At Strouse we view die cutting adhesives as not only a science but an art form. Materials such as PSAs, foils, foams, films, cloth, and papers are converted to parts or pieces by way of die cutting. Die cutting can occur on either flatbed or rotary presses. Before we get into the details let’s look at what die cutting really means.
Die Cutting – The process of cutting materials using a tool (die) built specifically for flatbed or rotary presses. Dies are metal blocks or cylinders which contain blades to perform custom cuts. The die presses against the material converting it to the desired shape.
Strouse primarily uses rotary presses to die cut tapes, foams and other materials. These high output machines feed a web of material through the press where a cylindrical die is stationed to cut the adhesive. The die rotates in conjunction with the rest of the press to ensure the blades make the same exact length cuts every time the die makes a full rotation. If the die were to move slower than the web the parts would be converted larger than needed. If the die were to move faster than the web the parts would be smaller than needed.
Rotary die cutting is a much faster method to produce converted parts. The downside is that the tooling is typically more expensive than a flatbed tool. This is why rotary die cutting is typically used for large run orders where tooling costs are not an issue for the mass produced output.
Flatbed die cutting uses tooling to make cuts but is done so on a flat surface like a table. As material is run on the flatbed it stops while the die presses down and makes the cut. Once the cut is made the material is either removed by hand or wound incrementally so that the next piece of material can be cut. This process is not nearly as fast as a rotary press but the tooling is much cheaper. Flatbed presses are typically used for smaller production runs where the costs of tooling can be too expensive to use a rotary die.