Ulrich Kretzschmar, Product and Business Development Manager Flexible Dies at RotoMetrics
With brand owners and retailers continuously developing new packaging strategies – the pace of change in the Tag & Label market has never been faster. To keep up with pace, suppliers have had to invest in new technology, re-evaluate manufacturing processes to increase blade flat and plate height accuracy, create greater blade consistency and improve finishing processes. All to manufacturer a better flexible die capable of helping converting partners handling today’s new opportunities.
New thinner formulations are targeting the reduction of resource consumption, liner weight, and waste. Face materials, liners and adhesives are getting thinner and lighter. While this is necessary for the environment, it is a challenge for many parties in the value chain, including the press manufacturer, die maker, converter, and label applicator. Printing, converting and label applicator equipment require more sensitive web handling. Cutting dies have to deliver an extremely uniform liner strike to avoid excessive liner penetration and subsequently the risk of the liner breaking. The real challenge, though, is with the label converters. They not only have to get the right components but achieve perfect balance and process control. It’s more than just the die. It’s a flawless magnetic cylinder and an anvil with smooth surface and concentricity – all at the correct size. Undersized rolls can flex or bend resulting in uneven liner strike or lifting labels. It is recommended to inspect and audit all components on a regular basis – Your die supplier, such as RotoMetrics, will help you with that.
A well maintained die station with cutting pressure monitoring and lubrication system is critical. And more importantly – and often ignored – a heat management system throughout the press to guarantee consistent cutting results across the entire run length. Results can vary with every degree of temperature change! A real game changer is the adjustable clearance anvil. Adjustable clearance anvils, like the RotoMetrics AccuStrike® or ACA, allow operators to adjust bearers independently or in unison for unparalleled control over die strike and changes in liner thickness.
It’s not just about face materials and liners. Adhesives also have a role. There are several coatings options available that can avoid adhesive build up on the blade or deal with exposed adhesives.
Leveraging existing press capacity for new business opportunities is another way to leverage tooling to grow your business. Flexible dies are not just for pressure sensitive (kiss cutting) applications. They are perfect for many metal-to-metal applications as well including in-mold labels. A dedicated blade geometry (blade angle and flat) finished with the material matching (chrome) treatment – providing the perfect die to meet a very specific converting need. From dies capable of cutting the widest range of both face and liner materials, to dies featuring exacting precision tolerances to convert the most challenging films and liners including .00075” PET liners, RotoMetrics offers a portfolio of flexible die solutions designed to provide optimum performance on any substrate with support and service to help you unlock the power of precision™.