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What's the Die Cutting Machine

The die-cutting machine, also known as a die cutter, cutting machine, or CNC punching machine, is mainly used for die-cutting (full cutting, half cutting), creasing, hot stamping, laminating, automatic waste discharging of some non-metal materials, adhesive stickers, EVA, double-sided tape, electronics, mobile phone gaskets, etc. The die-cutting machine uses steel blades, metal molds, steel wires (or templates carved from steel plates) to apply a certain pressure through an embossing plate, cutting printed matter or cardboard into a certain shape. It is an important equipment for post-printing processing.

Property: a type of post-printing machinery and equipment

Classification: flatbed, rotary, flatbed rotary die-cutting machine

Function: cutting cardboard into specific shapes using die molds

Working Principle

The working principle of the die-cutting machine is to use die-cut knives, steel blades, metal molds, steel wires (or templates carved from steel plates) to apply a certain pressure through an embossing plate, cutting printed matter or cardboard into a certain shape. If the entire printed matter is cut into individual shaped products, it is called die-cutting; if steel wires leave traces or bends on the printed matter, it is called creasing; if heated molds are used to emboss three-dimensional patterns or fonts on the printed material surface, it is called hot stamping; if one substrate is applied to another substrate, it is called laminating; discarding all parts except the genuine product is called waste discharging; these are collectively referred to as die-cutting technology.

Main Processes

Die-cutting technology is a commonly used process in packaging printing, which uses die-cut knives to form a die-cut plate according to the product design requirements. Under pressure, the printed matter or other round parts are cut into the required shape or cut marks for forming. Creasing technology uses a creasing knife or creasing die to press lines on the sheet under pressure, or uses a scoring wheel to bend at designated positions. Generally, die-cutting and creasing technology combine die-cut blades and creasing knives in the same template, and perform die-cutting and creasing processes on the die-cutting machine at the same time, referred to as die-cutting. The main process of die-cutting and creasing is as follows: setup, adjusting pressure, determining rules, attaching base materials, trial die-cutting, formal die-cutting and creasing, waste removal, finishing rolls or cutting into sheets, packaging.

Development Trends

Current Situation of Die-cutting Machine Technology in China

Among numerous post-printing equipment varieties, the technology and industrialization of die-cutting machine products in China have reached a relatively high level, manifested mainly in the following aspects:

Firstly, the import volume of die-cutting machines is decreasing while the export volume is continuously increasing. According to customs statistics: in 2002, 461 sets of molded forming equipment were imported, totaling $25.291 million; in 2003, 455 sets were imported, totaling $26.028 million; in the first three quarters of 2004, only 213 sets were imported, totaling $17.151 million; it is expected that the import trend will continue to decline for the whole year. In 2002, 765 units were exported, totaling $10.861 million; in 2003, 1066 units were exported, totaling $13.893 million; in the first three quarters of 2004, 958 units were exported, totaling $15.591 million, and it is expected that the annual export will exceed that of the previous year.

Secondly, the variety of die-cutting machines basically meets the production needs of the domestic printing and packaging industry. Domestically, it is possible to manufacture trademark die-cutting machines, including fully automatic flat die-cutting machines, self-adhesive label die-cutting machines, rotary die-cutting machines, flat-to-round die-cutting machines, and flat die-cutting and creasing machines (Tiger Mouth die-cutting machines), as well as die-cutting units for inline production lines such as flexographic printing machines, gravure printing machines, self-adhesive label printing machines, and corrugated board printing and creasing machines.

Thirdly, there are over 20 companies manufacturing fully automatic and semi-automatic die-cutting machines. Among them, the main manufacturers include Shanghai Yahua, North Group, Tangshan Yuyin, Tianjin Changrong, Beijing Shengli Weiye, Hubei Jingshan, Henan Xinxiang, Shanghai Yaoke, Shanghai Dinglong, Shanghai Xuheng, Qingdao Meiguang, etc. There are many companies producing trademark die-cutting machines, with major manufacturers including Xianyang Hefeng, Beijing Machangying, and others. There are countless companies producing flat die-cutting and creasing machines (Tiger Mouth die-cutting machines).

Analysis of the Level of Fully Automatic Flat Die-cutting Machines

Fully automatic flat die-cutting machines are key equipment for post-processing of printed packaging products. They are not only efficient, safe, and high-quality molding equipment but also the updated products of flat die-cutting and creasing machines (Tiger Mouth die-cutting machines), favored by packaging and printing enterprises. The widespread application and broad market prospects of these machines have attracted many companies to enter the manufacturing of fully automatic flat die-cutting machines, thus forming a complete series of product varieties in China, reaching a high level of technology.

The working principle of fully automatic flat die-cutting machines is that the feeder feeds the paper into the front and side gauges through the paper feeding components, then the teeth feed the paper to the die-cutting mechanism for secondary positioning and die-cutting. After die-cutting, the paper is fed to the waste cleaning mechanism by the teeth, then into the paper collecting section, thus completing the die-cutting operation. The technology level of fully automatic flat die-cutting machines in China has been greatly improved, mainly reflected in the following aspects: the die-cutting speed of advanced equipment has reached N8000 sheets/hour, and the die-cutting accuracy has reached ±0.1~0.2mm. Most companies' fully automatic flat die-cutting machines are equipped with waste cleaning devices, and some companies can manufacture die-cutting machines that are dual-use for holographic hot stamping. Some companies can also manufacture fully automatic flat die-cutting machines and semi-automatic flat die-cutting machines for corrugated board. The basic components of these machines mostly adopt steel structure wall panels and are processed by machining centers, ensuring sufficient accuracy and rigidity. The technical difficulties of fully automatic flat die-cutting machines, such as cam intermittent mechanism, chain guide rails, and paper feeding teeth, have independent patented technologies and intellectual property rights in China. Touch screen technology, frequency conversion speed regulation technology, and programmable logic controller technology are widely used in these machines, greatly improving their stability and reliability. The increasing export of molding equipment year by year, coupled with the significant decrease in imports in 2004, has proved that the technological level of domestically produced fully automatic flat die-cutting machines is increasing, and the recognition of users is strengthening.

To ensure the quality of die-cutting machine products of this type, the National Printing Machinery Standardization Technical Committee has formulated relevant technical standards since the end of the last century, including two standards: JB/T8161998 Flat Die-cutting Machine and JB/T9151999 Flat Die-cutting and Hot Stamping Machine, which are used to guide enterprise production and national quality supervision and spot checks.

Development Direction of Automation, Intelligence, and Multifunctionality

Data communication between multiple programmable controllers of die-cutting machines; LCD intelligent operation display screen, human-machine dialogue; precise positioning using optical fiber sensors to detect registration marks; digital servos; control of holographic foil surface tension; precise manufacturing technology of holographic embossing machines, etc., will continue to be applied. In addition to die-cutting, it is also required to be able to hot stamp and automatically clean waste. Taking Kunlun Machinery Company's CNC die-cutting machine as an example, from paper feeding, die-cutting/hot stamping, to upper/lower lamination/waste disposal, and finally paper collection/cutting, all are automatically completed, users do not require absolute high speed, but stability and reliability are required. As the main equipment for post-printing packaging processing, die-cutting machines have formed different grades in China, with a complete variety of equipment families targeting various types of printing and packaging products, basically meeting the domestic demand for equipment. The development trends of die-cutting machines have the following characteristics:

1. Rotary die-cutting will be the best die-cutting method for large-scale printing and packaging products. It has been used in inline printing and packaging equipment such as flexographic printing production lines, form printing machines, corrugated board printing and creasing die-cutting machines, rotary letterpress self-adhesive label printing machines, gravure printing and die-cutting production lines, etc. With the development of printing technology, especially the improvement of the processing technology level of rotary die-cutting cylinders, the application scope of rotary die-cutting will become wider, and the production efficiency of die-cutting will be further improved.

2. With the rapid development of the printing and packaging industry and the continuous expansion of enterprise scale, the application market of fully automatic flat die-cutting machines will continue to expand. In contrast, the sales market of semi-automatic flat die-cutting and creasing machines will further decline. Apart from reasons such as low productivity and high labor intensity of operators, the main reason for its decline is the poor safety and the tendency to easily cause work-related accidents. However, due to the large gap in the scale level of China's printing and packaging industry, there will still be a certain market for such equipment, and it will continue to play a role.

3. The traditional self-adhesive label printing machine manufacturing enterprises. Production has entered a difficult period, with annual production and sales volume declining year by year. The main reason lies in the increase in production and sales volume of high-tech products, such as efficient rotary satellite-type label printing machines and flexographic printing presses. Their printing and inline die cutting production efficiency far exceeds that of outdated production equipment with intermittent printing and intermittent flatbed die cutting.

4. China has imported multiple large format sheet-fed paper printing machines, with the GeBao 1620-type machine representing a maximum paper feeding size of 1200mmX1620mm, printing speeds reaching 1200 sheets/hour, and equipped with UV and far infrared drying devices. Additionally, the country has developed super full-sheet single-sheet paper printing machines with maximum paper feeding sizes of 1300mmX1850mm and 1020mmX2050mm. Three printing machinery enterprises in China have also begun producing full-sheet single-sheet paper printing machines, with maximum paper feeding sizes reaching 1020mmX1420mm and 1020mmX1440mm, and maximum printing speeds reaching 5000-7000 sheets/hour. The introduction of full-sheet paper and expansion of the market will also create demand for die-cutting equipment for packaging printing. CNC die-cutting machines tailored to full sheet sizes are being mass-produced in China, with the KunLun Machinery-produced die-cutting machine reaching speeds of 12000 sheets/hour, placing it at the forefront globally.


rotary die cutting machine

One cylinder acts as an impression cylinder applying pressure during die-cutting, while the other is a rotary die. Rotary dies are divided into wood and metal types, with the former mainly used for die-cutting thick corrugated cardboard, and the latter involving metal rotary dies processed using chemical corrosion or electronic engraving methods, primarily used for die-cutting self-adhesive labels and trademarks. There is also a kind of metal rotary die mainly used for medium to high-grade long-line products, employing either pressure-cutting or shearing form.

Rotary flatbed die cutting machine

Rotary flatbed die cutting machines are rarely used in the market, with no professional manufacturers domestically, hence not elaborated here.

Flatbed flatbed die cutting machine

Flatbed flatbed die cutting machines are currently the most widely used and common type, with the highest number of models produced both domestically and internationally. They can be used for various types of die cutting, from manual paper feeding semi-automatic die cutting to fully automatic high-speed synchronous die cutting; they can die cut corrugated cardboard, cardboard, self-adhesive materials and also rubber, sponge, and metal sheets, among others.

Vertical flatbed die cutting machine, commonly known as a "tiger mouth", is so named because its working action is similar to the biting action of a mouth. It is considered unsafe and prone to causing injuries during operation, thus earning its moniker. Regardless, it effectively illustrates the working characteristics of the vertical flatbed die cutting machine. Structurally, the vertical flatbed die cutting machine is mainly divided into the machine body and pressure frame sections, with the die cutting plate platform mounted on the machine body. There are two types based on the motion: single-swing and double-swing. Single-swing refers to the situation where the pressure frame swings during die cutting, while the machine body remains stationary (i.e., the plate platform does not move). The plate platform makes contact with the lower part of the pressure frame before the upper part during die cutting, and upon completion, the upper part disengages first before the lower part, leading to uneven force distribution. As a result, its usage is decreasing and gradually being phased out.

Double-swing refers to a scenario where both the machine body and pressure frame are in motion during die cutting. The contact between the pressure flatbed and the plate platform is parallel before contact, where they engage in parallel motion. This results in uniform and increased pressure. Most of the produced vertical flatbed die cutting machines belong to this type. Based on the level of automation, vertical flatbed die cutting machines can be divided into semi-automatic and fully automatic types. Currently, most domestically produced vertical flatbed die cutting machines (tiger mouths) are semi-automatic, with the die cutting process automated while paper feeding and collection rely on manual labor. Due to the production quality and efficiency being contingent on the operator's skill level and the potential for safety accidents, developed countries like the United States have explicitly prohibited the use of such equipment.


1. Adhesive products: various adhesive products used in electronic industries, IT industries, thin film switches, and automotive manufacturing, including special adhesive pads, silicone stickers, magic tapes, conductive adhesives, strong double-sided tapes, 3M products, Sony special adhesive pads, and backlight screens.

2. Dust-proof materials: cotton pads, camera pads, high-density sponges, filter cotton, dust covers, non-woven fabrics.

3. Shock-absorbing products: recoil rubber pads, rubber materials, transparent foot pads, PORON pads, 3M products, flame retardant EVA, high-density foam.

4. Insulation materials: fireproof paper, aluminum foil, copper foil, PVC, PET, kraft paper, sponge casing, pearl casing.

5. EMI shielding materials: copper foil, aluminum foil, conductive fabric, absorbing materials.

6. Heat-resistant insulation materials: silicon film, transparent mica film, fiber cloth, heat insulation cotton (cloth).

7. Paper packaging materials: corrugated paper, packaging paper, and cardboard.



1. Die-cut products of damping aluminum foil adhesive tape, electrical adhesive tape, and foam adhesive tape sealing parts

2. Die-cut products of mirror base structure bonding tape for rearview mirrors

3. Die-cut products of specialized sound-absorbing materials

4. Die-cut products for use in car interior displays such as LCDs, VCDs, DVDs, transfer tape for car interior components, and various interior decoration adhesive tape

5. Die-cut products for protective cushioning materials and materials such as roof structure sealing tape

Installed Products: Using double-sided adhesive tape, foam tape, transfer tape, double-stable tape with anti-plasticizer, mist-reducing tape, after cutting and die-cutting, can be used on car parts. Such as: instrument panel, lamp housing, decorations, etc., for faster, simpler, more accurate installation.

Noise reduction and shock absorption: Between metal parts and plastic parts, plastic parts and plastic parts, metal parts and metal parts, pasting die-cut products made of foam, felt, scratch-resistant textiles, etc., to reduce noise and absorb shocks.

Interior decoration and cushioning: Various chloroprene rubber, foam, and silicone materials, after precise die-cutting, used in decorative pieces, car doors, ceilings, etc.

Other applications: Installation of car emblems, high-temperature spray masking paper, sealing of airbags, speaker covers, temporary protective gallbladder, etc.


Die-cutting machines are mainly used in the packaging decoration industry for die-cutting, creasing, and cold pressing of trademarks, paper boxes, greeting cards, etc., which is essential equipment for post-printing packaging processing.

Types of die-cutting machines: Die-cutting machines are mainly divided into three types: round press-round die-cutting, round press-flat die-cutting, flat press-flat die-cutting according to the different embossing forms. They can be classified into vertical and horizontal types based on the form of die placement. According to the degree of automation, they can be divided into manual (semi-automatic) and automatic. In terms of functionality, in addition to die-cutting, some machines also have hot stamping functions, called hot stamping die-cutting machines, some with automatic waste clearing functions, called waste clearing die-cutting machines. The characteristics of round press-round die-cutting machines are direct contact, low die-cutting pressure, high production efficiency, can be linked with printing equipment such as offset presses, flexographic printers, and intaglio presses for in-line die-cutting, hence they have wide application.


First of all, operators should pay attention to dust prevention and cleanliness. In actual production, die-cutting paper boxes will generate a large amount of waste paper edges and paper fluff. If not handled properly, they may enter the chain drive parts, die-cutting platform, and some rotating parts, potentially blocking optical sensors and causing malfunctions. Therefore, cleanliness of the die-cutting machine must be a priority to ensure the machine runs smoothly without any issues.

Secondly, oil change for die-cutting machines. The main action of a die-cutting machine is that the main motor drives the slide bar, pulleys, and then four sets of elbow levers for motion, reaching up to 6,000 sheets per hour at high speed. Without good lubrication and cooling, it can be troublesome.



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