Home > contract manufacturing > A Flat Bed Die Cutting Machine: Benefits and Alternatives

flat bed die cutting machineAs a manufacturer, you’ll inevitably face a certain amount of challenges. These may leave you considering manufacturing techniques that you previously didn’t prioritize. If your main goals are to create products made from flexible materials (think pads or spacers) you’ll likely need a flat bed die cutting machine, or perhaps a rotary die cutting machine. Although the die cutting process initially looks quite similar, they have distinct differences that should be fully understood before you make a decision about which to pursue.

There is no particular drawback to flat bed die cutting or rotary die cutting. But they do yield somewhat different results, and you must invest in them differently as well. With that being said, let’s look into these two different approaches to production, as well as the products they yield.

How Does A Die Cut Work?

Before delving into the specifics of flat bed die cutting, let’s explore what a die cut means. It is essentially the process of creating shapes from materials ranging from foam to rubber, or even paper. The point of the application is that it can work with these flexible materials with accuracy and uniqueness. The die cutting machine operator needs to have years of experience to understand the options available and the way to handle various materials on the same machine. When working with flexible materials, the risk is that this flexibility can lead to errors and inconsistencies. Die cutting prevents this from occurring, as we create an initial metal cutting tool at the beginning of the process. This tool will basically act as a template, cutting its selected shape or design into a flat, flexible material.

Through this process, we can make countless identical products quickly and efficiently. A die cutter machine allows you to scale your business rapidly, while at the same time offering variety. One of the most important aspects of manufacturing to consider is customization. 

How Does Flat Bed Die Cutting Work?

There is not a single type of die cutter. When working with thicker materials, you would need to use a flat bed die cutting machine, for example. The reason why we sometimes turn to flat bed, as opposed to other forms, is that we have to consider the materials involved. The thicker materials are, the more challenging they are to cut. Additionally, a flat bed die cutting machine works with materials that only come in a single sheet. If your order is on the smaller side and you’d like to save money, that is your ideal option.

These machines utilize a hydraulic press, as well as steel rule dies. The cutting die is the heart of the operation. During the process, we feed the material along the base of the machine, and the press will be pushed vertically, making the necessary cuts. The reason why this is effective for thicker materials is that the vertical nature of the press prevents curvature. If you’re combining multiple materials, flat bed die cutting is also effective in that respect.

How Does Rotary Die Cutting Compare?

You may be wondering how rotary die cutting compares to flat bed. The great thing about having both of these options available is that you can customize your products even further.

A rotary die cutter will utilize two rolling cylinders, which will work at extremely high speeds. This process is highly accurate, and is technically less wasteful. There is a high level of tolerance and accuracy in the process, and you can cut each piece completely through. Or, you can cut through the top layer and leave the backing intact. We refer to this as kiss cutting, and it’s one of the main reasons why some companies choose rotary die cutting. This process is preferable for larger orders, as well as designs with tight tolerances.

How Customized is This Process?

One of the primary concerns of our clients is customization. Business owners often debate outsourcing to companies like Conversion Technologies International because they need highly customizable products. But you don’t have give up on customization just because you’re outsourcing. We have state-of-the-art equipment to handle both forms of die cutting. Therefore, we are able to deliver custom products made to your specifications.

Typically, flatbed die cutting is recommended for a higher degree of customization. The process simply allows for a bit more flexibility, and provides the end products more efficiently. Furthermore, computers can now improve production and accuracy. They not only take much of the manual labor out of the process; but they remove guesswork and much of the potential human error involved. With simply a few tweaks on the computer, we’re able to change designs and ensure that you receive exactly what you ordered.

Customization Experience Matters

Much of the customization process is dependent on the experience of the company to which you’re outsourcing. CTI is adept at die cutting, and it’s our highest priority to deliver top-quality products for our clients. Our contract die cutting services allow you to create the products you need, without committing to equipment like hydraulic presses, along with experienced technicians and operators. Furthermore, we offer full-service die cutting, taking care of the process from beginning to end. We can also manage other services, like adhesive coating and lamination. Many companies take advantage of having all of their manufacturing needs serviced in one spot.

Our clients include the leading companies in many industries, such as aeronautics, consumer goods, automotive parts, building materials and more. We also handle smaller projects for start-ups and provide the same level of service and expertise to all of our clients.

When you’re ready to explore any kind of die cutting, reach out to CTI. You can contact us through a query, or you can call us at 419-924-5566. We’re more than happy to help you determine which process would fit your needs! Every project begins with an initial consultation to ensure that we are a perfect fit for your requirements.