Manufacturers use kiss cutting when they want to pierce the upper layers of material while leaving the back layer intact. They refer to this as kiss cutting because the blade only contacts the top layers of the material. It does so with enough force to make an impression on the material without cutting the bottom layer. Stickers are a good example of items made using this technique.
Machines Used for Kiss Cutting
Any kiss-cutting machine makes a surface that can crack and peel, so the end-user can remove the item and apply it to the desired surface. The digital die-cutting machine used to complete the cut controls the pressure needed to leave the back layer intact. Manufacturers choose from several types of die-cutting machines, including laser cutters and flatbed cutters, when they offer Kiss Cutting Services.
Rotary Die Cutters: Rotary die-cutting machines use a cylindrical die mounted on a rotary press that features an anvil. The user feeds the material into the press, and the machine presses the cutting surface against the material and anvil to create the design. This process produces the desired item rapidly and results in aligned and uniform images.
Flatbed Cutters: Flatbed cutters rely on a steel rule to create the desired design. This steel rule includes sharp metal strips that the user bends into the desired shape. This rule sits on a press with a feeder, cutting station, and die assembly. The feeder puts the material into the press where the cutting plate creates the kiss-cutting impression.
Laser Die Cutters: Laser die cutters create custom shapes efficiently and accurately. The laser creates precise and accurate designs regardless of their complexity while ensuring the depth and dimensions are correct. The user can program the cutter to move in any direction and cut any depth.
Thermal Die Cutters: Thermal die cutters only work on those materials that thermal displacement affects. Controlled heat is used to displace tiny portions of the material until the desired shape is obtained. While concentrated heat is used to achieve this goal, other parts of the material won’t be damaged or distorted.
Cutting Tables: Cutting tables function similarly to flatbed cutters, but there is no die involved. The table features an arm equipped with a cutting tool. As the arm moves, the tool cuts the material. The depth and width of the cut are controlled by the blade selected., and a programmable controller directs the cutting tools. These tables work best with vinyl and film.
Plotter Machines: Plotter kiss cutting machines automatically load and cut materials. Manufacturers find the materials come in a variety of sizes and the machine accepts materials on rolls. The user uploads the design from a thumb drive or computer and sets the shape and depth of the cut on the machine’s programmable interface.
CNC Routers: Computer programming controls computer numerical control routers and dictates what the router cuts. This type of machine works with a range of materials and performs several types of cuts. The individual uses CAD to create a design and the machine translates it into G code instructions. It does so by using horizontal, vertical, and perpendicular coordinates. When the user attaches a kiss-cutting knife cartridge to the machine, the router becomes a kiss-cutting machine.
Kiss-Cutting Presses: Kiss-cutting presses come in both mechanical and hydraulic versions. Both styles use force to cut materials that are hard, solid, or otherwise challenging to form. In addition, the user can adapt the press to allow web feeding. A lower adjustable plate allows the user to set the depth and point of the cut. Rollers on either side of the plate move the material through the machine. When using self-adhesive products, the user benefits from a rewind station. This station collects the material once it has been cut.
Clamshell Machines: To operate a clamshell kiss-cutting machine, the machine operator places the material on a platen and closes the machine. When the two halves press together, the die is pressed into the material. This completes the kiss cut. The machine design varies, but they all operate using the same principle. The operator adjusts the machine to cut materials of different thicknesses.
Kiss-Cutting Dies: However, the machine serves as only one piece of equipment used in kiss cutting. The operator must also use a die, and various options are offered here as well. Steel rule and thermal dies are two choices an operator has, but there are others. They might find a rotary or flexible rotary die better meets their needs.
Why Use Kiss Cutting?
People often want to know what kiss-cutting services are used for. Manufacturers use this technique when creating pressure-sensitive labels and gaskets. Iron-on decal manufacturers turn to kiss cutting, as do manufacturers of adhesive tape. Many items can be created using this technique, and the kiss-cutting service provider will be helpful in determining if this is the right manufacturing process for a specific project.
Material Options: In addition, the person must choose the material appropriate for kiss cutting. Most people think of vinyl when they think of products suitable for this manufacturing process. However, it is only one of many. Butyl rubber and closed cell sponge material also respond well to this cutting technique, as do Viton and foil. Consider using this cutting method with foil, stickers, and foam.
Kiss-cutting is a popular manufacturing method today, as it allows the upper layers of a material to be cut while leaving the back layer intact. The crack and peel surface created by this technique allows for easy removal of the liner, so the finished product can be applied to the desired item by the end-user. The key to success lies in not penetrating the adhesive liner, and many companies in the printing industry rely on this technique for labels and other products.
However, the key lies in knowing which machine and die to use. Furthermore, the provider should also help the client choose the right material to produce the desired results. With many factors playing roles in the success of a project, it’s critical for the person to find the right provider. Their company’s reputation depends on it.