A Michigan-based stamping manufacturer, which engineers, produces and assembles a wide variety of stamped components, fasteners and extrusions for automotive, industrial, commercial and military customers, wanted to improve their die life. The company used two synthetic lubricants that they flooded over the dies, causing too much carry out on the parts. The excessive lubricant interfered with die sensors, causing hours of unnecessary downtime.
The shop went through 12 totes per month of lubricant and costs were over $500,000 a year. In their high speed presses, the synthetic lubricant showed poor wetting which reduced punch coating life. In some cases the coating wore off after only 10,000 hits.
The company needed a better lubricant. They decided to test Metal Mates HDP in a high speed press making high strength steel weld nuts in their first press room. The initial test showed HDP increased the coating punch life from 10,000 hits to 150,000 hits at 120 strokes a minute. Next, they tried HDP in the second press and saw the same increase in tool life. Soon, the shop converted all their high speed presses to HDP.
After seeing the improvements Metal Mates produced in their high speed presses, the company decided to try it on their larger presses. On the recommendation of their Metal Mates Regional Sales Manager, the company got rid of their wasteful flooding systems and introduced an Industrial Innovations spray system. Tests were run on several complex dies using Metal Mates HDP with sprayers instead of flooding. The result was improved die life and a major reduction in lubricant consumption. Soon, the entire third press room was converted to sprayers with HDP.
Next, the company turned to two of their transfer presses. They were using a thick polymer synthetic lube that left heavy layers of residue on the parts and dies. The most difficult parts were run using a 1:1 dilution but the coatings were still getting scored and often required thousands of dollars in repairs. To test HDP the tooling manager chose three of the most difficult parts. At first HDP was run at 1:1 to review its performance at the same dilution as the synthetic. The part scoring disappeared after only 50 hits and HDP polished the die galling without any tool room assistance.
Eventually the concentration was reduced to 6:1 with no scoring and huge improvements in die life. After testing HDP on several other parts, the company changed all of their presses over to Metal Mates. Through their partnership with Metal Mates, this stamping manufacturer was able to reduce their lubricant consumption from 12 totes per month down to 4, a monthly savings of $30,000. The company now saves over $200,000 annually in tooling replacement and maintenance costs alone with Metal Mates.
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"Lube’s not cheap and we use to have to pay to get rid of it. Using the Metal Mates approach we’re cutting down on the cost of application, and disposal. These are big savings."