September 2011

Tips for Die Cutting Success

The value of die cutting lies in its versatility. It can be used to create index tabs, pocket folders, rolodex cards, book covers with windows – the list is virtually endless. Wielding the power of die cutting, printers can create finished products that are both attractive and functional.

Effective die cutting can help you create distinctive products like these.

Die cutting is a core competency at
E& M Bindery. Read on for our tips on making sure your next die cutting project is a success.

The Three "G"s
When planning your die cutting project, remember to mark the three "G"s - gripper, guide and grain - clearly on uncut press sheets. We recommend using a 5/8" gripper margin for most die cutting equipment with a 3/4" side guide. The 5/8" gripper is to the first knife only. We cannot grip in glue flap area, because these areas allow the equipment to hold your press sheets securely during cutting, allowing for more efficient production.

Though paper grain direction is usually obvious to experienced operators, be sure to always mark it clearly. Cross-grain scoring can be problematic, especially on recycled papers and stock with a lot of filler material, so give your finisher a "heads-up" by clearly marking this grain direction.

Don't Forget to Register
Placing registration marks - which look similar to crop marks - on printed forms can help operators create more precise cuts. Whenever possible, place register marks in trim-off areas. If the image area happens to take up the entire sheet (besides gripper and guide margins), locate register marks where they will be covered by a glue tab or otherwise obscured.

Supply Uncut Press Sheets
Most printers trim sheets reflexively once they come off press, but this practice can cause problems during die cutting. Gripper and side guides are more consistent on uncut press sheets, making it much easier for operators to match registration marks and deliver greater die cutting consistency.

The E & M Bindery Die Cutting Advantage
With a high-speed Bobst press and a library of in-house dies, E & M Bindery & Finishing is your full-service die cutting solution. We can cut sheets up to 28" x 40" at high production speeds. Call E & M Bindery today to discuss your next die cutting application.

Stitching Binding
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