The Advantages of Cold Heading in Parts Manufacturing

Cold heading, or cold forming, is a manufacturing process that dates to more than 75 years ago, although it has evolved considerably over that time. Once thought of as an option suitable for small fasteners only, cold heading today is used with great success for parts in a wide range of metals, sizes and configurations.

The accompanying resource presents a good overview of the advantages and potential limitations of this process. It’s valuable reading if you are unfamiliar with metal forming options, which includes learning about what a metal heat treating service does, etc, or are looking for improvements on parts that are currently being forged, stamped, cast or by traditional machining.

One of the most important advantages of cold heading is the virtual elimination of scrap. In traditional machining operations, scrap can run north of 60% – a significant cost consideration that can substantially reduce the manufacturer’s and customer’s profitability. For metals that are difficult or expensive to recycle or reuse, and in market conditions in which raw material prices are at their highest, elimination of scrap can make cold heading the only economically viable choice.

For high-precision jobs such as aerospace machining, manufacturers have to be very careful regarding how the parts are made. Using a CNC method, they program the process so that parts are made according to the exact specifics. This is not generally preferred by companies that make low-cost parts as it takes more time and costs more than cold heading. Most manufacturers, however, use both processes depending on the needs of the client.

The cold heading process, when suitable, gives manufacturers an avenue to increase production efficiency and reduce operating costs. The process enables the customer to obtain more consistent, high quality parts at a significantly lower price. Because the benefits are so substantial, cold forming is a manufacturing option that should always be considered. To learn more about it, please continue reading.