Thomas Vacca

Director of Tooling and Design Engineering
Micro Stamping Corp.
Has a shop floor stamping or tool and die question stumped you? If so, send your questions to kateb@thefabricator.com to be answered by Thomas Vacca, director of tooling and design engineering at Micro Stamping Corp.

Ask the Expert: Increasing progressive-stamping tooling life with the right lubricant

April 15, 2015

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I get a lot of questions regarding how to maximize the life of progressive-stamping tooling, but no one response fits all. We talk a lot about tooling materials, heat treatment, and coatings. But time and again, stamping lubrication is treated as relatively insignificant. Stampers put little...

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Ask the Expert: The continuing challenge of die maintenance

April 15, 2015

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Q: I have been trying to locate the die maintenance check list printed in a STAMPING Journal® article several years ago, which also included the 10 Tooling Laws. I am hoping you can lead me to it. A: You will find the check list at the end of this article. But even with a maintenance check...

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Ask the Expert: Determining stock width for stamping a part in a progressive die

April 14, 2015

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Q: How do I define the width of the metal stock required to stamp a part in a new progressive die? A: You need to consider a lot of factors when determining stock width for stamping a part in a progressive die. I assume your question on the stock width is so you can estimate the raw material...

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Ask the Expert: Fixing die shortcomings

April 14, 2015

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Q: We have a large stamping tool running in a 300-ton press. A changeover tool makes a left part and a right part, each of which is about 0.1 in. thick and shaped like a peanut. One-half of the part (lengthwise) is coined offset one material thickness in depth in addition to a number of other...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Stamping thin, hard stainless steel

March 6, 2015

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Q: We recently received an order for domed spring washers stamped from 0.0010-inch-thick 301 1/2 hard stainless steel. The parts are about 0.250 in. OD and have two 0.006-in.-diameter pierced holes on a 0.150-in.-dia. circle centered on the part. We usually do not stamp anything less than 0.010 in....

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Ask the Stamping Expert: What springs are best for forming HSLA down and drawing up?

March 10, 2011

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Choosing the right spring for working with HSLA is very important. The author recommends chrome nitrogen springs of well-known brands for proper quality control.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How can I stop die wrecks that occur even with sensors in use?

August 4, 2010

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Even with many styles of sensors on a progressive die, die wrecks continue to occur. Addressing potential miss hits during the design stage, and using proximity sensors in careful, deliberate ways, can help control the problem.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Overcoming deformity by design

October 10, 2006

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Achieving typical goals in stamping, such as zero development and fewer labor requirements, is made easier when the progressive die strip is kept level through the entire progression. Keeping the strip level can eliminate wave problems caused by incorrect pilot/lifter use occurring in punch forming.

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