Big companies, including manufacturers of automobiles, aircraft and appliances frequently propel the need for sheet metal tooling. Such companies are known as original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs.
When an OEM is aware that there is a need for a part or new product line, it will find out the best way to produce it. This is where it is important to have enough information about several different processes. For instance, when a large-volume part can be stamped instead of undergoing casting, it can be produced at a relatively lower cost.
Though a number of OEMS can build the tooling as well as run the dies on their own, they frequently outsource the production of these parts. They may hire the services of a company to produce the parts to meet their need. Such companies that work in cooperation with the OEMs are known as Tier 1 suppliers.
How does a Sheet Metal Stamping Operation Work?
In this operation, the sheet metal is cut, then formed into the preferred shape. Though a sheet metal stamping process may make use of several different types of special machines, it requires three most important basic items: stamping die, stamping press and sheet metal from which the part will be made.
The majority of sheet metal stamping operations entail cold forming, except for a specialized sheet metal stamping method commonly known as hot stamping. In essence, this means that heat is not purposely introduced into the sheet metal or die. It is important to remember that though stamping is a cold-forming process, heat is produced. Cutting/forming sheet metal generates friction between the die and metal, similar to the heat and friction produced when rubbing hands together.