The potential of laser die-cutting and digital finishing

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Laser die-cutting of self-adhesive labels is not new. The first machines showing the technology at Labelexpo exhibitions can be traced back to the mid-1990s, although in the early days it was more of a novelty rather than a practical solution for the high-speed cutting of complex shapes. These early models were not only cutting the label to shape, but laser etching and also cutting windows out of the release liner. They certainly attracted a lot of interest, but were seen as rather slow and expensive at that time, as well as prone to causing brown edges to the die-cut face material, and not always waste stripping effectively.

However, the concept of being able to change the shape of labels on demand and not have to purchase expensive tooling for each shape or size of label – and often delaying the converting line – has long excited the label converter, and now, the folding carton producer. it reduces set-up time and waste through instant make-ready, and it takes away the need to lift and store heavy magnetic cylinders and dies in the workplace. Because there are no tools, there are no costs for tooling, or production delays while tools are manufactured and supplied.