Die-cutting is a popular manufacturing technique that is used in the packaging industry. The die-cutting process uses a metal die to cut materials into a wide variety of packaging designs and shapes. Due to its repeatability, die-cutting allows for the mass production of custom packaging.

Creating the Die

A die is a piece of metal that is used to cut the corrugated packaging material to create custom solutions. To create the die, there are a few steps that need to occur. First, a Computer-Aided Design (CAD file) of the package outline is generated. This design is then transferred onto a die board. Once transferred, the metal or steel rules are formed into the desired shape using a bender. Then the proper cuts and notches are made based on the function of the die.

There are various types of rules, each of which has their own function:

  • Through Cutting dies create the edges of the packaging by cutting through the entirety of the corrugated material
  • Scoring dies leave an impression or a partial cut on a stress point, generally creating a fold line
  • Creasing dies create fold lines on the packaging material by creating two parallel stress points that allow for more flexibility
  • Perforating dies indent a line of holes that allow for a certain part of the packaging to easily detach if desired

Rotary Die Cutting Process

After the die is created, the actual die-cutting process can begin. Rotary die-cutting is a common method for creating custom corrugated packaging. These machines are made with cylindrical presses that roll over the corrugated sheets instead of pressing down on them.

The corrugated is fed into the rotary die cutter and the cylindrical presses are rotated constantly, cutting out the desired shape as the corrugated continues through the machines. If desired, the rotary machine can also emboss in the same run as die-cutting, leaving an indention on the packaging such as a logo.

The process is fast and ideal for the mass production of simple packaging designs because the machine can cut out many identical shapes as it is rotated.

Color Printing

Once the die-cutting process is complete, logos, slogans, or other design elements can be printed onto the corrugate. This can be done using flexographic printing, which is the process of having a polymer plate attached to a rotating cylinder that prints the designs, one color at a time.

At Sunrise Manufacturing, we use the Apstar HG2-1632 as our primary rotary die cutter. This machine has 3-color, top printing capabilities, allowing us to print colorful designs on your packaging. It also provides precise final folding, cutting, and creasing so there are never any rough edges or incomplete folds. And, with impulse dust management systems in place, your printed graphics will always be of the highest quality.

Create Custom Corrugated Die-Cut Packaging Solutions with Sunrise Manufacturing

For more than four decades, Sunrise Manufacturing has been providing exceptional freight securement solutions for a wide variety of industries. Our goal has always been to reduce and eliminate damage to products during transit, and our comprehensive line of products accomplishes that.

We carry various freight protection products, including void filler panels, collapsible void fillers, interior packaging, corrugated materials and die-cutting, air bags, and ancillary freight protection products. If you are unsure what product is best for your application, our load securement specialists will help you find the perfect fit for each of your products.

Learn more about our solutions and what modalities we specialize in, or contact our team to see what we can do for your products today.