Die cutting machinery must increase in size if it is to meet the changes demanded by the market, says David Beynon, director of Daco Solutions. The market drivers pushing the physical boundaries of die cutter design are two-fold, he maintains.
“There is a crippling lack of even semi-skilled labour out there capable of operating expensive machinery. Like it or not, there is no option but to take the human factor out of the equation,” he says. The second market dynamic is cost. Higher capacity machines will be a fact of life to counteract the effects of rising label stock prices. “Over the last three years paper prices have rocketed. This has had a direct effect on the price of paper label stock.” Beynon predicts that the next five years will see a marked shift towards wider web widths and bigger unwinds. A typical 450mm (18”) unwind a few years ago increased to 700mm (27.5”) which is now the norm and we are now supplying machines with 1m (40”) on a regular basis. “Five years ago label producers were buying 250mm (10”) machines. Customers have since seen their profits decrease, particularly following the recession. We all need to work smarter and more efficiently and that means higher capacity machines with a lower unit production price.” Daco Solutions has put its R&D money where its mouth is by developing the PLD350, semi-automatic turret rotary die cutter with an auto cut and apply head, job storage, 700mm (27.5”) unwind and an optional 1m (40”) unwind with integral roll lift. In anticipation of wider webs and heavier dies, Daco is considering for the first time working with partners that specialise in roll lifters and die hoists. “A solution will have to be found for the weight issue,” concludes David Beynon.