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.
The cold heading process, when suitable, gives manufacturers an avenue to increase production efficiency and reduce operating costs. The process enables the customer to obtain more consistent, high-quality parts at a significantly lower price.
While cold heading offers many other benefits — including high speed, high reproducibility, and higher strength in the finished product — the process is not always the best (and not always the only) manufacturing process used to manufacture a part. For some parts, a combination of cold forming and some other secondary processes makes the most sense. The accompanying resource presents a good overview of the advantages and potential limitations of this process.