Progressive Die vs. Transfer Die Stamping: What is the Difference?

December 13, 2019

Working in the die stamping sector, there are a pair of press working techniques that dominate the industry. Asked to choose between them, a press technician can’t very well make that decision until the pros and cons of the two techniques have been determined. Starting with Progressive Die workstations, let’s find out how these stamping methods differ. After we’re done puzzling out Progressive stamping, we’ll move on to Transfer Die Stamping.

Feeder-Sequenced Progressive Dies

Imagine a linear workflow with a strip of featureless metal moving forward. It enters the equipment, a machine stroke occurs, and parts of a workpiece are trimmed or bent. A second stamping stroke syncs with an incremental movement in the feed mechanism. Now a score of notches is added. As the coil of metal moves, intricate forming stamps amass. Progressive stamping tools are particularly gifted at imparting detailed forming operations. Small pieces receive elaborate profiles when this pressing solution is selected over a Transfer Die stamping layout. However, although capable of imparting close-tolerance stamps, Progressive Die stampers aren’t as versatile as Transfer Die machines. Automotive and electronic manufacturers generally utilize this detail-oriented stamping technique.

Station-Hopping Transfer Die Stamping

In this case, the metal sheets are processed on a die station, then the workpiece is lifted and “transferred” to a second and third die bed. Again, after the transfer takes place, a press stroke occurs and a stamping operation takes place. More economical than a comparable Progressive Die setup, Transfer Dies are also capable of processing larger parts. That’s because each die stamping station can be individually configured to impart entirely singular fabrication operations. One die station might bend, the next would add cut-outs or knurls, and the third a complex assortment of threaded piercings. Deep draw stamps are possible here, for there’s no metal strip to limit the stamping work. Large metal shells, tubes, structural elements, and framework segments are all stamped into shape with Transfer Die presses.

Designed to process smaller, detail-seeking metal coils, Progressive Die Stamping uses a gauntlet-like fabrication method to impart high-tolerance stamps. The work is all done at a single station, so there’s not much scrap left behind, nor does the process cause a dramatic rise in labour costs. Switching to Transfer Die Stamping, the work strokes occur on separate die stations. Once one stroke completes, machine fingers lift and move the metal sheet to the next stamping deck, where another, completely separate fabrication operation is performed. Multiple stations here create truly individual manufacturing operations. However, Transfer presses work best when they’re tasked with large-scale, slightly lower detail fabrication strokes. Perhaps that’s because there’s no wire coil to handle and the stamps can penetrate deeper.

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