Die cutting is one of the best ways to produce high quality parts and components with minimal waste. Because die cutting is a very precise procedure, it can be used to cut fairly expensive materials and to create tight tolerance, finished products. There are three major types of die cutting process that are best for producing high quality goods . Each of them is best suited to specific applications and end products.
Water Jet Cutting
The best solution for rapid prototyping and custom, large format components, water jet cutting uses a CNC interface to direct a high powered jet of water. Water jet cutting is often used during the production and testing phases of product development, as it doesn’t require a physical die for the cuts. Instead, it uses a digital file and is able to cut through materials of almost any thickness.
For many custom products, water jet cutting is exceptionally valuable. Water jet cutting will never lose accuracy because the cut will always be from the same digital file. The production is a little slower, but the products are always of consistently high quality. For custom products that may need to be altered depending on the customer, it’s the best solution; there are no physical dies that need to be altered. Just as precise as any other die cutting process, water jet cutting can also be used for early prototyping and demos.
Water jet cutting is generally used for either small batches or medium batches. For high volume requirements, water jet cutting may not be ideal.
Rotary Die Cutting
Rotary die cutting is a high speed cutting process intended for very high volume production. Rotary die cutting has very tight tolerances and is well-suited to any product that had to be produced quickly. However, the die costs are higher when compared to flat bed dies. Many high quality parts will use rotary die cutting to achieve a balance between speed and quality.
Flat Bed Cutting
A little slower but more affordable die costs than rotary die cutting, flat bed cutting is well-suited for medium to high volume production of specific products. Flat bed cutting can cut through most materials and most thicknesses, but isn’t able to cut through quite as many materials as other die cutting processes. Flat bed cutting requires a steel rule die which is more affordable than rotary dies and yet can maintain high levels of accuracy. Die cutting is a very flexible method of production and consequently is one of the most popular and frequently used. Die cutting is also valuable if moderate amounts of products need to be turned around very quickly.
When creating die cut, high quality parts, the type of process matters. The entirety of the product may need to be cut in one process or different components of the product may be better off in different types of process, to be later assembled. Expertise may be needed to accurately determine the right type of cutting for the product. Contact the professionals at Tom Brown, Inc. to find out everything you need to know about the available die cutting processes for you.