When it comes to making metal parts, from lighting fixtures to pots and pans, experts debate the use of metal spinning versus metal stamping. Traditionally, stamping has been the gold standard when producing metal parts at a low cost, but metal spinning is another technique that can be utilized for positive results. So when is it prudent to consider metal spinning over metal stamping? Though both techniques create the same types of products, the road to produce stamped metal versus spun metal is quite different.
Pros and Cons of Metal Stamping
Metal stamping utilizes robust, concentrated movements to construct shapes from a metal sheet. After feeding the metal sheet between a press and die, the die produces the necessary shape. There are many types of stamping techniques that can be used. Creating products from a metal stamping system allows a company to automate the work, ensuring an accurate process that is perfect for mass production. Another advantage of metal stamping is that it can tailor-make a wide array of products right in your shop. Metal stamping has some advantages, in that it needs very little in the way of human labor, is automated, and creates accurate pieces using mass production.
However, in order to do metal stamping, there is definitely a commitment involved in terms of capital. The hard tools needed to create the process are extremely expensive, so metal workers need to plan a huge run to recoup their money. Any smaller jobs (those that are below 10,000 pieces) can be wasteful. In addition to the investment, stamping machines require a lot of lead time and do not offer a process that is easily malleable. Most products take months to create. If any modifications need to be done, that sets the process back and adds to the cost.
Considerations for Metal Spinning
Metal turning or spinning, on the other hand, utilizes a rotating spindle to create a sheet into a symmetrical, cylindrical product. Used often with ductile materials like copper, brass, and aluminum, this technique automates what was once done by hand. Spinning allows more fluidity in the process from beginning to end. Because of the process involved, and modifications that might be needed, the first run through does not always create a final product, and metal spinning allows for adjustments from prototypes to final product.
The best attribute of metal spinning is that it is more cost effective when the quantity needed is lower. Also, this improves supply chain efficiency because there are shorter lead times and greater flexibility in the process. Because metal spinning tools are 10–20 times less expensive than stamping tools, spinning becomes a definite bargain, as well as being a fast and efficient process. When comparing the tools that are needed, they are less cost prohibitive and more sturdy than the stamping tools, which can sometimes be finicky.
Spinning shortens lead time and leads to more flexibility, so you can do your spinning jobs in house, with the ability to protect your time and budgetary factors. Instead of the months required for stamping jobs, you can have your metal projects done in weeks, without the costly overhead or risk of wasted materials. And because many metal jobs require some modifications, you can travel from prototype to production with fewer headaches, man hours, and money.
Metal Stamping vs. Metal Spinning
At the end of the day, you need to consider the job specifications in order to make a decision between stamping and spinning. If you are running tens of thousands of pieces and have adequate lead time, then stamping is the industry standard and will accurately mass produce your part. However, if you are looking for a smaller run with the ability to be more flexible and cost-effective, metal spinning will produce smaller batches for less capital and less wait time.
Contact Tallmadge Spinning & Metal today to discuss your project needs and figure out if metal stamping or spinning is right for you!
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