used as we’ve already addressed above; the mechanical ones utilize eccentric drive to move the ram, whereas hydraulic cylinders are used instead for hydraulic presses.
- Other Components: Other components including the large metal block of the pad type, the mold that is fixed on the metal black, and the control mechanisms (using programmable logic). Generally speaking, metal stamping presses are electronically connected to an automatic feeder that enables the raw metal to be fed through the die. When the raw material has been put through a straightener, it is then fed into the automatic feeder. Metal stamping presses can also be equipped with a tonnage monitor that closely observes the amount of force exerted for every stroke.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Metal Stamping
Some benefits of metal stamping presses include:
- Low Die Cost: Dies for metal stamping tend to be relatively cheaper to produce and maintain as opposed to the ones used in other machining processes.
- Low Secondary Cost: Less secondary costs (e.g., plating, cleaning, etc.) are also incurred compared to other fabrication processes of similar treatment.
- Highly Automated: Metal stamping presses have a relatively higher level of automation compared to other processes. This is attributed to the high-end computer control programs that typically complement the machine, providing superior precision, quicker turnaround times, and faster production.
On the other hand, one commonly known downside of a metal stamping press is the higher operating cost. As dies have to be obtained or created, producing custom metal stamping dies is even a longer re-production process. Also, if designs are to be changed during production, dies can be difficult to change.
Application of Metal Stamping Press
Metal stamping presses are used in many applications across industries. Some of the more common applications include anything that involves a three-dimensional design, surface engraving, or lettering.
As for applicable industries, metal stamping presses are commonly seen in home appliances, automotive, medicine, aerospace, military and defense, and telecommunication service. You may be surprised how many appliances in your home (including your vehicle) have parts already undertaken the metal stamping process. As a matter of fact, the specific products and components can range from simple stamping objects, such as springs, washers, etc., to more intricately designed items that are found in car engines.
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