Diecutting: All About Precision

The diecutter is another of the more fascinating aspects of a printing job because these amazing machines do so many things simultaneously. In a single pass through the diecutter, a sheet is scored, embossed, cut, and scrapped, all at virtually the same time. What enters is a printed sheet, but what comes out is a nearly-finished carton, needing only to be glued and folded.


Here, all of the job’s planning and preparation is put to use. The press sheet layout, the blueprint by which the sheet was printed, is sent to a die maker, who constructs the cutting die specifically for the job being run.

Like a massive industrial cookie-cutter, a cutting die is pressed down onto the press sheet. Sharp cutting rule is bordered by soft rubber, preserving the carton’s finish as it is cut. Rounded scoring rule presses down to form the scores, while a counter plate below — with a groove in the shape of the score — presses up, holding the rest of the carton steady around the scores. Wooden stripping boards push out hanger holes and windows, and the sheet’s scrap is separated from the cartons by the blanking module…all in a heartbeat. The diecutter then drops the flat cartons in its delivery area, forming neat stacks ready to be loaded into the gluer.