David Alkire Smith Metal Stamping Consultant




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I had the good fortune to serve my tool and die apprenticeship at the Western Electric Company, There professionals from the Chicago area and the best the European immigration following world war two had to offer were my instructors.  Apprentices were required build progressive high speed stamping, molding and assembly dies used to produce precision telephone relays having gold, platinum and palladium contacts.  Failure was not an option.  Apprentices were expected to do anything a journeyperson could do.  It might take a bit longer.

In search of higher wages, I served much over 20 years of my career as a die maker and die tryout group leader at The Ford Motor Company.  There management permitted the successful completion of many specialized assignments involving metal formability, electronic instrumentation of the stamping process, and quick die change involving progressive, tandem die and transfer press tooling.  This included developing load cell testing procedures for testing presses for alignment under load and accurate determination of hydraulic overload problems.  This provided a tool to qualify a press for production or determination the need for repair.  This gave Ford and the industry an accurate tool to permit management with facts.  I must admit that the UAW took a very shortsighted view of my non-traditional work assignment.  I am still active with Ford as a consultant and trainer.


As President of Smith & Associates, I consult on metal stamping process and press damage problems for all sizes and classes of work.  Providing customized training course manuals on a variety of pressworking topics is a unique specialty.


These services are delivered to many Fortune 100 and 500 companies, as well as many small firms engaged in metal stamping.  The products they produce range from surgical goods to elevated water towers.  I have more than 45 years of experience solving press and die related problems.



Primary steel makers, steel processors, automakers, automotive contract stampers, general contract stampers, precision stampers, instrument manufacturers and explosive manufacturers to name a few.


It is an honor to serve as editor of the third edition of the SME Die Design Handbook and author of the SME reference publication, Quick Die Change.  Developer and Presenter of the two and one-half hour Quick Die Change Video Series produced by SME, as well as author of the SME Reference the Publications Fundamentals of Pressworking and Die Maintenance Handbook.  These reference and training materials are available from many sources.  Links to some of them are provided.



Contributions to standard SME publications include, Fundamentals of Tool Design, Tool and manufacturing Engineer's Handbook, Design for Manufacturability and Continuous Improvement and, Progressive Dies.



Starting when employed with Ford, the writer published many Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) papers on subjects stamping innovations, as well as to reduce cost and process variability reduction of the stamping process.  These papers and how to obtain them are found on this web site.


In addition to formal published papers, Dave is a regular contributor of noncommercial how-to technical articles in metalworking trade journals and periodicals.



The writer takes pride in civic involvement as a Director, City of Monroe Economic Development Corporation and a member of the Monroe Zoning Board of Appeals.



The writer is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, SAE International, ASM International, American Radio Relay League, and the Audio Engineering Society.  Dave is active in numerous historical societies including The Society for the History of Technology and the Society for Industrial Archeology. 



The writer enjoys the design and construction of precision measuring instruments.  Another activity is large format cut film photography, mainly to document historic buildings and historical engineering landmarks.  As a frequent speaker at National Amateur Radio conventions, Dave instructs on the subject of transmission line theory and electromagnetic wave propagation.  My amateur radio call sign is W8YZ.  


The writer’s heritage includes a firm belief in the support of our Republic, the United States of America.  Everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed and participate in the defense of our nation.  The writer is a life NRA member.   

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