Maintenance For Rotary Die Cutting Equipment

Rotary die cutting equipment is an efficient production tool. It increases productivity while it improves the tolerances of the finished product. When production shops are gearing up to introduce additional equipment, it’s easy to get caught up in the specifications of the new machines, and forget that tolerances can be greatly affected by simple maintenance. Cutting dies and anvil covers need to be handled properly in order to achieve long life and accurate output.

Maintenance also affects the quality of the material support as it moves through the equipment. For instance, anvil covers are commonly made from urethane with a sheet of stainless steel for a backing. If this doesn’t provide the correct amount of deflection when being struck by the die, or it allows the material to slip during processing, misalignment is possible, and the edges of the die-cut parts can be compromised.

Start With a Perfect Installation

Proper maintenance begins with proper installation and setup. No matter how capable the machine, unless it’s installed properly, it can’t possibly deliver the results you’re paying for. If you’re a business that intends to make rotary die cutting equipment a centerpiece of your manufacturing capability, you should consider bringing the machinery manufacturer on board early in the factory floor design process in order to ensure the best results. It can also avoid costly retrofits to work areas that are intended to receive the die cutting machines. Makers of die cutting machines like Baril Corporation offer collaborative arrangements with both installation and operational teams to make sure the equipment works perfectly on its first day in service, and throughout its useful life.

One of the most common mistakes that occur during installation of die cutting equipment is a less than flat and level floor. It’s vital that machines that rely on spinning cylindrical parts to function are firmly affixed to the floor, and that the machine is absolutely plumb and level. Any variation in the orientation of the machine is likely to lead to vibration. This can lead to less precisely cut parts, and also to much shorter lives for important parts like bearings. You can use shims to level die cutting machinery, but the more solidly the machine is in contact with the floor, the more vibration-free it will be during operation.

A Reliable Electric Supply Is Important

Don’t overlook the quality of the power supply. Precision machinery requires steady, reliable power without variations in voltage. Voltage spikes and drops can wreak havoc with performance, and if the machine labors due to low voltage, it can cause dies and anvils to bog down and sometimes strike one another more forcefully than they would at speed.

Once the machine is in place and set up correctly make sure that each and every setup of the die cylinder is done exactly the same way. The number of mounting bolts for any particular cutting die will vary, but it’s absolutely vital that all of the bolts be used. If the die cylinder has broken bolts, you must tap out the holes and put in appropriately size inserts to replace them. Then thoroughly clean the die cylinder to make sure that there is no residue of dust that will cause a variation in height for the die that could affect tolerances.

The dieboard, cutting rule, scrap ejector, and scoring rule all need to be installed with the same eye for detail. No part of the machine is less important than the others if tolerances are to be maintained, and worker safety is to be safeguarded. Once again, use all the recommended mounting bolts for every component.

Tighten all bolts by starting in the center and working out from there. Never tighten any bolts without a torque wrench, whether you’re using pneumatic tools or hand tools. This is important for two reasons. If the bolts are tightened to different tolerances, it can deform the die. It’s also a lot easier to shear off a bolt if you do not limit the torque that can be applied.

Safety First

Don’t work on the anvil covers until you’ve removed the cutting die. You can suffer a serious injury from the sharp edges of the cutting die, and you can also damage it easily with the tools you’re using on the anvil covers. Once again, clean the surfaces before mounting anything. One trapped burr can affect an entire production run, and it can also make it more difficult to install the dies and covers.

Make sure to use the bolts that were supplied with the rotary die cutting equipment. If the actual bolts are not available, make sure their replacements are identical in every way, especially in length. Bolts that are too short won’t have enough threads in contacts with the machine, and they may loosen under the stress of production. This can cause the parts to shift. At first this shift can simply result in lower quality output. If not addressed, continued loosening can have a catastrophic effect on moving parts.

Bolts that are too long are just as bad. The high spots they produce will make the die cut parts inconsistent, and that will lead to the operator to increase the force of the impression to make up for the problem. That will lead to a much shorter life for the expensive dies and covers.

Regular Rotation Is Important

If you want to extend the useful life of the anvil cover, it’s important to institute a program of regular cover rotation. Be careful not to pry the cover off by inserting a tool between the cylinder and the cover. This can permanently mark the cylinder and deform the cover. Covers come with a removal tool that should be used at all times. Don’t rush the process. Compared to the speed of the production runs, regular maintenance doesn’t take very long, and should be performed with an eye towards being careful and exacting.

The amount of impressions that a given machine and die setup can perform before requiring maintenance and rotation of the covers will vary quite a bit depending on the material and other factors. As always, rely on technical help from the manufacturer of the rotary die cutting equipment for guidance in scheduling maintenance. If it’s difficult to estimate the total number of impressions, a weekly or monthly rotation schedule is better than no schedule at all.
Share on Google Plus

About Parvesh Bravo

I am professional blogger share guide about WordPress, blogging tutorial, seo techniques, making money from blog and getting traffic to the blog.