With over six decades of fabrication experience, Keats Manufacturing Co. produces high-performance metal stampings, wire-form & assemblies with precision for industries ranging from appliances to automotive. Metal stamping in the automotive sector delivers strong, lightweight, and identical parts for electric vehicle (EV) applications. The resulting products have the quality and longevity to improve vehicle performance, while the manufacturing process increases productivity and operational efficiency.

Learn why metal stamping is such an effective process for EV manufacturing and how the Keats team can support your automotive production operations.


The Role of Metal Stamping in Electric Vehicles

Globe Newswire reported in July 2022 that the global EV market of 2020 had an approximate value of over $246 billion. Analysts predict that by 2028, it will exceed $1.3 trillion. To keep up with such staggering growth in the sector, the automotive manufacturing industry will require efficient, high-volume production methods. However, given the critical nature of all the parts involved in vehicles for ensuring high performance and safety on the road, such processes must also generate high-quality, uniform parts with precision that can withstand rugged applications and various environmental conditions.

To accommodate the battery-powered EVs that have joined traditional vehicles with combustion engines on our highways, automotive metal stamping techniques have changed considerably, adapting to new material and design specifications. For example, EVs utilize parts with varied material construction, including conductive metals and light alloys. Automotive metal stamping companies can create crucial and structural components like the following using this production technique:

  • Terminals
  • Bus bars
  • Brackets
  • Clips
  • Battery enclosures
  • Electric motor housings

The process allows for the production of lightweight components that provide both the precision and strength for lasting EV solutions.


Materials and Processes in Metal Stamping for EVs

The following materials are popular choices for EV automotive metal stamping because of their optimal strength-to-weight ratio and their conductivity:

  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Aluminum
  • Bronze
  • Steel
  • Advanced alloys

At Keats, our accurate and efficient EV metal stamping capabilities involve four-slide and progressive die stamping. The following case studies showcase our capabilities related to metal stamped parts for the automotive industry.

Cable Lug Terminals for PHEV, EV & HEV

Keats’ design team was given the opportunity to collaborate with a European Tier 1 customer to develop 14 new terminals for one of the largest global OEMs.  These terminals go across many platforms of PHEV, HEV & EV vehicles.  The terminals are made from CuZn37 alloy and are post plated with Tin and Zinc.  Each terminal must undergo exhaustive testing on the finish to ensure solderability in the wire harness assembly process.  Keats is able to ensure 100% compliance to customer specifications through rigorous testing of finished parts during the manufacturing process.

Bus-Bars for Automotive Fuse Box

Keats was approached by a major Tier 1 automotive customer with a request to built develop multiple different busbars to go into a new fuse box for a major automotive OEM.  The busbars are made from 110 Copper with a pre-tinned coating.  Keats designed and built 10 new progressive stamping tools and currently produces about 375,000 pieces annually from each of those tools in Mexico.  

Terminal for Steering Wheel Positioning Sensor

Keats’ engineering team accepted an automotive stamping job for a customer in Europe. We were asked to develop terminals for various automotive steering wheel positioning sensors from 0.0238-inch-thick phosphor bronze. Drawing on our background in custom metal stamping, we designed, manufactured, and packaged one million of these terminals with bright tin plating to increase the terminals’ resistance to corrosion. We used a reel-to-reel plating technique to plate the parts while still on the strip to allow for complete coverage of all the terminal edges.  We then brought the stamping strip back into the press to brake the parts free and utilized robots to pack them in custom trays.  This allowed for the application to maximize cost-effectiveness while enabling uniform coating deposition.

Fuel Injection Steel Engine Shield

One of our automotive manufacturing clients requested a steel shield for fuel injection applications within engines. Keats received a .DWG AutoCAD file and print from the client with the shield’s specifications and related requirements. Through our precision automotive metal stamping process — coupled with our DCC programmable coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) — we were able to deliver ten million parts with tolerances of 0.003 inches from 1008/1010 cold rolled steel. We also applied a zinc phosphate coating to enhance the paint bonding characteristics of the part surfaces.


Key Components by Keats Manufacturing for EVs

EVs depend on a wide range of components to ensure proper functionality, reliable stability and strength, and safe operations. At Keats, we utilize automotive metal stamping to produce high-quality components that are essential to the EV sector, such as:

  • Aluminum parts. Aluminum has a high strength-to-weight ratio, allowing us to produce lightweight parts that boost the overall energy efficiency of electric vehicles.
  • Autonomous driving components. Autonomous EV technologies like cameras and sensors rely on metal stampings in complex shapes to provide component support.
  • Custom bus bars. These components deliver efficient EV battery power distribution. Keats produces bus-bars for multiple different OEMs. 
  • Electrical connector and steering wheel sensor terminals. Our sensor terminals enable precision steering and functional electrical connections.
  • Electric motor housings and battery enclosures. Our stamped metal parts provide optimal protection for EV motors and batteries.
  • Fuel injection fasteners and shields. Automotive metal stamping can produce diverse fastener types for assembly applications as well as EV engine system steel shields.
  • Heat shields & Heat Sinks. These parts safeguard heat-sensitive EV components against excessive temperatures to prevent part damage.
  • Terminals. These components are designed to ensure secure electrical connections and are placed on the end of cables inside the wire harness or on the mating component.
  • Structural parts. We also manufacture essential structural components for EVs to promote optimal stability and overall integrity.

Choose Quality and Precision in EV Metal Stamping

Keats’ precision metal stamping services for automotive applications lend your business many advantages.

Top-Quality Components

Partnering with Keats will give you the peace of mind that you’re receiving automotive parts of the highest quality. We utilize computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software as well as programmable CMMs to ensure precision in your EV parts. Our quality control system is compliant with ISO:9001, ISO:14001, and IATF:16949 standards, and our 12-member dedicated quality team reports directly to the company CEO for maximum quality control and assurance.

Flexible Solutions

We can assist you when you need a single prototype of an automotive component, an order of up to 50 million parts for large-scale manufacturing operations, or anything in between. With capabilities for custom metal stamping, the Keats team can handle projects of virtually any degree of complexity. 

Cost Savings

We combine our knowledgeable, customer-focused team with advanced technology and equipment in our three full-service facilities to provide our automotive clients with cost-saving solutions. Our team believes in offering quality metal stamping services at affordable prices.


Get in Touch With the Automotive Metal Stamping Experts Today!

At Keats Manufacturing, our experienced and knowledgeable team delivers the utmost reliability and precision through our metal stamping services, helping you meet the specific demands of your next EV application. We use advanced stamping press technology, equipped with more than 142 wire-forming and metal-stamping machines to create diverse products. We also engineer our own tools and dies to maintain tight tolerances in production, generating quality, repeatable parts.

Contact us today to learn more about the EV metal stamping services we provide. You can also fill out our Request for Quote form for details related to your unique project.


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