The Art of Die Stamping: An Overview of the Precision Metal Stamping Process

Die stamping is a relatively simple process in the realm of modern manufacturing. Essentially, metal blanks are
placed overtop of a die, then the press bends them into the desired shape. However, that only gives you an overview
of metal stamping services in their most basic form. The full art of die stamping – from toolmaking to
post-processing and quality control – involves many complex steps along with a mastery of the manufacturing process.

Keystone Friction Hinge (KFH) has remained a key player in the American metal stamping sector since our company was
founded in 1905. Backed by more than 115 years of high-quality die stamping services, we’ve refined our
manufacturing capabilities and supporting services to keep pace with the ever-evolving needs of the market.

For customers who might be new to the industry, or simply curious about the production process that goes on behind
the scenes, we’ve put together a brief guide on how the basic die stamping process works.

What Is Metal Die Stamping? An Overview:

Die stamping, also known as metal stamping or pressing, is a manufacturing process that forms flat metal sheets or
coils into custom shapes and precise geometries through the use of a stamp and die system. This process is widely
employed in industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, and appliance manufacturing for producing parts
with high precision and efficiency.

Die stamping is a versatile and efficient manufacturing process suitable for producing a wide range of metal
components with high precision and consistency. It is integral to the production of various products across
industries, from simple brackets and clips to intricate automotive and electronic components.

The Metal Stamping Process Broken Down and Explained:

The Punch Press:

The punch press is the heart of the stamping process. The press is in concept a very simple machine. It consists of a
flat bed with a moving ram or slide above it. The slide is guided to move up and down to open and close the die or
tool. It may be powered by a crankshaft, hydraulic cylinders or even air cylinders. It will be guided to assure that
the tool will open and close precisely. Speeds vary from less than 10 stroke per minute to over 2,000 strokes per
minute. Presses can vary from fractions of a ton to thousands of tons.

Die Design and Custom Tooling

The metal stamping process starts with the design of the die, which is a specialized tool used for cutting, forming,
or shaping the metal. Dies are typically made of hardened tool steel due to its durability and ability to withstand
high pressure and repeated use.

Dies consist of two main components: the punch, which applies force to the metal, and the die, which provides the
desired shape or cut.

Material Selection and Preparation

The type of metal used depends on the specific requirements of the part being produced. Common materials include
steel, aluminum, copper, and alloys. These metal sheets or coils, called blanks, are generally flat and uniform in
thickness, making them suitable for stamping with consistent results. The blanks may also undergo pre-treatment
processes like cleaning or lubricating before stamping to further enhance the end products.

The Metal Stamping Process

The basic die stamping process can be broken down into several main steps:

  • Feeding – The metal sheet or coil is fed into the stamping press, where it is positioned between the punch and
  • Blanking or Piercing – If the desired part involves cutting the metal, the punch descends into the die, shearing
    the material to create the custom shape.
  • Bending or Forming – For forming operations, the punch and die work together to bend and shape the metal into
    the desired component design.
  • Drawing – In drawing operations, the metal is pulled into a die cavity to form deep or complex shapes.

Progressive Die Stamping

Progressive die stamping is a specialized method of metal stamping that differs from the conventional process.
Progressive dies are precision tools typically used for higher volume production. These tools perform multiple
operations with each stroke of the press.

Progressive die setups have multiple stations where operations such as piercing trimming, drawing, drawing and
blanking are performed. The material (typically coil stock) is advanced through the tool by an automatic feed. With
each stroke of the press the material is advanced through one station where the various processes are performed. At
the final station, the finished part is cut free from the original strip.

Quality Control and Inspection

Throughout the stamping process, maintaining dimensional accuracy is crucial to ensure the finished parts are error
free and manufactured according to specification. KFH employs many sophisticated quality control measures to check
that parts meet all customer specifications with precision tolerances. Our production process is supported by a
robust quality control system certified to ISO 9001:2015 standards to ensure consistent results.


After stamping, many parts undergo deburring to remove sharp edges or burrs created during the stamping process.
Other parts may require more complex post-processing such as custom CNC machining features. Surface finishing
processes like painting, plating, or powder coating are also common for custom stamped parts, improving appearance
and providing enhanced corrosion resistance.

Quality American Die Stamping Solutions Since 1905

For more than 115 years, KFH has provided high quality stamped products and custom assemblies that not only meet but
exceed our customers’ requirements. Based out of South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, we have grown into one of the
leading metal stamping companies for the greater Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.