Cold Forming: What is it?

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Cold forming is a cost-effective manufacturing process that uses punches and dies to manipulate metal at room temperature. It can produce a variety of products, including customized ones, and can work with different metals. Quality control measures are in place to ensure finished parts meet specifications. Custom products may be more expensive due to the need for custom dies and punches.

Cold forming is a manufacturing process in which metal is worked at room temperature to create components and finished products. It can be less expensive and more efficient than other manufacturing methods and is used to make a variety of products including fasteners, automobile parts and building materials. Manufacturers can produce regular batches of specific cold-formed materials and customized products upon request for their customers. The cost of production can depend on the specifics of a project and the manufacturer’s level of familiarity with similar components.

In this process, a series of punches and dies are used to manipulate the metal at room temperature. The piece can move through multiple passes to achieve a finished shape. Metals are pressed into shapes and punched to create specific shapes such as threaded screws with protruding heads to hold the screw in place or machined sheets to coat auto components.

Manufacturers can work a variety of metals with this technique. They evaluate the project specifications to determine which metal to use. Particular properties must be considered including the point at which the metal can become brittle or begin to crack, as this may be important in the cold forming process or in the finished product. The goal with cold forming is to force the metal to flow and hold a new shape, not to push the metal past its breaking point to produce a part that could fail due to cracking and fatigue.

Finished parts made with this process can be burnished and otherwise treated to apply a finish, bring out the sheen, and remove rough edges. Once the part is complete, a quality controller can check it to make sure it is usable and within specification. Automated quality control can do this with the assistance of cameras and algorithms that can look for specific problems and pull parts out for closer inspection if they appear to be faulty. Cold forming plants use a variety of measures such as inspection process automation to control quality and limit waste.

Custom products can get expensive, because the company may need to make custom dies and punches, as well as other components such as rollers to fill the order. Companies that need custom components for a specific project can request that production components be archived for future runs. These will be less expensive because the cold forming tooling is already set up and the manufacturer doesn’t need to start over.

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