What is a progressive die?

Many people confuse molds and dies. Here is brief explanation of what is a progressive die. A die has two parts, upper and lower. The two parts are pressed together against a strip of material with a pressure that may vary from a few, to hundreds of tons. The material is fed from a coil which enables a continuous feed.

Each time the press raises, the material is fed forward into the next available station in the die. A die can have a multitude of stations depending on the complexity of the part being produced. Each stroke of the press produces one part.(see the video)

Advantages of Progressive Stamping

The advantages of going from laser cutting to stamping, are lead times and cost benefits. Production time is tremendously reduced compared to laser cutting. Even though there is an initial cost for fabricating the die, the cost benefits are greater with stamping in most cases. With stamping you also have a better control of quality, since the parts are cut, pierced and formed inside the die, the quality and precision of the part remains constant.

The best way to see the advantages are to make a simple comparison. Let’s say you have a part that needs to be cut, pierced, threaded and bent. Normally you would need to do all these operations separately which would require many machines, but in a progressive die they are all done simultaneously on one press in a few seconds.