Tool and die makers manufacture fourslide tooling, jigs and fixtures, progressive dies, sheet metal forming dies, welding fixtures, and custom or specialty tools. Fourslide or multislide tooling incorporates horizontal die applications from multiple directions, either simultaneously or successively, in addition to the vertical motion of a punch press. Jigs and fixtures are used to hold a workpiece in the correct positional location relative to the tool during machining operations, or to another part during assembly or welding. Progressive dies have two or more stations for performing multiple operations. Sheet metal forming includes tooling and dies for the punching, stamping and/or forming of sheet metal. Welding fixtures maintain the positional location of two or more parts or assemblies during welding operations.

Services Offered by Tool and Die Makers

Services offered by tool and die makers include CAD/CAM support, design assistance, initial tool tryout, production facilities and rapid prototyping. Computer aided design or drafting (CAD) is used to design products quickly and accurately. Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) is used to fabricate products directly from CAD outputs. Tool and die makers who provide design assistance can help with concepts, manufacturing costs, manufacturing techniques and material considerations such as sourcing. They may also be able to assist with upgrading, redesigning, reevaluating or modernizing existing products to increase performance and/or reduce manufacturing costs. Initial tool tryout is available from vendors who offer on-site production of a limited number of parts for initial tool and part evaluation. Tool and die makers may also offer on-site manufacturing of production quantities, or produce prototypes for visual or tryout inspection.

Certifications

Tool and die makers provide several types of certifications. ISO 9001:2000 establishes requirements for company quality management systems and covers standards ranging from manufacturing to services such as design, development, production, and installation. AS9000 is a set of quality guidelines and requirements published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in cooperation with major aerospace manufacturers. AS9000 is based on ISO 9001 but maintains a particular focus on the aerospace industry. QS-9000 is a quality standard for suppliers of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. QS-9000 is based on the 1994 edition of ISO 9001, but contains additional requirements that are particular to the automotive industry. Specifically, QS-9000 applies to suppliers of production materials, production and service parts, heat treating, painting and plating and other finishing services. 

Industries Served

Tool and die makers are located across the United States and throughout the world. They provide tooling to a range of industries that includes aerospace, automotive, food processing, optical, medical, and pharmaceutical companies. Tool and die makers also manufacture products for companies that provide electric and electronic components and semiconductors. 


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