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Progressive Die and Stamping/Four Slide Metal Stampings
24 Dec 2019

Progressive stamping is a system that punches, coins, and bends raw metal in many different ways in combination with an automatic feeding system. 

The coiled material is feed into a straightener and then to a progressive die. The die has various stations, the material is stamped to its’ basic form and with each step the part gets more detail. The parts are left connected together on the strip in order to keep the material moving in the press. The last station is the cutoff operation that separates the finished part from the carrying web. This material, along with any punched material is scrap and is ejected and carried away to bins to sell to a metal recycler for a profit later. 

Most progressive metal stampings made in reciprocating stamping presses, although in larger applications a transfer press is used. A reciprocating stamping press moves up and down and the top of the die moves with it, which in turn allows the material to feed. When the press strokes down the die close and perform the stamping of the material. Every complete rotation of the press produces a complete part. When producing parts on a transfer press, each station is a die and a robotic device and/or conveyer used to move the material from one station to the next until finally, a finished part is the product. 

The four slide stamping process began in the latter part of the 19th century in the State of Connecticut, U.S.A. It is the ideal process for high-volume production of intricate springs, spring clamps, retention clips, and various wire and flat formed parts. This need for four slide metal stampings leads two companies, the Baird Company, which opened for business in 1846 and the A.H. Nilson Machine Company which opened for business in 1904, to dominate the production of machines used in the four slide stamping process. 

The four slide stamping process uses a production line consisting of payoff equipment for the wire, and in Animated Manufacturing’s case, flat stock from a coiled strip, a loop-control device, stock straightener, and feed system. The feed system feeds material directly to one or more in-line stations or a small progressive die for notching, piercing and/or coining before it reaches the cutoff and forming stations. 

Four slide metal stamping experiences the same problems associated with progressive dies, related to feed-line height, stock alignment, feed timing, stock positioning, slug retention, scrap ejection, off-center loading, and stock buckling. The use of electronic sensors can alleviate some of these problem situations. Set-up times are based on the complexity of the angles of the finished parts. Sometimes an hour or two may be needed to set-up a part that is familiar to the operator, other times it may take an entire day. Producing a new part, especially if that part has to be heat-treated, with complex bends, may take several weeks to produce good quality stampings. 

Many types of four slide metal stampings may be produced using complex-forming motions that may require expensive cams and forming tools. The complexity of the die and the bending involved may bring extended set-up time, however, the four slide process does not require a carrying web-like progressive dies which results in a reduced number of die stations and less scrap loss. 

Four slide metal stampings may be produced with tooling that is usually less expensive due to the simplicity of slide forming tools and the rapid production of parts, depending on the number of operations per part. The speed of production usually results in a lower per-part manufacturing cost. 

Four slide stamping of various shapes and sizes may be produced from a variety of different materials and thicknesses. Four slide metals stampings are not going away anytime soon as long as there is a demand for clips, jumpers, and other various small custom parts needed in many different industries. 

 Once there were hundreds of metal stamping companies in the United States. Since NAFTA, The Great Recession and the closure of many trade schools, the number of metal stamping companies are fewer and fewer every year. A young tool and die maker today is in his mid-fifties. If the United States doesn’t open some industrial trade schools in the next ten or so years, with the present personal retiring there will be a crisis within the entire field of metal stampings. 

and Die Four Metal Progressive Slide Stamping Stampings
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