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Tag Archive: multi-slide stamping

  1. The Difference Between Multi-Slide and Progressive Die Stamping

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    Various manufacturing processes require the use of precision metal-stamped products made from slit coil steel, copper, and brass, among other materials. These products are manufactured using power press stamping machines specifically built to produce parts from coiled metal or another similar materials.

    There is more than one type of stamping machine. The first is the progressive die stamping machine, which allows operations on a piece of metal until a final component is produced. This type of machine combines an automatic feeding system with punching, coining, bending, and other processes for modifying metal raw material and turning it into finished products.

    Another type of stamping machine is four-slide/multi-slide stamping machine, which makes possible the production of shapes and bends of varying complexities. This type of machine is used in the mass production of stamped components made from bar or wire stock.

    Progressive Die Stamping

    Progressive die stamping machines utilize a vertical motion when processing slit coil metal. Bending and cutting operations are performed simultaneously within a die to complete at least one part with every stroke of a machine. The coiled material is fed through the die and is processed progressively in steps.  Progressive die tooling can have as little as one step or as many as 40 steps depending on the complexity of the part.  Because of the nature of the process which requires material to be pushed into the next station with every stroke of the tool, a progressive die must pilot material in order to locate it within the die prior to cutting and forming.  The requirement of pilot holes within the progressive material strip can sometimes lead to excessive scrap or waste within the process.

    However, progressive die machines take 38% less time to set up than four-slide or multi-slide machines.  This can allow manufacturers to produce smaller lot sizes and be more flexible with production scheduling to produce only what the customer needs when they need it.  The principles pioneered by legendary Japanese manufacturing engineer Shigeo Shingo: SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) can be applied to progressive die machines and is standard practice at Keats.  Progressive dies are also capable of producing more than one part per stroke, making them ideal for manufacturing high volume:

    • Terminals
    • Brackets
    • Lead frames
    • Busbars
    • Shields

    Four-Slide/Multi-Slide Stamping

    As the name suggests, four-slide metal stamping machines have four moving slides. In contrast, multi-slide stamping machines may have more than four moving slides. Four-slide or multi-slide metal stamping works horizontally based on right angles, with the slides (rams) in the machine striking the coil material to produce the finished product.

    The production of complex bends and shapes is made possible by the servo motors or mechanically actuated cams acting on the slides. With this type of machine, adding threading, screwing insertion, staking, and other value-added assembly operations are possible.

    Four-slide and multi-slide stamping produces 31% less scrap on average when compared to progressive die stamping.  This is made possible by removing the requirement of pilot holes and replacing piloting operations with slotted blank holders which allow the part to move from the punching to forming operations without the need for pilots.  This also allows Keats to purchase raw material to the exact width of the part and eliminate trimming.  Since Four-slide production allows use of an infinite number of planes and axes, it can produce a maximum of 375 parts per minute, making it ideal for mass production of highly-complex parts such as:

    • Clips
    • Clamps
    • Fasteners
    • Bushings
    • Jaws
    • Yokes

    For context, 96% of all clips made at Keats are made using multi-slide die stamping.

    Because multi-slide machines are much more complex, they can take longer to setup than progressive die machines.  Four-slide production is ideal for components with high volume requirements where material cost and scrap are large contribution factors to the cost of the component.

    Learn More

    They may be different, but multi-slide stamping and progressive die stamping each have their own set of advantages. Whatever stamping method is right for your needs, you can be sure Keats Manufacturing Company has the capabilities to provide it for you. We perform a detailed analysis of every RFQ and provide our customers with the most cost effective production solution.

    Keats has been providing custom metal stamping, assemblies, and wire forms for 60 years, and our facilities contain nearly 150 metal stamping and wire forming machines that operate 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. We provide everything from custom prototyping to high-volume orders containing 100’s of millions of parts.

    To learn more about our metal stamping processes or other services, contact us or request a quote.

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    The Difference Between Multi-Slide and Progressive Die Stamping

  2. Product Highlight: Reel to Reel Terminals and Contacts

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    At Keats Manufacturing Company, we specialize in building high-precision terminals and contacts for electrical transmission. Essential for the automotive industry and a wealth of other applications, reel to reel custom parts maximize convenience and cost effectiveness.

    Reel to reel terminals are valuable for high volume orders of precision parts and are often used in customers’ automated assembly systems. Keats Manufacturing fulfills our customers’ most complex reel to reel requirements with technologically advanced equipment, providing contacts and terminals on lead frames, tape and reels, custom reel to reel terminals, and returnable/disposable reels.

    How We Do It

    Reel to Reel TerminalsCreating reels of close tolerance terminals and contacts requires advanced stamping techniques. We employ progressive die and four-slide/multi-slide stamping to manufacture enormous volumes of high-precision components (sometimes 20 million or more parts) with the industry’s closest tolerances, including down to ± .001”.

    This process starts with the latest AutoCAD software to design custom tooling and ends with complete manufacturing, inspection, and delivery to the customer. With the use of quality materials such as copper, brass, phosphor bronze, various silver oxides, and grades of steel, our stamping processes fulfill virtually any requirement for volume and accuracy.

    Progressive Die Stamping

    No matter how complex or precise the final product needs to be, progressive die stamping is an efficient and accurate solution. The process itself is fairly simple: materials are fed through a series of progressive stamping stations until the final part is complete.

    Though the process is fairly simple, our equipment is impressive, offering quick die change and 5 to 150 tons of die pressure to achieve tight tolerances on parts with multiple critical dimensions. The process combines premium accuracy with high volume capabilities, easily producing orders up to 20 million parts or more.

    Progressive stamping is accomplished using multiple forming and cutting stations, with quality assured by high-tech digital part inspections. Fully automated and hand packaging are both available, as well as careful tape and reel packing, which ensures that all of our customers’ parts are delivered in the best possible condition.

    Four-Slide Stamping

    Steel ShieldHighly efficient and cost effective, four-slide stamping employs die pressure ranging from 1 to 40 tons of raw materials in flat sheet metal form. These machines combine multiple processes into one piece of equipment, forming and shaping high volumes of parts with the utmost accuracy. Though this involves a more complex process, it is preferable for use in many types of projects.

    There are numerous advantages to part production using a four slide machine. The first is lower costs: these units require less labor, less material handling, and less expensive equipment than progressive die stamping systems. Four-slide stamping machines also require no die set and are generally more productive.

    Multiple Machines for Complex Requirements

    Depending on the complexity and material requirements of our customers’ projects, multiple machining processes may be necessary. A full array of high-tech equipment is available in our facility in addition to our stamping machines — all of which are operated and overseen by the most experienced machinists and die-makers in the industry. These include multiple EDM, CNC machines, and more.

    At Keats, our quality is unsurpassed. We ensure that every step of the design and manufacturing process is completed to meet the industry’s most stringent requirements, with final inspections performed before every delivery.

    For us, efficiency is just as important as quality. We maintain fully up-to-date Kanban software to ensure our customers receive Just-In-Time (JIT) delivery whenever required — even for the highest volume orders. Whenever a question or issue arises, our highly responsive customer service team is there to help.

    With our high volume capabilities and precision machinery, we are a perfect match for all customers who need reel to reel terminals and contacts.

    For more information about these products and their industrial applications, check out our eBook, Design Considerations for Automotive Electrical Contacts & Terminals.

    Contact us today to find out more about our precision metal stampings or to request a custom quote.

    Download the eBook: Design Tips for Automotive Electrical Systems