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Flat Bed Die Cutting

Flat bed die cutting is a fast, cost-effective process for stamping out simple parts. The first step is to fabricate a cutting die, known as a steel rule. A steel rule consists of a series of sharp metal strips bent into a desired shape. Once formed, the cutting die is placed in a hydraulic or mechanical press. Underneath, a plywood board with matching slots and ejector material is fixed in place, making it easy to remove the finished component.

Flat bed die cutting is simple and fast, making tool development extremely economical. Individual tools can be changed over quickly for increased process flexibility. This process also allows for faster hole and scrap material removal providing clean cuts that require little additional processing for use.

Applications

Flat bed die cutting is most often presented as an alternative to rotary die cutting. It is more economical than rotary die cutting as tooling costs are lower, making it the best choice for short-run components. Another advantage is that it can form parts with thicker pieces of metal or other materials. In fact, flat bed cutting is typically the only option when working with certain types of sheet metal.

The main drawback to the flat bed die cutting process is that it is slower than rotary die cutting and more limited in the types of parts it can produce. Ultimately, the choice between the two processes will depend on the nature of your project, the number of parts required and the speed with which you need it completed.

As a general rule, use flat bed die cutting on projects:

  • Using materials more than 1/8” thick
  • With multiple shapes, including large die cuts not possible with other processes
  • Where budgetary concerns prohibit the use of processes with higher tooling costs

Flat Bed Die Cutting vs. Rotary Die Cutting

If you are still a little unclear on the advantages and downsides of using a flat bed die vs. rotary die cutting, here is more of a breakdown. Remember, American Micro Industries can perform both flat bed die cutting and rotary die cutting depending upon what is best for your project.

For general cutting jobs, you will probably want flat bed die-cutting, especially for low volume orders. While it works a little more slowly than the rotary die cutting, the parts are easy to assemble once the stamping is complete, and you will save money overall on the tool and die costs. Keep in mind that American Micro Industries offers faster than average turnaround on all our fabricated parts, so if your need for a new influx of product is not too demanding, you will often be okay with flat bed die-cutting.

Rotary die cutting is used more often when you need a less common type of cutting, like kiss cutting, where you don’t need to cut particularly deep, and when you need to make a lot of precise parts in a short period. The costs are typically higher, but the way the rotary die works — feeding material through a rolling die — allows us to create some very exact shapes very quickly. If you need to fill a lot of orders fast, rotary die cutting will often be the way to go.

If you’re still not clear on which type of die cutting will be a better fit for your applications, give us a call, and we will go over how they apply to your specific situation.

Working With American Micro Industries

American Micro Industries offers a full selection of flat bed die cutting and other machining services for customers across the country. We have extensive options for customization and tool development capabilities, and can meet the demands of any challenging project. We can quickly turn around gaskets, foam packaging inserts and other products at a price that works for your budget.

We’ll work with you to determine the most economical and accurate die cutting process for your needs. The first step is to get in touch and request a quote. To get started, contact our office by phone or email today.