Cold Forming Advantages

There are many advantages to Cold Forming ranging from cost savings to improvements in part strength. Cold Forming is a high-speed manufacturing process that reduces production cost while at the same time producing a high quality surface finish and close repetitive tolerances. With proper engineering and design, the Cold Forming process allows elimination of costly secondary operations where they were previously required to accommodate other manufacturing processes. Additionally, detailed contours and shapes that cannot be achieved in a cost effective way through other manufacturing processes can be obtained through Cold Forming.

To learn more about the differences in technical requirements for cold forming versus machining, see our chart here.

The 5 advantages outlined below are particularly meaningful for projects with the following requirements:
  • Critical Applications
  • High Volume Requirements
  • Added Material Strength Required
  • Tight Tolerances and Critical Specs
  • Unique Contours and Design Details

1. Cost Savings of Up to 70% Through Reduced Material Scrap

Components like these are routinely made by cold heading in the millions with no scrap.

Cold forming is a net (or near net) shape solution. During the process, wire is transformed by a sequence of die blows into a specific shape, with the material flowing to fill the part geometry and dimensional tolerances defined by the tooling. So there is virtually no waste created. Without scrap to deal with, there is little to no recycling cost associated with the process, less lubricant to reclaim, and minimal labor to handle it all. In general, the wire raw material is less expensive than the bar stock used for machining.

With all forms of screw machining, including single- and multi-spindle and Escomatic processes, scrap is not only unavoidable, it is a significant by-product of the process, often equivalent to 50% of the final part’s mass.

2. 5x Faster Throughput than Machining at 70-120 PPM

Precision cold forming machines operate 24/7 largely unattended.

With an optimized part formation progression for a complex component, cold heading delivers yields at an average rate of 70-120 parts/minute (PPM) and can be up to 350 PPM in for some part designs. Generally, yields for a similar design produced from a multi-spindle screw machine will be in the 6 – 20 PPM range, an order of magnitude faster for cold forming. This faster yield ultimately reduces cost and speeds up product delivery.

3. Consistent, Reliable Quality at High Tolerances

Following first article inspection, part quality is monitored throughout all three shifts.

Not only does Cold Forming allow for parts to be manufactured quickly, but also accurately and consistently. Critical and close tolerances can still be achieved in high volumes over time versus more expensive machining processes. Additionally, these tolerances are maintained consistently throughout the production process making sure that every piece follows the project's design spec from start to finish.

Sussex Wire has a commitment to quality. Learn more about our quality processes and procedures here.

4. Increased Tensile Strength Due to Work Hardening

The undercut in this pin has been strengthened by compressing the native material’s grain structure.

Cold forming is a process in which the native tensile strength of the material is increased through work hardening. Here’s how it works: For every 1% of area reduction or increased surface area of a part’s cross section due to cold forming, its tensile strength increases by a factor of ~0.6-1.5 depending on the alloy. This physical property is known as the work hardening rate of the material. The work hardening rate varies depending on starting tensile strength and material composition.

No process that removes material from the native shape, such as screw machining, can achieve this.

5. Eco-Friendly

Because cold forming produces virtually no metal scrap, it requires less reprocessing, along with its associated costs of transportation, fuel, and labor. Lubricant is used in the die formation process, but at a fraction of the rate for a screw machine (cutting) operation.

For screw machine operation, materials often contain free machining additives. These free machining additives are added directly to the molten metal before casting into ingots. They are not soluble in the alloy composition and form discrete particles of various shape and size in the ingot casting.

Cold forming does not require these additives. From an engineering perspective, because the raw material has fewer inclusions, a cold formed part lends itself to a superior potential design.

Sussex Wire is RoHs compliant and excludes the use of lead in materials used during the cold forming process. Machining alternative almost always default to materials containing lead. Although requests can be made to use alternative materials for machining, it is not always cost effective. Read more about Sussex Wire’s certifications and compliances here.

Sussex Wire specializes in custom applications for micro-mini components and technical collaboration. Contact us today about your current and future projects.


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