Tooling Change Generates 350-Percent Productivity Increase

February 1, 2010

Intricate Metal Forming Co. (IMF), Roanoke, VA, performs high-speed progressive stamping of electronic contacts of square, round and rectangular wire, including stamping of 0.009-in. Type 1006 cold-rolled steel to manufacture bandoliers with U-shaped channels that seat the pins for trimming and shaping.

Recently, the firm experienced excessive tooling wear when stamping the bandolier or carrier strip to support the electrical contact. Presses were running at speeds of 1200 strokes/min., yielding 17 coils—at 100,000 parts per coil—before the tooling needed to be sharpened. Production manager Larry Rehak turned to tool-steel supplier General Carbide, Greensburg, PA, to help engineer a solution, which came during the third quarter of 2009 when IMF switched to General Carbide’s GC-813CT bi-modal tooling made with additions of chromium carbide and tantalum carbide.

General Carbide produces tungsten carbide preforms and blanks used for wear, cutting and metalforming operations. GC-813CT (rated to a hardness of 90.5 to 91.5 HRa), reports Rehak, has reduced corrosion and galling, and has enabled IMF to run as many as 65 coils per tool sharpening and experience a 350-percent productivity increase. With its previous tooling, IMF changed tooling once each day; now, tools remain in the press for four days. GC tooling now runs in three IMF presses.

General Carbide: 724.836.3000;

Industry-Related Terms: Forming, Run
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: General Carbide Corporation

Technologies: Tooling


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