Kiss cutting allows us to engineer more complexity and functionality into customer solutions while keeping costs low, especially with pressure-sensitive materials.
However, kiss cutting opens the door for numerous potential headaches with defects, and fallout increases when not done correctly.
In the converting industry, we often hear the term kiss-cut used with die-cut, but kiss cutting is a form of die-cutting.
What is Kiss Cutting?
Kiss cutting uses a die or tool to cut material, but the tooling is adjusted only to cut one layer of laminate, leaving the liner or backing untouched.
In the image above, you can see a part we've manufactured at Strouse that includes die cutting and kiss cutting.
The tan laminate is a backing for the black double-sided adhesive. The kiss cut area creates a tab for the part allowing for easy removal of the backing once the part is removed from the transparent liner and placed on a substrate.
Most people are familiar with everyday stickers as the primary example of kiss cutting, and converted adhesives follow the same principles.
The name "kiss cutting" originates from the idea of a blade cutting through one material but barely touching the second. This can leave behind a slight imprint, but the second layer should continue to remain unpenetrated.
The Advantages of Kiss Cutting
One of the most significant advantages of kiss cutting is its ease of convenience.
If a product is meant to be sold commercially, kiss cutting is a great way to arrange a multitude of parts into individual groupings.
Kiss cutting allows you to have firm control over the production process.
It's easier to achieve tighter manufacturing tolerances by making slight adjustments as the kiss-cut pieces travel through equipment leads into rolled form. These tighter tolerances ensure a more consistent product at a higher quality.
The kiss cutting process also consolidates operations, allowing converters to manufacture more complex products in fewer steps. As a result, the machines don't continue running for as long, which saves time and money.
BETTER SHIPPING AND HANDLING
Kiss-cut adhesives can be distributed to the customer in either roll form or sheet form, which results in more organized storage than loose parts.
Choosing to receive the product in rolls creates various options for the customer regarding shipping and storage.
Rolled kiss cut products require less labor to transport and are significantly more cost-effective. They are also automation-friendly, which means certain companies can automate them for production straight off the shelf.
In addition, the converted roll products are less likely to incur damage during shipping and handling.
The rolled product experiences minimal human contact throughout the raw material to packaged product transformation. This means that they're cleaner than sheeted parts, which is essential for industries like medical, where one might need to avoid cross-contamination.
One crucial point to consider is the actual application of the adhesive, which could be ideal for two reasons:
- Keeping the parts aligned in rows makes them easier to access quickly and transport on the job.
- Secondly, it enables you to add features like the tab shown, which leads to better accessibility.
How Does Kiss Cutting Go Wrong?
When done incorrectly, kiss-cut products will exhibit additional defects that hinder their use.
Defective rolls may be wound too tight or with inconsistent tension, triggering a multitude of potential issues:
- Parts can shift on the delivery material
- Parts can stick to the backside of the delivery material as it is unwound
- Rolls can telescope or buckle
- It can hinder automation
Another factor is the kiss cut depth, which can make or break the product's functionality:
- A too-deep cut might cause the adhesive to seep into the kiss cut itself and "lock up" the delivery material or liner, rendering the product unusable for the customer.
- If the kiss cut is too shallow, the parts may appear fine to the naked eye but are completely nonfunctional
The tooling is very sensitive and requires close monitoring to ensure the exact cuts are made every time.
Kiss cutting is a valuable tool enabling other projects to run more smoothly as you get further down the road.
A wide variety of materials can be kiss cut, and the measurements of kiss cuts often reach the thinness of 1-3 millimeters. For specifics on our capabilities, feel free to contact us.
Strouse excels in working with companies looking for manufactured parts that fit into their automated processes. We design adhesive parts that you can use to save time and money.
If you're dealing with a problem, we'll be sure to help you find a solution.