Flatbed Cutters Information
Flatbed cutters use a large, flat work surface and an X-Y cutting head to cut, crease, emboss, waste stripping, and blank separation of materials such as paper, vinyl, cardboard, textiles, glass, and other materials.
A sheet of substrate is fed into a flatbed cutter which is held by a gripping bar. The sheet is transported through a number of stations which carry out sequential processes.
The exact configuration of a flatbed cutter will vary depending on the application but, in relative terms, the elements that may be present are:
- Feeder or loader: using suction heads or a push system, this transports sheets from the pile to the machine in-feed
- In-feed: Takes control of each individual sheet and registers it to the cutting tools using mechanical or dynamic registration
- Platen section: This section brings the cutting die and the cutting plate together under pressure. The sheet is held between them, the sheet may be die-cut, creased, or embossed, depending on the application or substrate
- Stripping section: Internal waste, and sometimes side and rear trim is removed using an upper stripping tool, central stripping board, and sometimes in lower stripping pins
- Blank separation section: This unit pushes individual cartons from the sheet, creating a pile of flat blanks ready for further processing or for transfer to the customer. A blank separation unit has its own delivery unit
- Delivery: On machines with no blank separation section, the delivery creates either a pile of full sheets or of blanks attached to each other by nicks.
Flatbed cutters are ideal for designers and prototyping in offset printing, digital printing, the packaging industry, road sign making, stone and glass sandblasting, and etching, etc.