The Die Cutting Process
Offering great versatility across a huge range of applications, die cutting allows manufacturers to create virtually any kind of shape, design, or pattern, using nearly any type of low-strength material. While traditional die cutting serves as a reliable solution for many jobs, high-speed die cutting offers the added advantage of swiftness.
The die cutting process is used to create a huge range of products, including many items we work with every day, from IT hardware, household products, and office supplies to electrical gadgets, packaging, and complex engineering equipment.
Die cutting may be used in any industry requiring the manufacture of a high volume of products with uniform shapes, precisely defined dimensions, or complex design elements. Die-cut items can be made of many different materials, including plastic, rubber, foam, fabric, wood, sponge, film, and adhesives.
Allowing for fast manufacturing and high precision, die cutting is the method of choice for various industrial applications. High-speed die cutting, in particular, offers strict quality control, superior accuracy, and optimal manufacturing speed; this technique is ideal for annual volumes exceeding several thousand parts per run. Plus, it can be run automatically depending on the specific material used, reducing overall costs and labor needs.
Because of this, high-speed cutting has become the industrial standard for the production of gaskets, washers, labels, optical films, insulating foams, medical components, vehicle parts, packaging, and many other items.
How It Works
Successful die cutting operations depend on proper coordination of three essential components: the cutting unit, the material it will cut, and the cutting tool.
As you may have guessed, die cutting is based on the use of die cuts, predesigned casts made of steel that are capable of cutting patterns across any sufficiently thin piece of material. The die itself is used for cutting and shaping materials. Dies may be thought of essentially as industrial cookie cutters.
Different die cutting operations can be used to to meet specific application needs; kiss cutting, dinking, broaching, forming, swaging, blanking, extrusion, bending, curling, drawing, cutoff, roll forming, coining, bulging, laser cutting, and other methods all offer unique features and benefits.
Rotary die cutting, in particular, involves the use of a cylindrical die on a rotary press. Once a sheet or web of material is fed into the press, various shapes can be cut, and perforations or creases can be made. Rotary machines can even cut sheets or webs into smaller parts. These machines make use of multiple “stations” to die cut certain shapes, allowing for great flexibility.
Just as a pair of scissors allows for the creation of many different kinds of shapes and patterns, die cutting allows for unmatched flexibility in the industrial sphere. Cost-effective and ideal for high-volume orders, die cutting ensures optimal part precision and performance. Whether working with plastic, rubber, foam, sponge, film, or adhesives, materials can be easily shaped into gaskets, labels, films, medical and automotive components, and various types of packaging — among many other industrial and commercial items.
To learn more about the benefits of die cutting and discuss options for your unique application, reach out to the team at Elastomer Technologies, Inc. (ETI) today. Offering industry-leading plastic injection molding, die cutting, and rubber molding services, we’ll work with you to find an ideal solution for your specific needs.