Advancements as well as regulatory changes in the automotive and machine shop industry have created an increasing reliance on metal stamping and forming. Commonly used business, personal, and household products like coins, plastic shoes, jewelry, stove element covers, ashtrays, bottle openers and tea kettles are also made using metal stamping. As these and other products developed with metal stamping increase in sales, machinery companies will have to find innovative ways and upgraded precision machining to produce products quicker, yet efficiently.
Understanding the metal stamping process and advantages
To complete metal stamping processes, dies are used to create specific shapes out of flat metal sheets. Parts created from metal stamping and forming are frequently installed in large machinery, including hydraulic c frame press and mechanical presses. After the sheets are made, they are cut into some of the aforementioned products. In addition to steel, other materials cut, shaped and formed during the metal stamping process are aluminum, copper and zinc.
Although metal stamping has been used for more than a century, it was during the last several years that metal stamping began to replace other processes like die casting and forging. More durability, increased strength and lower production costs are some of the reasons metal stamping has increased in usage and popularity. Parts made during the process can be mass produced relatively easy.
This explains why metal stamping and forming rebounded so strongly even during the recession. In fact, Precision Metalforming Association’s (PMA) economist, Dr. Ken Mayland, stated that, “The recent downturn was much more severe than the normal historical averages and the upturn has been equally vigorous.”
An increase in smaller cars and light trucks also contributed to the resurgence in metal stamp forming. In fact, IHS analysts estimated that the sale of light trucks would rise to 17 million by 2015. Consumer confidence and an improving economy are behind this output growth. Furthermore, “IHS also predicts that U.S. manufacturing should grow more quickly than the general economy during the next few years.” Additionally, “Growth in manufacturing output, its analysts predict, should hover around 4 to 5 percent year-over-year through 2013, compared to a predicted GDP annual growth rate of about 3 percent.”
Concerning the automotive industry, some of the organizations that are driving some of this need include transmission equipment manufacturers and heavy duty truck manufacturing. By developing relationships with companies operating in several industries (i.e. medical, automotive), machinery companies could continue to keep their production high, fulfilling customers’ high, yet rewarding, demands.
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