Metal stamping parts should be part of your production process if you’re looking for ways to reduce overall costs. Partnering with a skilled metal stamping partner with the right tooling, you can benefit from this fabrication process in a variety of ways—not just in terms of cost. Learn how metal stamping can save your business time and money.
Choosing the right materials and using them wisely is key to achieving more cost-effective operations. Here are our tips for utilizing the right materials in the most efficient, cost-effective way:
- Material selection — Short-term cost savings must be balanced with maximum part longevity. For instance, the most economical choice long-term may require materials with slightly higher upfront costs, like magnesium or aluminum. A thorough cost-benefit analysis will reveal whether higher upfront costs are to your advantage, or if a cheaper option is perfectly suitable.
- Avoid exotic alloys — Without a significant design purpose, luxury or exotic metals are usually not essential to a part’s end use. When possible, choose more readily available and affordable metals, instead of exotic alloys. Modern innovations in metallurgy have made available a wide range of metal alternatives that are very close to higher-end metals in terms of quality, strength, and appearance. For example, high-strength, low-alloy (HSLA) steel is a commonly used material due to its excellent corrosion resistance, low cost, and other properties that closely match spring steel.
- Minimize scrap — Arranging design layouts for maximum parts per sheet is key to reducing waste. It also shortens lead times by using fewer metal sheets per run. Each metal has unique tensile strengths and other properties that make them more or less machinable. Your metal stamping partner should work with you to review the best material options for your design.
- Buy materials at the right time — Timing is an important factor many metal stamping companies neglect. By buying materials when the market dips, you can maximize purchasing power over competitors who simply buy materials whenever needed.
- Secondary processing — Cheaper, less robust metals can sometimes be sufficiently strengthened through secondary processes. For example, we once helped a client replace their aluminum parts with thin embossed steel, which has an equivalent strength and weight but a dramatically lower cost.
When consulting with your metal parts stamping manufacturer about your design, let them know about:
- Changes in part requirements
- Design factors not yet set in stone
- Potential design modifications
More complex processes are also more expensive. Generally, reducing the number of times a part must be touched or processed also reduces costs. The major exception is when additional steps using a cheaper material result in a lower cost per part, compared to fewer steps using a more expensive material.
Designs should also be optimized for manufacturability based on the capabilities and limitations of the metal stamping dies, assembly lines, and other available manufacturing equipment. Tooling experts can then provide accurate predictions of the time required for your manufacturing run(s), allowing you to adjust your project deadlines accordingly.
Most importantly, experienced metal stamping professionals can quickly test design changes with cutting-edge software, ensuring you catch potential defects before expending time and resources. Reliable quality controls at every stage, especially during pre-production, are essential to achieving maximum cost-effectiveness, shorter lead times, and higher product quality. These benefits can only be achieved by a metal parts stamping specialist who’s taken the time to optimize their process from start to finish.
Equipment and Tooling
High-quality metal stamping equipment also improves cost efficiency and lead time. For high-volume productions, four-slide stamping machines and progressive die-stamping are ideal.
Your metal stamping provider should review your tooling requirements beforehand. They may see opportunities for alterations that lower tooling complexity without any loss in part functionality. This could be as simple as making square holes round, since round holes greatly simplify machining and tooling requirements.
Alterations can dramatically shorten lead time and maximize cost-effectiveness. Manor Tool’s metal stamping engineers can help you see if design changes could allow the same machine or process to perform multiple functions, potentially saving significant expenses, especially at scale.
Cost-Effective Metal Stamping Services From Manor Tool
Metal parts stamping is a cost-effective fabrication process that, when utilized with the right expertise, can streamline your entire production process. It’s not always true that higher quality means higher costs, and by working closely with the experienced metal fabrication experts at Manor Tool, you can boost part quality even as you shorten lead times, lower costs, and maximize ROI.