In its most elemental form, die cutting is the use of a die to make identical, repeated cuts from a material. While all die cutting has similar goals, the different types of die cutting machines can render very different results. As the best custom manufacturing partner, Frank Lowe offers a range of different die cutting services to help your business achieve its goals.
We understand that there are hardly ever any one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to die cutting. Because of this, we utilize a myriad of different die cutting methods and machines to ensure we match your needs to the best and most cost-effective solution. Let’s take a quick look at five of the most popular die cutting machines.
Rotary Types of Die Cutting Machines
The rotary types of die cutting machines use a die that all other components in the run will be copied from. Because of this, it’s imperative the initial die is of the right specifications. The rotary type of die cutting machine is engineered with a cylindrical anvil. As the nonmetallic material is fed through the machine, the die seamlessly makes a series of accurate and quick cuts to create the desired shape or component.
Create Kiss Cuts
The rotary type of die cutting machine is best suited for high volume projects. It’s also best suited for creating kiss cut components. Kiss cutting explains when the primary material is completely cut through, but the die doesn’t cut through the underlying paper or liner paper. Instead, the die gently “kisses” the backing paper.
Press Types of Die Cutting Machines
Press types of die cutting machines are very versatile — ranging from extremely large versions down to more personal, compact models. As the name suggests, press types of die cutting machines usually involve the die being raised and lowered upon the forming material, which is supported by a flat surface or table.
The actual cutting action of the die can be managed by pressurized sources, hydraulic sources, electric sources, or even manual sources. Depending on the application and other factors, the die can cut and create a single piece of material, or the elastomer to be cut can be stacked to create several different copies at a time.
Flatbed Types of Die Cutting Machine
The flat bed type of die cutting machine utilizes a range of different hydraulic pressures to create shapes and other precise cuts with a steel rule die. This type of die cutting machine is excellent for making die cuts to laminates and sheets, precise kiss cuts, and butt cuts. A few key benefits of using flatbed types of die cutting machines include:
If your project involves different types of shapes or no material curvature is required, flatbed types of die cutting machines may be ideal. Most notably, flatbed types of die cutting machines are more cost effective at creating low volume orders.
Laser Types of Die Cutting Machines
Laser types of die cutting machines are more modern and the go-to choice for projects that require the unique combination of speed and accuracy. Laser die cutting equipment applies a fully-focused, non-thermal ray to seamlessly die cut nonmetallic elastomers into a virtually endless array of components or industrial gaskets of any shape or size. Unlike other types of “die” cutting, the laser process doesn’t use a physical die.
Instead, the laser is guided and controlled by a computer under the instruction of a CAD generated design. In addition to offering exceptional accuracy and speed, laser types of die cutting machines are perfect for creating one-off cuts or initial prototypes.
This type of machine also works well with die cutting and shaping tougher materials that would be unmanageable on other types of die cutting machines. In either case, laser die cutting machines are very popular because of their versatility, rapid turnaround time, and excellent suitability for high volume/short run production.
Water Jet Types of Die Cutting Machines
Similar to laser die cutting, water jet types of die cutting equipment doesn’t use a physical die. Instead, it uses a highly-pressurized stream of water moving rapidly — up to twice the sound of speed. Water jet die cutting machines also use CAD to guide the stream of water through the elastomer to create the desired shape.
This jet stream of water is released through a very tiny opening and creates a stream powerful enough to cut through a myriad of different materials — even steel. Water jet die cutting is a very high precision and versatile cold cutting process, and the maintenance costs typically remain low. Laser jet types of die cutting machines are commonly used in industrial processes where precision is critical.
Contact Frank Lowe for Different Types of Die Cutting
Whether you need a rotary die cut, water jet die cut, laser die cut, or any other method — Frank Lowe will meet your needs and exceed your expectations with every cut. Best of all, you don’t have to know which type of die cutting machine is best for your project. We’ll use our nearly seven decades of experience to help you choose the most suitable elastomer and best type of die cutting technique.
Contact Frank Lowe today.