Image Credit: Can-Do National Tape
Die cutting services use a variety of die cutting methods to fashion materials into predefined shapes or sizes. Die cutting is a process used to shear and cut materials using a manufacturing machine known as a die, which operates like a press. Die cutting services can manufacture products in high volumes. Examples of products manufactured by die cutting include gaskets and seals, shims, templates, inserts, washers, and puzzle pieces.
Selecting die cutting services will depend largely on cutting methods offered, materials serviced, and additional services provided.
Types of Die Cutting Methods
Several different types of die cutting are available, including laser die cutting, rotary die cutting, steel rule die cutting, and ultrasonic die cutting. The method used can vary, depending on such factors as material type and end product configuration.
- Laser die cutting is performed on computer controlled, 3-axis laser cutting machines. They can be used to cut materials that cannot be cut using conventional steel rule die cutting, such as steel to over .500".Lasercutters are available in flat and rotary configurations.
- Rotary die cutters cut and score soft to semi-rigid material by forcing it between the blades on a cylindrical die and a hard cylindrical anvil.They are primarily used to cut material from a web (continuous roll), although they can be used to cut material in sheet form. The following video is an example of a rotary die cutting machine.
Video Credit: SHANDONG AIFEIER MACHINERY CO.
- Steel rule die cutters score and cutmaterial into various shapes, as determined by the steel dies.They can cut sheet material or material from roll stock.
- Ultrasonic die cutters use vibrations applied at ultrasonic frequencies to cut or seal a material. The vibrations cause heat and pressure to be generated, which causes sealing of thermoplastic materials and cutting, depending on the blade configuration.
Many different materials can be processed by suppliers of die cutting services for a wide variety of applications. The GlobalSpec SpecSearch Database allows industrial buyers to select services based on material type. These materials include felt, fabrics, fiber or cork or paper, metals and alloys, plastics, rubber, foam and sponge, composites, electrical insulating materials, and EMI/RFI shielded foils and laminates.
Die cutting service providers may also perform additional functions in addition to die cutting. The GlobalSpec SpecSearch Database allows users to select companies based on these functions.
- A supplier that has CAD or CAM support has the computer technology to receive solid model files electronically and use those files forpart creation.
- A supplier with design assistance capabilities can assist with concepts, manufacturing costs, manufacturing techniques and material considerations. Supplier may also be able toassist in upgrading or redesigning, re-evaluating, or modernizing existingproducts to increase performance and/or reduce manufacturing costs.
- Prototyping services include the creation of a prototype or part that will be used in actual functional testing.
- Short run production capabilities provide low volumes of product.
- Suppliers with high volume production capabilities can provide high volumes of product.
- Inspection or quality control services include quality inspection reports or statistical process control data.