As technology advances, the complexity of parts within finished products has become more intricate. From simple gears and cogs to IC components and specific joints; the complexity and precision required for every component has increased significantly over the last decade. The demand for such complicated and precision-oriented tools has given rise to the need for better manufacturing processes – such as the ever-trusted metal-stamping process.
In this article, we will take a closer look at what short run stamping services and long run metal stamping are. By comparing the two, you can learn which process is more efficient and better suited for your industry.
What is Short Run Metal Stamping?
Short-run metal stamping is a process used for manufacturing parts that are needed in smaller volumes. It is a great option for prototyping and small-scale production runs, as it requires less equipment than other processes.
The process starts with the sheet metal being placed into the die set, on which all the operations are performed. Then the press applies pressure to the sheet to cut it according to the outline of the tool, forming the desired shape. Finally, a machining process called broaching removes material to create holes or slot in the sheet metal
These forming operations take significantly less time than traditional methods and can produce parts with greater accuracy. However, short-run metal stamping is not very cost-effective when producing large volumes of parts.
It is important to note that this process is often used in industries where parts are needed in smaller quantities, such as automotive, aerospace, and electronics.
What are the Pros & Cons of Short-Run Stamping?
- Short run metal stamping is a great option for prototyping or for creating small batches of parts.
- Compared to other processes, it requires less equipment and setup, making it faster and more cost-effective.
- Due to its accuracy and repeatability, short run metal stamping can consistently produce parts with high precision.
- The tooling required for short run metal stamping is quite expensive compared to other methods.
- Since the cycle time per part is relatively long, producing large volumes becomes even more expensive.
What is Long Run Metal Stamping?
Long run metal stamping is the process used for larger production runs. This method usually involves using a continuous feed mechanism, where sheets of metal are fed through the press one after another without interruption. This reduces the cycle time significantly as compared to short run methods and allows for high-volume production at a low cost per metal part.
However, it is also worth noting that while both long and short run stamping require specialized equipment, long run stamping has relatively higher initial costs. It may also require a dedicated maintenance team that keeps everything in check, as the high throughput puts more strain on the stamping equipment than the short run process.
This process is most often used in industries such as mining, military, telecommunications, and electronics industries, where large quantities of the same parts are needed. It can easily turn raw material into precision metal stampings, no matter how extensive the requirements are.
What are the Pros & Cons of Long Run Metal Stamping?
- It offers faster cycle times, which means that the parts can be produced at a much lower cost per unit.
- It offers better economies of scale, i.e., the more parts you produce, the lower the cost will be.
- Long run metal stamping requires more specialized equipment than short run, more training, and more thorough inspection because of the intense nature of the processes.
- Its accuracy and repeatability are slightly lower than short run processes due to the continuous feed mechanism employed.
Which Process to Choose?
Ultimately, the choice between long and short-run metal stamping depends on the quantity of parts you are looking to get. A single part or a few parts, short run metal stamping will be cost-effective. If you need a larger quantity of the same part such as gears or cogs, long run metal stamping would be the best option.
- Short run metal stamping is best suited for prototyping or low-volume production
- Long run metal stamping is better suited for larger production runs
- Each process requires specialized equipment and personnel, which can increase set up costs significantly
- The choice between short run and long run metal stamping should be based on volume requirements, budget constraints and the complexity of the part being manufactured.
Generally, short run metal stamping is great for prototyping or low-volume production, while long run methods are the best choice when it comes to larger production runs. By considering the specific needs of each project and the available resources , you can determine the process that is most economical.
Turning sheet metal into a completed part requires a dedicated design process. With the help of a metal stamping company and it’s expert team of engineers, you can create metal parts efficiently; cost and time.
For instance, single sheet metal can be used for various industries and can be used for different production processes via short run stamping. However, with long run metal stamping, you may need more raw material for it to be cost-efficient. Furthermore, making different parts – no matter how minute the difference is – would be better-suited for short run stamping than for long run, as the former does not allow for easy modifications in the process.
Fox Valley Stamping For All Your Stamping Needs
Fox Valley Stamping is a full-service metal stamping shop offering short run metal stamping for a broad range of industries. Our team has years of experience and can help you choose the right process and produce high quality parts in a timely manner.
Over the years, we have amassed a team of expert engineers, technicians, and tool-and-die makers who specialize in short run manufacturing. With our cutting-edge technology, we can provide the best solution for your metal stamping needs.
If you are looking for a reliable partner to help with your next project, get in touch with us today! We look forward to helping you with your metal stamping needs!