In the label industry, laser die-cutting technology has developed into a reliable, functional process, and even become a sharp tool for label printing enterprises to attract customers. In recent years, with the continuous development of packaging printing, new technologies such as digital printing and laser technology have been widely used in this field, and the market application has been constantly explored.
Laser die cutting is widely used
Laser die cutting can be widely used in labels, stickers, adhesives, reflective materials, industrial tapes, gaskets, electronics, abrasives, shoemaking, etc. In the label printing industry, die-cutting machines and printing equipment are equally important and play a very important role in product quality. For label printing, die-cutting machine occupies a pivotal position.
Numerous label materials suitable for laser die cutting have appeared on the market. Different materials have better response to different wavelengths and types of laser. The next step of laser die cutting technology will be the evolution of laser frequencies suitable for die cutting various materials. The biggest advancement of laser die-cutting technology is its ability to precisely control the energy of the laser beam, thereby effectively preventing label backing paper from being damaged. Another development is the optimization of the laser die-cutting workflow. In order to quickly change from one material to another by die cutting, the material being die-cut needs to establish a database that not only contains the parameters of the material itself, but also the appropriate laser beam energy level required when die-cutting these materials .
Advantages of laser die cutting
In traditional die-cutting methods, operators need to spend time on changing die-cutting tools, and this also increases labor costs. For laser die-cutting technology, operators can experience the advantages of changing die-cutting shape and size at any time online. It is undeniable that laser die cutting does have a series of advantages in terms of time, space, labor cost, and loss. In addition, the laser die-cutting system can be easily connected with the digital printing press. Generally speaking, like digital printing, laser die cutting is also suitable for processing short-run jobs.
Laser die-cutting technology is not only suitable for short-run jobs, but also very suitable for newly developed products that require high die-cutting precision or high-speed change orders. This is because laser die cutting does not waste time on the mold. A major advantage of laser die cutting technology is that it saves time for order replacement. Laser die-cutting can complete die-cutting from one shape to another on-line without stopping the machine. The benefits it brings are: label printing companies no longer have to wait for a new mold delivered from the processing plant, and no longer have to waste unnecessary materials in the preparation phase.
Laser die cutting is a non-contact die cutting method with high precision and stability. There is no need to make a die plate, and it is not limited by the complexity of the graphics, and it can achieve the cutting requirements that cannot be completed by the traditional die cutting machine. Since the laser die cutting is directly controlled by the computer, there is no need to change the knife template, which can realize rapid switching between different layout jobs, saving the time of changing and adjusting the traditional die cutting tools. Laser die cutting is especially suitable for short-run and personalized die-cutting.
Since the laser die-cutting machine can store the cutting program compiled by the computer, when re-production, only need to call up the corresponding program to perform cutting, so as to achieve repeated processing. Since the laser die-cutting machine is controlled by a computer, it can realize low-cost, fast die-cutting and prototyping.
In contrast, the cost of laser die cutting is very low. The maintenance rate of the laser die cutting machine is extremely low. The key component – laser tube, has a service life of more than 20,000 hours. The laser tube is also very convenient to replace. In addition to electricity, there are no various consumables, various auxiliary equipment, various uncontrollable costs, and the use cost of the laser die cutting machine is almost negligible. Laser die-cutting has a wide range of application materials. Non-metallic materials include self-adhesive, paper, PP, PE, etc. Some metal materials, including aluminum foil, copper foil, etc., can also be die-cut with a laser die-cutting machine.
The era of laser die cutting is coming
The biggest advantage of laser die cutting is that the cutting pattern can be set arbitrarily under the control of the computer. There is no need to make a template, which eliminates the trouble of making a knife mold, and greatly shortens the time for die-cutting samples and delivery. Because the laser beam is very fine, it can cut all kinds of curves that the mechanical die cannot complete. Especially with the development of digital printing technology, coupled with the current printing industry’s increasingly small batches, short runs and individual needs, traditional post-press mechanical die-cutting is becoming increasingly unsuitable. Therefore, digital post-printing represented by laser die cutting technology came into being.
The working principle of laser cutting is to focus the energy on a point, so that the point is quickly vaporized due to high temperature. The relevant parameters of the laser beam are stored in the system as the basis for cutting objects of different shapes. Everything about laser die cutting technology starts with software: the software controls the power, speed, pulse frequency and position of the laser beam. For each material being die-cut, the program parameters of laser die-cutting are specific. Specific parameter settings can change the result of each single job, and at the same time can obtain the best performance of the product in the finishing process.
Laser die cutting is a continuation of the digital process, which begins with the digital printer. In In the past, it was difficult to imagine a label printing company processing 300 short-run orders every day. Nowadays, more and more label printing companies have introduced digital printing machines, and have also put forward new requirements for the speed of subsequent die cutting. Laser die cutting, as a post-processing procedure of digital printing, enables users to seamlessly adjust jobs on-the-fly, because users can have a PDF file that contains the entire job processing workflow.
Digital laser die-cutting system can efficiently perform full-cutting, half-cutting, perforation, scribing and other processes without interruption of production. The production cost of simple shapes and complex shapes is the same. In terms of rate of return, end users can directly control medium and short-run production without having to save a large number of die-cutting boards, and can respond to customer requirements immediately. From the perspective of technological maturity, the era of laser die cutting technology has come and is booming. Nowadays, label printing enterprises begin to take laser die-cutting technology as a competitive advantage. At the same time, the material supply for laser die cutting is also growing rapidly.
In the era of industry 4.0, the value of laser die cutting technology will be more deeply explored. Laser die cutting technology will also get greater development and create more value.