Heading machine is a high-speed automated part forming equipment capable of turning simple wire into intricately designed fasteners and components with very tight tolerances. The process of heading is also known as upset forging or cold forming and works by taking a given volume of material and transforming it into the desired shape. The benefit of this manufacturing process over machining is that it requires no heat and creates stronger pieces more efficiently than other processes.
To begin the heading process, a coil of metal is loaded into a header and fed through a series of dies. The slug of metal, called a blank, is then hammered by powerful hammers that have been placed into the die. The force that is applied must exceed the metal’s elastic limit or yield strength to permit plastic flow and form the desired shape. Once the slug of metal is formed, the resulting piece is ready for finishing.
This can include piercing, trimming and cold extrusion. The piercing process is used to make internal drive recesses in screw heads and can be accomplished by either forward or backward extrusion. Forged parts can be cold extruded in a similar fashion, however this is usually performed hot and is more suited to larger diameter materials.
A trimmed part is a finished fastener that has been cut down from its original length. This can be done by a variety of methods, but cold forming is the most common. The benefit of this method is that it can be accomplished without using any heat, allowing the use of less expensive, lighter materials. The trimmed part is often used for decorative purposes, and the final product can be either threaded or non-threaded.
The cold forming process can be used to manufacture a wide variety of different fasteners, including screws, nails, bolts, and nuts. The process is particularly useful for metals that are prone to cracking, or that cannot be formed by traditional machining techniques. The advantage of this type of forming over other metalworking techniques is that it does not require any heat, so it has a lower environmental impact and creates less waste.
Ultimately, the main benefit of the heading process is that it offers significant cost savings over other production methods. The lack of heat allows the use of cheaper and lighter materials, and it also reduces the need for secondary machining operations. In addition, the process is highly accurate and can produce complex parts with very tight tolerances.
The cold forming process can be used to produce many different types of fasteners, and the ability to forge complicated shapes makes it ideal for creating custom components for industrial applications. At Arai Parts, we use a 9-station cold heading machine that performs all the necessary operations in one unit, from cutting the coiled material to forming it into its final shape. This type of machine can forge difficult shapes, such as internal drive recesses in screw heads, which would be impossible to manufacture using other methods.