Line dies are tools that typically are hand or robotically loaded. Often each station that forms or cuts the sheet metal represents a single operation die. Hand-loaded line dies usually lend themselves to low-production parts or those that are too big and bulky to handle with automation. Several line dies usually can be placed within a single press. This allows the operator to transfer the parts from die to die to with a minimal travel distance.
Larger line dies often are placed in individual presses close together in a line, an arrangement referred to as tandem line presses
Some line die advantages are:
- They often cost less than more complicated dies.
- They can be timed to run together in a common press.
- The operation's simplicity allows the part to be turned over or rotated in any axis by the operator or robot if necessary. This often allows for more complex geometries to be created.
- Smaller individual tools are lighter and can be handled with lower-cost die handling equipment.
- Maintaining a single station does not require removing all the dies.
Common line die disadvantages are:
- They often cannot compete with production speeds achievable with other methods, such as progressive dies.
- They require expensive robots or human labor.
- They often require several presses to manufacture a single part.