Posted: Sep 5, 2023
At Dayton Rogers, short run metal stampings are one of our key offerings. Short run metal stampings are just what they sound like: they are metal stamping projects with a low finished part volume. What quantity exactly qualifies as ‘short run’ depends on the metal stamper that you ask, but generally any order less than 50,000 parts is considered appropriately fitting. What really defines a short run is the time window the part spends in production. If the part is produced for just a brief time, or even just for a singular production run, that would certainly be considered a short part stamping. That being said, there are a few different types of metal stamping methods that are well suited to short runs, including prototyping, modular stamping, and deep draw forming.
In the current age of industrial development, most products need to go from concept to fully developed as quickly as possible. To achieve this, rapid prototyping is now a highly desired method of product development.
While there are many ways to go about rapid prototyping, short run metal stamping facilitates the production of a part that is as close to the final product as possible. This is thanks to the high quality production capabilities of metal stamping. Despite providing superior quality to other rapid prototyping methods, short run metal stamping still manages to keep production costs low by using standard tooling to shape sheet metal into the completed part. That leads us to the next advantage of short run metal stamping for prototypes.
Across the board, short run metal stamping is known to offer drastically reduced production costs compared to other metal fabrication methods like casting and machining. By using premade tooling in a process that produces little waste, the cost of metal stamping is nothing short of competitive. When it comes to the relationship between the two, think of rapid prototyping as a kind of application of short run metal stamping rather than a specific type of production method. Rapid prototyping can be achieved with the use of both of the following stamping methods: modular stamping and deep draw stamping.
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Modular stamping is a method of short run metal stamping that is incredibly quick to set up. By using premade tooling to achieve the desired shape, lead times in modular stamping production are nearly eliminated. By using standard tooling, high-precision parts can be easily formed and recreated in the future if the customer were to ever order another production run.
This method utilizes a hydraulic press to apply force to a piece of sheet metal with a set of standard machine tooling. The press can apply anywhere from 3 tons to 300 tons of force to the tooling to cold form a feature into it. This process is repeated for all of the desired features until the final desired form of the part is obtained.
With the use of a hydraulic press control panel, the modular metal stamping process can be entirely automated, resulting in further cost savings for our customers.
Although this method practically eliminates lead time, it does not have as quick a throughput as progressive stamping does. This makes it a more cost-effective option for low quantity orders. Conversely, the cost per part in progressive stamping goes down as order quantity goes up. However, it requires custom progressive dies which results in a longer lead time.
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Lastly let’s cover deep draw stamping. If you’re familiar with deep draw sheet forming, it’s not too different; the goal is to form a sheet into a part with a complex shape, typically one with a large depth. At Dayton Rogers, our deep draw stamping equipment- which includes a servo press capable of exerting up to 220 tons- allows us to produce metal stampings as deep as 5” and as wide as 14” in diameter. No other method is capable of producing parts of this size with a comparable level of prevision.
Like modular stamping, deep draw stamping offers high repeatability. Although deep draw stamping does require custom tooling, once the tooling is made we can always reuse it to replicate the part with the same level of precision.
Compared to more complex forming methods like casting and machining, deep draw stamping is a metal forming method that slashes production costs. Casting requires custom tooling, is time intensive, and in most cases requires extra finishing work after the casting is pulled from its mold. On the other hand, machining also requires a large time investment and ultimately results in a large amount of material waste in the form of chips.
Deep draw stamping drastically reduces lead time, production time, and material waste. Oftentimes it just takes a bit of engineering to convert a casting or machining project into a metal stamping project. With the help of an industry experts like the engineers here at Dayton Rogers, you can save big by switching to deep draw metal stamping.
Dayton Rogers is a trusted authority in all things metalforming. With our decades of experience in the industry and fully equipped shop space, we guarantee that we can bring your next metal stamping project to life better, faster, and cheaper than the rest. That’s the Dayton Rogers difference.
Dayton Rogers has led the metalforming industry for more than 90 years, using stamping and fabrication expertise to create a wide array of parts for multiple applications. Our metal stamping and metal fabrication services create unique solutions that are integral to your project’s success. If you’re ready to discuss our available metalforming methods in a free consultation, don’t wait. Call today to speak to one of our metalforming experts about your project or schedule an in-person meeting.
Want to learn more about metal stamping and fabrication? Get your FREE copy of the Design Principles Black Book. This Design Principles booklet describes the various common conditions that occur in the fabrication of parts.