If you are looking to integrate a rotary die into your work processes, or you are merely curious about what die technology actually is, then you would be forgiven for being confused by the level of choice.
This is because, while the die manufacturing method is largely standardized, you can opt for either a flexible or solid rotary die, depending on what suits your requirements the most.
To find out which option is best for you, it is important to have a clear understanding of what a die is. Essentially, a die is a tool that helps you cut accurate shapes out of certain materials en masse. These materials could be anything from leather and fabric to metal and plastic.
A rotary die is a specific type of die tool, which is cylindrical in shape and rotates as material is fed through it. The die ‘shapes’ cover the cylinder, ensuring that as it rolls over a piece of material, the cut is incredibly accurate.
However, as mentioned above, there are two types of rotary die tools – flexible and solid.
This is how to tell the difference, and work out which option is right for you:
Flexible dies are cheaper and more efficient
A flexible rotary die can often be a better option than a solid die because it offers many useful benefits.
For example, a flexible rotary die (which is essentially a thin piece of metal, such as copper, stretched over the cylinder), is usually cheaper than a solid alternative. The reason for this is that it uses less material to produce and is also easier to ship once you have ordered one. This is worth considering because if you are looking to save on overhead costs, ordering flexible dies could be transformative.
Furthermore, if you are trying to improve the efficiency of your work processes, flexible rotary dies can help. You can use them on a wider range of materials than solid dies, and due to their diminutive size, they are easier to store in your factory or warehouse.
Click here to learn more about flexible rotary dies.
Solid dies are harder wearing for more strenuous manufacturing jobs
Although there are a whole host of benefits associated with flexible rotary dies, you can’t ignore solid dies for your manufacturing needs either.
Solid dies are worth considering if you are looking to complete more strenuous tasks, because, as the name suggests, solid dies are more heavy duty (as they are a solid cylinder rather than a thin metal sheet).
As a result, if you are trying to cut a thick or tough material, solid dies are probably your best bet. They are more of a set and forget option, which is useful if you don’t want to be changing your dies as frequently.
While more expensive initially, a solid die could work out cheaper, because you can always service the blades over time, rather than have to throw it away as soon as it loses its ‘teeth’.
In order to decide whether to opt for a flexible or solid die, you need to analyze your requirements. This means listing the materials you want to use, the amount of material you want to cut on a daily basis and your budget for the manufacturing process.
Once you have a manufacturing plan set in stone, you will have a clearer idea of which rotary die is best for you.