Rotary Die Cutting
Rotary die cutting is the method that forces material between the sharpened blades on a cylindrical die and a hard cylindrical anvil on a rotary press in order to cut and score materials with tolerances as tight at .02. This method of die cutting is extremely accurate due to the die being a single piece construction, typically constructed from tool steel.
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Benefits of Rotary Die Cutting
Advantageous when it comes to medium to high volume production, rotary die cutting offers the fastest turnaround times of all die cutting processes since materials can be processed at rates of speed up to 500 FPM. In addition, rotary die cutting is much more cost-efficient in high-volume production due to time-consuming and difficult changeovers. As a result, rotary die cutters typically cut materials from a web, which is a continuous roll; however material can also be cut in sheet form.
Rotary Die Cutting Process
The rotary die cutting process begins by unrolling and feeding material through two rollers by means of a rotary press. One of the rollers is a cylindrical die, also referred to as a rotary die, and the other is the hard cylindrical anvil. The angled blades are machined into the die after undergoing engraving, sharpening and heat treating processes. Two types of dies may be used in this process: a solid engraved die or an adjustable die. A solid engraved die offers higher tolerances and is commonly machined from a solid steel bar. An adjustable die has removable blades for easy blade replacement necessitated by wear or by cutting a different material. No matter what type of die, the blades are used to push the material against the anvil's surface. Materials are commonly cut in webs and numerous webs can be processed and integrated in one pass through the rotary die cutting machine. When passing through the machine, materials may be carried by a release liner and rolled onto a new core or sheeted into pads. There are two different methods of cutting through the materials and its release liner: metal-to-metal die cutting or kiss cutting, which is also referred to as butt-cutting. Metal-to-metal die cutting involves cutting all the way through both the material and its release liner. Kiss cutting involves cutting through the material, but only down to the release liner. Since rotary die cutting has the ability to feed and register material at high speeds, the same piece of machinery can perform a series of cuts and laminations. Stacking processes allow for more complicated parts including island placement, meaning placing an object within a web, in-line packaging and adding peel tabs.
Applications of Rotary Die Cutting
Rotary die cutting is used for soft to semi-rigid materials including pressure sensitive materials, tape, foil, paper, rubber, nonwovens, metal, vinyl and foam. From these materials, rotary die cut products are produced including medical wound care parts, vibration dampers, mobile phone components, filters, seals, electrical conductors and hard disk components. Rotary die cutting services are particularly beneficial for industries such as electronics, healthcare, communications, industrial, automotive, printing, corrugated box, food packaging and aerospace.