Rotary Die Purchasing FAQs

1. How long does a rotary die last?
Generally speaking, a flexible die can last for 300,000 to 500,000 impressions when cutting paper products, however die life varies with the material that is being cut. There are coatings to extend die life of flexible dies. A solid die can last 2-3 times longer than a flexible die, however the range of die life (measured typically in revolutions, parts produced, or lineal feet) depends on the material being cut, the steel type used to manufacture the die, and proper die handling and maintenance.

2. How much does a rotary die cost? 
The cost for either die type varies, depending on multiple variables: the linear inches of blade to sharpen, amount of square or sharp corners, the size of the die, and other features such as perforations, coatings, or slug removal. The gear is included in the cost of a solid rotary die. Please contact one of our expert staff members to discuss your die-cutting needs and we will be able to provide you a quote.

3. How can the life of a solid rotary die be extended?
High yield projects for certain materials should consider using premium MRD5000 steel for longer die life. See the case study on extending die life on our Insights page of our website for an example of how premium steel can increase the output of a solid die significantly. Proper die handling and maintenance is also key to maximizing the life of the die. See the Die Care & Handling Guide within our Resources page of our website for more information.

4. How long does it take to make a die?
It takes 1-2 days to process, manufacture, and ship out a flexible die. A solid die can take anywhere from 5-14 business days to manufacture, depending on the complexity and size of the die.

5. How many times can a die be re-sharpened?
Flexible dies cannot be re-sharpened and need to be replaced once dull. Solid rotary dies are manufactured to be over pitch diameter, allowing the die to be re-sharpened 2-3 times typically. Certain dies can be re-sharpened more than 3 times, depending on die type, material being cut, and die handling procedures utilized.

6. How often does a solid rotary die need to be re-sharpened?
Frequency of re-sharpening depends on a lot of varying factors. Once the pressure applied to the die needs to be increased significantly to achieve the desired cut, it is advised to send the die in for re-sharpening. Continuing to use the die with increased pressure applied can result in crushed blades and die life loss.

7. How often does an anvil need to be reconditioned?
Anvils should be reconditioned regularly to avoid cutting issues and to extend the life of dies. The frequency of this varies, depending on materials being cut, frequency of use, and cut type itself. A common misconception is that exclusive pressure sensitive die use negates the need for regular anvil reconditioning. Though pressure sensitive cuts don’t have direct contact of the cutting blades with the anvil, they do still require direct contact with the anvil by the bearers. Over time, this contact can create grooves in the anvil or irregular wear when uneven pressure is applied to the die.

8. Can a damaged solid rotary die be repaired?
Yes! A damaged blade can be repaired with a weld unless the damage is too extensive.

9. How much pressure should be applied to the solid rotary die on press? 

Though this varies from die to die, IMPACT does test every die and indicates the recommended test pressure on the Certificate of Conformity included in the box with the die. It is recommended to start with using a pressure less than the recommended pressure and increase pressure gradually until the optimal cut is achieved.

At IMPACT our goal is to exceed your expectations and become a valued resource of technical information and industry know-how. Our rotary die purchasing FAQs are just a few questions we commonly address with out customers. If any questions about a project please contact us so are technical experts can help. Click here to learn more about IMPACT’s capabilities. 

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