Fourslide Metal Stamping Process
Fourslide metal stamping is a metal forming process in which flat stock sheet metal, formed from metals such as steel, aluminum, zinc, nickel and titanium, etc., is shaped into predetermined parts in a stamping press.
During press operation, the slide, or ram, maintains movement to and from a motionless table called a press bed. The die, a press tool consisting of a specially designed cavity, shapes metal parts from the inserted sheet metal. The upper component of the die connects to the press slide, and the lower component connects to the press bed. A die component called the punch performs the necessary shaping operation by pushing the sheet metal through the die.
After the fourslide metal stampings are formed, they are typically subjected to one or more secondary processes. Some such secondary services are:
Plating increases the corrosion resistance, solderability and wearability of the part. The most common plating materials include gold, palladium, nickel and tin; metal can be pre-plated to avoid this secondary process.
Cleaning removes oils and films from the metal stampings.
Heat treating processes increase the strength of the product.
Sharp corners are removed by the deburring process, which can be done by either abrasives or chemicals.
About Fourslide Metal Stampings
Fourslide metal stamping, a process that integrates stamping and forming operations, creates stamped metal parts and wire forms from strips and wire consisting of steel, copper, aluminum, bronze and many other metals. From these stock metal strips, manufacturers create small, intricate parts, which may require bends greater than 90°. During slide forming, sliding tools glide into the metal blank from four directions at right angles to one another, bending the metal around a vertical mandrel. The slide forming area is equipped with timed mechanisms called cams, which regulate slide movement. These additional movements allow fourslides to produce complex parts with multiple bends and twists. Highly versatile and precise fourslide metal stamping machines can perform a number of operations before ejecting the part, sometimes completely producing a part in one four-slide operation.
Types of Metal Stampings
Electronic metal stampings are metal stamped electronic components.
Fourslide metal stamping is a specialized metal stamping process that allows fourslides to produce complex stamped parts from strips and wires with multiple bends and twists, as well as parts requiring bends greater than 90°. During fourslide forming, sliding tools, regulated by cams, glide into the metal blank from four directions at right angles to one another, bending the metal around a vertical mandrel.
Progressive die metal stamping utilizes several workstations, unlike the usual single workstation, through which the sheet metal sequentially moves to complete multiple operations of the stamping process.
Short run metal stamping produces between five and ten thousand pieces, and the cost of the dies themselves is greater than the cost of the parts produced. Labor costs are higher per piece, materials are more costly, setup time is greater and other cost factors are higher in short run stamping than conventional stamping, because of the greater number of operations involved.
Benefits of Fourslide Metal Stamping & Wire Forming
Fourslide metal stamping services are cost-effective because the process is able to produce material-intensive parts at production rates that are much greater than what is possible using other traditional methods.
Many parts that are being designed to undergo other metal forming processes, such as casting, die casting, forging, machining or fabricating, could just as easily be designed for fourslide metal stamping.
Fourslide metal stamping dies cost less than other tooling, like progressive dies, forging and casting dies and expendable cutting tools, among others. The quality, accuracy, function, wear life and appearance of parts can be greatly improved by designing them to be stamped.
A number of material-intensive parts can be produced as fourslide metal stampings: balance clamps, base weights, brackets, brake flanges, bushing seats, conveyor flights, engine bases, flywheel shrouds, framed hangers, friction plates, gear and sprocket blanks, lock tabs, reinforcement plates, retainers, spring seats, upright bars, wear and swivel pads, wheel or backing rings and yoke guides.
Stamping services use punches and dies to create three-dimensional parts and add surface definition such as lettering to flat-sheet materials. They can process ferrous and nonferrous metals, exotic metals and alloys, precious metals, and thermoplastic materials.
Stamping services differ in terms of capabilities and may use deep drawing, fine blanking, multislide stamping, or progressive die techniques. Deep drawing uses a punch to fabricate deeply-recessed parts. The depth of a deep-drawn part exceeds its width, as with a cup made from a flat metal sheet. Fine blanking is a specialized, high-precision blanking technique in which material is sheared smoothly through its entire thickness. Fine blanking can be used to produce stamped parts that do not require the performance of secondary operations. Fourslide or multislide stamping incorporates the vertical motion of a punch with horizontal die applications from multiple directions, either simultaneously or successively. Progressive dies are used in production-efficient processes where multiple stamping operations are performed in successive stages or positions along the fabrication cycle.
Fourslide Metal Stamping Advantages
Fourslide metal stamping has several advantages over other metal stamping methods.
Tools for fourslide metal stamping can also cost significantly less than power press tools, lowering startup costs.
Material is purchased to finished width, reducing scrap.
No die set is needed, and flat or round material can be formed.
Fourslide metal stamping machines can repeatedly produce parts at very high speeds (30-250 parts per minute) with uniform quality.
Fourslide machines can tap or thread holes. The fourslide process can also control burr direction and location.
Less handling of materials
Fourslide Metal Stamping Service Selection
Selecting a fourslide metal stamping service requires an analysis of services offered, secondary operations, and additional manufacturing capabilities. Most stamping services provide engineering or design assistance, short-run production, high-volume production, assembly services and/or specialty packaging. Secondary operations include drilling or tapping, CNC machining, grinding, EDM cutting, water or abrasive jet cutting, heat treating or stress relieving, welding, anodizing, electroplating, painting or power coating, and the application of black oxide finished.
Tooling The Micro Fourslide
The comments on the jobs detailed below reflect a an insight and expertise in micro fourslide work. Production quality control receives a very strong emphasis in the job shop. The optimum balance between production and tool life on each fourslide is reached with the aid of motorized drives which allow an infinitely variable speed selection. Doing work on a two-out-per-stroke basis doubles output from each machine cycle. Strong emphasis is placed on families of dies with interchangeable sections. All of this has led to a specialty of micro fourslide work where five pounds of thin strip may ultimately be formed in to 100,000 parts. Here is an explanation of an approach to tooling complex jobs and running them at very high speeds.
Although it is not so intricate as other parts that have been tooled, the little stainless steel spring is an excellent example of the cost reduction it is possible to achieve through tooling refinement and the use of the proper size machine. This part is made from Type 301 stainless steel strip, 3/4 hard temper, 0.006 inch thick by 0.250 plus or minus 0.003 inch wide; the direction of the grain of the metal is specified by the customer. Tolerances are close (the parts must be uniform to be assembled in their automated assembly equipment) and the location and form on the tang are critical.
This part had been tooled on a 1 1/2-inch-wide (capacity) machine because it is accurate equipment however the results could be improved upon. Here is how: Careful setups, form tool refinement and diligent machine operation helped increase our production of this part. Starting out with a net production of only 4000 pieces per hour, we increased to 6,500 pieces per hour as we gained experience. We then retooled the job and put it on a slightly smaller (1 1/4-inch-wide) machine which ahs two overhead motions. We used the form-lift motion to raise the mandrel support. This innovation and other refinements gradually raised the net production to 11,000 pieces per hour.
The little stainless steel spring was a natural candidate for our machines. We retooled and refined the design - even to a full set of special, short-stroke cams. The machine has a top speed of 400 strokes per minutes and we have run this spring at that rate. One 10-hour shift produced 215,000 parts! But high tool mortality has forced us to a more prudent rate. Reducing the machine speed by only 15 percent resulted in a 380 percent increase in mandrel life and adding an "all carbide" die (sharpening it only once each week) saved three to four hours' production time each week. We have now produced a total of seventy million parts and have averaged 1.5 million parts per week. Our customer now buys this part for less than one-third the original contract price.
The die (in the press position) is nothing more than a rectangular notch on the lower edge of the strip. As the materials leaves the die an insulated probe, which is wired to a normally open terminal post of the mac
Fourslide Metal Stamping Services
Fourslide metal stamping services use punches and dies to create three-dimensional parts and add surface definition such as lettering to flat-sheet materials. They can process ferrous and nonferrous metals, exotic metals and alloys, precious metals, and thermoplastic materials. Stamping services differ in terms of capabilities and may use deep drawing, fine blanking, multislide stamping, or progressive die techniques. Deep drawing uses a punch to fabricate deeply-recessed parts. The depth of a deep-drawn part exceeds its width, as with a cup made from a flat metal sheet. Fine blanking is a specialized, high-precision blanking technique in which material is sheared smoothly through its entire thickness. Fine blanking can be used to produce stamped parts that do not require the performance of secondary operations. Fourslide or multislide stamping incorporates the vertical motion of a punch with horizontal die applications from multiple directions, either simultaneously or successively. Progressive dies are used in production-efficient processes where multiple stamping operations are performed in successive stages or positions along the fabrication cycle.
Selecting a stamping service requires an analysis of services offered, secondary operations, and additional manufacturing capabilities. Most stamping services provide engineering or design assistance, short-run production, high-volume production, assembly services and/or specialty packaging. Secondary operations include drilling or tapping, CNC machining, grinding, EDM cutting, water or abrasive jet cutting, heat treating or stress relieving, welding, anodizing, electroplating, painting or power coating, and the application of black oxide finished. Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining centers are often used to perform very precise machining operations such as turning, milling, and boring. Electrical discharge machining (EDM) cuts metal via the discharge from an electrode. There are two main EDM categories: wire and ram. With wire EDM, the electrode is a thin wire typically made of brass or other alloys. With ram EDM, the electrode is a specially shaped piece of graphite or copper alloy. Additional manufacturing capabilities for stamping services include coiling or spring making, tool making, and wire forming.
Regional preference, certifications, and quality requirements are important parameters to consider when selecting stamping services. AS 9100 is an expanded, international version of AS 9000, a standard which defines quality management system (QMS) requirements for suppliers to the aerospace industry. QS-9000 is a quality standard for suppliers of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. QS-9000 is based on the 1994 edition of ISO 9001, but contains additional requirements that are particular to the automotive industry. ISO/TS 16949:2002 is an ISO Technical Specification that aligns existing American (QS-9000), German (VDA6.1), French (EAQF) and Italian (AVSQ) automotive quality systems standards for the global automotive industry. Other ISO standards for a stamping service include ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485:2003. Some stamping services meet U.S. military specifications (MIL-SPEC). Others are registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or meet requirements from original equipment manufacturers (OEM).
Tool and Die Makers
Tool and die makers manufacture fourslide tooling, jigs and fixtures, progressive dies, sheet metal forming dies, welding fixtures, and custom or specialty tools. Fourslide or multislide tooling incorporates horizontal die applications from multiple directions, either simultaneously or successively, in addition to the vertical motion of a punch press.
Jigs and fixtures are used to hold a work piece in the correct positional location relative to the tool during machining operations, or to another part during assembly or welding. Progressive dies have two or more stations for performing multiple operations. Sheet metal forming includes tooling and dies for the punching, stamping and/or forming of sheet metal. Welding fixtures maintain the positional location of two or more parts or assemblies during welding operations.
Services offered by tool and die makers include CAD/CAM support, design assistance, initial tool tryout, production facilities and rapid prototyping. Computer aided design or drafting (CAD) is used to design products quickly and accurately. Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) is used to fabricate products directly from CAD outputs. Tool and die makers who provide design assistance can help with concepts, manufacturing costs, manufacturing techniques and material considerations such as sourcing. They may also be able to assist with upgrading, redesigning, reevaluating or modernizing existing products to increase performance and/or reduce manufacturing costs. Initial tool tryout is available from vendors who offer on-site production of a limited number of parts for initial tool and part evaluation. Tool and die makers may also offer on-site manufacturing of production quantities, or produce prototypes for visual or tryout inspection.
Tool and die makers are located across the United States and throughout the world. They provide tooling to a range of industries that includes aerospace, automotive, food processing, optical, medical, and pharmaceutical companies. Tool and die makers also manufacture products for companies that provide electric and electronic components and semiconductors.
Fourslide Metal Stamping & Other Related Associations
Precision Metalforming Association (PMA)
Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA)
National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA)
West Coast Spring Manufacturers Association (WCSMA)
Metco Fourslide manufactures a complete range of fourslide stampings: custom metal stamping, fourslide products, miniature stampings, punch press stampings,
stamped flat springs and stamped wire forms, located in the Los Angeles, California area. • 17540 S Denver Avenue, Gardena, CA 90248
Toll Free: (800) 582-3476 • Tel: (310) 516-6547 • Fax: (310) 323-6365 • Send e-mail • www.metcofourslide.com