Any nameplate or label that goes through our production needs to be cut out from its material. The most common solution for this is a steel rule die. It helps to have an understanding of die cutting so that you are aware of where it can and cannot be used in respect to product labels. This post provides basic information to explain the die cutting process, considerations, and examples of where die cutting is used.
What is Die Cutting for Nameplates?
Die cutting is a fabrication or tooling process which cuts thin metal or plastic material into specific shapes. The resulting nameplate or label is cut to precise dimensions, dictated by the blueprint or artwork design. Any nameplate or label that is manufactured at McLoone starts out decorated on a flat sheet of metal or plastic material.
Steel rule dies are the most common type of tooling for nameplates. A die is made by bending ribbons of steel into a specific shape. The steel is set into a wooden base so that the sharp side is exposed. This creates the cutting surface, similar to how a cookie cutter has a sharp and dull side. The die is set into a clamshell press with appropriate pressure or tonnage in order to cut the parts.
Considerations for Steel Rule Die Cut Nameplates and Labels
Die cut nameplates are produced to match your specific design. Common shapes like rectangles and circles are possible. Unique shapes and cutouts to allow for buttons, screws, and knobs are also available.
- Avoid sharp corners or tight angles. Basic shapes with minimal cutouts are ideal.
- Parts can be cut to the liner.
- Materials need to be less than .032" thick, including adhesive. Metal and plastic options are available in a variety of finishes.
- Allow for part tolerance of ±.015" in dimensions and for any cutouts.
- Nameplate edges may show a pronounced burr.
- The cutting edge can dull over time with prolonged use. Steel rule dies are not recommended for large quantities or thicker materials.
- Steel rule dies are cost effective and typically have a fast turnaround for custom builds.
Examples of Die Cut Nameplates and Labels
Die cutting allows for consistent and accurate production of materials for use in a variety of applications including:
- ID Plates
- Labels and Decals
- Serial, VIN, Property, and Asset Tags
- Graphic Overlays
- Adhesives and Spacers
How Can We Help?
With a full-service tool and die capability and a library of thousands of dies, McLoone builds and maintains steel-rule and pierce dies in-house at less cost than is typically available in the market. We can help identify a cost effective and durable solution to fit your product identification needs.
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