Cold Headed Conversions

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Abbott has many years of helping OEM companies convert expensive machined parts into effective quality Cold Headed fasteners and parts. This cold forming process is not easily accomplished but our expertise in custom cold forming, sourcing and world-class suppliers have helped us help customers save big dollars for over 70 years.

Let us help convert your costly machined components to reap the benefits of high volume efficiencies of cold forming/cold heading processes. Cold Headed Conversions are currently machined components converted to cold-formed components and fasteners yielding the highest possible savings for your products.

Cold Headed Parts

Examples of parts that are especially good candidates for cold headed conversions are:

  • Contacts
  • Pins
  • Shafts
  • Collared Studs
  • Weld Studs

Cold Heading Materials

We primarily use brass, steel (including stainless, A286, carbon and alloy steel), and aluminum to create our cold headed conversions. Even your tight tolerance machined parts can be achieved with or without secondary options.

Advantages of Cold Heading/ Custom Cold Forming

  • Improved product performance. Cold heading rearranges the grain structure increasing shear strength performance.
  • Can provide substantial material savings due to reduced scrap.
  • Achieves savings due to higher speed processes.
  • Increase hardness and tensile strength 
  • Lower costs due to high efficiency/productivity
cold conversions machined components

Secondary Operations Available for Cold Headed Converted Parts:

  • Grinding
  • Lapping
  • Honing
  • Polishing
  • Swage
  • Tapping
  • Counterboring
  • Welding
  • Deburring
  • Part Identification Stamping
  • Drilling/Milling/Slotting/Thread Rolling/Cutting
  • Internal & External Broaching
  • Rearing
  • Nylon Patching
  • Other (per customer requirement)

Cold Headed Conversion Case Study

We converted 2 separately machined and then assembled parts into a single cold-formed part resulting in savings to our customer of 45%, Abbott is a solutions-oriented manufacturing company and so we specialize in providing value-added technical support that improves quality and significantly reduces costs.


These are factors that helped this particular project become a success. Featuring a threaded stud with multiple diameters and a large cloverleaf shaped head; this part was previously a two-piece assembly consisting of separate screw machined parts that were press-fit together in a secondary assembly process. Utilizing the latest cold heading technology, we built a single-piece part, stronger, more resistant to wear, and far less expensive than the original.

Cold Heading Process

The cold heading process was carried out on high-speed automated equipment that transforms wire or rod into a near net-shaped part with repeatable tolerances. Constructed from steel, we used a high-speed, multi-blow cold heading machine and a series of dies and punches to form the desired geometry. We transferred the parts to a CNC machine to secondarily machine to achieve a tolerance of ±0.001 on the head diameter and reduce the shafts for thread rolling.

cold conversions machined components asm
cold conversions machined components iso certified

During cold heading material is bent, allowing axial grain flow to follow the geometry of the part and strengthen the metal through cold working. When compared to a more conventional screw machining process, this cold heading process approach takes advantage of the natural strength profile of the material, as opposed to cutting through the grain which weakens it. Furthermore, the cold heading approach produces no chips or waste, the only scrap comes from material removal during the light secondary machining. Substantially less waste of material occurs compared to a large number of scrap losses of screw machining which contributed to the big savings.


When completed, the part featured overall dimensions of 0.810" in diameter x 1-5/16" in length and a RoHS compliant zinc finish. These photographs illustrate the "before" and "after" as well as the progression of this large-headed part with multiple diameters. By initiating quality and cost analysis for converting this component to cold heading, we delivered a better product at a dramatically lower cost.

If you are interested in discovering which of your parts can be converted to cold heading, please contact us for a consultation.

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