Metal Stamping

Explore metal stamping techniques, processes, and machines. Find reliable stamping parts manufacturers and gain insights into the stamping manufacturing process.

What is Stamping?

Stamping parts is an umbrella term for a process that uses a punch and die set to forcefully form sheet metal. Within stamping, there are categories that refer to the process and end result. Categories of stamping parts include punching, forming, swaging, blanking, and piercing. These processes create holes, dimples, tabs, recessed areas, and other part geometries.

Stamping Processes

Cold Stamping

Cold stamping is a common process of shaping metal pieces without heating them up. Instead, strong pressure is applied to the metal using hydraulic or mechanical presses. Different materials like steel, aluminum, and copper are commonly used.

Hot Stamping

Hot stamping is a method that creates precise metal parts by heating the blanks until they melt. Dies are then used to shape the molten metal into the desired form. Once shaped, the metal quickly cools down, keeping the shapes, edges, and curves intact. The resulting metal parts are strong and can withstand stress and pressure. Two processes are used in this process, direct hot stamping and indirect hot stamping.

Stamping Techniques

Plastic Forming

Plastic forming occurs by pressing a material into a die to produce a designed shape. Contrary to the name featuring “plastic,” this process is frequently used for stamping parts made of metal in the automobile industry. It receives the “plastic” in its name because it utilizes a material’s ability to change by applying force—also known as its plasticity. Plastic forming uses roll forming machines, transfer press machines, or high-speed press machines.


Piercing is a part stamping technique for creating holes. The holes are created by forcefully piercing a sheet metal with a tool. After the sheet is pierced, the sheet with holes then continues on through the manufacturing process.

Fine Blanking

Fine blanking is a stamping machine technique that utilizes the hydrostatic pressure effect. The hydrostatic pressure effect says that plastic forming force increases when pressure is applied to metal.

In this case of fine blanking, pressure comes from top and bottom angles with minimal clearance. This metal stamping process is frequently used on steel, stainless steel, and super alloys. Fine blanking is the micron-version precision version of stamping. Because of this, stamping parts by fine blanking is often used in the aerospace, automobile, and medical device industry.


Punching is a stamping process that produces holes with a stamping machine. Not to be confused with piercing, punching differs in that the original sheet is discarded after being stamped. The shapes created from the holes are used in the manufacturing process.

Stamping Machines

Forming Machines

Forming machines are stamping parts manufacturer machines that can combine stamping, bending, and cutting processes for a streamlined manufacturing process. These machines are especially efficient for parts that require more than one stamping method.

Turret Punch Press

A turret punch press is a stamping machine that uses a tool holder with a die attached. This stamping manufacturing process is ideal for punching shapes or holes in sheet metal.

Hydraulic Press

Hydraulic press machines are used as a stamping manufacturing process for forming. These machines inject fluid into a cylinder and apply that force as the medium for forming. Fluids used in this stamping machine could be water or oil. However, because of the possibility of leakage from these machines, their popularity is decreasing.

As you can see, there are many facets to stamping. Regardless of the process and techniques that are used, the right machine for the job is important for getting the best results. Learn more about KEYENCE’s IM Series Instant Measurement System and how it can help you check and inspect all types of stamped parts.

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