Having a custom tool made isn’t cheap, but, it can be a wise investment. If your current metal manufacturing efforts include a recurring component that is fabricated on a consistent, ongoing basis, having a tool developed can be a great option. Here are a few reasons why.


Bin full of metal tabsProgressive stamping is a faster method of manufacturing metal. During tool and die design, all the individual hits sheet metal had to go through in order to become a final piece are combined into a single die set and press. This significantly reduces the time required to create each individual component. Plus, you save a lot of time on setup. Basically, how long it takes you to get from order to market will be drastically reduced.


With a progressive die, one part is going to be exactly like the next. If you’re used to a brake press, you know there are very subtle differences from part to part. Usually not enough to be outside the margin of what’s acceptable, but also not perfectly the same. Part of the benefit of having your own tool and die designed and created is to have absolute consistency.


Because progressive stamping is a way to let the machine do most of the work, there are fewer steps that need to be completed by individual employees. This decreases the amount of labor needed to complete a stamping run, as well as eliminating many opportunities for human error to affect the consistency of your metal components.


During tool and die design, there’s a focus on increasing the amount of material used and decreasing the amount of waste material created. Because of the consistency of progressive stamping, you can push lines tighter and leave less margin for error. If you’re accustomed to fabricating with a laser cut blank or a turret blank, you’d be amazed at the difference in material usage by switching to a die set and press.


The cost per piece is much lower with a tool and die than it is with manual stamping. Each of the areas I mentioned above work together to lower the overall cost of sheet metal fabrication. It takes less time, produces fewer failed parts, requires less physical labor, and uses less raw materials. If you have a high volume to run, working with a tool and die shop to custom build your own progressive stamping tool can be well worth the investment.