What’s the Difference? Progressive Die Stamping vs. Transfer Die Stamping

When companies require metal forming to manufacture parts, they can choose from multiple techniques, two of which are progressive die and transfer die stamping. Evaluating an application and needed part volume will help businesses select the method that is best suited for their project. Learn more about these stamping processes and their unique benefits.

Progressive Die Stamping

The progressive die stamping process uses an automatic feeding system to push a strip of metal through multiple stations via a stock strip or carrying web. Each stamping station performs at least one, if not multiple, unique operations like punching, bending, or coining to progressively create components. A cutoff operation occurs at the final station, where a finished part separates from the carrying web. 

Benefits of Progressive Die Stamping

Used in a variety of industries for generating a range of components, this efficient metal forming process is ideal for high-volume production, maximizing profits and time savings while reducing per-part costs and labor expenditures. This is partly due to its speed. Die presses run at high speeds with continuous feed, facilitating faster production and increased output. Only one setup is required when preparing the die press for production, enabling rapid, repeatable operations. Also, progressive die stamping machines operate with minimal supervision, reducing the number of necessary operators.

Even at high speeds, progressive dies withstand high-volume production runs without degrading, allowing manufacturers to generate components with a high degree of repeatability and uniformity. Die presses are also able to produce small components with tight tolerances. Optimized tool design allows for greater precision, which means that they generate less scrap. Combined, the many advantages of progressive die stamping make it applicable for a myriad of industries.

Industries That Use Progressive Die Stamping

Industries that rely on the manufacture of a large number of parts in a short amount of time benefit from progressive die stamping. The method is popular for applications in the following sectors:

  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Appliances
  • Automotive and transportation
  • Food and beverage
  • Medical
  • Military
  • Mining
  • Retail

Transfer Die Stamping

A single press for transfer die stamping or transfer press stamping can operate multiple tools. While similar to progressive die stamping as a metal strip feeds through multiple stations, this technique moves a component from one station to the next utilizing a mechanical transport system of transfer fingers instead of the stock strip. In this method, it is the first station instead of the last that cuts the metal from its stock strip, allowing the press to carry out operations with the metal in a free state. These presses are capable of producing pierced holes, cutouts, knurls, ribs, threading, and more.

Benefits of Transfer Die Stamping

Compared to progressive die stamping, this stamping technique is affordable and more versatile, particularly for lower-volume production. Used to generate intricate parts, complex geometries, and large components with specialized features for short runs or mass production, its cost-efficiency comes from its lower cost of tooling and scrap waste reduction. A transfer die may consist of one die or multiple dies or machinery set up in a row for a production line format.

Transfer presses are capable of diverse processes, allowing for optimal setup flexibility. As an added benefit, this simple forming method does not require processing post-stamping because it completes a part’s shape during the stamping cycle.

Industries That Use Transfer Die Stamping

Used mostly for large components, as well as in tube, shell, frame, and structural parts, transfer die stamping is common in the following industries:

  • Agriculture
  • Automotive and locomotive
  • Electronics
  • Heavy trucking and transportation applications
  • Medical

Choosing Between Progressive and Transfer Die Stamping

Progressive die and transfer die stamping are versatile processes with uses in a range of industries. The specific requirements of an application for part size, complexity, and quantity ultimately decide the appropriate stamping method for the task. When a customer needs a high number of parts in a short amount of time, progressive die stamping is preferable. Transfer die stamping tends to be more affordable than progressive die stamping while providing more versatility. For large parts or those requiring specialized traits, transfer die stamping is ideal.

Partner With Trans-Matic

Since 1968, Trans-Matic has specialized in metal stamping and forming operations for diverse applications and unique specifications. From our state-of-the-art facilities worldwide, our team strives to provide our clients with the most efficient and cost-effective progressive die and transfer die stamping solutions, helping to determine the optimal manufacturing method for any project. In addition to stamping operations, we also offer tool development, prototyping, product launch, and program management.  Contact us today for more information on how Trans-Matic can help support your business.