5 Ways to Better Product Development (with Die Cutting)
Ensure Seamless New Product Development (With Die Cutting)
The process of choosing your die cutting partner is filled with challenges.
Launching a new product with them shouldn't be.
Engage your die cutting supplier at the beginning of a project — it can accelerate implementation, speed sample turnaround, and reduce or even eliminate unexpected last-minute design changes.
Selecting a die cutting partner can be complicated. It should involve considerations deeper than price, quality, and delivery. Today, most die cutting service suppliers can offer value in areas like
- Product Integration
- Delivery Systems
- Product Design
The most sophisticated die cutting manufacturers can also deliver complex engineering solutions, supply chain optimization programs, and value that goes above and beyond a box of finished parts.
Here are 5 Ways You Can Help ensure a seamless new product development process with Your Die Cutting Partner
1. Keep an Open Mind & Manage Expectations
Share your goals and objectives with your die cutting partner up front and be prepared to change your mind.
Die cutters are not known to be sophisticated, with most considered to be "job shops" that make parts based on the design criteria provided by engineers.
We have experience working on numerous projects where a well-established fabricating technology commonly used in one market could be completely foreign to an engineer working in a different market.
A die cutter like JBC Technologies, with decades of experience making parts for multiple markets, can provide a diverse level of expertise unavailable from a supplier that operates almost exclusively in one specific market.
2. Focus on Maximizing Material Utilization
The key to a cost-effective die-cut solution can most often be found in maximizing material utilization — ensuring that more material goes into your parts than goes into the landfill. After all, the material is often the single biggest cost component of a custom die-cut part.
Regarding large-format die-cut parts, a good supplier will explain how the raw material is made, how it can react to die cutting, and how seemingly inconsequential part design changes can often have a negative impact on part yield. Here's an example of the latter:
An engineer might arbitrarily choose a half-inch wall section for a perimeter gasket. Because of this choice, the die cutter can only produce nine parts across the material web (material width), with the tenth part cut short by a half inch.
Your die cutting partner should work with you on your part design to optimize material consumption and the cost per part. If your program calls for millions of parts per year, this can offer significant cost savings over the program's life.
Don’t hesitate to ask your die cutter about design change suggestions they may have that could possibly improve yield.
3. Be Wary of Over-Designing
We want your die-cut parts to be their best, and we'll work to ensure that we select the right materials for the job. But sometimes, especially with material selection, being too conservative can end up costing you money.
Take high-temperature insulation and adhesive tapes, for example. Over-designing or choosing a high-performance material when a standard variation will do can be a costly endeavor. With adhesive tapes, a higher temperature performance usually means a higher price.
Specifying that a tape must perform at the highest anticipated application temperature (especially in a localized area) can result in an expensive and unnecessary design. A lower-temperature adhesive tape can possibly be used where a high temperature is present but only over a small area.
An engineering-minded die cutting expert with product design experience like JBC Technologies can help ease the angst and uncertainty that can often come with using lower-cost material alternatives in unique situations.
4. Don't Overlook Part Presentation & Packaging
Sometimes even the highest quality parts can be damaged or rendered unusable because part presentation, packaging, and shipping were not considered during the design phase.
Parts supplied in tightly wound rolls or on sheets can be neatly and efficiently stacked in boxes for shipment. This technique can prevent damage during shipment and speed up part assembly.
Small die-cut foam parts with adhesive backing can be further improved by kiss cutting. Kiss cutting is similar to making labels. It involves cutting through a substrate like foam while not cutting through the paper liner. Scrap material around the part, called matrix, is removed, leaving the individually cut part adhered to the liner.
Kiss-cutting can be a more expensive presentation option than through-cutting and bagging the individual parts, but the overall savings — packaging, quality, and customer integration — can be significant.
5. Consider Added Value of Automated Assembly Early
Consider whether or not automation and assembly make sense for your parts and application.
Once you've locked in your part's design, the opportunity to take advantage of automated assembly may be lost. That's why it's important that you discuss it with your die cutting partner early on in the development process.
Working with a die cutter experienced in automation and assembly like JBC Technologies can also help your customers to realize process efficiencies and increase production capacity, both of which can be difficult or impossible to achieve using hand assembly methods.
- Vision high-speed inspection systems drive zero-defect quality
- Pick-and-place operations speed installation and increase assembly accuracy
A die cutter willing to provide value-added services like automated assembly can eliminate the hassle of manual assembly, improve supply chain logistics, and increase capacity.
The JBC Technologies Advantage
JBC Technologies is an ISO9001-certified leading material converter, and custom die cutter with over 30 years of experience delivering innovative, high-quality precision die-cut solutions on time and within budget. With locations in 4 states, we serve a diverse group of customers that includes members of the automotive, medical, electronics, HVAC, and appliance industries.
We work hard to maintain an environment of continuous improvement, customized service, and process excellence, all coupled with an intense need to exceed our customers' expectations and push the boundaries of the possible.
JBC makes doing business easy.