Sophisticated metalworking processes making use of cams and servomotors to control tools, multi-slide and four-slide stamping and bending are both processes which are used to manufacture small metal products at high volumes.
Often used interchangeably, “four-slide” and “multi-slide” bending/stamping are essentially the same thing, with the difference being that multi-slide machines feature an adjustable radial forming bed with multiple moving slides, where four-slide machines have only four fixed sliding tools. Both types of machines feature slides, which are actuated by cams or servo motors.
Rather than moving in an up-and-down motion, as with punch presses, multi-slide and four-slide machines work at right angles, allowing tooling to access the metal from many directions and stamp or bend the metal from multiple sides — either sequentially or simultaneously — in order to produce bent or twisted items. Items such as flat springs, spring clips, brackets, connectors, friction plates, shunts, and collars for the construction, machinery, and automotive industries are often manufactured using this technique.
At Keats Manufacturing, we make use of both multi-slide and four-slide manufacturing to produce structurally complex small metal components.
Unlike other traditional processes, four-slide stamping and multi-slide stamping techniques can produce complex shapes and bends at highly cost-efficient prices. Because multi- and four-slide stampings use less material in the manufacturing process, less material is ultimately wasted; this then translates to lower material costs, which can be especially important when manufacturing components from more expensive materials, such as certain types of metals.
Because the dies in these presses are capable of so many different motions, manufacturers are afforded great flexibility in adapting their product design to fit current market-demand or technology requirements, while still allowing for high-volume production at a rate of almost 15,000 pieces per hour. Also, because multi-slide stamping presses can easily execute multiple forming operations, less time is needed for production, and additional tools and modifications are unnecessary.
Because multi-slide presses can be so easily modified and redesigned, they are well-suited to tooling refinement, or micro-tooling, which can greatly increase production volume while reducing overall costs.
For instance, in a recent case study involving multi-slide stamping, a client’s existing component required small, pre-cut wires to be set and soldered by hand; not only would this have slowed down the overall process, it would have also greatly increased costs and labor needs. The manufacturer created two unique preformed pieces using a multi-slide press to replace the wires, but this design still required hand soldering.
The manufacturer then combined the two pieces into one single component, connecting them with a small bridge using a solder-bearing material. Micro-tooling — made possible by the sophisticated design of the multi-slide press — allowed this client to speed up and streamline their production processes while still ensuring optimal quality and reliability.
Learn how you can maximize your production process and your budget by downloading our free eBook: 10 Ways to Reduce Turnaround Time and Cost of a Metal Stamped Part
For more than 50 years, Keats Manufacturing has been manufacturing top-quality custom small metal stampings, wire forms, and assemblies for clients across a wide range of industries, from automotive and appliance to medical and electronics. As an ISO-certified supplier, we’re committed to quality in everything we do, and our team works closely with all customers to ensure parts are tailored to their exact needs.
To learn more about our multi-slide stamping and four-slide stamping technologies and how they can benefit your next project, request a quote today and an expert will be in touch shortly.