Rotary die cutting is a process used to cut paper, metal, rubber, plastic, vinyl and other material in a predetermined shape and size. This method is used to cut shapes and designs that cannot be accomplished by a straight cut on a web press or a guillotine cutter.
The rotary cutter uses knife-edge cutting blades designed to cut a particular shape. A machine presses the die into the material to produce the desired shape. The blades can be designed to cut a diverse range of raw materials. Labels, envelops, folders, cartons and documents are just a few items produced using the rotary die cutting process.
The cutting dies used in the rotary die cutting process are made from tungsten carbide. It is a very hard and expensive substance used in high volume production processes that justifies the extra costs incurred. Perforated blades or dies are used to form perforations on paper. These can be used for making receipts books, bills and tickets. Rotary die cutting equipment for industries involves relatively low upfront costs ranging from $50,000 to $70,000. However, the cost of replacing old and worn out blades is high.
One major drawback of rotary die cutters is that changeovers are time consuming and difficult. This is because they require excessive amounts of material to re-register the printing to the desired cutting and creasing specifications. Rotary die cutting equipment only registers in the direction of travel. If the material shifts in any other direction, defects begin to appear.
The rotary die cutter process is economical over a longer period. It is extensively used in manufacturing industry and stand-alone die cutting firms. However, the technology is changing at a fast pace, and new processes like laser die cutters are already in use. These are much faster and accurate than rotary die cutters.
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