The Heading machine is used to form metal blanks into complexly shaped or designed parts such as bolts, nuts, and screws. The process uses a reciprocating ram to hammer the metal into a preformed die. This is an automated high-speed process that can produce fasteners at lower costs than screw machining. The equipment is also able to handle harder, higher-temperature materials. The company Stalcop sells a wide range of cold heading machines. They range from single-die headers to 5-die progression machines and can produce a variety of sizes and types of fasteners.
The main parts of a heading machine are the punches, dies, and the transfer. The dies are where the heads for the screws will be shaped. They are usually made of steel. The transfer is where the head for the screw will be held and pushed out through the die to get its final shape and size. There are also other tools that the header can use to create different shapes, such as support pins for trapped extrusions and recess pins, which aid the backward extrusion to drive recesses in the finished part.
A key advantage of cold heading is that it reduces the amount of material waste. This is because more of the volume of the metal blank can be upset into a finished intricately shaped piece without using as much scrap material. Also, the process does not require heat, which means there is less environmental impact and safer working conditions for employees.
Unlike other processes that use a screw to make parts, cold heading does not use heat. The metal is simply pressed into the desired shape. This makes it possible to create parts of any shape and size, and the parts are more accurate and stronger. The parts can also be produced in smaller quantities than would be possible with other methods such as screw machining.
Another benefit of cold forming is that it can be done with a variety of materials. Some of the most common are quenched and tempered steels and low-temperature tempered alloy structural steels. Other materials that are commonly used include nickel-based alloys, aluminum, and stainless steel.
One downside of cold forming is that the resulting pieces cannot be as thick as they could be in machining because the hammers can only force so much metal into a given space. Also, harder metals may require multiple blows to fill a die and certain materials cannot be cold formed at all.
Other disadvantages of cold forming are that it can be slower than other processes, and the process requires more maintenance. A good maintenance routine includes a regular cleaning and oiling of the machine. This can help prevent corrosion and extend the life of the machine. It is also important to keep the temperature and pressure in the machine consistent. This will ensure that the part will be a consistent size and quality. It is also necessary to inspect and eliminate any short material that is causing problems with the process.