While there can be differences in a cold formed visual appearance vs a screw machined part, the many benefits of cold forming should outweigh these differences.
Cold heading can provide a significant cost savings on raw material alone. Heading scrap losses an average 1-3 percent, while screw machining can produce scrap losses as high as 75 percent.
Time, it is not always on your side. We can change that, some cold heading machines run as fast as 600 PPM while screw machines run very slow cycle times.
Material strength and toughness is a major plus to cold forming as well. Cold forming manipulates the material in a way that it will work harden as it flows around our tooling versus screw machining that cuts into the grain structure of the material and most likely will need a hardening operation which brings us back to cost!
Need a smooth surface finish? Cold forming mirrors the surface of our tooling. This way, in most cases, it can be controlled without costly finishing operations. This offers a very smooth surface finish while machining leaves grooves and tool marks.