A Guide to Choosing a Qualified Metal Stamping Supplier

Posted by Heiwhite on July 22nd, 2023

It is important to consider certain factors when selecting a supplier for stamped metal components with tight tolerances and critical features. The unit cost is important, but should not be the only deciding factor, as explained below. The purchase decision made solely on the basis of quoted costs can result in dissatisfaction with a supplier's performance, or even a disastrous outcome. In selecting a precision metal stamping supplier, ten factors should be considered: (1) years of experience, (2) ability to design precision stamping dies, (3) ability to build and troubleshoot precision stamping dies, (4) process control, (5) a die maintenance program, (6) delivery timeframe, (7) running speed, (8) spare tools, 9) attention to detail, and 10) the ability to perform secondary operations (like plating, cleaning, etc.).

Choosing a precision metal stamping supplier with significant experience is crucial. Make sure you take the time to understand how long a supplier has been in business, as well as what type of components they have stamped in the past. You need to know if a supplier specializes in flat parts, formed parts, or both. Make sure the supplier has experience working with difficult, intricate parts, holding tight tolerances, and achieving complex bends (on formed parts).

As a second and third factor, it is important to determine whether the supplier has experience designing and building metal stamping dies. You can be sure that a supplier who is able to design and build precision metal stamping dies will be much better equipped than a supplier who is unable to do so. Those who design precision metal stamping dies understand the importance of including certain features and stations in a die that will ensure the highest level of efficiency and quality during stamping. The ability to troubleshoot any unplanned stamping issues is another advantage of a supplier who is skilled at building and developing precision metal stamping dies.

A fourth factor to consider is the supplier's ability to control the process during the stamping process. Understanding how a precision metal stamping supplier creates and works with control plans is important. ISO-certified suppliers provide an additional layer of assurance that control processes are in place. Visiting the supplier and seeing their Quality system in action is probably the best way to evaluate their attention to process control. In addition to determining the role of a Quality technician at a supplier, assessing whether a supplier has invested in inspection equipment is also an indicator of potential success.

You should also consider if your precision metal stamping supplier offers a die maintenance program. This will extend the life of your die and reduce your stamping component's life cycle cost. Die and die component inspections, synchronization and adjustment of die/press/peripheral equipment, proper assembly/disassembly techniques, replacement schedules for die components, etc., are all important parts of a good die maintenance program.

A precision metal stamping supplier's delivery record will also reveal if the supplier is equipped with the right systems to not only quote a good delivery timeframe, but to actually deliver it on time. It is better to choose another precision metal stamping supplier if the supplier does not track their on-time delivery performance.

A precision metal stamping supplier's ability to achieve certain running speeds is the seventh factor that should be considered. An experienced supplier is able to run faster (while maintaining quality), so they will be able to provide the most competitive pricing.

The eighth factor to consider is spare tooling. While it is often overlooked, a discussion of spare tooling lists is crucial to a precision metal stamping project. For a stamping campaign to succeed, a good supplier will suggest discussing spare tooling early. Take this cost into consideration when comparing quotes. All bidders should be asked about spare tools. Having the capability of manufacturing its own spare tooling is an obvious advantage for precision metal stamping suppliers. Get more info about precision metal stamping services.

It is also important to check whether a precision metal stamping supplier will pay close attention to the "fine details" of a project. You can tell if a supplier is concerned about fine details by observing their behavior early in the quoting process, in addition to assessing the quality of their previous sample parts. When a supplier asks many questions about part quality, key features, and tolerances, he or she is usually one who will over-deliver.

Finally, a precision metal stamping supplier that also performs secondary operations is an invaluable asset in terms of supply chain logistics. You will typically save a substantial amount of money if your supplier can perform any of the following additional operations: cleaning, electroplating, packaging, product assembly, custom automation (in conjunction with stamping), and machine vision inspection.

Like it? Share it!


About the Author

Joined: June 11th, 2019
Articles Posted: 251

More by this author