Variables that Impact Die Cutting.

Die-cutting is the process of using a tool to convert substrates utilizing the pressure-cut principle: during blade penetration, the material being cut is compressed and burst with the blade tip.

The objective of good die-cutting is a clean separation of the label face material, including the adhesive, from the carrier liner material without damaging the integrity of the silicone layer.

The quality of the cut depends on the material used, the design of the cutting unit, as well as the cutting die. Materials can vary from paper to film with different adhesives and liner thicknesses.  Each of these variables will influence the geometry of the blade angles on the cutting tool. Printing inks can impact the process – as well as other variables such as die pressure and die station maintenance. RotoMetrics has integrated Electro Optic die-cutting technology to improve performance across the entire flexible die product offering, ensuring the best flexible die solution to meet the converter’s needs and specifications.

The following tricks and insights may help you optimize press performance right at the cutting station.

Issue: Deep Die Strike in All Vertical Lines

Cause #1 :  Liner material is thicker than assumed
Fixes: Install stepped down anvil cylinder. Re-set adjustable anvil cylinder. Consider an alternate material or die choice for the application.

Cause #2:  Cutting die clearance gap is too small
Fixes: Check cutting anvil for wear. Replace and/or repair anvil roll if needed. Re-set adjustable anvil cylinder. Replace stepped-up anvil cylinder with smooth surfaced anvil cylinder. Audit mag cylinder condition for potential repair and maintenance.

Issue: Light Die Strike of All Vertical Lines or No Die Strike of Horizontal Lines.

Cause #1:  Liner material is thinner than assumed
Fixes:  Install stepped up anvil cylinder. Re-set adjustable anvil cylinder. Consider an alternate material or die choice for application.

Cause #2: Stepped down anvil cylinder installed
Fix:  Install smooth surfaced anvil cylinder or stepped up anvil if needed.

Cause #3: Die is worn out or too low
Fixes: Order a new die. Install stepped up anvil cylinder for cutting paper.

Issue: Uneven cutting on left relative to right side.

Cause #1: Anvil cylinder wear or magnetic cylinder bearer issue
Fixes: Inspect bearer and anvil cylinder for replacement or repair. If large play in die mounting blocks replace blocks. Validate the correct gear is on the anvil and mag cylinder.

Issue: Labels Lifting with Web Matrix

Cause #1: Machine running too slow causes extensive lifting
Fix: Increase speed.

Cause #2: Inadequate web tension causes extensive lifting
Fix: Increase tension.

Cause #3: Waste matrix roll too loose causing extensive lifting
Fix: Change waste roll.

Cause #4: Large diameter stripping roll for matrix removal causing extensive lifting
Fix:  Install a smaller diameter roll.

Cause #5: Die damage causes individual labels to lift
Fix:  Utilize the EO/Rotometrics repair tool kit for flexible dies or order a new die if needed.

Cause#6:  Magnetic cylinder damage causes individual labels to lift
Fix:  Inspect and repair magnetic cylinder, or for short-term solution, reposition the die on the magnetic cylinder if possible.

Cause#7:  Anvil roll damage causes individual labels to lift
Fix:  Inspect and repair or replace anvil roll.

If you have any questions about die-cutting best practices that aren’t addressed here, feel free to contact us.

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