Should I Purchase A Steel Rule Die Cutting Machine?
You’re probably already familiar with die cutting. Die cutting is what we call a conversion process, through which we transform generic stock materials. Beforehand, we choose a precise pattern or shape, using equipment to manipulate the stock material into the desired result. However, what we do with steel rule dies is more economical. Furthermore, we apply steel rule die cutting to less rigid materials. This is something you can’t get out of standard die cutting. Rather, you’ll need a steel rule die cutting machine.
The question is, what exactly will this type of machine offer? What makes it different from standard die cutting machines, and must you invest in one yourself? These are questions that many small business owners ask themselves as they begin approaching the steel rule die cutting process.
How Does Steel Rule Die Cutting Work?
Before you acquire a steel rule die cutting machine, it’s important that you research the process more thoroughly. The steel rule in question is actually more of a knife. We press the knife down into the soft or semi-rigid stock material, which we place against a flat surface. A key of the process is that it’s two dimensional, which is another differentiator from the standard die cutting procedure. In practice, compare steel rule die cutting to using a cookie cutter. Just as cookie dough is soft and malleable, so too are the stock materials that you’ll work through with a steel rule die cutting machine.
Additionally, steel rule die cutting is perfect for mass producing different forms. It can be difficult to accomplish that level of mass production through other, lesser processes. As previously mentioned, it’s more affordable to mass produce these products as opposed to having them made one by one. The uniformity of these products means that we can broadly apply the process.
Some of the products that we may create through steel rule die cutting include:
- Control panels and their accompanying overlays
- Greeting cards
- Printed folders
- Medical disposables, including the ever more valuable PPE
For all that steel rule die cutting may seem valuable, it’s understandable if you want to learn more about its benefits before investing in a steel rule die cutting machine.
What Are the Benefits of Steel Rule Die Cutting?
There are alternatives to steel rule die cutting. However, there are many reasons why many small business owners choose this process over others.
- It’s Efficient
One of the main benefits of steel rule die cutting is the process’s efficiency. Not only is this process relatively simple to conduct (if you have the right equipment and trained employees on hand); it’s also quick. The speed of the process doesn’t take away from the quality of the final products. The products delivered must have clean, straight edges, and often speedy manufacturing can mean cutting corners, sometimes quite literally. That is not the case with steel rule die cutting.
- It’s Precise
The products delivered must be as precise as possible. They need to appear uniform and identical, with a small margin of error. This process is the most effective way to achieve those results.
- It’s Malleable
Many manufacturing processes are fairly rigid and we face challenges when adapting them. Steel rule die cutting can be applied to thin or thick stock materials, and can create products that are large or small. Furthermore, we deliver die-cut parts in rolls as required. We create multiple cuts at one time with steel rule die cutting as well. We transform a wide variety of materials with a steel rule die cutting machine, making it incredibly versatile.
- It’s Affordable
Time is money, and the efficiency of the steel rule die cutting process makes it automatically more affordable. We use the machine with a single die board as well, which means that less raw materials will be necessary. Often, small business owners spend more than is necessary with short production runs, and steel rule die cutting makes it possible for you to avoid this issue.
Should I Invest in A Steel Rule Die Cutting Machine?
We can’t dismiss the variety of materials that we can subject to steel rule die cutting. We form many different types of plastics through steel rule die cutting, from acrylic to polypropylene. Additionally, we may subject materials like foam, plastic, cork, fiberglass, cardboard, and metal foil to the process.
With all of that in mind, you may wish to immediately invest in a steel rule die cutting machine. We understand the benefits, and would certainly recommend utilizing such machines. However, you do not necessarily need to source these machines yourself. The equipment can be more expensive than you might initially think. Furthermore, there are alternative options you may consider.
Among them would be working with a contract manufacturer like CTI. We handle the steel rule die cutting process for you, bringing both experience and established manufacturing facilities to the table. Our laboratories are ready to manufacture the products you need. Rather than investing in a permanent steel rule die cutting machine for short product runs, you may want to work with us instead.
Of course, we must learn a little more about what you need before you can make an educated decision. Give us a call at 419-924-5566, or contact us here. We’ll happily discuss our process further with you and see if we can demystify the steel rule die cutting process a bit further.