A few weeks ago we were asked by a potential new customer if we could cut Fabric. This is a common question and one i always tend to worry about because the answer is always "it depends". The variable inputs include how firm the fabric is, whats the thickness of the fabric and how detailed the cuts need to be. Also, there is always a "surprise" with cutting fabric - something that crops up unexpected.
This customer www.fleeceworks.com wanted a series of parts making using the same fabric but with different designs and different material thicknesses. We and the customer were up for the challenge to see if Die Cutting was the best option to manufacture the parts. There were 3 different parts using 3 different thicknesses (1/4", 1/2", 3/4") of Fabric that were required.
We met with the customer and had a few discussions of how to produce the best service in terms of optimizing the material yield while still keeping the unit cost as low as possible. The surprise was that the Fabric arrived at the shop in large quantities in 60" widths and in lengths up to 72 feet - a challenge of handling and storage. But, we have a very "get the job done" attitude" and so we spent time before taking the best action.
Our solution was to make 1 die of the 2 similar design parts "nested" together on a 4 up die so that every time we hit the die we made 4 parts. The other larger part was put on another die using common rule to minimize the material being used. We succeeded in producing the best possible yield at the lowest possible cost.
The lesson we learned is that Die Cutting Fabric is very possible but "it all depends".
About the Author
With over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, Martin Chell brings a wealth of knowledge to his client projects. He has worked with large companies including Qualcomm and completed projects in a variety of aerospace, biotech and other applications.
“The die cut samples look great.” ~ Aquapail
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