Technically, metal stamping is a type of metal fabrication. This is because both start with a metal blank, a sheet or piece of metal. Through different deformations (such as bending, stretching, cutting, or drawing), the metal is shaped into the desired form. The method that is used depends on the end result that is desired.
When to Use Each Method
For prototypes or a one-off design, fabrication is used because stamping would be more expensive. Stamping requires the fabrication of the dies that will create the item. This means that any changes to the design would require a complete retooling of the dies. On the other hand, for a production run of numerous items, stamping is the best option, because of the ease of repetition and the relative uniformity of the created pieces.
How Are These Two Methods Different?
The primary difference between stamping and fabrication is in that ease of repetition. With stamping, a manufacturer can easily replicate a given piece. The tools that deform the metal blank are cast and made ahead of time. The blank is then put through a machine called a stamping press where the stamping tools create the item. Each created item is then identical to the one done before it, barring slight manufacturing imperfections (such as contaminants in the system).
Metal fabrication, on the other hand, is a once-and-done process. The blank is deformed in the same way that stamping does, but the work is done manually. For example, any cutting is done with hand-held torches or cutters, such as a plasma torch or a CNC water jet cutter. It is this manual work that truly sets stamping apart from fabrication. Each piece that is created is unique, and cannot be easily replicated.
Another difference is in the labor and time required for each process. Fabrication, because it is a manual process, takes more man-hours to complete a given piece. This means that each piece takes longer to create, thus increasing overall costs. Stamping requires a greater initial investment of time and money to create the dies, but the price per piece is lower. Additionally, the more pieces that are created, the cheaper the unit price becomes. Once the stamping press is set up, the time to create each piece is also much less. The amount of scrap produced is also less when using stamping.
As you can see, understanding the slight difference between fabrication and stamping will make your next metal project easier. Contact a business, such as Hub Manufacturing & Metal Stamping, for more information.
My name is Donald Tate and in my blog you'll learn the importance of industrial and manufacturing industries in our country. These facilities make numerous products that we use every day and they're also responsible for creating many jobs. I became interested in industrial and manufacturing plants at a young age because my father worked at a plant downtown. One day he took me to the plant so I could see how the products were made. I thought that was the most interesting thing there ever was and I have been fascinated ever since. Because we depend so much on these industries, I have made it my mission in life to learn all I can about various industrial and manufacturing plants. I hope that after reading my blog, you'll also realize this important and necessary contribution to our society.