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The Development of Progressive Stamping and the Role it Plays in the History of Metal Stamping in Minneapolis, MN

February 10th, 2017 · No Comments

Metal stamping has played a significant role in manufacturing industries for hundreds of years, from technological advancements to wars and beyond. Each decade in the history of metal stamping has its own notable advancements in stamping technology, in the last decade of the 1800’s, the first records of a progressive die were published. The development of progressive dies is fundamental to the high-quality precision stamping performed at Thomas Engineering Company, and at TEC, we place great importance on honoring the history of metal stamping in Minneapolis, MN.

The first mention of a progressive die came in 1896 in The Press Working of Metals by Oberlin Smith with methods described as “successive gang cutting.” The actual description of what is considered a progressive die came a year later in Dies and Die Making by J.L. Lewis.

During the early 1900s, progressive dies were increasingly used to produce quickly and in high quantities. Automotive companies used early progressive dies to produce a large number of parts, including electric engine components similar to the electronic components TEC produces today. In 1955, a chapter in the Die Design Handbook produced by the American Society of Tool Manufacturing detailed progressive dies of the era.

With the rebirth of the economy after WWII, manufacturing demands rose and production time needed to be shortened significantly to supply industries with enough parts to meet the increase in demand. During this time, the progressive die became crucial to metal stamping companies across the U.S.

In 1953, Ed Stouten and his partner launched Capitol Engineering Company, a novel company specializing in die design. Stouten created the first strip stamping methods, using scrap material connecting parts to carry the strip through a progressive die. The success of his methods gave rise to a new generation of progressive stamping dies.  Stouten spread his knowledge of progressive dies and strip stamping throughout the 50 years in seminar after seminar.

Today, even some of our most advanced progressive stamping dies use the technology developed by Stouten and his engineers. Budding engineers are routinely educated in Stouten’s designs and seminar materials, and his work is continually published in all types of metal stamping literature.

Without the development of the progressive stamping die and Stouten’s contributions, the precision stamped parts TEC specializes in would not be possible. For more information about how the history of metal stamping in Minneapolis, MN, has formed the precision metal stamping services Thomas Engineering Company provides, contact us at (763) 533-1501 today.

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