Heading machine is a metal working process that can transform a coiled wire into intricately designed fasteners without adding any heat to the material. This is a highly accurate and precise process that uses multiple steps to displace, shape, and create the desired final product. It can decrease or increase feedstock diameters and lengths and it can also remove small amounts of material through piercing and trimming. It is often used to produce self tapping screws, rivets and hinge pins.
The cold heading process works with different types of steel, including quenched and tempered alloy structural steels and ferritic-martensitic duplex steels. It can also be used to form other metal products, such as fasteners, bolts, studs, and rivets. It can create stronger parts with tighter tolerances than machining, and it can be completed in less time and at lower costs.
While machining is a very common method of creating complex and detailed fasteners, it can be difficult to produce thicker pieces. The cold heading process allows for much more material to be formed, and it can achieve the same results with fewer secondary operations. Additionally, the use of cold forming can reduce the amount of scrap that is produced during manufacturing.
When a metal blank is placed into the Heading machine, it is forced against a die or punch to form it into the desired shape. A reciprocating ram then forces the blank into the preformed die and a hammer upsets or extrudes the metal into various forms. This allows for the production of highly detailed and specialized fasteners that are needed in many industries, such as bridges and automobile manufacturing.
The metallurgical knowledge and advancements that have taken place over the years have allowed for the ability to form harder materials into the heads and other parts. This is because a certain amount of material cannot be moved or squeezed at one time, otherwise it would burst or crack. This limitation limits the number of times a slug can be upset, and it is why some parts have to be headed in two stages.
The most commonly used equipment for cold forming includes high speed automated “cold-headers” or part formers. These machines are capable of transforming a wire into a intricately shaped piece with tight and repeatable tolerances using a tooling progression at speeds up to 400 pieces per minute. Stalcop uses equipment from a standard 2 die/2 blow all the way up to advanced 5 die/5 blow machines for our customers’ needs. They are capable of producing both small and large volumes of the most intricately designed parts for a wide range of applications. They are also equipped with quick change kits that allow for short lead times and minimal downtime. This is especially beneficial for customers with short run production requirements and high volume orders. They can also be modified to handle exotic materials, such as titanium and super alloys, if necessary. These modifications will require a modification to the tooling and a pre-heating system for the specific material to be processed.