The die cutting and creasing process is where the printed sheet begins to take on the true appearance of a piece of packaging. Graphic Packaging International’s latest investment in state-of-the-art post-press equipment comes in the shape of the Bobst ExpertCut 106PER, a machine that plays a vital part in the conversion of high quality printed board into the finished pack by accurately cutting and creasing the final shape of the carton, including “windows” where appropriate, at up to 9,000 full size sheets per hour. ExpertCut systems are installed in both Bardon and Gateshead facilities.
The flat sheet is fed into the system via the Power Register II, a “lay-free” dynamic register system, registering die-cutting to the print on the sheet instead of to the edge of the board. The new register system helps to ensure that the sheet is accurately placed in relation to the cutting and creasing die – a specially designed form that contains various cutting and creasing rules. A cam driven platen and “Smart Feeder” ensure uninterrupted production.
Sufficient pressure is applied to ensure that the cutting rules pierce the sheet completely whilst the creasing rules partially penetrate the sheet in order to create a “bead” and distort the structure along the line of the desired fold. The cutting rules might create window cuts in the pack as well as the outer shape of the carton.
Waste board is removed from around the pack shape via the dynamic stripping section with individual folding cartons being separated and placed on a pallet at the blanking station. All waste elements of the sheet are recycled. This leaves the shape of the flat pack, with creasing marks in place for subsequent folding as part of the folding and gluing process.
Where window cuts have been incorporated in the cutting and creasing process, window patching will be the next part of the process – where clear acetate or film is adhered to the inside of the flat carton.