American Printer's mission is to be the most reliable and authoritative source of information on integrating tomorrow's technology with today's management.

November cover story: Die cutters do more with less, part 2

Nov 1, 2004 12:00 AM

         Subscribe in NewsGator Online   Subscribe in Bloglines

Part 1 | Part 2

Die Cutting Tidbits …
>Larson WorldWide, Inc., a die cutting consultancy, offers an 80-page resource guide with information on 400 associations, federations, institutes and societies involved in more than 70 industries in 76 countries. Each performs some type of flatbed, multi-contour or rotary die cutting. The cost is $60; see or

>Brandtjen & Kluge has developed a safety upgrade package for Kluge presses built between 1960 and 1985 which permits operation in compliance with OSHA's lockout/tagout regulation CFR 1910.147. Kluge presses should not be hand fed. Call (800) 826-7320 or see

>In 2005, the International Assn. of Diecutting and Diemaking will team with the Foil Stamping and Embossing Assn. to present the IADD/FSEA 2005 Odyssey, June 15 to 17 in Atlanta. The technical conference will feature information on foil stamping, embossing, holography, die cutting and die making. See

>Tech-Ni-Fold's Micro-Perforator reportedly offers die-quality perfs on MBO, Stahl, Horizon or MB folders. The Micro Perforator blades slide onto the folder's slitter shaft and can produce up to a 72-teeth-per-inch perf. See

>Arthur Blank & Co. has added a Burkle USA custom-built, high-speed laminator to its 100,000-sq.-ft. production facility. The modular lamination system is capable of producing up to 58,000 sheets of CR80 stock per five-day week with a yield of 4,176,000 standard credit-card sized cards. See

>Rotraboss Inc. distributes Covercrease, a self-adjusting creasing system that can be attached to a saddlestitcher or perfect binder's cover feeder, eliminating offline scoring as well as fiber cracking problems. See

>Got a diecutter? Folders are probably in your future. Our article archive includes “Folder-gluer update,” “What's new with glue?” and more.

How to die cut 500,000 crab legs
According to its four-panel promotional brochure, there are many reasons Virginia residents and tourists eat at Captain George's seafood restaurant. It's a kid-friendly, all-you-can-eat place. But the No. 1 reason is crab legs, Captain George's most popular entrée.

And that was the challenge facing Liskey & Sons Printing (Norfolk, VA), a 20-employee operation that specializes in magazines, brochures and other full-color work. The printer was asked to produce 500,000 brochures featuring an intricate die cut of (you guessed it) a snow crab leg.

While visiting a trade show, Guy Liskey, president of Liskey & Sons, learned about H.S. Boyd's Perf Print Plus (PPP) (Tulsa, OK) system. PPP converts a printing unit into an inline finishing unit. It consists of a mounting jacket (“the Foil”) with a packing set (“the Base Set”); these replace the blanket and blanket packing. The PPP system lets users perforate, die cut and score at full press speed.

Perforating, scoring, cutting and die cutting take place when the blanket cylinder rotates against the impression cylinder. Special sheets protect the impression cylinder. The Foil attaches to the blanket cylinder just as an offset blanket would, and is tightened to recommended specifications. A metric grid contained within the Foil help users align the various tools required for the paper conversion.

Because Liskey Brothers had no experience with this process, the company had some concerns about the installation. But these were allayed quickly. “It worked great, exactly as we expected,” reports Liskey. “The technical support was exceptional and the job was on the press in no time.”

For more information, see or Circle 165 or visit

Offline automatic blanker targets short to midrange jobs
Once a sheet has been die cut, the next step in the finishing process is to separate the good material from the waste (or trim), a process called “blanking.” Short runs can be manually separated offline — long runs are typically blanked inline with the die cutter. For midsize runs, vendors such as Brandtjen & Kluge (St. Croix Falls, WI) offer offline options.

Brandtjen & Kluge is the U.S. distributor for Kawahara Packaging Corp.'s TXR 800/1100 blank separators. These offline machines automatically separate blanks on die-cut sheets of stock without dies or manual labor. The TXR 800 handles a 22 × 33-inch sheet, while the TXR 1100 accommodates a 32 × 43-inch sheet. Using a pin-board system, the blank separator pushes down with equal pressure on a sheet's trim, separating the die-cut shapes from the sheet.

The Kawahara blanking process utilizes two plastic templates that “tell” the machine which pins to use. Pins that hit the waste portion of the die-cut sheet are used, while those that would hit the blanks are not. Here's how it works:

  • The operator positions the first pin template over the die-cut sheet to determine which pins won't be used in the blanking process. The goal is to eliminate as many pins a possible (such as those located partially on the blank and trim) while still maintaining adequate pins for supporting the blanks and pressing the trim.
  • Once the operator determines the best template positioning, he or she uses a permanent marker to indicate where the corners of the die-cut sheet are.
  • Next, referring to these marks, the operator places the die cut sheet on top of the template and squares the sheet to it. Using the supplied white, non-perforated tape, the operator tapes the outer edge of the sheet to the template and removes each blank.
  • To complete the makeready, the operator places the second pin template over the first, and, using the supplied segmented blue tape, tapes off each hole partially on the blank and trim.
  • For job setup, the operator places the template with the blue tape in the machine first. This “tells” the machine which pins aren't needed. Finally, the operator places the template with the attached waste matrix into the machine, enabling it to separate the supporting pins from the pressing pins. Templates can be saved — makereadies for repeat jobs are said to take less than 10 minutes.
For a free CD featuring video demonstrations of the Kawahara TXR 800/1100 makeready process, as well as machine cycling, see Circle 169 or visit

Houston, we have heavy-duty die cutting
Quality was a top priority for Seidl's Bindery (Houston) when the 130-employee trade bindery went shopping for a high-speed platen die cutter. The machine had to be durable enough to run two shifts a day, big enough to handle runs of at least 20,000 full-size sheets and designed for the commercial printing market.

Seidl's ultimately selected a Sanwa TRP-1060-SE. Distributed in the U.S. by Independent Machinery (IMI), (Palatine, IL), the TRP-1060-SE offers a 41.7 × 29.1-inch maximum sheet size (the minimum sheet size is 15.75 × 10.6 inches). The press has a rated speed of 7,000 sph with 330 tons of pressure. Seidl's chose the blanker style, which completely removes the scrap and delivers finished die-cut product on skids.

“The machine came ready to run [the substrates] trade finishers and commercial printers need,” explains Bill Seidl, president. “With the other die cutters we looked at, everything was an add-on because those machines are built for the corrugated industry.”

While Seidl's does little corrugated work, the bindery has used the Sanwa for jobs ranging from 50-lb. text up to 40-pt. stock. “We can convert anything that's been run through [an offset] press,” says Seidl. “We've done a lot of lightweight work with automatic scrapping. When you get to 14-pt. jobs, that's the gravy train.”

Seidl says he was particularly impressed with the Sanwa's registration as well as its quick installation. “The machine arrived on Saturday morning and installation was completed that night. We approved test sheets on Sunday night and went into production at 6:00 a.m. on Monday.”

For more information, see or 170 or visit

Part 1 | Part 2