Die cut labels are the labels produced using different die-cutting techniques. These labels can be in different shapes and sizes. Commonly they are used as one of the marketing resources. The die-cut stickers or labels can be placed on indoor and outdoor surfaces as marketing material, instructional material, etc. These stickers or labels must be of good quality and tolerant to several damaging factors, especially if they are used for outdoor applications. The die-cut labels are exposed to elements like moisture, temperature, dust, etc. If handled roughly, the stickers may suffer damage. To prevent damage and increase the durability of these die-cut stickers, the quality of production should be enhanced. That is why this post discusses how to manufacture these labels and different ways to enhance their quality.
Manufacturing of Die Cut Labels
As the name indicates, die-cut stickers are a type of stickers or labels that are die-cut to specific shapes and sizes using dies. The die-cutting is a manufacturing process in which a die of the desired shape is punched on the label surface. The die has cutting edges across the cutting shape. As the cutting edges of the die punch against label material, the labels are cut due to the action of shear force. The cutting edges of the die are also called cutting steel strips. These steel strips can be in the shape of straight lines, rectangles, circles, and custom shapes in custom sticker manufacturing.
For some intricate shapes, multiple cutting strips can be used at different stages of cutting labels. For the die-cut stickers with a larger cross-section area, the rotating die presses can be used. In this type of production, the gear-operated die press rotates or linearly moves the sticker holder tray at a slow speed and therefore the punches of the cutting die are shifted based on the rotation of material.
The process of die-cutting may not always bring desired results. The next section discusses a few practices that manufacturers can adopt to produce high-quality and aesthetically appealing die-cut stickers.
3 Guidelines to Enhance Production Quality of Die Cut labels
Here are 3 guidelines to enhance the production quality of die-cut stickers/labels.
- Understanding The Sticker Design and Cutting Layouts:
The cutting layout must be strategically planned for die-cutting the labels. To do so, the sticker design should be referred to. The sticker design may have multiple shapes. All the shapes cannot be cut using a single cutting strip. Therefore, multiple cutting strips should be used in a specific sequence. The sequence of cutting strips should be decided based on the shape of stickers and inside cut features.
- Select the Right Die Cutting Tools:
There are two types of die-cut setups used in the industry. The first is flatbed die cutting press and the second is rotating die cutting equipment. The flatbed cutting press is suitable for a limited number of stickers where turnaround time is not a concern. On the other hand, rotating die-cutting tools are faster in cutting operations and also cover a wide cross-section of the stickers. Also, the flatbed cutting presses are less expensive as compared to rotary setups. Choose the one that suits your application requirements.
- Invest in Good Printing Techniques:
Die cut labels can be pre-printed or post-printed. In both cases, extra care must be taken to avoid damage during any of these processes. For the pre-printed labels, the heat generated during die cutting may react with the painting dye. This may cause shrinking of label material or cracking of the paint layer. In the case of post-printed labels, the ink may spread out of the cut edges of stickers which should be prevented. To achieve high printing quality, the correct choice of printing techniques is essential. One should avoid thermal printing for the die-cut stickers or labels.
Now manufacturing process and ways to enhance production quality are discussed, it is certain the production of die-cut labels requires expertise. To get high-quality labels, you should source these services from the trusted manufacturers like Performance Label Company (PLC). The company offers an excellent quality of die-cut labels. They offer tamperproof die-cut stickers of different shapes like rectangle, round, oval, etc.