Progressive die stamping – Design Tips for Stamping Parts

Progressive metal die-stamping is one of the most popular metal stamping techniques for high precision metal parts. These metal parts are usually mass-produced, complex metal parts. However, progressive metal stamping is a complex process that requires skills and proper designs to create a product with maximum accuracy.

The volume of production and design of metal parts are the major deciding factors of designing progressive dies. 

This article gives you some tips to design stamping parts using progressive die stamping. It will help you create impeccable designs to achieve optimum quality.

Tips to produce high-quality metal stamping parts

Since metal stamping is a complex process and involves different metal forming and cutting processes like punching, drawing, bending, piercing, coining, trimming, etc. Progressive die metal stamping is a type of metal stamping process that uses more than one forming/cutting process. The choice of metal forming or cutting process depends on the required design of the metal part. 

Therefore, a well-designed progressive die stamping design is the one that can produce metal stamping parts with minimal errors and operational costs. 

The following tips give you practices that you can implement in the metal stamping design process to create cost-cutting designs without compromising on quality. 

Tip Number 1

Create a proper strip layout. 

In progressive die design, strip layout is the foundation of crafting the optimum die designs. Strip layout is the sequence in which the metal sheet progresses through the die. Therefore, it forms the base and needs planning to create perfect metal stamped parts. 

An optimum strip layout:

  • Improves accuracy
  • Assures quality
  • Impacts costs
  • Aligns perfectly with thickness and properties of the material For this, the design of the progressive die stamping tool must:
  • Minimize weakening
  • Facilitate easy maintenance
  • Specify tooling, draw depth or balance force for each step
  • Orient the part at an angle that minimizes cracking and fatigue.
  •  Tip number 2

Design the carrier for the size of the metal part

A carrier is a material that takes the metal parts through each working station in a progressive die. Some of the key considerations while designing it are:

  • The carrier must be within the width of the part. This reduces wastage of material and ensures optimal use of metal sheets. 
  • Carrier width should be at least double the thickness of the metal sheet.
  • Large carrier width facilitates pushing the strip through a large progressive die.
  • Carrier length should accommodate [potential metal formations like bending through the process.
  • Carrier attachment must facilitate its easy removal. 

                   Also Read: Differences between Standard and Custom Metal Stamping

Tip Number 3

Find an optimal feed height

Feed height is the height to which the metal strip is lifted as it progresses through one station to another in a progressive die. It depends on the shape of the metal part. Even a small lift is required for flat pieces to break the oil seal with the dies. However, the lift increases the time required for manufacturing the metal part. 

An optimal feed height helps in the smooth functioning of the progressive dies because it:

  • Prevents the metal part from catching on to the next station. 
  • Helps in preventing chances of placing the lift at higher heights, which may impact the orientation of the strip from vibration or bounce.
  • Helps prevent buckling to the carrier due to the sag between strips.

Tip Number 4

Place the pilots in the right places.

Pilots fix and align the metal part on the progressive die. Therefore, a fault in its placement can affect the shape and quality of the metal part. The number and location of pilots impact the material and carrier type as well. 

Here are a few things you can do to ensure the proper design of pilots for creating accurate stamping parts.

  • If you want to use the holes in the metal parts as pilots, ensure that it is large enough and not designed for tight tolerances. This way, you can avoid unwanted elongation that results in imperfection.
  • Place the pilots at a distance according to the elongation and tolerance required for the metal part. 
  • Punch two sets of pilots simultaneously. It increases the accuracy of pilot placement. 


Progressive die stamping parts are known for their quality and accuracy. Many renowned metal stamping manufacturers like Eigen Engineering follow these tips to produce premium metal stamped parts for industries of different verticals. 

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