At Midwest Label Supply we perform custom label die cutting services for prime labels, food, beverage, advanced medical applications and additional industrial needs. We perform precision rotary die cutting, flatbed die cutting, plotting, cutting, patterned adhesive laminations and flexographic or digital print with die cut to meet your custom cut label dimensions. Additional applications include laser cutting, laminating, cold forming, embossing, slitting, rewind, shear and crush cut slitting and “soft strike” die cutting for auto-dispense applications.
Our most entry level die cutting is actually a plotter cutter which cuts by tracing the die line of the label. This machine also performs laminating. The nice thing about this type of die cutting machine is that it can perform very small lots of die cutting, such as die cutting of one label or more. Another nice thing about this die cutter is that it is off line and roll to roll. If a die cutter is inline it means that your typical print manufacturer will only bid out projects that do both printing or die cutting. We can do either printing or finishing or both. This means we can sub-contract just die cutting for other label printers and co-packagers. Cut multiple depths within the same cut file for perforations or multi-layer applications as well kiss cutting. We can work with your digital registration to identify cut points.
Our die cut converting is done "on-demand". In fact our entire label, sticker and vinyl printing process is done on-demand. Most label manufacturing can be done in less then a single shift. Our customers can create labels test them and iterate on them for rapid production and prototyping. We only do die cutting on pre-printed rolls of labels. We do not do label blank die cutting.
Rotary die cutting and semi-rotary die cutting is a precise high speed method of manufacturing parts from flexible materials. This technology is at the heart of MLS's core competence. We have built our own machines in a modular format to allow us flexibility in combining processes, ratios and materials to produce a variety of products.
This flexibility means that we can usually find a way to manufacture your products economically in the form that you want. The direction and speed ratio of each station can be changed to make island placement and packaging practical without having a lot of waste.
Other processes such a flexo printing, slitting and stripping can also be added. For simpler jobs, those involving no more than 2 cuts, we have simpler presses. These flexible manufacturing systems mean lower cost set-ups and quick delivery. We typically ship within week of receding materials and tooling for quantities of under a million parts. Rotary die cutting is inherently more accurate than other processes because the tooling is machined from a single piece of hardened tool steel and ground to within tenths of thousandth. The only loss in accuracy comes from slippage and stretch of the material. This can be controlled with experience and good web tension control.
Hot melt adhesive is solid glue at room temperature which is heated until it reaches the consistency of honey (about 10,000 cp) and coated onto various materials. While there are a variety of hot melt adhesive chemistry options and tackiness quality, it is useful to categorize them as pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) or permanent adhesive.
We can work with large custom adhesive makers to make a completely custom label. Lead times may increase for a custom adhesive project. Permanent adhesives are generally used for permanent laminations or to be reactivated with heat for later bonding. Typical uses are closing card board boxes and bonding Formica sheeting to cabinets and counter tops. At room temperatures, permanent adhesives are not tacky. Most are hard to the touch, but some can be rubbery such as the traction strips on the bottom of some socks or gloves.
More commonly used in the converting industry are PSAs. These remain tacky at room temperature and will form a bond to a variety of materials when applied with pressure. These are coated onto materials which will be processed further and bonded to some surface in its final use.
Some of the industries we have worked with to provide custom solutions:
Depending on your needs, you should call around to a few label manufacturers. With advances to die cutting, opportunities for fast digital turnaround can occur. For instance laser die cutting can be done fairly quickly. Custom cutting dies usually cost $50 to $4000, depending on size and complexity. The typical lead time for a die can take one week.
A custom die cut refers to the label material cut out. For instance if you want your label to be a plain circle, there are often off the shelf circular labels available. If however you want your label sticker to be a particular shape you, i.e. the shape of your logo, you may need the label to be custom die cut.