Precision stampers use many types of metals, including aluminum alloys, brass alloys, copper, nickel, steel, stainless steel, silver, and bronze. How do you know which is the right material for each project? It has to do with a variety of mechanical and chemical properties that determine how a given metal will behave during stamping and in the finished product. Designers, engineers, and stampers need to work together to find the right balance between satisfying design intent and manufacturability of a part. Metal properties also impact the manufacturing process itself, including selecting the best tool steel, stamping oils, and plating or other finishing.
Some of the most important properties to consider are discussed listed below; however, there may be additional considerations depending on your specific application.
If you think back to the beginning of this year, almost nothing is the same as it used to be. There are countless examples in manufacturing and industry alone. One we recently experienced is a facility audit.
Initial certification and recertification audits are generally conducted by an independent auditor who visits the facility to review documentation, observe production, and interview employees; however, in-person visits have been sharply curtailed during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to technology, manufacturers and auditors have been able to continue the audit process. We’ll also share our insights from a recent virtual audit at our Texas facility.
Most of us have heard of 5G and know it’s on the horizon. 5G refers to the fifth generation of network connectivity between devices. We commonly think about cell phones in this context but it includes any object (e.g. computer, car, appliance) connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) that can transmit and receive data. The exact timeline for its arrival is unclear, but there is definitely forward momentum. For example, “the share of 5G-connected cars that are actively connected to a 5G service will grow from 15% in 2020 to 74% in 2023, reaching 94% in 2028,” according to Gartner .
What will 5G look like when it arrives, and what does it mean for precision stamping? Read on.
YONKERS, New York (July 15, 2020) CEP Technologies’ San Antonio, Texas manufacturing facility has been awarded the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) 16949:2016 certification. An engineering-based supplier of custom miniature to small progressive stampings, CEP also has production plants in Yonkers, New York, and Chengdu, China.
IATF 16949:2016 includes the structure and requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 quality management system standard with added automotive customer-specific requirements. Key areas of focus include continuous improvement, defect prevention, waste reduction, requirements for embedded software, and management of sub-tier suppliers.
Electromagnetic and radio frequency interference shielding is concerned with the “noise” and electromagnetic emissions from signals and currents inside electronic devices. Electronic devices can impact how nearby devices function and they can be susceptible to emissions from other neighboring devices.
The effects of interference range from annoying (e.g. static on the radio) to life-threatening (e.g. malfunctioning aircraft controls or electronic breaking signals).
Electromagnetic and Radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI) shield design is complex and multi-faceted, combining electrical and mechanical engineering concepts. In practice, shielding is very much an iterative process in which controlling one variable impacts another, leading to even more changes in the design.
One aspect of shield design is knowing which external signals are most critical to keep from interfering with the circuits inside. This is important from the standpoint of material selection, both for the shield structure and any subsequent plating. Knowing the frequency and amplitude of critical signals and how they behave with conductive metals helps you determine the conductivity and thickness required to achieve adequate shielding effectiveness.
Precision stamped components need to be in an assembly-ready condition when they leave the stamper’s facility, and they need to stay in that condition during transportation and storage and until the customer needs them. Moving components between facilities and general handling present many risks to that assembly-ready condition the stamper achieved. That’s why careful packaging is such an important part of the stamping process.
Electronic devices are everywhere these days – from your cell phone to your garage door opener, to the sensors on the security cameras at the grocery store. They’re controlled by internal circuit boards, which send and receive signals with instructions about what to do (i.e. display the phone’s home screen, send power to the garage door actuator, make the camera record when an object passes).
As devices have become smaller to fit inside machines, vehicles, and medical equipment, they have also become more powerful. Their microprocessors run at higher speeds, and send high-frequency signals between circuits that are very close together.
Electronic devices and the circuit boards that control them are trending smaller and faster all the time. High-speed applications operate at increasing frequencies within the radio and microwave ranges of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. The result is slick consumer and industrial electronics but the challenge for designers lies in controlling EM radiation emissions and the impact they can have on performance.
Change is inevitable in manufacturing. Whether you’re bringing a new product to market, re-engineering an existing one, or just need to find another supplier for your components, chances are you’ll have to switch from one progressive stamper to another at some point in time.