There are all kinds of industrial processes that various niches use. Someone who works in one of those industries might know everything about them. An individual who doesn’t move in those particular circles may not be familiar with them at all.
Learning about some of these industrial processes can be helpful, though. A time might come when you elect to change career paths, and at that point, you’ll be glad you have this information. With that in mind, today we’ll talk about rotary die-cutting, a process that several industries use.
What Exactly is Rotary Die Cutting?
We’ll talk about solid vs. flexible dies in a moment, but first, we should clarify what we mean when we use the term rotary die-cutting. Rotary die-cutting is a special die-cutting variety. It uses a cylindrical die so that the operator can cut precise shapes out of various materials.
Such a die continually moves around and around in a circular motion for as long as the operator needs to use it to create a certain number of shapes. That could be a very high number, even thousands per day, in some industries.
The razor-sharp blades cut out the preferred shape around the cylinder. China makes many die-cutting machines, though some other countries manufacture them as well.
What Kinds of Things Can You Cut with a Die-Cutting Machine?
You can cut hard materials with a die-cutting machine. However, you can also use one to shape softer packing materials, such as cardboard or Styrofoam you’d use to cushion and protect items when you ship them.
The die-cutting machines that most companies make do well in factory settings because they’re safe and save energy. They also operate at very high efficiency, producing thousands of products every day that might go to other places in a factory or move along a warehouse floor.
Industrial Die Cutting
You might also hear some businesses use the term industrial die-cutting. This business model uses many industrial dies, all operating at the same time, instead of one or two a smaller company might utilize. Industrial die-cutting is a fabrication process.
The machine tools the company either buys or creates convert stock materials. They shear, form, cut, and shape it at very high speeds. It makes much more sense for a single die cutter, or dozens of them operating in tandem, to perform this work instead of individuals doing the same job by hand.
What About Solid vs. Flexible Dies?
You might also hear individuals in some industries talk about the difference between solid and flexible dies. It’s actually a pretty important distinction because there’s usually a significant cost discrepancy between flexible and solid dies, and they can do radically different things.
You can use both types for rotary die-cutting. However, with solid dies, you have a solid steel cylinder that does the material stamping. It’s a lot sturdier and more rigid than the flexible versions. You might use the solid die for things like plastics and metals.
The flexible die option is better for things like cardboard, paper products, and fiberboard. Many companies that produce packing materials opt for the flexible die type instead of the solid one.
It’s also true that flexible dies usually cost less than solid ones. They typically take up less storage space if you need to house them somewhere on your warehouse floor. The production time if you use flexible ones is not as long to create large numbers of a particular product.
What Businesses Need Rotary Dies?
You might feel as though it’s not likely you’ll ever be part of a business that needs rotary dies, either the flexible or solid varieties. These machines are more common than you may realize, though.
If you manufacture paper goods, you will probably use them. If you make stationary or labels, you’ll want them. You can create wallpaper with imprints on it. You can emboss many kinds of paper, metal, and plastics.
Rotary dies created many of the products that craft stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby sell. If you are going to mass-produce anything like that, you’ll want several rotary die machines operating at peak capacity.
If you decide that your business needs a die cutter or several of them, make sure to see which ones have a solid industry reputation. There are some that are likely to last you for many years, while others don’t do so well for the price. A little research should reveal which brand will serve you best.