What is Die Cutting?
Die cutting uses dies to stamp custom shapes out of rubber, fiber, paper, wood, metal, and other flat sheet materials for manufacturing. A die is a specialized piece of metal with a sharp cutting edge used to cut specific shapes out of material. This process is ideal for creating high volumes of identical parts with precision.
Often used in combination with other finishing services, such as lamination, die cutting services are essential for creating a wide variety of products and components. RubberMill is an experienced provider of die cutting services for various industries, and we have the ability to perform an array of cutting methods on different substrates.
Our Die Cutting Processes
Die cutting works best for repeated runs and high-volume production due to the initial tooling costs of die creation, which can be expensive.
RubberMill will collaborate with you to choose the right materials during the product development process. We can create prototypes using closed-cell or open-cell sponge rubber, nonwoven fabrics, elastomeric blends, polyethylene foam, silicone or neoprene rubber, and other non-metallic materials.
RubberMill can construct consolidated or laminated substrates from different facings and materials using various film or web adhesives, or add pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSA) to allow for peel-and-stick functionality, then die-cut these to customer specifications. We perform the following die cutting processes:
1). Flatbed Die Cutting
This is also referred to as steel rule die cutting. A flatbed die cutting press can cut over 2 inches thick during product processing thanks to its ability to exert high pressures. Using a hydraulic or mechanical press, a die raw material between the two surfaces. The cutting die then raises and ejects the finished parts, which are typically carried away by a moving conveyor belt to the packing area.
Cutting dies can be constructed with multiple cavities, with parts oriented to provide maximum material utilization. This process is best suited to softer materials and is ideal for medium-large production runs or larger parts.
2). Rotary Die Cutting
This manufacturing process performs rapid material cutting since you can feed the press an entire roll of material. It utilizes custom-built cylindrical dies that cut various shapes and designs. Stock material travels through the cutting assembly which uses rotary dies attached to a rotary press and a cylindrical anvil. The rotating cylinders pierce the material as it passes through.
Rotary die cutting can be used to produce “kiss-cut” parts, where adhesive-backed material is used to place finished parts. The cutting die cuts completely through the part material, but leaves the adhesive backing liner intact to present cut parts on a roll or sheet for easy removal and installation. Excess trim waste is removed, leaving parts neatly oriented on a sheet or roll of lining paper or film.
3). Dieless Cutting
Often manufacturers need to qualify production part design prior to high-volume die cut production. Utilizing electronic CAD part designs, modern dieless cutting machines provide a means of quickly creating prototype parts of the appropriate dimension and material in the design phase. Dieless cutting also offers an excellent alternative for low-volume or complex component creation.
Examples of Die Cut Products
Die cutting is essential for many applications because it gives a perfectly cut part of a fabric, felt, plastic, rubber, or various other substrates. Die-cut products include but are not limited to the following list:
- Nonwoven Insulation Parts and Pads
- Felts – Needled or Pressed
- Sponge Rubber Parts
- Solid Rubber Parts
- Foam– Open and Closed Cell Parts
- Specialty Insulating Materials
- Fiber and Other Specialized Paper
- Urethane and PVC Parts
Industries Served By Die Cutting
Die-cutting processes have enabled manufacturers to operate on many types of non-metallic materials to build identical products quickly, efficiently, and at competitive costs. Production of a broad variety of products from many different materials has been simplified and standardized by using this technology.
Here are some common industries served by die-cutting:
Many critical automotive components are produced using die cutting methods. Die cutting allows automobile manufacturers to achieve uniform, tight-tolerance parts that meet industry standards. Common automotive parts manufactured using die cutting include high-performance gaskets and seals, vibration and shock-damping solutions, insulation panels, and more.
OEMs rely on die cutting services for many reasons. Die cutting is extremely versatile and allows for design adjustments without incurring significant additional tooling expenses. The manufacturing method is also cost-effective and has low setup costs. OEMs in virtually any industry can benefit from die cutting.
Every appliance in your home has die-cut components. With the appliance industry’s rapid growth, appliance manufacturers need a fast, cost-effective method to produce large volumes of identical parts. From gaskets, seals, spacers and films to insulation, die cutting is essential to the appliance industry. Often, the die cut parts are provided with pressure-sensitive adhesives for quick installation in the manufacturing process.
Die-cut parts are used in many applications throughout the transportation industry in buses, trucks, emergency vehicles, heavy equipment and rail. Gaskets, seals, spacers, filters and insulating components are some of the many applications where die cut parts are utilized. Fuel systems, cooling systems, HVAC, and even braking systems employ die cut components.
In the manufacture of watercraft, motorcycles, camping, and off-road vehicles, die cut components help manufacturers ensure a reliable, cost-effective means of producing necessary parts for production. Specialized materials can be die cut to provide durable fuel, oil and water-resistant components as well as other functional and aesthetic parts. Common parts include seals, gaskets, and various foams for durable solutions to the tough environmental conditions to which these devices are commonly subjected.
Die-cut parts are found throughout industrial, commercial, and residential heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems. Common HVAC parts manufactured with die cutting include seals, gaskets, sound and vibration dampeners, insulating components, and more.
Electronic and Electrical Industry
In the electrical industry, there is a requirement for economical fabrication amplified by the demand for battery packs, small electronic appliances, and critical environmental control for energy storage, data and communication facilities. Die-cutting allows for the creation of weather-tight sealing systems, high-voltage isolation, motors, coil insulation, noise dampeners, flex circuit components, etc.
Die Cutting Services by RubberMill
RubberMill has a continual focus on improving our die-cutting services. We continually invest in the latest technology to ensure the highest quality and cost-effectiveness. Partnering with an experienced die-cutting service provider will ensure your finished product is defect free within demanding cutting tolerances.
RubberMill will help you select the right materials during the product development process and then build prototypes using any of our available materials to qualify the component parts. Contact us today for more information.