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Alloy - A substance comprised of an elemental metal and other elements that expresses metallic properties.

Annealing - A process that is used to soften and alter the material by heating and cooling the sample.

Anodizing - A process in which a oxide layer is controlled and applied to the surface of aluminum. 

Automatic Press - A press with electrical controls that is mechanically fed the material to be pressed. 


Bending - Applying strain to metallic material in a way the deformation remains permanent.

Blank - A metal piece pre-cut for future press operation.

Blanking - Shaping the raw material to a general shape to be used for several operations.

Burr - A raised and very sharp edge of metal due to cutting, punching and drilling.

Burr Height - The height the burr or raised edge is at above the surface.


CNC LASER CuttingCNC technology, which stands for ‘computer numerical control’, uses a LASER programmed by a computer to cut materials

Coining - A process that uses a closed-die to confine the piece in order to produce detailed imprints.

Compound Die - A die that is designed to perform several different processes on a part within one stroke of the press machine.

Coordinate Measuring Machine, (CMM) - A machine that is used to measure in the third dimension, gathering  coordinates on a part for inspection.

Corner Radius - The outer radius of a part.

Counterboring - A process used to generate a cylindrical shaped hole with a machining or coining operation.

Countersinking - A similar process to “counterboring”, machining a part to create a conical hole.

Crimping - The process used to complete a seam or an arc using a corrugations.  


Deburr - Removing sharp protrusions from finished parts.

Dedicated Tooling - A type of tooling that is specified to a particular part, also called “hard tooling”.

Deep Drawing - Using a punch and flat blank of sheet metal, the punch draws out the sheet metal into a die cavity to form a particular shape.

Die - A type of tool that has a cavity specifically designed for a certain shape with a punch to match it.

Die Clearance - The approximate area that is located between the punch and die opening.

Die Marks - Marks created by tooling on the sheet metal such as; scratches, indentations or scrub marks.

Die Stamping - The term used to refer to a piece that is formed, shaped or cut by a die in a press.

Draw Die - A special die used to “draw” sheet metal out by using a punch to push into the die cavity.

Drawing - Using a flat piece of sheet metal to be stretched out to fit a specific, 3-dimensional shape. Also used to refer to the documents an Engineer uses to describe a part.

Ductility - Refers to a materials’ ability to submit to bending or forming. 


Edging - A process used to reduce a parts’ flange radius which involves retracting the punch a little after the initial stroke without relieving the pressure. Also refers to rolling the metal where the axis of roll is parallel to the area that considered the “thickness”.

Embossing - A type of process that is used to produce indented designs in a piece of metal. This is done through the use of a die with a cavity and a matching punch or matching die.

Extruding - A drawing out process that uses a previously punched hole.


Finite Element Analysis - A method used to analyze a deforming metal in areas such as; instantaneous velocity, strain rates, strain, stresses and temperatures.

Flange - A rim or projection from a part formed for stiffness or to aide in assembly.

Forging - A process that uses extreme temperatures (hot or cold) and a punch to deform a piece of metal to the shape of a die cavity.

Forming - A term used to refer to the process of forming a 3-dimensional part from a flat sheet of metal.


Gage - A measurement given to the thickness of sheet metal or wire.

Gauge - A tool that is used for measuring or testing.

Grain Direction - The general orientation of the finish on the surface of a part, often generated by an abrasive method. 


Hydraulic Press - A mechanism that uses a fluid pressure controlled ram.


Insert - A separate piece of steel that is used to assist in repair or to extend wearabiity.






Lead Time - The total amount of time from when a customer places an order to the time when the product is available for immediate use.


Master Die - The main tool that has the ability to house different tool systems.

Mechanical Press - A forging mechanism that uses mechanical means to operate a ram, such as; a flywheel, a crank and a clutch.

Metal Fabrication- The process of taking multiple sheet metal parts or blanks and welding them together.

Metal Stamping- An economical manufacturing process that is ideal for customers with short lead times, repetitive low to medium volumes.

Metal Thinning - A process in which the thickness of metal is reduced during a forming operation.

Multiple-slide Press - A press consisting of individuals often connected into a main slide or main shaft that can be adjusted based on the timing and length of stroke that the current operation calls for.


Normalizing - A metal forming process in which the steel is heated to above its’ critical temperature and then air cooled.

Notching - A process where the punch is used to remove material from an edge, corner of a strip or blank.


Orange Peel - A term that refers to type of texture of steel that gives the outward appearance of an orange peel, often the result of after forming or a steel mill.


Perforating - A process in which a sheet of metal or part is uniformly punched numerous times with identical holes. Also referred to as multiple punching.

Piercing - An operation in which a part or sheet of material is cut, sheared or punched to produce holes and slots. This is a very similar process to that of blanking.

Press - A type of mechanism comprised of a stationary bed and a slide which is used to shape and form metal.

Press Bed - A stationary piece of a press that the lower die assembly is normally mounted to in a metal forming operation.

Press Brake - A mechanism that uses a single action to deform a piece of sheet metal.

Press Capacity - The total rated force a specific press has the ability to exert to a distance above the lowest point of a stroke.

Press Forming - A metal forming operation that calls for the use of a mechanical or hydraulic press.

Progressive Die - A die consisting of several stations, each performing an operation.

Prototype - The first production of a design, used for testing and improving performance.

Punch - The part that reciprocally matches a die and forces the material into the die cavity.

Punch Press - The mechanism that uses compression force in order to reshape materials.

Punch Side - The side of the material that the punch enters through.


Quick Change Inserts - A section or part that can be removed or exchanged without removing the whole tool and interrupting the process.


Reduction - The measure that the diameter decreased when going from blank to a cup. Also refers to the percentage decrease of a cross-sectional area, when discussing forging, extrusion, rolling or drawing. In general the term refers to a percentage decrease from  an original shape to the re-shape.

Restriking - A process that uses striking to improve alignment, surface condition, hardness and tolerances. Only used when parts are misaligned or forged incorrectly.

Reverse drawing - An operation in which a part is drawn in the opposite direction to which it was originally drawn. 


Scrap - Unused pieces that are leftover from the operation which go straight to recycling.

Screw press - A press that operates under high speeds with a ram that is actuated by a screw assembly connected to a drive mechanism.

Shearing - A procedure in which a cutting force is applied perpendicular to the surface of a material, forcing the material to its yield point and resulting in a break.

Sheet forming - A technique in which a piece of sheet metal is deformed into a 3-diemensional shape without disturbing the sheet thickness.

Shut Height - The amount of space between a ram at its lowest point and the adjustment at its highest.

Stamp - The term that refers to all pieces produced by a press. Also refers to the impression of a design or letters into a material’s surface.

Stress cracking - When a part reaches its maximum yield point, the result is a fracture or stress crack. This is often due to residual stresses from cold forming, heat treating or rapid cooling.

Stroke - The vertical motion that the ram makes in going from top dead center to bottom dead center or half the cycle.


Tapping - A process of cutting or forming that is used to generate internal threads in a piece.

Tensile Strength - A ratio that relates the maximum load of a material to the original cross-sectional area.

Tolerance - Variation from the original specifications of that product that is allowable.

Transfer Die - A smaller or sub die that is combined with others and attached to a transfer press that presses pieces that are then transferred to the next die through the use of a mechanical device.

Transfer press - A complex type of press that has several different dies and a transfer mechanism that moves the piece from one die to the next.




V Die - A die with a die cavity in a “V”-shape to counter-match the V punch.  

V Punch - A “V”-shaped tool that is used to form specific angles.

Vibratory Finishing - A process that is used to remove burrs off a product, using an acceleration method and an abrasive material enclosed in a container.


Wear plates - Plates that are mounted where the piece or product will receive the most wear and usage. Often made of steel or bronze and provides for easy replacement.




Yield strength - The specific stress point at which a material deters from the original stress to strain ratio.