Cold heading, or cold forming, is a manufacturing process that dates to more than 75 years ago, although it has evolved considerably over that time. Cold heading, as the resource describes, is a manufacturing method best suited for high volume production.
One of the most important advantages of cold heading is the virtual elimination of scrap. In traditional machining operations, scrap can run north of 60% — a significant cost consideration that can substantially reduce the manufacturer’s and customer’s profitability. For metals that are difficult or expensive to recycle or reuse, and in market conditions in which raw material prices are at their highest, elimination of scrap can make cold heading the only economically viable choice.
The accompanying resource presents a good overview of the advantages and potential limitations of this process.