Die Cutting - The Hidden Part Of Manufacturing That We Never Hear AboutDie Cutting - The Hidden Part Of Manufacturing That We Never Hear About

There are many manufacturing companies who need their products stamped into particular shapes and sizes. Because of the space requirements of this machinery and the high costs involved in purchasing it, many companies opt to outsource this work. Contract die cutting is often contracted out and is often referred to as OEM die cutting. These companies specialize in this aspect of the manufacturing process and are able to provide an excellent service for many different types of business.

The die cutting process involves cutting identical shapes from the same basis material. Blanks for the required shape are made from various different materials including metals, plastics or wood, depending on the ultimate purpose. Die cutting is often used in the shoe manufacturing industry where the uppers of the shoes are made by stamping them from leather or vinyl. They are then sent on to the next stage of manufacture and attached to the soles of the shoes by another company. In this way, the processes make for much cheaper production of the final product.

As you might imagine the cutting blades used for die cutting need to be extremely sharp and at the same time particularly resilient. They need to carry out heavy duty work and cut many thousands of shapes through multi layers of material in order to make the whole process more efficient and cost effective. Die cutting is really quite an ingenious technique and is used in many different ways for different industries. The number of components that are made using this process is quite amazing. In the automotive industry for example there are seals, pads, gaskets and filters. The electrical industry uses thermal insulation, shielding gaskets and printed circuit boards. All kinds of novelty products are made from foam, cardboard, cloth and paper. These are only the tip of the iceberg as there are countless other products made with die cutting.

Some die cutting processes involve very heavy machinery and razor sharp blades which cut metals. Obviously, this machinery is quite dangerous and the operators need to be vigilant and well trained. Health and safety has a high priority in these environments and there needs to be constant attention to safety procedures to protect lives and limbs.

Most of us would never realize that this almost invisible industry exists. However, die cutting is performed all over the world and is used in the manufacture of the products we use every day as necessities without a thought about how they are made. For example, every day we wear clothing that has involved die cutting in some part of its production. The pockets of jeans, shirts and jackets, shoes and boots are die cut. We drive around in cars with die cut components and even our credit cards are die cut. The history of die cutting is traced back to the industrial revolution and grew along with mass production techniques. With the pace of developing technology it will continue evolving and producing better and more precise cutting techniques and computerized processes.

Finally, these cutters also have another trick up their proverbial sleeve since they are used to make folds in cards and the like. By not pressing too hard, the material has a perfect fold line which is then flattened by another machine. This really is a clever process since many cutters can be mounted on the backing block right up next to each other. This means that when the material is being cut out, the process only has to be done once, and there is little wastage with spare bits of material being discarded. This is particularly useful for high quality materials or fine leather which tends to be on the expensive side.
by Stewart Wrighter
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Stewart Wrighter has been researching contract die cutting in order to write an article on the subject. He searched the term OEM die cutting online to learn more about it.
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