What is Tooling?

punches, dies and fingers needed for deep drawn process.

What is tooling? 

If you look up the word tooling in a dictionary you will likely find a definition along the lines of “The planning, making and arrangement of tools for a particular manufacturing process.” 

Tooling is the task of developing and engineering the products or “tools” and equipment required to produce and manufacture a part or assembly. Think of a cupcake. Without a cupcake pan you would not be able to continuously reproduce the same shape. 

There are many different types of tooling but what is tooling in manufacturing? Tooling used in manufacturing, also known as machine tooling, is an important part of the manufacturing process. When a unique piece of equipment coupled with unique tooling is needed to carry out a manufacturing operation, it would be considered “tooled.” 

Why is tooling important?

Tooling is a critical part of the manufacturing process since the precision and characteristics of the tooling define the quality of the finished goods. More importantly, properly designed tooling allows for a product to function properly, repeat results, reduce man hours, etc. As a skilled tooling manufacturer, PMP is able to deliver well-designed and well-made tooling specific to the deep draw metal forming process. This allows for manufacturing processes to be quicker and more cost-effective. Proper tooling also improves reliability, repeatability and reduces time related to repairs and maintenance.

Final parts always need to be within a specific tolerance to function properly. If the tooling is not made properly, the final part can be unsuccessful and may end up with faults indicating that they can break or degrade quickly. Tooling failure can lead to production delays, lost time or even part rejection.

A successful tooling process starts with designing tools to best meet critical features and functions of the part. We build tools in-house which allows us to control quality and tool delivery lead times. Next, our tool makers set in and adjust tools as needed to produce first piece samples for customer approval. The tooling process can range in cost due to many variables such as the number of operations to complete the part, part complexity and required tolerances. The tooling charges at PMP encompass the tool design for the part, building the machine tools and all activities to produce PPAP or first piece samples for customer approval. Here at PMP, the tooling charge is a one time charge and covers the design life of the current part revision.

Why Use Tooling for Metal Forming? 

Tooling plays a vital role in the metal forming process and the mode in which the deep drawn process takes place.

The tooling process helps deliver an efficient production process which allows manufacturers to provide high-quality and customized products while still retaining affordable production costs.

The tooling process for the manufacture of deep drawn metal forming requires engineering and niche design principles not used in other forms of manufacturing. The combined experience of our design and tool building teams ensure proper selection of tooling materials that guarantee longevity while maintaining customer required tolerances and minimal variation between runs. The deep draw process uses hardened tooling materials, such as steel,  which can withstand multiple production cycles allowing the deep draw manufacturer to produce high volumes of parts. Soft tooling would not be an optimal choice for deep draw metal forming as it only allows manufacturers to produce samples and prototypes and lacks the durability or wear resistance for high volume production. 

Think about that cupcake pan again; you are using a “tool” to make many cupcakes for years to come! 

Want to discuss a design or project?

Do you have a deep draw metal stamping project that would be best handled by a provider that truly understands the customer experience and is committed to your success?

Contact us and schedule a meeting with our Tooling Specialists at PMP today!

Email or call 203-758-4448

Prospect Machine Products Receives National and State Recognition for 2020 President’s E Award

PMP with Rep Zupkus and Sen Sampson

From Left: Karen McWhirt (PMP President), Lezlye Zupkus (R-89), Richard Laurenzi (PMP Chairman), Nicole Spaeth (PMP -Sales Manager), Rob Sampson (R-16)

Prospect Machine Products Receives State Recognition for 2020 President’s E Award

Prospect Machine Products was honored to receive citations from U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy as well as the Connecticut General Assembly as represented by Representative Lezlye Zupkus and Senator Rob Sampson who visited our business on Thursday, November 19.

“Congratulations on this achievement, we can’t wait to see what you do next.”-Connecticut General Assembly

Our family-owned deep draw metal stamping business has been in the town of Prospect and the state of Connecticut for 70 years now. Over the years we have provided hundreds of jobs to local residents as well as tool and die apprenticeships for students from our local vocational high school.  We have contributed to the civic fabric of the town and state through charitable contributions and service in local and state-wide business and educational organizations.

The President’s E Award was initiated by President Kennedy to recognize companies who demonstrate  export growth over a period of time.  Prospect Machine Products was one of 24 U.S. manufacturers to receive the 2020 award.

Have a deep draw metal stamping project that would be best handled by a provider that truly understands the customer experience and is committed to your success? Contact us! Email or call 203-758-4448, X25 for our Sales Manager, Nicole Spaeth.

Prospect Machine Products Receives Presidential “E” Award for Exports

Logo of Prospect Machine ProductsProspect Machine Products Receives Presidential “E” Award for Exports

Deep draw metal stamping manufacturer recognized for contributing to the expansion of U.S. exports.

Prospect, CT: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross notified Prospect Machine Products of its selection to receive the President’s “E” award for exports. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. business can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. 

“Prospect Machine Products has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The “E” Awards Committee was very impressed with Prospect Machine Products’ more than doubling of export sales over the previous four years. The company’s use of government programs to identify buyers and further support international expansion was particularly notable. Prospect Machine Products’ achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs., ” said Secretary Ross in his congratulatory letter to the company announcing its selection.  

“Exporting is an important part of our sales.” said Richards Laurenzi, Chairman/ CEO of Prospect Machine Products. “Buyers and consumers in foreign markets want quality products made in the United States,  and we are honored to receive the E award. We are a small deep draw stamping manufacturer, a family business founded in 1950, so this greatly appreciated honor represents a milestone in our company’s history.”

In total, Secretary Ross honored 39 U.S. companies and organizations from across the country with the President’s “E” Award for their role in strengthening the U.S. economy by sharing American ingenuity outside of our borders. Out of the 39 companies and organizations, 24 were manufacturers.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Department of Commerce via their International Trade Division. With offices across the United States and in embassies and consulates around the world, The International Trade Division lends it expertise at every stage of the exporting process by promoting and facilitating exports and investment into the United States.

In 1961 President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive growth in one or more international markets.

 About Prospect Machine Products

Prospect Machine Products is a contract manufacturer of  deep draw metal stampings used in numerous commercial sectors including sealing technologies, medical devices, needle and ball bearings, industrial and compliance controls, and automotive. Deep draw forming is noted for its cost savings in material consumption and the elimination of post-production secondary operations.

For more information about the “E” Awards and benefits of exporting, visit: 

The Presidents E Award




Have a deep draw metal stamping project that would be best handled by a provider that truly understands the customer experience and is committed to your success? Contact us! Email or call 203-758-4448, X25 for our Sales Manager, Nicole Spaeth.

Karen McWhirt, President of PMP Chats with Ari Santiago in Made in America Podcast

Karen McWhirt, President of Prospect Machine Products, a deep draw manufacturer, chats with Ari Santiago in this week’s Made in America podcast episode!

Karen McWhirt, President of Prospect Machine Products, a deep draw manuacturer chats with Ari Santiago in Made in America Podcast

October is manufacturing month and what a great way to celebrate! Manufacturing month honors modern manufacturing and is meant to encourage the next generation of manufacturers.

I had the opportunity to tag along with Karen to sit in on the recording of the Podcast. It was such a fun and engaging experience and I was surprised to learn upon our arrival that there was no editing!

Karen McWhirt, President of PMP, a deep draw manufacturer

Karen and Ari touch upon many pertinent topics in today’s manufacturing industry including:

    • Women’s everchanging roles in manufacturing and the strengths they can bring into the deep draw stamping environment
    • Working with CONNSTEP (Our statewide MEP) and SMA (Smaller Manufacturers Association of Connecticut) and the beneficial services that they provide such as networking, training, and support of small manufacturers in Connecticut
    • 5s and how it has positively impacted our business in the deep draw metal stamping industry
    • How people, technologies, and processes are the keys that we need focus on for our future success and to continue to be relevant as a deep draw metal stamping manufacturer
    • How the latest information technologies in sales and marketing have brought us deep draw stamping business and as Ari mentions,” lean into the changes and not to be afraid of them if you want to continue compete.”

Tune in and learn more by watching the full episode here!

Podcast website:

YouTube page:

Apple podcast link:  

Have a deep draw metal stamping project that would be best handled by a provider that truly understands the customer experience and is committed to your success? Contact us! Email or call 203-758-4448, X25 for our Sales Manager, Nicole Spaeth.

By Nicole Spaeth, Sales Manager at Prospect Machine Products

What We Do And Why We Do It

Deep Drawn Metal StampingsWhat we do:

We are a contract manufacturer of deep draw metal stampings. Deep draw stamping is a process in which the work piece is gradually stretched and formed into its final shape through a transfer press operation. Each operation within the press or “station” is a calculation of ratio between the force required to achieve the maximum depth of the work piece without deforming the metal. On average, most of our deep drawn parts pass through eight to twelve stations of operation to become the finished component. Visually, if you had a selection of deep draw shapes within your hand, they would resemble tubes, cans, covers or caps. Consumer products with deep draw components include household batteries, caps for perfume and cologne bottles, and some costume jewelry shapes.

Deep Draw Sealing ComponentsWhy we do it:

Our founder was a deep draw tool and die maker. Deep draw tool making is highly specialized within the tool and die industry, requiring a lengthy apprenticeship and close mentoring, beginning at the age of sixteen in vocational high school and work study pre-apprenticeship. This kind of training and its commensurate awards has created a great deal of trust, loyalty, and longevity for our business.

We do it because our parts are essential within our customers’ supply chains. Without our components, they could not complete their products. Whether it is an appliance part, a bearing part, an automotive part, a valve pump part, or a medical device part, our customers rely on us for its supply.

Finally, we do this to make life better for all of us. Our deep drawn components are in pollution control assemblies, fuel efficiency assemblies, drug and food processing equipment, and critical medical device delivery systems.

Have a deep draw metal stamping project that would be best handled by a provider that truly understands the customer experience and is committed to your success? Contact us! Email or call 203-758-4448, X25 for our Sales Manager, Nicole Spaeth.