Forming Tools Help Productivity & Efficiency

Nearly every manufacturer is in a labor crunch these days. While we can’t help you recruit, Mate can help your current team be more productive and do their jobs more efficiently.

Mate offers a wide array of forming tools that add value by eliminating costly secondary operations such as forming, welding or installing fasteners. For example, if a part needs a shallow form like an emboss, a short flange, or even a locking tab, chances are those forms can be made right on the punch press with no secondary ops required. Let’s take a quick look at just some of the forming tools we offer:

  • Countersink tools create countersinks in punched holes to accommodate flathead screws or other specialty hardware or fasteners. These tools eliminate the need to set up a drill press or other secondary operation to make the countersink. Available in dedicated and universal varieties, a dedicated tool is for a specific countersink geometry and is suitable for deep countersinking in thick material. A universal tool can vary its depth and create countersinks for a range of screw sizes.
  • Emboss tools product simple embosses such as a stamped company logo, a raised surface to allow clearance for specific hardware, or small dimples placed into a sheet to strengthen the part or enhance its visual appeal. Embossing occurs either via forming or cold forging. Fabricators usually use cold-forge embossing to create text and designs on the sheet metal surface. Formed embossing bends the material around the tool, compressing the inner surface and stretching the outer surface at the locations where the material changes direction. The material is also pulled into the formed emboss.
  • V-line stencil tools place stamped logos, identifiers or instructions into the face of the sheet metal. They are also used with tools for tabbing thin-material parts into a nest for easy removal after punching and creating snap lines. As the tools penetrate the sheet, they create a line of weakness—a snap line—in the upper and lower surfaces of the sheet material. The snap line allows operators to snap a burr-free part loose from the rest of the sheet. Snap-type tools can also help break down sheet skeletons, minimizing the space required for scrap material. They can also create bend lines that allow operators to bend two sheets by hand to a designated angle.
  • Locking tabs produce spring-loaded tabs that lock into place when paired and assembled with other components. The tab eliminates the need for spot welding, riveting or fastening with threaded hardware. Instead, an assembler only needs to slide an adjoining sheet or another component into the tab, and the lanced form locks the material together. Such forms can eliminate expensive secondary operations and allow parts to be attached by hand in assembly. They also allow for the joining of dissimilar material thicknesses and material types, such as stainless steel to aluminum.

You can produce a myriad of forms in a CNC punch press that will let you eliminate costly and inefficient secondary operations. Knockouts, extrusions, shaped embosses, flanges, radiused or curved tabs, ribs, multiple bend tabs, oversized louvers—the possibilities are practically endless.

The Fabrication Solutions section on contains many resources, including Case Studies, Solution Bulletins and Success Tips. Another great resource is our Technical Solutions Guide which covers forming tools and other fabricating techniques. Finally, be sure to look at the Customer Solutions Gallery provides you with ideas on how Mate has helped customers solve fabrication challenges and make their manufacturing processes more efficient.

Blog Author

John Galich

John Galich is Marketing Manager at Mate Precision Technologies.