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The Art of machining for cold forming

The very nature of the cold forming process requires material with highly formable properties.  These properties do not lend themselves easily to machining. Chip management is particularly challenging due to the machined material not wanting to break during machining.

In addition, the nature of cold forming requires that excess material over the finished components is minimized. This result in very small depths of cut during machining. These two factors together combined make machining of cold formed components a definite sub-process all to itself, in terms of speeds, feeds, insert design and so on.

Over 20 years, NETFORM has developed the art of machining of these cold formed components

Full range machining capabilities

NETFORM initially focused on basic turning operations. Over time, the range of machining processes has expanded to include:

  • Turning
  • Milling
  • Drilling
  • Broaching – Straight and Helical
  • Notching
  • Balancing
  • Robotic Deburring

Cellular Manufacturing

Cellular machining cells form the basis of post-processing activities at NETFORM-Shelby.

Parts move from operation to operation automatically in single part flow, with robots used extensively throughout the manufacturing cells. These cells are capable of manufacturing hundreds of thousands of parts to stringent quality standards typical in the automotive industry.

Operators manage these cells to ensure production goals are met, as well as ensuring that parts are made to specification.


The stringent quality requirements of the automotive industry dictate an organized and thorough approach that is a key element of the manufacturing cell design phase. The approach taken is driven by the component being manufactured, with options available that include:

  • Bench-based gaging, linked to a Quality Management System (QMS)
  • In-machine laser gaging providing 100% component checking for feature presence and/or size.
  • Special-built, dedicated inspection gages, installed in line, for 100% part validation and process control.
  • In-line vision cameras used for feature presence, burr detection etc.

These physical quality approaches are then married to the operator’s quality responsibilities for production.

This approach has resulted in a quality rating at NETFORM of the highest order, along with the IATF 16949 quality certification for both plants and PPM’s less than 2.

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