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How the Die Cutter Works

       The Insignia was designed with versatility & production in mind. Everything built into the machine was engineered with the ability to adjust for an absolutely huge range of stocks or materials to be handled, anything from a 50LB cover weight stock to a 30pt card stock and anything in between can be fed, registered and cut on an Insignia machine. 


Starting at the Feeder

       Utilizing a self-contained top suction air feed design, the Insignia is capable of feeding materials anywhere from 0.0025"-0.030" thick (0.063mm - 0.76mm)*. With a self contained Becker air pump, both the volume of blow as well as amount of suction can be individually adjusted to accommodate for differing material characteristics. Each sucker head is adjustable laterally on the machine, as well as vertically if needed. The feeder is governed purely via mechanical phasing, so the timing of the sheets feeding into the cylinder section is ensured to remain accurate and constant. 

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       Each sheet that is fed into the machine passes under a double-sheet detector to ensure more than one sheet is not fed at one time. The rotation of the sucker heads in the feeder of the machine are mechanically linked to the rotation of the cutting cylinders to ensure correct timing of the sheets entering the cylinder section, each time. 

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       Each Insignia machine utilizes a mill-skid style feeder capable of accepting between 38-45" / 97-114cm of material in a single load. Designed to feed off a skid, the feeder can be lowered to the floor and filled via a pallet jack, or by hand. 


Insignia Register System

      Once a sheet is picked up via the sucker heads, it is fed under the two grey drop wheels above beginning the timing throughout the rest of the machine. Because the Insignia machine is purely mechanically functioning, the timing of the machines are ensured to stay consistent. Once the grey drop wheels begin their movement, the sheet is now fed into the machine and runs under a double-sheet detector that functions on proximity, not optics. Within 30 seconds it can be set to any caliper of material, including coated, laminated, spot UV or uneven surfaces as well as flood black printed sheets, clear or transparent materials as well as reflective surfaces. 

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       After feeding, the sheets will enter the register section of the Insignia machines. Each Insignia machine registers sheets in a similar fashion to an offset-press, utilizing a guide & grip system. Referring to the above image;

#1 depicts the front "head stops" of the machine. These stops are on an eccentric movement, and are capable of moving the total cut "north/south" or up and down on the sheet, or could also be used to influence an angle to the sheet, or to counter-skew to match any print error.

#2 is the side pull guide of the register system, and #3 is the micro-adjustment of the side pull guide. The gold pin on the right side of the pull guide is what each sheet is pulled up against. The micro-adjustment moves the side guide block 1/128th of an inch with each click for fine tuning of the registration location.  

       The side pull guide can pull to either the left or the right with a few minute change on the machine, or for Insignia7 machines a second "B Guide" is available as well if the machines are finishing work off of more than one printing press. 

       The black thumb screw on top of the #2 side pull guide is a pressure adjustment to account for changing thickness in materials being ran. The guide is able to be de-tensioned to compensate for very light weight materials to ensure no buckling for a consistent register, inversely it can be tightened down for a positive pull on thicker substrates such as laminates & plastics. 

       The last step in the register process is a set of gripper fingers housed in the lower cylinder that come around and grab the leading edge of each sheet & pull it through the cylinder section, so each sheet is 100% controlled during the cutting process. The gripper margin on any Insignia machine is 0.5" or 12.7mm. 

GIF of left-hand pull register on Insignia machines. Head stops are stopping lead edge of sheet, guide is pulling to a register pin & the gripper fingers are grabbing & pulling each sheet through the cutting cylinders. 

GIF of left-hand pull register on Insignia machines. Head stops are stopping lead edge of sheet, guide is pulling to a register pin & the gripper fingers are grabbing & pulling each sheet through the cutting cylinders. 

Each sheet is pulled to a physical register point, which allows the Insignia machines to hold register tolerances near perfect. 

Each sheet is pulled to a physical register point, which allows the Insignia machines to hold register tolerances near perfect. 

Shown above pulling sheets to the left hand side, Insignia machines are capable of registering to the left or right hand side of the sheet with a 5 minute adjustment to accept work from multiple printing presses. 

Shown above pulling sheets to the left hand side, Insignia machines are capable of registering to the left or right hand side of the sheet with a 5 minute adjustment to accept work from multiple printing presses. 

Slow motion of the gripper finger system housed in the lower cylinder of all Insignia machines grabbing the leading edge of each sheet as it is pulled through the cutting cylinders. This allows for maximum control of the material as it is being processed. 

Slow motion of the gripper finger system housed in the lower cylinder of all Insignia machines grabbing the leading edge of each sheet as it is pulled through the cutting cylinders. This allows for maximum control of the material as it is being processed. 


How The Flexible Dies Come on/off

Application of flexible dies:

Shown is an Insignia5 machine accepting a flexible die. The die shown is mounted into a recessed scribe line that ensures parallelism of the die to the cylinder, and the die is slid laterally to align center marks on both die and cylinder. 

Shown is an Insignia5 machine accepting a flexible die. The die shown is mounted into a recessed scribe line that ensures parallelism of the die to the cylinder, and the die is slid laterally to align center marks on both die and cylinder. 

Removal of flexible dies:

Insignia5 flexible die being removed from the cylinder. Flexible dies are held onto cylinders purely via magnetism. 

Insignia5 flexible die being removed from the cylinder. Flexible dies are held onto cylinders purely via magnetism. 

Shown above is a dual magnetic Insignia6 die mounting via external pin system. Because a paired set of die tools must align virtually perfectly, these sets of flexible dies are mounted via pins. 

Shown above is a dual magnetic Insignia6 die mounting via external pin system. Because a paired set of die tools must align virtually perfectly, these sets of flexible dies are mounted via pins. 


How the Insignia machine maintains phasing/timing

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       All Insignia machines rely on and are governed via mechanical timing rather than electronic or optic controls. Because of this mechanical timing, Insignia machines do not struggle with any type of clear, reflective or matte black materials being ran through the machine, and are also able to be serviced by many service technicians not necessarily familiar with the Insignia machines themselves. 

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       Gearing, chain linking, cam following and spring tensioners are the governing devices for the timing within the Insignia machines, all relying on pure mechanical movements and mechanisms. There are no servo motors to go down or optic eyes to fail requiring an electrical engineer to trouble-shoot. An Insignia machine can be serviced via an auto mechanic if necessary. 

Production-grade engineering:

       Insignia machines weigh between 3,000 - 5,500lbs depending on size of machine (die cutting section only). The machines are built with 1.5-2.5" (38-64mm) thick solid side-frames to support the cylinder section. When die cutting materials of density, tremendous forces are required to withstand the pressures neeed to die cut all the way through the substrate. This is why the Insignia machines are capable of applying up to 3,000lbs of downward force directly to the upper magnetic cutting cylinder to ensure the flexible dies can cut through whatever it is desired to do. 

       The Insignia machines are built 100% in the USA using all American sourced components.