Posted May 6, 2024

A Guide for Manufacturing Professionals: Protecting Your Metal Stamping Dies

Protecting your metal stamping dies is a crucial aspect of maintaining consistent operations with minimal downtime. Poor storage and handling can significantly contribute to stamping die failures, which can have catastrophic effects on any manufacturing business. This guide aims to help you implement efficient techniques to avoid costly repairs and downtime.

Assess Inventory and Production Failures

The first step to protecting your metal stamping dies is to meticulously review your inventory and past production failures. Engaging with your quality control, inventory, and production managers can provide insights into recurring problems and significant events. Review every step of your die’s journey, from transit to storage to press placement. This will enable you to pinpoint any technical, environmental, or service conditions that might be putting your dies at risk. Keep in mind that even minor issues in these areas could lead to significant damage or failure.

Determining and Implementing Effective Solutions

It’s often easier to identify solutions when you consider the various stages where the issue could have occurred. This approach can also help establish phases with measurable milestones. Below are some common areas you might want to consider:

  • Fixing design issues: Design faults often cause failures during heat treatment or service. Elements such as thick sections adjacent to thin sections, blind holes and sharp corners can lead to problems during heat treatment. Meanwhile, service failures often come from issues such as inadequate fillets in corners, improper clearance and thin sections. You may choose to revisit design practices or enlist more experienced services to overcome these issues.
  • Adopting good storage practices: Poor storage practices can also damage dies. They could experience mechanical damage from drops, collisions or improper handling, or they could see chemical wear from exposure to hazards like oils and coolants. Proper storage solutions, like specially engineered die racks, can significantly prevent mechanical damage and chemical wear to the dies. These practices can keep your stamping dies in good condition and increase their lifespan.
  • Handling material feeding issues: Many different feeding setup issues can cause damage, such as the improper setting of feed pitch and progression, pilot and feed release, press shut height and die location. These problems can cause die damage through misfeeds, a loss of parallelism, crushing and other issues. By adopting diligent operational practices and using smart equipment and sensors, problems caused by incorrect feeding setup can be reduced. This can prevent damage to the dies and ensure a smooth manufacturing process.
  • Minimizing operator mistakes: An operator may load the die incorrectly, fail to clear the environment of scraps and hazards or overlook an error in the machinery, among other concerns. Operators should understand the fundamentals of dies and how the press works. Prioritize improving training programs and making needed adjustments to management strategies, like adjusting schedules to avoid fatigue. This not only enhances the overall operation of the plant but also helps maintain a safe and efficient work environment.
  • Upkeeping equipment: Regular equipment checks, aided by sensors, can spot issues like loose bolts, uneven cutting, or disengaged guide pins. This proactive approach to maintenance can stop potential die crashes and ensure the plant’s smooth operation.

Future-Proofing Your Operations

To maintain optimal operations and safeguard the longevity of your metal stamping dies, it’s crucial to establish and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as production failure rates, frequency of die failures, and downtime due to maintenance. Regular evaluations of inventory, failure analysis, and diligent implementation of researched solutions, along with consistent monitoring of these KPIs, will provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of your maintenance strategies, facilitating necessary adjustments. This proactive approach anticipates issues, minimizes downtime, and ensures consistent production.

Defining A Successful Tool & Die Project

Storage solutions designed for the task can ensure your dies stay protected while they wait to be used in production. Adjustable construction can change with evolving storage needs, while optimized designs allow for easy forklift access to reduce the risk of damage during loading and unloading.

Discover how Ultratech Tool & Design reevaluated their metal stamping die workflow. This led to increased floor space, reduced damage, and a safer work environment.

With decades of experience and strict adherence to industry-leading standards, Dexco is a trusted source for even the most unique of metal stamping operations. Reach out for a quote today to learn more about our solutions and see how our die racks can minimize damage to these vital tools.



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