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Tag Archive: metal stamping

  1. Is Precision Metal Stamping Right for Your Application?

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    Precision metal stamping is a manufacturing process that utilizes a custom tool and die set installed in a stamping press to turn sheet metal into the desired components. It is used in a wide range of industries to create large quantities of parts and products with high precision, accuracy, and speed. While this process offers manufacturing advantages, it is not appropriate for every production project.

    The following article discusses some of the considerations to keep in mind when determining whether precision metal stamping is right for your project. It provides an overview of the process, the benefits it offers, and the typical industries that use it.

    An Overview of Precision Metal Stamping

    Metal stamping—also sometimes referred to as pressing—relies on specialized tooling (i.e., a tool and die set) and equipment (i.e., a press) to form metal sheets and coils into the required shape and size. The pressure exerted on the workpiece by the press forces the material to conform to the shape formed by the tool and die. This process can occur in a single stage or across several stages, depending on the simplicity or complexity of the end product. Precision metal stamping operations largely rely on the use of automated equipment, which ensures the finished components are both precise and accurate.

    In addition to higher precision and accuracy, some of the other advantages the precision metal stamping process demonstrates over other manufacturing processes include:

    • Greater product and process quality. Accuracy offered by the precision metal stamping process translates to a lower error rate during production. This means there is a smaller chance of producing faulty or flawed parts making it into the hands of customers.
    • Lower production costs. A generally automated process, precision metal stamping mitigates the need for manual labor. This quality also results in a lower error rate, which translates to less material utilization and waste during a production run.

    Industries Served

    As indicated above, the precision metal stamping process finds application in a wide range of industries. Some of the industries that regularly employ the process for the production of their parts and products include:

    Automotive

    Metal Stamping for AutomotiveIn the automotive industry, stamping is used to create a variety of structural and functional parts used in vehicle bodies and frames, electrical systems, steering systems, and more. Some examples of typical automobile parts made in metal stamping operations include:

    • Brackets and hangers
    • Electrical terminals and connectors
    • Wire forms (e.g., tire and under chassis components)

    Aerospace

    In the aerospace industry, parts and products are subject to strict manufacturing requirements and restrictions. These guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of the aircraft’s personnel and passengers and the public. For this reason, aerospace components manufacturers (e.g., Keats Manufacturing Co.) maintain certification and compliance with various industry standards such as Mil-spec and RoHS. Some of the metal stamped parts and products commonly produced for aerospace applications include:

    • Assemblies
    • Brackets
    • Bushings
    • Clips
    • Lead frames
    • Shields
    • Terminals
    • Wire forms

    Medical Devices

    Metal Stamping for Medical DevicesSimilar to the aerospace industry, the medical device industry has many standards dictating how a component should be made. These exceptionally high standards ensure the safety of medical practitioners and patients. Standard and custom metal stampings are found in a variety of medical devices, including:

    • Connectors, couplings, and fittings
    • Equipment housing and sleeves
    • Implants and prosthetics
    • Pump and motor components
    • Surgical instruments and equipment
    • Temperature probes

    Electrical Distribution

    Professionals in the electrical distribution industry make use of many different metal stamped parts and products in circuit breakers, distribution boxes, switches, transformers, and other critical equipment. Some examples include:

    • Brackets
    • Clips
    • Contacts
    • Inserts
    • Shields
    • Terminals

    Appliances

    Metal Stamping for Appliances - Washing MachinePrecision metal stampings are found in a wide range of commercial and residential appliances, such as:

    • Automatic garage doors
    • Dishwashers
    • Dryers
    • Garbage disposals
    • Grills
    • HVAC units
    • Irrigation systems
    • Ovens
    • Pool filtration and pump systems
    • Refrigerators
    • Security systems
    • Stoves
    • Thermostats
    • Washers
    • Water heaters

    Renewable Energy

    The renewable energy industry encompasses solar, wind, geothermal, and other clean energy operations. As the industry grows in response to the push for greater sustainability, so too does the need for reliable parts for power generation and distribution equipment and systems. Some of the metal stamped components regularly produced for such applications are:

    • Antennas
    • Brackets and clips
    • Cases, inserts, and retainers
    • Fan blades
    • Grounding straps and busbars
    • Heat sinks
    • Plates
    • Shields
    • Terminals and contacts

    Contact the Precision Metal Stamping Experts at Keats Manufacturing Today

    The precision metal stamping process plays a critical role in the production of components for many industries. For customers looking for an experienced and knowledgeable metal stamping partner, the Keats Manufacturing team is here to help.

    At Keats Manufacturing, we’ve provided custom small metal stamping solutions for over 60 years. Armed with extensive manufacturing experience and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, we can fulfill nearly every metal stamping request with a high-quality product solution. To find out more about our metalworking capabilities or partner with us on your next project, contact us or request a quote today.

  2. Metal Stamping in the Automotive Sector

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    Automobiles rely on a wide range of components to operate safely and efficiently. Most of these components — which are found in every part of a vehicle, from its frame to its electrical systems — are manufactured using metal stamping and precision machining methods.

    Metal stamping, also referred to as pressing, involves placing a sheet or coil of metal into a press and forming it into the desired shape over a die or mold. This can be done in one stage or over several stages, depending on the complexity of the required end product.

    Automotive stamping allows for the manufacture of many different functioning parts, which are used in automotive bodies and frames, as well as electrical, steering, alternator, and fuel systems. These components play a crucial role in ensuring optimal safety and functionality.

    Terminals and Electrical Connectors

    The auto industry produces thousands of vehicles a year, and hundreds of terminals and electrical connectors are installed in each vehicle.

    Automotive manufacturers typically employ connectors with a two-piece socket and tab design. Using flexible materials, the male and female component ends can easily attach and disconnect, allowing for great durability and flexibility. This is crucial, given the amount of abuse these components take from weather, general wear and tear, chemical exposure, and other harsh elements cars encounter on the road.

    As the auto industry depends more and more on electrical systems, demand will rise for highly protected, durable terminals and connectors. These components can be made from a variety of different materials — including copper, brass, phosphor bronze, and various grades of steel — using four/multi-slide forming and progressive die and metal stamping techniques.

    Automotive Wire Forms

    The wire forming process involves pulling a strip of metal through a series of lubricated metal dies or molds so it can take the desired shape. Allowing for many wire sizes and shapes, this simple, versatile process can even be applied to glass. Commonly worked materials include titanium and copper, but the ideal material choice will depend on the specific application at hand.

    Wire formed products are used in a wide range of applications, including construction, which makes use of rebar, as well as heating elements and even mattresses, which make use of springs and coils. In the auto industry, wire formed products are found in tires and under chassis.

    Automotive Brackets and Hangers

    Metal brackets are also found in many different automotive applications — door panels, instrument panels, fender assemblies, and airbags, to name just a few. Primarily used to fasten one component to another, brackets can be manufactured from metals such as steel, as well as various other high-strength, oxidation-resistant alloys. Since automotive brackets may be exposed to the elements, these properties are particularly important.

    Learn More about Automotive Stamping

    Metal stamping and precision machining techniques are essential for ensuring optimal safety, reliability, and comfort in all types of vehicles. These processes, whether complex or simple, require experienced and dedicated technicians; companies should be sure to partner with knowledgeable industry leaders who can provide reliable solutions tailored to the specific application at hand. Components must be durable enough to withstand years of use in varying road and weather conditions, so quality is of utmost importance.

    At Keats Manufacturing Co., we’re proud to offer industry-leading wire form design and manufacturing services. Committed to quality in everything we do, our facilities are ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and TS 16949 compliant, and we make use of the latest technological innovations, including CAD/CAM. Our operations are overseen by 25 of the industry’s most experienced die makers.

    For more information on our custom metal stamping services for the automotive industry and discuss automotive component manufacturing options for your unique application, reach out to the team today.

  3. Keats Manufacturing Achieves IATF 16949:2016 Certification

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    Keats Manufacturing is pleased to announce that we have achieved certification under IATF 16949:2016, a technical specification for quality management systems in the automotive sector as set forth by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF).

    What is IATF 16949:2016 certification?

    A Quality Management System (QMS) is a set of processes, policies, records, and documented procedures that lay out the internal rules under which a company produces and delivers its products and services to customers. Within the automotive industry, one of the most ubiquitous international standards for quality management is the ISO/TS 16949. This standard harmonizes the various certification systems and assessments in the world’s automotive supply chain.

    What is the significance of the certification?

    This IATF certification demonstrates a consistent commitment to customer satisfaction and quality of products and services. Both internal and external audits of our QMS documentation show that Keats Manufacturing has a high-standard Quality Management System in place and that we operate accordingly.

    What requirements must a company meet to be certified?

    IATF16949 consists of 11 sections, seven of which detail the requirements for an organization’s QMS in order to qualify for certification:

    • Section 4: Context of the organization – The organization must determine its context in terms of the QMS, including the needs and expectations of interested parties.
    • Section 5: Leadership – Top management must show leadership and commitment to implementation of the QMS as well as assign process owners and other roles and responsibilities.
    • Section 7: Support – This section details the QMS requirements for infrastructure, people, organizational knowledge, competence, communication, awareness, work environment, monitoring and measuring of resources, and documentation of information.
    • Section 8: Operation – The organization must meet product requirements in all aspects of planning and creating their product or service. This section addresses planning, review of product requirements, design, purchasing, creation of products or services, and control of the equipment for monitoring and measuring the product or service.
    • Section 9: Performance evaluation – The organization must effectively monitor the functionality of the QMS. They must assess customer satisfaction, perform internal audits, monitor products and processes, and review management.
    • Section 10: Improvement – An organization must continually improve the QMS, meeting requirements for nonconformities and corrective actions, error-proofing processes, and problem solving.

    Once the processes and procedures have been designed and implemented for a period of time, the records collected during the operation of the QMS serve as the basis for audits, reviews of the system, and, ultimately, certification.

    How is this newer version of the certification different?

    The updated version of ISO/TS 16949, IATF 16949:2016 was published on October 3rd, 2016. It replaces the previous ISO/TS 16949 and sets forth the requirements for a QMS used by an organization within the automotive industry. Meant to be used with ISO 9001:2015, it supplements the requirements for a stand-alone QMS, customizing the standard to the specifics of the automotive industry.

    IATF 16949:2016 blends various standards from across the United States and Europe. It outlines best practices for the design, development, manufacture, installation, and service of automotive products. This international measure of quality is the gold standard for any company to develop a system for ensuring improvement and customer satisfaction.

    What does the certification mean for Keats’ customers?

    We take automotive quality very seriously. The purpose of the IATF certification is to ensure that our customers can rely on faithful delivery of high-quality products. Keats Manufacturing has long been committed to customer satisfaction and ongoing improvements, and this certification is evidence of that commitment.

    To download our IATF 16949:2016 certification and our other quality certifications, click here.

  4. Metal Stamped Parts for the Automotive Industry

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    Throughout our more than 50 years of business, the engineers at Keats Manufacturing have been producing the highest quality custom metal stampings, wire forms, and assemblies for a wide range of industries. Listed below are several examples of custom metal stamped parts for automotive that Keats has manufactured.

    Positioning Sensor for Steering Wheel

    Positioning Sensor for Steering Wheel

    Keats was sent a 0.0238” thick phosphor bronze material and our engineering team was tasked with turning that raw material into terminals to be used in numerous automotive steering wheel sensors.

    Using our precision custom stamping services, Keats was able to design, build, and package one million of these terminals and ship them to the client’s location in Europe. In addition, these terminals were also plated with bright tin to increase their corrosion resistance. The reel-to-reel plating process that we performed ensured uniform deposition of the coating and significantly helped to decrease overall cost.

    Fuel Injection Steel Shield for Engines

    Fuel Injection Steel Shield for EnginesAn automotive manufacturer provided Keats with a print and a .DWG AutoCAD file that contained specifications of a fuel injection steel shield that was required for use in automotive engines.

    Using DCC programmable CMMs, our precision stamping process allowed us to manufacture one million parts from 1008/1010 cold rolled steel with tight tolerances of 0.003”. Zinc phosphate coating was then applied because of their paint bonding characteristics. We were able to complete and deliver this order with a turnaround time of 15 days.

    Terminal Wire Forms for Sensors

    Terminal Wire Forms for SensorsOne client came to Keats with a need for terminals to be used in sensors for various automotive parts. Starting with copper alloy wires with a thickness of 0.082”, the Keats engineering team leveraged our in-house AutoCAD and tooling machinery to achieve tolerances of 0.001” to manufacture 25,000 terminal wire forms with chamfered ends. The entire process, including delivery, took 30 days from start-to-finish.

    More Products for Automotive Applications

    To see where else Keats’ metal stamped products are used throughout the automotive industry, check out our interactive infographic.

  5. Evolving Technologies: Metal Stamping for Medical Devices

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    The medical industry, including the medical instrument, medical device, and especially the medical implant sectors, is growing at an exceptional rate. As innovations are made and introduced to the market rapidly, the field continues to grow and evolve.

    At the same time, the medical industry as a whole — plus manufacturers, care providers, and the public — is challenged by rising healthcare costs as prices rise nearly as quickly as technologies adapt. This puts medical instrument and medical device manufacturers in a uniquely challenging position as they must balance quality — a non-negotiable factor in the health field — with efficiency, and speed with precision.

    For example, medical devices are now being designed to be smaller and more discreet. Smaller components, some of which have super-tight tolerances on the micron level, can be difficult to manufacture, so companies often turn to machining to have these components produced. Machining, though, can be very costly and time consuming.

    The Benefits of Metal Stamping for Medical Devices

    Old medical and surgical instrumentsMetal stamping, often overlooked in favor of machining when it comes to small and complex parts, has seen its own share of technological advances over the years. Today, metal stampers can stamp very small, very complex shapes to the exact specifications required by the medical industry.

    In fact, metal stamped components are already in use in a range of medical instruments, devices, and implant components. Here is just a small sampling:

    Surgical Instruments

    Jaw housings are crucial components of the devices used during laparoscopic surgery. Small and perfectly cylindrical, jaw housings are traditionally machined from a metal tube. In fact, it used to be widely believed that this was the only way to manufacture them — that metal stamping could not physically produce them. However, jaw housings can be stamped to tolerances well within those required by the health care industry and are generally half as expensive as machined ones.

    Close up of a pacemake on ElectrocardiographDevice Enclosures

    Various medical devices are designed for permanent implantation into the human body, including drug pumps, cochlear devices, pacemakers, and internal defibrillators. These products require enclosures — almost exclusively made of titanium — to protect them from the human body, which can reject foreign objects. Today, with the proper tool design considerations, titanium can be stamped as easily as steel.

    Implantable Components

    Then there are implantable components, encompassing internal components of implantable devices such as battery cases and freestanding medical components such as brackets, clips, and clamps. Implantable components are incredibly small — smaller than a human fingernail or scalpel tip. With the advent of cutting-edge microstamping equipment and techniques, metal stampers can now expediently and cost-effectively manufacture these tiny components.

    Learn More

    keats-medical-device-ebook-coverThese are just a few examples of the complex medical-grade components that metal stampers can now offer to medical device manufacturers and others operating in the health care field. In the continual balancing act between quality and cost, it’s time to explore metal stamping as a viable production process.

    Ready to take a deeper look into the design of precision metal stamped medical device components? Download our newest eBook to learn more about design considerations, prototyping utilization, materials, and more criteria for metal stamped medical components.