In a previous article, we discussed why using the shortest stroke possible yields the best results for the parts formed on a stamping press. Many stamping operations don't operate to their full potential. If it gets the job done, why change anything, right? Not exactly...
In this article, we'll explain some common reasons for these less-than-ideal conditions as well as ways to overcome obstacles to implementing improvements in your stamping operations.
Reasons for less than optimal conditions
Biases and assumptions in the tool design or equipment selection are causes that are difficult to detect and change. More obvious reasons for less-than-optimal stamping processes are:
- Equipment is not used for its intended purpose:
- Make a job work on equipment available
- Purchased equipment that “would do the job”
- Purchased new equipment at discounted price
- Repurposed existing equipment
2. Operating conditions/Trade-off values have changed dramatically:
- Production Volumes/Lot sizes have changed significantly
- Product Specifications/Part tolerances have been tightened
- Production requirements for quality, certifications, packaging, and delivery have changed
3. Equipment is outdated:
- Newer technology not utilized
- Lack of spare parts
- Decreased serviceability
4. Equipment lost its precision from when it was new:
- Damages due to operating error
- Material fatigue, improper repairs
- Normal wear
- Past modifications
How can stamping processes be improved?
Efforts to optimize start with an open mindset and a willingness to allow discoveries to effect change. It requires an environment where assumptions are replaced with reason, and prior decisions are re-evaluated based on changes in the operating conditions.
Hiring an outside expert that provides unbiased analysis and technological insights can be helpful. Sometimes simple remedies can make a significant difference.
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