Stamping Industry Projections Article

As we look ahead to where we would like to be in 2019, we should first reflect on what happened last year and how it affected business, then examine our preparation for the unexpected in 2019 and beyond. For manufacturers, 2018 was a year of growth tethered by tariffs that were more damaging in rhetoric than in actual application. The year began with threats of trade wars that instantly hit our pocketbooks, well before any tariffs were enacted. Creating an even playing field did help bring work back to the United States and helped to keep our products on par with other global providers, but the bottom line is still the bottom line and its degree of success in the long strategy of the tariff game can only be told by time. For now, upfront cost increases have been passed down to the end user and overall balance has been restored until the next batch – which means any future forecast based on current status is out of our hands and we must prepare for every possible scenario:

  • Will tariffs cause more prices to increase or shift the advantage to another location?
  • When will the next recession hit?
  • How long will the next recession last?
  • Where am I going to find labor for all the new work?

These questions are endless and make building a long-term strategy difficult, especially alongside an ever-moving forecast. That said, shops can prepare for many things in different ways to secure strength for the future. The economy is strong, the labor pool is depleted, pressrooms are busier today than yesterday, but talk still circles back to a looming recession. Even if economic experts are correct about a pending downturn, metal stampers should be in good shape for growth in 2019 – numbers are expected to be less than 2018, but still positive until a forecasted slowdown begins in 2020.

For many companies, business is strong and somewhat stable at the moment, so taking the time to prepare for future needs is difficult to fit into their daily grind. But preparation is a necessary step for future survival – and 2019 is the year to get prepared. The tax cuts at the beginning of 2018 allowed those companies to spend a little more on capital needs in preparation for the next influx of business, so what better way to make the most of the extra business and tax-cut cash than to spend more time looking at value over cost. Implementing new ideas is not without risk, but waiting on the sidelines can keep a company out of the game. Creating the most of today, while planning for the future – when business is strong – will make surviving and succeeding tomorrow a lot easier. Finding the right mix of labor and technology is paramount to success in this new economy of metalworking.

Read the full article as published in Fabricating & Metalworking.


The traditional method of manufacturing bunter tooling is reductive. To create the characters imprinted on the casing, the bunter material has traditionally been eroded away to reveal the final form.

Bunter Technology

The Impax Tooling Solutions® division of Wilson Tool International’s patented process takes the opposite approach. Characters are formed when material is forced up into the cavity. This compression creates a tighter bond at the molecular level, and a significantly more precise, more resilient head stamp. Check out the 30-second video to see the difference. 

Bunter Video

In addition to cleaner hits with new bunter tooling, some of our customers have observed a 500 to 800 percent increase in throughput per tool when they switched to Impax. Learn more about these bunters.

XSharp Grinder


Tool sharpening is essential to any preventive maintenance program. Sharp tools produce higher quality parts, last longer and can even reduce the amount of tonnage required. But regrinding takes time and a skilled operator to do accurately. Until now. The XSharp grinder makes tool sharpening fast, simple and precise with a fully automated grinding process.

Designed to allow you to sharpen tooling while walking away and doing other things in your tool room, XSharp is simple to operate and requires no previous grinding experience. The operator simply enters the tool style, size and grind amount into the touchscreen interface and XSharp takes it from there. Automated height detection locates the top of any tool mounted in the chuck before the grinding cycle begins.

Learn more about how XSharp™ can simplify your grinding process.

ISO Survey


Spring Protection Flyer

A new flyer featuring two unique products to protect cylinders from harmful contaminants is now available from Wilson Tool International and Special Springs. The SKUDO cap provides active protection from contaminants and significantly increases cylinder life when used in harsh work environments. The Secondary Wiper (SW) is made of high-performing polyurethane that resists lubricants and protects against liquid and solid contaminants. The additional protection offered by these products will improve safety, increase production efficiency and reduce costs.

Wilson Tool offers a complete selection of coil and nitrogen die springs and accessories manufactured by Special Springs as part of the Impax Tooling Solutions® line of products. These products are designed for optimum spring life and to improve your stamping performance.

Download the flyer to learn more.


SHOT Show is the premier exhibition for the shooting, hunting and outdoor industries, with over 60,000 enthusiasts attending the event in January. Wilson Tool exhibited at the accompanying Supplier Showcase, which gives vendors to the industry a chance to promote their products and services before the main event.


Our booth showcased Wilson Tool’s contributions to the ammunition industry. From highly polished and precise draw tooling to bunters that provide over five times the life, we demonstrated the tooling innovations that have most positively impacted production for ammunition manufacturers. We also had the privilege of catching up with familiar faces and getting to know some new ones.

If you were not able to talk to us about your ammunition needs at the show, we’d still love to talk to you. Please reach out to your local representative or our tooling technicians at or 800-944-4671. We are looking forward to being a part of your successful 2019.



Jeff Jones

Jeff joined Wilson Tool in 1996 as a machinist and later moved into the role of Business Unit Leader in the Stamping Division. Most recently he was named the Assistant Manager of the Stamping Division, where his department knowledge, commitment to continuing education and demonstrated leadership ability are an asset to the division.

During his career with Wilson Tool he is most proud of being recognized by coworkers as a fair and dependable leader. His favorite time with the company is right now, because he is enjoying all of the divisions working together to find the best way to manufacture parts and support our customers.

When he is not at work, Jeff enjoys being with family. He and his wife love to travel, so it works out perfectly that he has family in Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Poland and all around the United States. 


At Wilson Tool International, our goal is to deliver exceptional customer service along with the most reliable and innovative products and solutions to help our customers succeed. If you’re ever unsatisfied with one of our products, we’ll do everything we can to make it right and keep you up and running. Our tooling comes standard with M2 steel, and M4 steel for ball-lock. These high quality tool steels far outperform the standard steel used by the competition.


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