Die cutting is the general process of using a die to shear webs of low-strength materials, such as rubber, fiber, foil, cloth, paper, corrugated fiberboard, paperboard, plastics, pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes, foam and sheet metal. In the metalworking and leather industries, the process is known as clicking and the machine may be referred to as a clicking machine. When a dinking die or dinking machine is used, the process is known as dinking. Commonly produced items using this process include gaskets, labels, corrugated boxes, and envelopes.
Die cutting started as a process of cutting leather for the shoe industry in the mid-19th century. It is now sophisticated enough to cut through just one layer of a laminate, so it is now used on labels, stamps, and other stickers; this type of die cutting is known as kiss cutting.
Die cutting can be done on either flatbed or rotary presses. Rotary die cutting is often done inline with printing. The primary difference between rotary die cutting and flatbed die cutting is that the flatbed is not as fast but the tools are cheaper. This process lends itself to smaller production runs where it is not as easy to absorb the added cost of a rotary die.
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