Maintaining a Quality Stamp

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by David Mackey on October 28, 2011

In today’s economy, it is important to maintain your equipment to achieve maximum performance and longevity. Downtime cuts into profits and decreases customer satisfaction. You can take preventative measures to increase the life of your stamps, thus maintaining your product quality and customer satisfaction.

Once the characters of your stamp get dirty, the quality and consistency of your product is greatly affected.  The die can retain fluids, dirt, and scale left behind during the manufacturing process.  It’s imperative that there is a procedure established to maintain the dies and keep them clean.  The best way to clean them is with a light-duty, brass brush. The frequency of cleaning should be determined by your shop manager, based on your output quantities and the end product being produced.

The quality of the impression produced by your stamps is affected when the tooling in which they are retained becomes worn.  A properly aligned die, when rolled or impact stamped, will create a perfect result. If it comes down at an angle or shifts sideways, it will cause quality problems.  Regular inspections of the tooling are imperative to ensure that there is no movement. Likewise, the positioning of the tooling and fixture that is being marked must also be inspected to ensure that there is no product movement.

Most shops do not store their stamps properly.  Stamp surfaces are very delicate.  It’s to the owner’s advantage to contain the dies individually to avoid any damage.  Keep stamps in a storage system that provides individual isolation in a temperature-controlled environment.

Pressure plays a key role in the longevity of your stamp.  Dies must roll and stamp at a constant and proper speed to ensure a consistent product.  Hydraulic pressure can cause characters to fail prematurely.  In addition to a poor impression and product results, stamps may fail rapidly if excessive pressure or force is exerted upon the dies, resulting from foreign matter trapped in characters.  Equipment maintenance and knowledge of correct pressure will prevent premature failure.  Educating your staff on proper maintenance protocol will go a long way in ensuring prolonged stamp life.

To learn the best course of action to take with your production line or how to implement an effective maintenance program, consult a stamp and marking die expert.

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