Complex is the New Simple

Today’s highly technical manufacturing world is increasingly complex. Higher standards, shorter deadlines and more demanding requirements make everyday work harder than it’s ever been. Experienced tooling technicians can help. A tooling supplier who cares about making you successful will ask questions to fully understand your stamping application challenge before providing the right solution. He or she will recommend the optimal combination of tool steels, coatings, surface enhancements and more to maximize your tool life, increase your productivity and lower your costs. So you get more than the right tool for the job. You get a full-service tooling partner you can count on and the right solution.

With the right tooling partner, you’ll see that punches and dies may be consumables, but they are certainly not commodities.  

Let’s take a look at few of the options a tooling partner takes into consideration when designing you the ideal punch for your application:

Explore Tool Steels
Wilson Tool provides M2 steel as standard on all headed punches, M4 on ball lock, and powdered steels like 3V, 10V, and 15V for applications that call for a more specialized approach. By investigating various tool steels, stampers can realize longer runs between sharpenings and punch replacement. To maximize punch life, a general rule is to choose a tool steel that matches the material being punched. Tough material requires tough tool steel, while more abrasive material calls for greater wear resistance. See this flyer for a deeper comparison of tool steel performance.

Consider Specialty Coatings
Inexpensive, general-purpose coatings are prone to flaking and tend to wear out fast. For better results, look into coatings such as TiCN or those that are specifically engineered to maximize the life of the punch. Like tool steels, a superior coating can be well worth the investment in the long run. Different coatings treat various application challenges like wear, breakage, galling and excess friction. See this resource for further description of what coatings should be applied when.

Take Advantage of Straight-line Grinding
Straight-line grinding is machining a punch parallel to its Y axis for a smoother finish. This reduces friction and pressure when stripping and produces a cutting edge that distributes force more evenly. The result is reduced galling and tool wear, as well as a cleaner punch with a more accurate hole diameter. Learn more about the benefits of surface finish, grind and polish here. 

Don’t Discount Shear Angles
Stampers often avoid using punches with shear angles because sharpening a punch with shear angles can be tedious. However, any headaches associated with die maintenance are well worth the improved results. Shear angles significantly reduce the shock (tonnage) and recoil within the punch. Reducing tonnage not only increases tool life, but also reduces press wear and tear. Reducing recoil minimizes punch head breakage and protects the die from slug pulling.

Design to Minimize Head Breakage
Punch head breakage is one of the most common problems stampers face. That’s why it’s critical to know the ins and outs of alterations that make heads less vulnerable. Drawing back the punch head to a consistent 40 to 45 Rockwell hardness C (HRC) makes it less brittle. Making punch heads thicker and adding a larger-than-normal radius under the head can make a big difference. A chamfer on the back of the punch head will minimize fracturing by keeping the load centered on the body diameter not the head only. Wilson Tool uses this design modification as well as other additions to add strength and lasting power for extremely demanding applications.

Beyond these considerations, alterations in punch body size and type, lubrication, tolerance, slug protection and more will pay dividends when it comes to punch life. Making the right tool choices can mean an exponential increase in productivity, as many customers have discovered.

Want to start reaping the benefits today? Contact Impax Tooling Solutions, a division of Wilson Tool to discuss your application today.

Not All Ammunition is Created Equal 

Manufacturers for the defense industry are up against especially strict standards for good reason: ammunition misfiring is an outcome that won’t be tolerated by miilitary or law enforcement organizations.

Producing high quality brass casings is crucial to meeting the standards of the defense industry, but the manufacture of casings comes with unique challenges. First, there’s the problem of finding tooling that will withstand the extremely high production runs; second there are the challenges that come with forming brass, an intrinsically malleable material that can be inconsistent if not of top quality. 

Impax Tooling Solutions®, a division of Wilson Tool International, uses a combination of patented machine processes and tool steel expertise to provide ammunition tooling that confronts the challenges defense manufacturers meet head on. 

While some manufacturers use a burning or EDM method of labeling the characters on a brass casing, this process can thin the material and result in a bunter that becomes ineffective prematurely. Replacing the bunter tooling causes inefficient machine downtime. 

Wilson Tool’s bunter tooling forms or stamps the characters in the casing, resulting in a stronger molecular bond and a higher quality casing. Wilson’s bunter tooling has been known to last 5 to 8 times longer than competing tooling. See the video for more on this patented bunter process. 

Draw Punches
Deep draw applications bring their own set of challenges to ammunition manufacturing. Because the material is pulled and stretched into its final tubular shape, draw punches must be designed with the utmost consistency and strength to withstand this pressure. Wilson Tool’s draw punches are made with a tool steel that is specifically chosen for the challenges of the deep draw application.

A recent customer has reported over 3,000,000 hits with a Wilson Tool draw punch. This remarkable outcome is due in part to using precisely the right tool steel for the application. 

For more information on how to get the most from your defense tooling, contact our tooling technicians or go here

Happy Holidays from Wilson Tool

One of the greatest joys of the Holiday season is having the opportunity to say “thank you.”

This message is to express our sincerest gratitude for your partnership in 2017, and our kindest wishes to continue doing business with you in 2018.

Click below for a special holiday greeting from the Wilson Tool leadership team.

Season’s Greetings and a Very Happy New Year!

Please Note: In observance of the winter holidays, the White Bear Lake, Minnesota headquarters of Wilson Tool International will be closed on Monday, December 25 and Monday, January 1, 2018.

See How Round Forms are Made More Consistent and High-Performing

This video shows how our innovative manufacturing process achieves the best round form results by using the right tool steel, coating and surface finish.

FABTECH 2017 by the Numbers

Did you attend FABTECH this year? Sources say that over 1,700 exhibiting companies and 44,935 attendees from 120 countries were there.*

Here’s the scoop on the Wilson Tool exhibit from a numbers perspective:

  • 25 Wilson Tool employees problem solved with hundreds of attendees over 3.5 days
  • 5 innovative new products from 3 Wilson Tool divisions showcased in 2 brand new booths
  • Attendees viewed 43 application videos on display from 4 tablets and 2 TV’s
  • Wilson Tool visitors collected over 1,200 fidget spinners, 7 t-shirts and 7 backpacks
  • 5 lucky visitors won $500 in free tooling
  • 1 Wilson Tool employee presented in 1 educational session

A big thank-you to everyone who stopped by our booth this year! Click below to watch a brief video recap of the event:

If you missed us at FABTECH, come see us at the SHOT Show Supplier Showcase in January. See the ‘Save the Date’ section for booth information.

*info found here.

E-Biz is Retiring

December 31, 2017 will be the last day to place orders through Wilson Tool’s online ordering system, known as the e-Business Center. Starting January 1, 2018, the system will be retired, and all services from the e-Business site will be available through our tooling technicians via email, phone, fax or online contact form.

If you have materials in your e-Biz user account you’d like to save, please login and save those materials for your records before the end of the year.

We are confident that you will be satisfied with the quick response and excellent service working directly with our tooling technicians.


Save the Date!

SHOT Show 2018

It’s almost the new year and Wilson Tool will be attending the SHOT Show Supplier Showcase for the second time. The showcase is a recent expansion of the comprehensive shooting, hunting and outdoor industries tradeshow, especially providing a forum for industry suppliers.

Date: January 22–23, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: Palazzo Ballroom, 5th Floor
Venetian Hotel Meeting Rooms
Las Vegas, NV

Wilson Tool Booth: 1907


Galling Webinar On Demand

Do you struggle with galling in your stamping operation? Many do. This webinar discusses three effective ways to prevent galling and improve outcomes. Watch to learn:

  • A punch modification that will improve galling resistance
  • Tooling surface texture and its influence on galling
  • The impact your die has on preventing galling

Download or live stream now.