As more manufacturers discover and begin to take advantage of the benefits of rotary die cutting to improve production outcomes, the list of unique applications for die cut parts continues to expand. Engineers and designers across many industry segments are rapidly developing new and innovative materials to solve increasingly complex problems across a broad spectrum of applications.

Automotive

Technological sophistication in the automobile sector continues to accelerate. Vehicle component and system designs are improving rapidly to address customer needs and desires in the areas of safety, comfort, and performance. New materials often require new processing methods, and many components in modern automobiles can be efficiently produced via rotary die cutting. Key automotive applications include:

  • Sealing / gasketing
  • Nameplate & emblem adhesion
  • Noise & vibration abatement
  • Fastening & joining
  • Electronics & battery components

Common materials processed

Medical

Advances in medical care products are driven by the need to solve critical human health issues. New product development is supported by the research, design innovation, and imagination of talented engineers, scientists and doctors involved in finding solutions to those issues. Example: Yesterday’s simple bandage has been replaced by sophisticated and multi-function products designed to address stringent requirements for sterility, ease of application, healing stimulation, adhesion, breathability and others. Medical applications for die cut parts include:

  • Wound care
  • IV & surgical site guarding
  • Patient monitoring (adhesive
    electrodes)
  • Transdermal pharmaceutical
    delivery (drug patches)
  • Sanitary products
    (nonwoven)
  • PPE (personal protective
    equipment)

Packaging

The packaging industry has advanced radically beyond simple boxes and bags to meet the unique challenges of
markets as varied as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and every imaginable type of consumer good. Material advances in food packaging address important issues such as preservation, material compatibility, and health and safety. Packaging designers in all sectors continue the trend toward eco-friendly sustainable materials and an overall reduction in the amount of packaging material required. Applications in packaging include:

  • Flexible packaging – pouches
  • Folding cartons – across all industries
  • Food & beverage lidding
  • Tag & label
  • RFID

Abrasives

It is no surprise that abrasive materials present unique die cutting difficulties, and special care must be taken in determining the best die type, die material, and specific die and blade parameters to best address those unique challenges. Although sandpaper may be the most common application that comes to mind when discussing abrasive materials, there are many other die cut materials with varying levels of abrasiveness. Applications for abrasive materials include:

  • Reflective decals
  • License plate tabs
  • Non-skid floor and stair products
  • Sandpaper
  • Polishing pads

Electronics

A torrent of new electronic products, as well as the integration of electronics into many more traditional products has resulted in an explosion of new applications for die cutting of electronic components. Electronics are now integral to a vast array of consumer products, automobiles, appliances, and other consumer products. Electronics applications include:

  • Fluid sealing
  • Acoustic dampening
  • Vibration minimization
  • User interfaces / touch screens
  • Thermal management
  • Protective films
  • Magnetic shielding

Food Processing

We have discussed rotary die cutting of food and beverage packaging, but rotary die cutting is also applied to the processing of actual food products. Many crackers, cereals, cookies, and pet treats are processed using specialized rotary dies. Clearly the equipment used to die cut food products is quite different from that used to cut an automotive gasket,
but the cutting concept is remarkably similar. Food processing equipment requires strict adherence to FDA safety and cleanliness guidelines for obvious reasons, and rotary die cutting equipment in direct contact with the product is no exception.

Niche Applications

There are countless applications for rotary die cutting that do not fit neatly into one of these main categories. For each category listed above, there are hundreds of applications in every product niche imaginable, where rotary die cutting has proven to be an effective and cost-efficient means of producing parts to meet customer requirements.

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