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How does a stamping press fabricate parts?
A stamped component begins with the raw material of a coil or sheet of relatively thin metal. The coil or plate width and thickness determine the possible size of the finished parts. A mechanical stamping press feeds the raw material in between a series of top and bottom dies which are machined from tool steels into desired cutting shapes. The stamping press presses the top and bottom dies together with force and accuracy that deforms the metal by forming, drawing, trimming, blanking or piercing the metal. A few common used stamping press manufacturers include Fagor, Knuth, Janome, RHTC, and Beckwood.
Sizing a Die to a Metal Stamping Press
All presses have a tabulated graph of energy supplied by the press manufacturer. These vary because the flywheel-generated energy is dependent on the size of the flywheel and drive ratio in the press. It takes two calculations to size a die. The first is the tonnage or force, and the second is the energy consumed. Presses are rated by tonnage as force (in tons) that can be applied.
Categories of Metal Stamping Press Machines
The types of press machines are derived from the drive source that generates the pressure on the die to form the finished stamped component. This includes mechanical, hydraulic, servo and pneumatic power sources. They are subdivided according to frame design, typically straight-die or C-frame as well as single and double ram connections. A low-tonnage press may have a single or double-ram connection depending on the accuracy requirements compared to cost.
Common Stamping Terminology
- Blanking: Shearing or cutting of a shape out of coil or strip material.
- Bottom Dead Center (BDC): The lowest point of the crankshaft and press slide travel in a 360-degree press cycle.
- Die: Upper and lower toolset configured to cut, bend, draw or coin metal placed between them.
- Drawing: Metal forming caused by stretching the metal under pressure from a press into a die.
- Piercing: Penetration of material placed between a punch and a die with force from a press.
- RPM: Revolutions per minute.
- Slide: Also called a ram, it is connected to the upper half of the toolset and moves in the press frame, powered by the crankshaft. It delivers the force, which why it can be called a ram as it rams material in.
- SPM: Strokes per minute.