Contract Manufacturing for an Industrial Fabric Die Cutter
Whether you’re looking for an industrial fabric die cutter contractor for your business or an actual fabric cutting machine, we can help. First, let’s go over what type of fabric cutting machine that you may need. Then, we can review the services that Conversion Technologies International offers. In fact, once you get an overview of our die cutting and other services, you may no longer need to purchase die cutting equipment to begin with!
Industrial Fabric Die Cutter 101
Likely, if you’re in the market for die cutting machine services and need a fabric cutter, you have a few questions as you narrow down your options. The die cutting process can be complicated. From the kind of machine that you need to the expertise in using it, there are many factors to consider.
Initially, let’s explore a commonly asked question from our customers: how does a die cutter work? To reach that answer, consider the die cutting process in general. Overall, die cutting refers to a fabrication process that involves converting stock material into custom shapes and designs. To get these shapes and designs, you need to use a specialized machine. To this machine, you affix the dies which in turn shape the stock material that you are using.
Types of Die Cutting Processes
To shape your material, there are several methods from which to choose when searching for the best industrial fabric die cutter available:
Flatbed Die Cutting
Sometimes known as steel rule die cutting, this process uses a flatbed die cutting press and custom steel rule dies. For thicker material or minimal production runs, this is a useful die cut method.
Rotary die cutting
Conversely, rotary die cutting uses a rotary press. The user attaches cylindrical dies to the press. Most often, this method is useful for flexible materials and more voluminous production runs. A rotary die cutter is also more accurate than some alternatives. A rotary die cutting machine can be a huge investment for a manufacturer, especially if the cutting is just one of a hundred operations in the production line.
Digital die cutting
Sometimes referred to as laser die cutting, digital die cutting doesn’t actually use dies. A computer controls blades, lasers and tool bits. When using low shear material, laser cutting is a cost-effective method that is also very precise. A laser machine, or laser cutter, also has a higher cutting speed.
Material & Applications
Speaking of material, the type you use or the shape you need it to be will help you determine which machine or tool you need. Fabric cutting tools require much different specifications and components than metal cutting. Cutting fabric for our clients is just as common as cutting wood. Just a few of the materials and applications we can handle include:
Types of Cuts
Similarly, there are several different ways that you cut material. Whether you’re using a knife, blade, laser, die or die blade, there are multiple methods to die cut.
Not completely separated from the original material, this die cut creates closely spaced holes outlining your desired shape. This method makes it easy to detach the shape at a later point.
Useful when you have a backing layer, kiss cutting slices through the top and adhesive layers but not the material that backs the compilation. Therefore, you can easily peel the die cut design from an intact back layer.
Just as it sounds, through cutting goes completely through all layers of material. Consequently, this fully separates your custom shape from the original material.
Akin to perforating, scoring leaves a die impression at preset points. This score cuts through less than 50% of the material. Thus, this reduces the thickness of the material which allows for folds.
Similarly, creasing creates a fold line on original material. Although, it differentiates from scoring in that the stress points differ.
How CTI Can Help!
Now, we’re at the most important aspect of your search for an industrial fabric die cutter – our team at CTI! Of course, you can invest in equipment and learn how to use it. However, that often takes time, space, employees and a budget that many companies simply don’t have readily at hand. This is especially true if the fabric die cutting is a small component of your overall manufacturing process for a particular product. Making a large investment for a small component just doesn’t make for a good ROI! Moreover, the training, oversight and expertise needed can be overwhelming for small and even large companies. Not to mention, keeping supply chains running smoothly is an art in itself. Therefore, it’s wise to consider a contract or toll manufacturer instead of purchasing and running a die cut machine.
CTI can save you time, money and angst as you consider hiring help in getting finished goods to your customers.
Fortunately, we do both contract and toll manufacturing at CTI! If you’re wondering what each involves, here’s a quick breakdown. Initially, let’s discuss the similarities. Their common bond is their supply chain management. In both scenarios, your company hires another company to manufacture a final product for you or to complete a part of the manufacturing process on your behalf. Basically, you outsource a service, such as die cutting, on demand, but are the brand owner of the final product.
The difference in toll manufacturing verses contract manufacturing is that in contract manufacturing, the company you choose supplies the raw material to compile your product as well. Rather than you exclusively sending your products for completion or processing (as you would in toll manufacturing), a contract manufacturer not only completes the production process for you, they supply the materials needed as well. This method is a quick and effective way for you to extend your product line without investing in expensive equipment or storage areas.
The CTI Contract Manufacturing Process
Similarly, let’s review our techniques and how they can simplify your die cutting process. After all, if you decide to use a contract manufacturing partner, it’s imperative that they have an efficient and time-tested process in place.
Ultimately, our success is also a result of our experience over the years. During those years, we’ve perfected our approach and developed a tried-and-true process. This five-step process ensures that we deliver superior products in a timely manner. We also understand that every client is unique. In return, we provide a unique solution to their unique situation.
First, we always have a thorough discussion concerning the needs of our clients and review our capabilities in relation to those needs. It’s imperative that these criteria line up and are a good match. Right from the first meeting, we want to ensure that we will be the best partner to contribute to the success of the product and the company. Therefore, we can be certain of a successful outcome.
Research & Development
Once we determine that we make sense as your contract manufacturing partner, we take it a step further. The research and development function is an important component of successful companies and something all contract manufacturers should do. When a client needs a new process, is working with a new material or wants to develop an entirely new product, we explain our capabilities and our test/retest ethic. Finding a weakness is better when it happens early in the design phase than later on in production. We want to be certain there are no surprises! Companies of all sizes may not have the budget or manpower to maintain an extensive R&D department within their facility. Ours is state-of-the-art and designed in a modular fashion, so that the equipment is ready to utilize in various areas to serve various functions. Why invest in expensive equipment, when we have already done that?
The ability to inspect a quality product before we go into full production is important. We believe that a sample in-hand is worth more than a finished product down the line! To avoid major issues later on, we allow inspection of the product at any stage of the process.
Likewise, many manufacturers jump right from the research stage directly to production. This is risky. The full production run is an expensive operation. You want to be sure that there are no glitches in the first production of a new product. That mistake costs not only money; it costs time. We all know instances where a small delay in getting a product to market meant that a competitor captured the market by getting there first. Consequently, we firmly believe in a limited “pilot run” to be sure that things go smoothly in full production. Again, we prefer no surprises!
Finally, we reach the stage of production with confidence. Contract manufacturing service clients know that working with us and having the advantage of all of our preliminary testing means the least stressful step will be the full production run of their finished goods. Instead of a fretful situation where a major, expensive problem could occur, our production runs are relaxed affairs with a celebratory atmosphere. A smooth production process is our goal.
Additional Contract Manufacturing Options
Thanks to our years of experience in contract manufacturing, we have a full portfolio of services. This is a huge bonus to many of our clients who have multiple production needs arise. From die cutting and slitting to adhesive coatings and lamination, our team of experts have practically seen it all and done it all.
Here is a quick overview of our capabilities and industries we work with:
- Hot Melt Spray Coating
- Slot die coating
- Hot gravure
- Powder coating
- Belt Laminator
- Roll coating
- Hot roll lamination
- Water-based gravure coating and printing
- Meyer rod coating
- Knife-Over-Roll coating
- Consumer Products and Packaging
If your material or industry isn’t on the list, don’t worry! There is a good chance that we can find a solution. We pride ourselves on innovation, creativity and problem-solving. Conquering challenges is one of the things that we do best. In fact, we helped create a technique for a well-known company in the roofing industry. Using existing equipment, we were able to develop an entirely new product for them. Once they approached us with their needs, we combined our efforts and developed their Peel-and-Stick roofing for flat industrial buildings.
Success Stories from CTI
Speaking of innovation and conquering challenges, here are a couple other of our success stories from our loyal and diverse clientele.
- Adhesive Coating of Fiberglass for the Wind Energy Industry – The adhesive coating industry changes nearly as much as the wind itself. Thus, CTI remains on the cutting-edge for its customers who engage in this emerging industry.
- Water-Based Priming of PP Foam for Automotive Headliners – CTI is responsible for the development of the first pre-applied adhesive fabric for automotive headliners. While we wear that badge of honor with pride, we couldn’t have earned it in the first place without the motivation of a customer who needed a creative solution.
As you can see, our background is diverse and far-reaching. We love what we do; we do it well. Furthermore, we welcome challenges and thrive on the chance to conquer them. Combining creativity and capability helps us do exactly that. Whether your business is large or small, or whether or not your project is massive or minimal, we would like to take on your challenge and overcome it! We proudly serve some of the largest companies in the country as well as some smaller local companies. Our focus is always to surpass expectations and serve as a true partner working toward the success of our clients.
Most importantly, we would love to hear about your project and discuss your needs further. If you’d like to add us to your team of superior solutions for a die cutting machine and more, request a quote. Or, give us a call at 419-924-5566 to discover our talents and to get moving on your production!