Your company has many options to choose from for progressive stamping projects. It’s worth your time to evaluate potential suppliers carefully as the level of expertise, service, or quality can vary. When looking for a stamping partner, consider a supplier’s quality, core capabilities, certifications and industry standards. Keep reading to see what you should be looking for in your metal stamping supplier.
Quality has a cumulative effect. In order to supply your own customers with quality products, you must obtain quality parts to put into them. That’s why it’s critical to select a supplier that can deliver well-made parts.
When evaluating a stamping supplier, these factors impact part quality:
- Design. Whether you have a design prepared or need assistance refining it, find a metal stamping supplier that can provide design and manufacturing recommendations. When there are multiple ways to create the same part, they should be able to discuss the merits and drawbacks with you.
Cost-effective mass production should consider many factors, including:
- Reviewing your part prints
- Considering the end use of the part (or the product it goes into)
- Comparing pros and cons of various stamping operations that could be used
- “Tweaking” the design of certain features
- Changing the way in which features are formed within the tooling
- Adjusting materials to make the manufacturing process as seamless as possible.
Look for a stamper whose in-house engineers have experience in design for manufacturing (DFM) principles – learn more here.
- Materials. The best suppliers work with a range of materials. They are familiar with the properties of different metals and can advise the best options for your stamping project.
Look for a stamper that offers many materials and options, for example:
- Stainless steel
- Phosphor bronze
- Pre-plated material
- Material thicknesses within your required tolerances
- Appropriately sized blanks for your requirements
A qualified stamper will advise you on material selection or alternatives based on properties such as bend rating, tensile strength, density, and other properties.
- Experience. Experience builds expertise. When vetting stampers, ask if they’ve worked with many different designs, complex part geometries, and tight tolerance specifications. Have they served several industries including your own? Many stampers work successfully in the automotive, electronics, medical, aerospace, electrical, and defense industries. Before making a decision, ensure your stamper will be able to work with your design to meet all your requirements and deliver the highest quality parts.
Production Capabilities and Capacity
A stamper’s production capabilities impact their ability to manufacture components to your specifications in the volume and timeline you require.
Important core capabilities to look for include:
- Custom manufacturing as well as standard product line parts. Custom manufacturing ensures you get the exact components required for your application, including material selection, efficient design, and post-production processes. In cases where a standard ignition terminal is needed, a supplier with an extensive selection of in-stock terminals saves you the time and money spent on custom tooling.
- Material sourcing network. A stamper with an extensive network of material suppliers has an easier time obtaining the materials required for your project. Working with a network also allows for high quality material sourcing, which benefits your stamping project and your own customers. This reduces overall lead time, improving your time to market.
- Responsiveness. Look for a supplier that demonstrates excellent customer service by responding quickly to your inquiry and following up on your questions before and during production.
- Production capacity. Always verify that your supplier has the equipment, facilities, and capacity to produce the quantities you need. Some things to ask about include:
- Available stamping tonnages
- Preferred press manufacturers
- Facility locations
- Annual production capacity (in numbers of pieces for total production run)
- Services. A stamper who offers services beyond progressive stamping adds value and saves you time. Look for one-stop service that includes stamping, finishing, and other post-production operations under one roof. Some examples to look for include:
- Rapid prototyping
- Laser cutting
- Photo-chemical etching
- Technical cleanliness processes
- Tape and reel protective packaging
It is crucial to choose a progressive stamping supplier that can meet standards for your industry and that holds appropriate certifications. Sharing certification and other quality information shows that a stamper upholds internationally recognized quality control values and procedures, such as those designated by IATF 16949:2016 (automotive) and ISO 14001:2015 (environmental).
Choosing CEP Technologies as Your Metal Stamping Supplier
Keep all of the factors described above in mind when evaluating your many progressive stamping options. Afterall, the stamping supplier you select makes a difference to your finished product, your customers, and your bottom line. If you’re ready to get started, please request a quote from CEP today!