Short-to-Medium Run Stampings
Quantities from 50 to 50,000 pieces define the range of short to medium runs of stamped metal parts.
Standard tolerances offered are +/- 0.005" on lineal dimensions and +/- 0.0015" on hole diameters. Many jobs are run on materials in thicknesses from 0.010" to 0.250". Steel, copper, brass, aluminum, stainless steel and some plastics are included in the list of materials that can be cold stamped in this manufacturing operation.
Tooling and the policies regulating the manufacture and replacement of it are very important considerations in stamping operations. One estimate provided was that short-run tooling costs are 10% of standard tooling costs. In specific cases, a "lifetime tooling" arrangement is provided. If the tooling fails or is worn out, it is replaced by the stamping supplier at no additional cost to the customer over the term of the contract.
It can be concluded that in order to produce tooling under the aforementioned policies, the supplier must be equipped with a variety of machinery. Presses, CNC machining centers, welding machines, tappers, wire EDM equipment, grinders, drills and saws are all essential to primary operations plus the fact that these the tools are also available for secondary operations.
To meet the tolerances being specified today, it is important that the parts be made using quality measures such as Statistical Process Control (SPC). Additionally, today's stamping job shop should be capable of using and modifying software packages such as CAD/CAM. Manufacturers should be able to accommodate requests that cover design to production through assembly.
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