Flat bed die-cutting process
Flat bed die-cutting is a process used for the cutting, creasing, embossing, waste stripping, and blank separation of a range of sheet materials, from light papers and carton board, through heavy solid board, plastics and in-mold labels (IML), to micro-flutes and most types of corrugated board. The process is used in a wide variety of sectors from packaging, label, and display manufacture to commercial printing.
By combining highly accurate registration with precise sheet control at each stage of the process, a flat bed die-cutter offers the ultimate in quality when cutting, creasing or embossing sheeted material.
Flat bed die-cutter and process description
Die-cuttingA flat bed die-cutting press may be an offline, stand-alone machine, or may be inline with a printing press and/or other units. Having been fed into the press and held by a gripper bar, the sheet of substrate is transported through a number of stations which carry out sequential processes. The exact configuration of a flat bed die-cutter will vary depending on the application but, in broad terms, the elements that may be present are:
Feeder or loader: Using suction heads or a push system, this unit 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 is the heart of the machine, bringing the cutting die and cutting plate together under pressure. Held between them, the sheet of substrate may be die-cut, creased or embossed, depending on the application and substrate
Stripping section: Internal waste, and sometimes side and rear trim, is removed using an upper stripping tool, central stripping board, and, in some tooling arrangements, lower stripping pins
Blank separation section: Using universal or dedicated blanking tools 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 incorporates 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. The front trim of the sheet may be removed at this stage
Flat bed die-cutters used in the corrugated industry may be augmented by peripheral units such as breakers and palletizers.
previous step: Lamination
Next step: Folding-gluing
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