Dynamic Die: Elevating Stamping Efficiency Through Design

In the world of stamping parts, from the inception of a request for quote (RFQ) to tooling design and production, there’s often a significant gap between design and manufacturability. A part that takes manufacturability into account can navigate this journey more smoothly, with minimal downtime due to tooling design and production misalignments.

While many parts pose challenges for optimal running conditions, a proficient tooling house knows various techniques to overcome these hurdles. However, these methods often come at a cost and may slow down the tool’s operational pace.

This situation becomes critical when tooling expenses escalate, potentially rendering the part unaffordable or uncompetitive in the market. It raises questions about the complexity and dimensions of certain features and whether they are genuinely necessary.

Functionality Takes Center Stage

Is there a tooling expert within the customer company who reviews part designs to ensure they are crafted with tooling feasibility and cost in mind? Does this expert verify that tolerances are achievable and that the tool will operate efficiently during production? Even subtle differences in how a part is dimensioned can significantly impact tooling and production costs.

Typically, the tooling house is unaware of a part’s function or the functions of its features. It heavily relies on the part print to design and construct a production tool that meets the specified requirements. While this approach is technically sound, if the tooling house understands a feature’s function during the tool tryout process—or ideally, at the RFQ stage—it can substantially reduce costs and streamline operations.

Avoiding Unnecessary Chaos in Hole Location

Consider a scenario where a tooling manufacturer grapples with achieving hole location tolerance on a part due to the inherent nature of the part and a strict block tolerance. After consulting with the customer, it’s revealed that the hole’s function is merely to hang the part on a paint line. If the part designer had recognized this feature as noncritical, the feature tolerance would have reflected that, eliminating the issue. This insight might have allowed the tooling house to provide a lower project quote, as the tool cost would likely have been lower.

Loosening Excessively Tight Tolerances

Another instance involves tight profile callouts on some large flanges in a tool designed for an automotive Tier 1 stamper. The part had strict profile callouts on sizable flanges. The flange tooling comprised multiple step forms through the part, which would be stamped from a lightweight material.

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Photo and article with all rights reserved, courtesy of thefabricator.com