How Dies Are Used in the Manufacturing Industry

Dies are an essential tool used in the manufacturing industry. They work like molds to create objects in custom and often complex shapes. From small fasteners and tool bits to large automotive components and machine parts, dies are used to create a variety of products. So, what is a die exactly, and do manufacturing companies use them?

What Is a Die?

A die is a pre-shaped tool that works in conjunction with a press to manipulate the material into the desired size and shape. The press forces the material — plastic, metal or composites — into the die’s cavity, thus creating a new object in the same size and shape as the die.

Dies are usually created for a specific application. Once a die has been created, it can only be used to produce objects in that size and shape. Therefore, manufacturing companies must weigh the cost of a die to determine whether it’s a smart investment. For high-volume manufacturing applications, a custom die could be cost-effective, allowing manufacturing companies to create products faster and more efficiently than with other manufacturing processes.

The Various Parts of a Die Set

A typical die set contains nearly a dozen different parts, some of which include the following:

  • Punch Plate
  • Die Block
  • Blank Punch
  • Pierce Pinch
  • Shank
  • Dowel pin
  • Pierce Punch
  • Pilot
  • Stripper Plate

Are Dies the Same as Molds?

Dies are often confused with molds, with many people believing they are the same. While both processes involve the manipulation of a raw material’s size and shape using a cavity, though, they aren’t the same. Molds are generally hollow cavities in which the raw material is poured, whereas dies consist of a solid product with a pre-made cavity that’s used to stamp the raw material.

Processes In Which Dies Are Used

There are actually numerous manufacturing processes that involve the use of a die. Blanking, for example, requires the use of a die to cut a piece of flat metal, typically sheet metal, into the desired size and shape. Coining, on the other hand, involves the use of a die to create objects with different designs or characteristics on each size.

Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of dies and how they are used in the manufacturing industry. To recap, a die is a pre-shaped tool that’s used with a press to manipulate the size and shape of raw materials. It’s like a mold, with the only exception being that it stamps the raw material.

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