If we stuck to the saying “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” we’d still be traveling in horse-drawn buggies or using rotary phones for party lines. Sometimes part of becoming more efficient and profitable involves taking a leap. Enter Precision Carbide Tooling. If you’re not already using carbide tooling in your manufacturing, what other questionable decisions are you making? Below we’ll elaborate on some points from a previous article, The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Carbide, and discuss the benefits of incorporating precision carbide tooling into your next die application.
Carbide Lined Compaction Dies
When it comes to compaction tooling, pressure created by intense tonnage requirements brings about a specific set of issues. Coatings can’t be used to protect the tooling from wearing down, so the rough part-on-part friction almost always leads to galling. With a carbide lined compaction die, the mirror-like polished finish allows for smooth forming without galling. By minimizing adhesive wear on the tooling, it extends the life ten-fold, ensuring a higher quality part for much longer.
Carbide Inserted Stamping Dies
If your manufacturing process includes a stamping die, your end product is possibly small and delicate. The smaller the end product, the more likely it is to be damaged as tooling becomes dull and worn out through repetitive use. Incorporating carbide inserted punches and buttons into stamping dies will keep the tooling sharper for a longer period of time, which in turn maximizes the quality output of your die. It’s like comparing brand new scissors to a pair grandma bought in the 1970s. Carbide is the new, steel is the old. If you aren’t using the newest, most advanced materials, which of your competitors are passing you by?
Zero Clearance Carbide Dies
Yep, we said it. Zero clearance carbide dies. In certain applications it is completely possible to require zero clearance between the punch and die if your details are made of carbide. Steel wears relatively quickly with regular impact, so after a while, a steel punch is no longer the same size as it started. To make things worse, now your parts are out of tolerance and likely have burrs. With a zero clearance carbide die, there is no room for error and those perfect parts will remain in tolerance and burr-free for the life of the tooling. In the case of carbide, that can be up to 10X more life.
The most common argument against making the shift from steel tooling to carbide is the upfront cost of changing materials. While we understand that concern, the initial investment will not only save you money in the long run, but it could make you more money, too. A current low-volume project could become higher-volume with carbide tooling, because the tooling will last that much longer at a higher quality before having to replace it. Carbide inserted tooling allows for high die interchangeability – pop one piece out and quickly replace it to create a different part on the same die. The opportunities are endless. They say change is hard, but as precision carbide tooling experts, we know this change is hard to beat.