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How to Achieve Efficiency in Die Cutting Machine Setup?

Before the die cutting process, it is crucial to quickly and accurately set up the machine equipment, which makes the machine setup technician play a critical role. Improving the speed of machine setup requires continuous learning and reference for both new and experienced technicians.

In daily work, die cutting technicians have a basic understanding of operating the die cutting machine and setting up the die. Only by mastering the key points and problem-solving methods can the work be more organized and efficient.

Prepare for production

To ensure quality, the preparation work before die cutting is essential. Generally, we need to carry out preparatory work from two aspects before production.

1. Ensure the correctness and integrity of the template. Before using the die, the first task is to check whether the die is in good condition. This is something every machine operator must remember.

2. Install the template. When installing the template, three points need attention: first, handle the die gently during installation, as excessive force may damage the template; second, lock the screws from the middle to the sides; third, use an electric gun to tighten the screws.

Clarify the roles of machine operators

The machine operators are generally divided into three roles: the team leader, assistant A, and assistant B, each with different responsibilities. The team leader is mainly responsible for organizing the production sequence and guiding the team members to work in accordance with the production order. The team leader is also responsible for important tasks such as installing the die cutting plate and performing debugging.

Assistant A's main responsibilities include handling the die cutting plate and assisting the team leader in installing the die cutting plate. They also help the team leader in debugging production tasks to reduce the time spent on verification.

Regarding assistant B, their main task is to adjust the paper feeding unit, prepare the cardboard for the current and next orders, and ensure that they are produced in order.

Manage technical parameters

The technical parameters at each stage are crucial for the entire die cutting process. Scientifically managing the technical parameters can effectively reduce setup time and waste. So, how to manage technical parameters effectively?

Establish product technical parameters. After receiving a new order, production data should be promptly entered into the computer or written on production documents. For example, record die cutting pressure, die cutting phase, and important points to note during die cutting. This way, when proceeding with subsequent production, the data can be directly output or adjusted to the desired values, reducing wasted time.

Die cutting machine setup generally involves the following points:

1. Choose the appropriate template for your die (for flatbed die cutting machines, there are usually three plates: thick, medium, and thin; thick plates are mainly for mounting rubber plates, medium plates for mounting AB dies, and thin plates for mounting wooden boards and engraved plates).

2. Raise the die cutting machine's die seat to the appropriate height for the installed die (ensure the die cutting pressure is at its maximum and release pressure at the lowest point).

3. Clean the upper and lower die seats of the die cutting machine, ensure the workbench is clean, and ensure the flatness of the die.

4. Use a square ruler to attach the die vertically to the appropriate position on the die cutting machine (based on the die size and material feeding, it is generally recommended to position it centrally). Pay attention to the perpendicularity between the die and the upper die cutting plate. There are different types of tape for attaching the die, including professional die attachment tape (removable adhesive) or the company's double-sided adhesive border material.

5. Place a layer or two of die cutting backing board according to the die attachment position; you can use materials such as insulating boards or PET as the backing board.

6. Place a piece of die setup material on top of the backing board and gradually increase the pressure of the die seat until it is just pressing against the die setup material (having visible blade marks is good).

7. Evaluate the die setup by performing a single trial compression with a copy paper placed under the die setup material, making clear impressions on the backing board.

8. Use a blade to scrape off the areas with excessive impressions on the backing board until it becomes parallel to the lower surface (repeatedly trim, increase pressure, and test compression; in particular, avoid scraping the template by creating small grooves or uneven surfaces). Adjust the die setup by scraping off less material and adding more tape as needed. If a slight low position is encountered, use adhesive tape to raise it, but avoid excessive layering (maximum 1-2 layers) based on the actual situation.

9. After the die setup is completed, attach a positioning card material to a certain distance outside the die impression on the backing board to facilitate material feeding.

10. Prepare the material and load it onto the feeding rack, aligning it horizontally based on the positioning card material.

11. Set the approximate position and feed the material into the material-feeding pressure roller until it aligns parallel to the upper die.

12. Before starting production, use a piece of waste paper or other scrap material to reduce the loss of the main material. Then proceed with normal production procedures.

Different types of dies have different requirements for machine setup

Horizontal and vertical blade dies: These dies require the die and material to be perfectly parallel to the equipment, especially for horizontal blades, which must be in a straight line. After installing such a die, a material feeding trial is necessary. If the material feeding is not straight, loosen the locking screws on the die seat, adjust the upper die seat according to the die deviation direction until it is perfectly parallel.

Nested dies: These types of dies not only require parallelism but also have high requirements for equipment stroke. Insufficient parallelism may result in partial product deviation, sometimes leading technicians to mistakenly believe it is a problem with the die. If the cutting distance is not accurate, the product will become increasingly deviated with each cutting process, even if the equipment stroke is accurate. For every 0.01mm discrepancy, the deviation accumulates during production.

To address parallelism issues, follow the method used for horizontal and vertical blade dies, while adjust the cutting distance based on the actual situation. Many people say, "If I enter the cutting distance according to the design, there shouldn't be any mistake." Well, you're wrong. Both die manufacturing and equipment have tolerances, so adjustments should be made according to the actual situation.

AB plate dies: The die setup method is the same, but pay attention to not placing the backing board too close to the blade to avoid leaving impressions on the product. Nesting deviations can be adjusted by adjusting the die seat and cutting distance based on the actual situation.

High and low blade dies: Some products have full and half cuts, with the blades classified as high and low during the design process. Sometimes there is no distinction between high and low blades, or the distinction is insufficient, requiring the technician to find a solution. Scrape the backing board directly or use padding to raise it. However, these methods are not long-term solutions and make it difficult to control the product quality. Modifying the die setup becomes challenging. The simplest solution is to use tape to stick the back of the high blade on the die back (limited to laser die and other inlay blade dies), allowing the high and low blades to automatically emerge during punching.

Engraving and waste removal dies: Many people have encountered situations where the waste is not sucked up completely. Depending on the material and die conditions, it is possible to adjust the waste removal holes to half or full cuts during testing.



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