Short Run Stamping vs. Long Run Stamping, Which Do You Need?

As you gather all the details of your approaching custom metal stamping order, you may have some questions that still need answering. These questions could be “What type of stamping should I use?”, “Which material will best fit my needs?”, or “Do I need something custom or does the part already exist?” All important questions, and it’s helpful to work with your supplier to make sure you are getting those answers. Another crucial question to make sure you get answered is “Will I be needing Short Run Stamping or Long Run Stamping?” A good starting point when asking that question is knowing a little bit more about what your needs are. Here are four questions to keep in mind as they help determine which process to use:

  1. How many pieces do are needed?
  2. Is this a one-time order or will this be ongoing?
  3. How quickly do you need the order finished? Is there a tight deadline?
  4. Are you in the early design stages and not ready to order or are the drawings ready to create a die?

With potential answers to those questions in mind, let’s take a closer look at short run and long run stamping and what you can expect.

Short Run Stamping

If you are currently in the vetting process, or testing with experimental designs or products, then short run stamping is for you. It is the perfect process when investing a lot of money isn’t an option. These are the steps involved with short run stamping:

  1. A blank is created
  2. If there is any need for interior slots or holes, they are added
  3. 3D features, such as bends or stamps, are implemented
  4. Drilling operations (if required)
  5. Plating, painting, coating, and any other finishing processes

The benefits of short run stamping can be extensive, again it all depends on your needs. One of the largest advantages of short run stamping is the quick turnaround times. This is because of shorter lead times from the production phase which results in a faster delivery of products to your door. Short run stamping also is often times more cost efficient. Due to them being smaller volume orders, minimal tooling expenses are needed. When working with a trusted metal stamping company, expertise also helps with the reduction of revisions and maintenance, which provides savings as well.

Long Run Stamping

While short run stamping was for test runs or for vetting, long run stamping is when volume can justify the tooling costs. Also referred to as progressive stamping, deep drawn long run stamping is the most common stamping process known today. When a piece is properly designed and tooled, long run stamping can produce pieces at a rate of over 800 pieces per minute. During long run stamping, you still can utilize the following stamping methods:

  1. Bending
  2. Piercing
  3. Coining
  4. Deep Drawing


While these methods are cost effective with long run stamping, it is important to remember the number of pieces being ordered should always offset the tooling costs that can be incurred. Designers, engineers, and buyers prefer long run stamping due to it’s lower price-per-piece. So, when high volume is what you’re looking for, long run stamping can produce the best piece for the lowest cost.

Deep Drawn Aluminum Stamping

Whether you are looking for short run stamping, long run stamping, or you aren’t sure; it is important to be sure of the company that is doing the stamping for you. Speed or order size is only as beneficial as the quality of the product you end up with, so it is important to go with the best. You can always be assured of Charles Richter quality when working with them. Some of their qualities customers appreciate most are:

  1. Cost effective pricing
  2. Quality control techniques
  3. Efficient cycle times
  4. State of the art technology

Interested in more information regarding your project and assistance in determining whether you should be utilizing short run stamping or long run stamping? Contact one of Charles Richter’s stamping experts today to learn more.