Manufacturers are faced with different options for metal forming of parts, including progressive and transfer die stamping methods. The selection of the optimal stamping method for production of automotive, medical device and electronic components requires consideration of part complexity, batch size and process economics.

Progressive die stamping involves the use of multiple stations within one machine and offers high-speed production of large quantities, contributing to low cost-per-part. Each die endures repeated runs without degrading and performs diverse operations, including blanking, coining, embossing, extruding, lancing, notching and perforating.

During the process, coiled metal is fed through a progressive tool with a series of stamping stations that is run in a punch press to perform the operations. The material is straightened and travels through the tool, each station performs an operation that changes the flat coiled stock into stamped metal, with each successive station adding onto the work of previous stations.

Transfer die stamping uses one press to operate multiple tools. Removed from its metal strip so that it can be freely transferred from station to station, a part is shaped by each die until it is complete. Chamfering, cut-outs, pierced holes, ribs, threading and other features can be designed into the primary operations.

Consider these factors when deciding if progressive or transfer die stamping is the best manufacturing option for a specific application.

Benefits of progressive die stamping

  • Suitable for producing small to large components
  • Most economical for the largest production runs
  • Faster production speeds
  • Best for tight tolerances
  • Only requires one setup to produce completed parts

Benefits of transfer die stamping

  • Generally considered best for producing large parts
  • More cost-effective for short production runs
  • Carried out with independent dies that don’t require a sheet guide or lifter
  • More flexibility of finishes
  • Uses single or multiple dies that often offer the benefit of lower tooling costs
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