Category Archive: Services

What’s the Difference Between FEA, FES, and CFD in Manufacturing?

Since our inception in 1959, Manor Tool has grown from a small tool and die shop to an industry-leading provider of metal stamping services. We can handle project volumes ranging from single prototypes to high-volume production runs. We manage a variety of stamping operations, including bending, forming, punching, and deep drawn stamping, plus design processes like finite element analysis (FEA).

We understand that the production of high-quality products begins before the production process. We keep talented engineers and inspectors on staff to ensure quality is built into every component from its conception. We follow every part through each step of the manufacturing process, including any outside contractors, to ensure that it will meet and exceed the expectations of our customers. As part of our strict adherence to quality assurance practices, we are ISO 9001:2015-certified and ITAR compliant.

This stringent dedication to quality led us to incorporate Finite Element Analysis (FEA) capabilities into our design processes. This blog post will discuss FEA and related methods and how they apply in manufacturing.

What Is Finite Element Analysis?

The Finite Element Analysis—a numerical method that has become a core element of mechanical engineering and most simulation software programming—gives engineers the tools to simulate application characteristics and see how a design will perform in its intended operating environment. FEA essentially deconstructs a design into thousands of individual nodes, then applies mathematical equations to determine how each node or group of nodes will react to forces such as stress, heat, motion, vibration, and other physical factors.

Until recent years, Finite Element Analysis was traditionally reserved for scientists, PhDs, and specialized engineers in advanced industries due to its complexity. The development of faster computers, advanced software capabilities, and better graphics user interfaces have opened up the FEA process to general manufacturers since FEA no longer requires extensive IT infrastructure to implement during the design phase of a product.

Is Finite Element Simulation the Same as Finite Element Analysis?

FEA is simply the application of the Finite Element Simulation in academia, the term FES is usually preferred. Since manufacturing deals with real-world applications of FEM principles, FEA is more commonly used. While not precisely interchangeable, both terms refer to the same set of concepts.

Finite Element Analysis vs. Computational Fluid Dynamics

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) combines principles from physics and mathematics to predict how a liquid or gas will move, as well as how the material will impact other components within a system. CFD is commonly applied in aerodynamics to model airflow and predict how it will impact the functionality of air and ground vehicles. It is also used to predict the behavior of fluids within process systems.

While these two processes may seem similar, CFD and FEA are typically used in different predictive modeling scenarios:

  • Finite Element Analysis is primarily applied to determine structural problems, electromagnetic issues, and heat transfer concerns. FEA relies on a set of equations determined by the application of principles laid forth in the Finite Element Method.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics provides a similar outcome, but for fluid flow problems. Instead of using FEM, CFD relies on equations determined by the Finite Volume Method (FVM) and the Finite Difference Method (FDM).

It’s worth mentioning that FEA and CFD have some overlap. For certain scenarios, these two methodologies may simply be different roads to the same destination. CFD can be applied to structural problems and FEA can be applied to fluid flows, though the results in each case may be less accurate. As such, the situations mentioned above are how these predictive processes are most commonly applied to ensure the utmost accuracy in advance of physical production.

FEA at Manor Tool & Manufacturing

At Manor Tool & Manufacturing, we’ve been honing our FEA capabilities for more than ten years. FEA gives our designers the capability to look into the future and gauge the viability of designs before we spend time and money creating physical prototypes. Manor has used FEA or simulation of metal forming to determine whether a proposed design will produce parts free of fracturing and / or wrinkling, etc. Every project we have run with FEA has been successful on the first try.

Some of the key benefits offered by our FEA services include:

  • Superior design accuracy
  • Better design insight
  • Virtual prototyping
  • Fewer physical prototypes
  • Shorter design cycle
  • Reduced design cycle costs
  • Higher productivity
  • Improved ROI

For more information about our FEA capabilities and how they can help save time and money on your design, please contact us or request a quote.

The Keys to Successful Die Maintenance

Founded in 1959, Manor Tool & Manufacturing started as a small tool and die shop. Since then, we have grown into a first-class metal stamping company that specializes in employing bending, forming, punching, and deep drawn stamping methods for prototype to high-volume production runs. Equipped with 32 presses, our team uses new and existing tooling—e.g., dies—to fulfill customer orders, which of course requires proper die maintenance.

Ensuring that each stamping we deliver meets both the quantity and quality our customers demand, necessitates the use of well-maintained, high-quality dies. The following blog post outlines what to look for in a quality die and how best to maintain it for successful operations.

What to Look for in a Quality Die

When initially choosing a standard die or designing a custom one, there are three key characteristics to look for:

  • A well-designed die should facilitate achieving a consistent outcome. This may include having highly specified details and discrete components that cannot be placed incorrectly after repair and maintenance operations.
  • Die builds should yield only a small number of variations per die design. Examples of flaws to look out for include too small guidance pins and bushings and missing pressure pads.
  • A die design should be easy to translate to die production without having to worry whether the one produced matches previous ones.

Having and maintaining these three qualities in the dies employed for a stamping operation is essential to operational success. In particular, high-quality maintenance programs that use predictive systems and preventative maintenance help resolve potential problems before they significantly affect production.

Die Maintenance Methods

Die maintenance can involve several different operations, such as:


The cutting sections and punch edges of a die wear down over time through normal use, resulting in potential errors in the parts produced. Periodically employing a grinding wheel to sharpen the dies prevents these conditions from impacting manufacturing operations. Furthermore, careful sharpening practices insure the quality of the die steels.


Adding shims to die sections may be necessary to ensure each die station maintains the proper timing. When adding shims, some of the things to keep in mind include:

  • Avoiding improper shim placement and the use of multiple shims shims
  • Use the correct number of shims
  • Ensuring proper clearance for all fastening elements
  • Removing debris and burrs from all shims

Cleaning and Inspection

Regular cleaning and inspection of dies provide industry professionals with opportunities to detect and prevent issues that may evolve to full-blown production problems. Some of the things to look for include:

  • Loose fasteners
  • Missing or broken components
  • Worn/degraded parts or parts in need of refinishing
  • Insufficient lubrication
  • Excessive debris and buildup
  • Fits, allowances, and clearances of die components

Die Maintenance Steps for Engineers, Floor Managers, Etc.

When performing general inspection and maintenance, industry professionals—including engineers and floor managers—may check the following components and practices:

  • Documentation for quick repairs
  • Dies for black grease, slivers, and sludge
  • Last strips for burrs, punch shear/brake lines, slivers, and tool marks
  • Slugs for proper penetration/tightness and variance
  • Die shoe guideposts for galling, tracking, and wear
  • Pilots for presence and length
  • Punch lengths for height
  • Punch floats and pumps for configuration and condition
  • Die inserts and forms for height & timing with other related details
  • Strip lifters for height & timing with other related details
  • Toe straps and clamps for condition
  • Die sections for chips and side galling
  • Stripper faces for wear
  • In-die stock pushers for performance
  • Preventative and predictive maintenance procedures; continuous improvement practices

In addition to inspecting these die and equipment parts, there may be other items to check on indicated in the die maintenance card instructions. Once the inspector finishes checking all the parts necessary, they should fill out the die maintenance card with all the work performed and file it away, tag the tool inspected, and order any replacement parts needed.

Partnering with Manor Tool & Manufacturing Company

With 60 years of experience in metal stamping and hard tooling, Manor Tool & Manufacturing Company has the skills and knowledge necessary to produce parts that meet the specifications outlined by customers. By employing regular in-house die maintenance and part inspection, we ensure the highest level of quality and process reliability, plus quick response time. For more information on how to maintain a die or our manufacturing capabilities, contact us today.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Our Deep Drawn Stamping Process

Since 1959, Manor Tool & Manufacturing Company has been fabricating metal components for a range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical, energy, and consumer goods. With a specialty in high-quality metal stamping, Manor Tool can create anything from a one-off prototype to a high-volume run requiring progressive tooling.

Manor Tool’s deep drawn metal stamping services include standard cylindrical and axisymmetric shapes as well as box-shaped items. We can make modifications to meet each customer’s unique needs, such as coining, curling, extruding, and embossing. Our shop is also ISO 9001:2015-certified for quality, and our process has been established to produce finished parts to tight tolerances that meet or exceed customer specifications.

The Process of Deep Draw Stamping

The deep draw process is necessary for parts with a depth that exceeds their diameter, like beverage cans, deep pans, assembly housings, and other containers. A blank piece of sheet metal is positioned over a die, and a punch is used to force the metal into the die and create a custom shape. Once the die is made and tooling set, the process is relatively inexpensive, especially for high-volume production, because it can be completed with minimal downtime or maintenance.

From start to finish, the deep draw stamping process is as follows:

  1. Engineers provide a design.
  2. Our Engineers review the design and determine whether the part can be created with Manor’s fleet of more than 30 400-ton presses.
  3. We consider the ideal thickness, shape, and radii of the finished part and what will work best based on customer specifications and our expertise. Typical parts we create are between 0.005 and 0.5 inches, with extremely tight tolerances. We can also make dies up to four feet wide and eight feet long.
  4. We implement Finite Element Analysis, or FEA. This allows us to virtually create the part using the final design and accurately simulate the entire manufacturing process. Any problems with design or tooling can be easily discovered and changed before it costs time and money.
  5. Based on material requirements, we select the right flat metal sheet. Options include aluminum, brass, copper, and steel.
  6. As part of set up, Engineers note the depth of the part and the degree of radius. They position the die and punch properly on the press. The metal sheet, or blank, is placed on the die.
  7. The punch is applied against the die with force, which shapes the workpiece as desired. This process is repeated to produce the correct depth and size.

The finished part, having been created from a single sheet of metal, is strong and seamless. The precision of the process allows it to be completed quickly, for less technical labor costs and quicker turnaround times.

What Can Be Made From Deep Draw Stamping Metal?

Metal stamping is widely used to manufacture a wide range of parts, and deep draw stamping produces parts with depth greater than the diameter. Commonly produced items from the deep draw stamping process include panels, tanks, containers, sinks, automotive parts and pots or pans for kitchen use.

Some types of parts or items are more likely to be produced via deep draw metal stamping:

· Parts that must be produced at high volume. Deep draw stamping works quickly and efficiently once it has been set up, making it ideal for longer runs.

· Parts that must be water- or gas-tight. The one-sheet process is seamless.

· Parts that must be produced to tight tolerances. Metal stamping has high accuracy and can be set to tolerances as low as ±.0005 in.

· Parts that have complex, axisymmetric shapes. The die and punch create these geometries more quickly and accurately than many machining processes.

· Parts for which cutting or welding would be undesirable from a durability or aesthetic standpoint.

Quality Metal Stamping at Manor Tool

Deep draw metal stamping is an ideal process for cylindrical or axisymmetric parts that can be manufactured quickly to tight tolerances. While anything from a prototype to a small run to high-volume manufacturing can be completed using deep draw metal stamping, it is most cost efficient for large production runs. Once the tooling is set, the process runs quickly and with little required oversight.

Manor Tool’s ISO 9001:2015 certified quality control processes at every stage of production ensure that a high quality finished part fits all specifications. Not only can our pre-production process identify inefficiencies before work begins, but we can assist in determining the ideal shape, thickness and materials to use for best results.

To learn more about our deep draw stamping services or to get started on a project, contact us today or request a quote.

Applications and Tips for Transferring Tooling

Developing effective transfer tooling procedures lets small and medium-sized manufacturers minimize their tool development costs and hedge against unpredictable component suppliers. Tooling is an expensive process, but it typically involves only a one-time cost, so anything that can make the tooling process more affordable will greatly impact your overall expense portfolio. As the trade war between the U.S. and China continues to heat up, it’s now more important than ever to consider transferring tooling back to American manufacturers to mitigate increased costs and other supply chain disruptions as a result of tariffs.

External suppliers perform a number of time-intensive processes during tooling development so that you don’t have to. Third-party tooling services include:

  • Machining
  • Heat treating
  • Routing
  • Barcoding
  • Turning assembly
  • Pressing
  • Debugging
  • CMM final inspection

When you let other manufacturers perform these tasks, you can dedicate more time and resources to applications more central to your company’s mission.

In this post, we describe eight transfer tooling strategies that will enable you to get the most from outsourcing your tooling production.

Eight Steps to Successfully Transfer Your Tooling

Following these tips will help you execute a successful tooling transfer.

1.) Make Sure Everything’s Covered in Your Contract

All parties subject to the transfer tooling agreement must sign nondisclosure agreements to ensure that any new innovations remain between those concerned. NDAs must cover part prints, quality assurance policies, and production requirements. Additionally, governmental and third-party regulators often require legally sound contractual agreements to be signed before work can begin.

2.) Create a Strong Partnership that Emphasizes Communication

A partnership based on trust and open communication between the businesses will ensure that parts arrive on time and that nothing is lost in translation. Both companies must be willing to take the appropriate steps to ensure that communication channels remain open throughout the process.

3) Perform On-Site Assessments Early and Often

It’s important to have a solid understanding of your transfer partner’s capabilities before entering an agreement. Additionally, once production has begun, frequent and respectful on-site assessments will ensure that you have as much information as possible on the status of your tooling.

4) Agree on a Clear Production Schedule

Create a detailed transfer schedule using data from on-site assessments. The schedule must include transfer dates for all parts and tools while allowing enough time to produce the tools to your standards.

5) Build Enough Safety Stock to Allow Efficient Tooling Transfer

The supplier must provide enough safety stock that you can use during the validation of production equipment and processes at the new facility. Typically, business partners set up a six-week timeframe within the transfer schedule, although it’s important to allow for the possibility of additional shifts and/or weekend work to make sure everything’s running on time.

6) Ensure You Buy the Correct Consigned Equipment

The third party may need to buy nonconsigned equipment to successfully build your transfer parts. Consignment equipment typically includes tooling and spares, fixtures, inspection gauges, and all other product-specific equipment.

7) Validate All Transfer Tools Before Ending Your Contract

When the third-party’s transfer tools leave production, you should ensure that they’re all compatible with your existing facility. Many companies validate transfer tooling by analyzing their new parts’ similarity to existing parts and performing golden sample processes.

8) Design Production Molding For Use in the Next Transfer

Once the tools have been validated and incorporated into your production processes, make sure you or your contractor save the production mold to simplify the transfer tooling process next time you go through it.

Applications for Transfer Tooling

Just about any industrial manufacturer needs to develop effective transfer tooling procedures. A wide range of manufacturers regularly contract third parties to ensure that their next generation of tools is of as high quality as possible. Industries that implement comprehensive transfer tooling procedures include:

  • Sheet metal stampers
  • OEMs
  • Appliance manufacturers
  • Automotive and aerospace OEMs
  • Furniture assemblers
  • Machine tool shops
  • Medical device manufacturers

Transfer tooling can work with a wide range of metal products, such as:

  • Aluminum
  • Cold-rolled steel
  • Spring steel
  • Stainless steel
  • HSLA

Manor Tool: A Trusted Source for Transfer Tooling

Manor Tool & Manufacturing is an ISO 9001:2015–certified company that can help you with all your transfer tooling requirements. If you’re looking for more best practices on how to implement the most effective transfer tooling procedures, download our free eBook, “Everything You Need to Know About Transferring Tooling.”

If you’re looking to embark on a transfer tooling procedure of your own, feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience to request a free quote.

Download Our Transferring Tooling eBook >>

5 Reasons to Consider a Tooling Transfer for Metal Stamping

As the U.S. economy and global manufacturing supply chain continue to evolve, many companies are realizing the need to maintain a consistent inventory of parts and tooling for their core operations. With OEMs examining supply chain risk management more closely than ever, it’s no surprise that tooling transfers have become increasingly popular in today’s industrial landscape.

Tooling transfers can prevent a number of common challenges that slow production or threaten to derail it altogether, including the following common tooling issues:

  1. Old tooling: Tool maintenance is essential, both to maintain safety and ensure high quality output, but requires appropriate resources like highly trained team members. If a trained staff is a prohibitive cost, however, you can easily outsource this work. Manor Tool and Manufacturing Co. has a team of qualified tool makers and apprentices on staff who can service and maintain your existing tooling for you.
  2. Supplier quality: Transferring your tooling to another company is a safeguard against inconsistency and poor quality from overseas suppliers. In fact, slipping standards are among the top reasons for tooling transfers.
  3. Timeliness: Suppliers don’t always deliver parts when promised. An in-house tool room reduces downtime spent on repairs and debugging.
  4. Minimize risk: When unexpected disruptions such as economic downturns, political unrest, or natural disasters affect the global supply chain, delays and inconsistent end-user experiences are likely to follow. An experienced tooling transfer provider can smoothly navigate these obstacles and minimize their effect on your company.
  5. Industry-specific expertise: Manor Tool has years of experience in custom tooling for metal stamping and formed components in a variety of applications. As an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, Manor Tool is deeply committed to quality in every project. Regardless of your company or industry’s demands, we can work with you to develop the right solution for your tooling transfer needs.

For more information about the benefits of transferring tooling and how to ensure a successful tool transfer, download our eBook, “Everything You Need to Know About Transferring Tooling.”


To find out how transferring tooling with Manor Tool can help you address common manufacturing issues, including lack of in-house tooling staff, supplier uncertainty, and inefficient production operations, contact our team today.

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Offers Problem-Free Production In Component Manufacturing

In component manufacturing and metal stamping, sometimes there are complex geometries in projects, and these complexities offer an infinite number of variables that could negatively impact quality control. For most component manufacturing or metal stamping projects, it makes sense to take advantage of the benefits of performing a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to ensure problem-free production and positive end results. FEA offers you peace-of-mind by ensuring that your designed component can be manufactured at a production basis, at a point where you can make adjustments, if necessary.

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At Manor Tool & Manufacturing, we’re experienced at conducting FEA, and, with our clients, we’ve witnessed the benefits of FEA first-hand.

Here’s how FEA works: Using FEA software, we turn your product design geometry (the final part design) into tooling surfaces and use it in simulation to engineer a successful forming process in the “virtual world” – at a place and a point where design imperfections can be caught and fixed without negatively impacting tooling, production or your business’ bottom line.

Through our extensive engineering experience and FEA capabilities, Manor offers our clients the know-how and assistance required to help them decrease production costs, save time on their projects, and deliver problem-free production, no matter how complex the design specs might be.

On your next component assembly project, we can help you achieve these benefits – and give you confidence in the final results.

Work with Manor to get innovative component manufacturing solutions that deliver efficient, cost-effective, progressive die-stamped products. Contact us to learn more about our capabilities and to discuss Finite Element Analysis in more detail. Or visit our portfolio gallery and read one of our customer’s success stories using FEA to maximize the effectiveness of the die-stamping process. We look forward to working with you!

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