TechTalk #4: Folding Carton
At Wilson, we’re always focused on the technical aspects of flexography. TechTalk is your quick snapshot of key topics in our industry. Let us know what you think.
Folding Carton: Is This Emerging Trend Right for You?
Folding carton is growing in popularity across the industry. Before deciding whether you should jump on this trend, here are a few questions you may want to consider.
Do I have the right press?
Most presses are rated for a range of material thickness. Since most presses are made for making labels, the range is typically between .004″ to .010″ thick. Anything thicker than what your press is capable of handling can cause pacing and registration issues.
Do I have a removable anvil roll in the sheeter station?
This allows you to run as a one-step die with the male creasers and cutting blades on the top tool while running the female grooves for creasing in the anvil position. If you don’t have a removable anvil in the sheeter station, you’ll have to first run a male-female set and then the perimeter cut.
How will the carton be folded?
Answering this question is critical when considering the crease. For machine folding, if the carton is made from tag or paper, it must be a male-female crease. In general, all plastic materials that need to be folded must include a cut crease (cut 50% into the material) or perforation crease. Male-female creases and crush creasing does not work on plastic as the material has too much memory.
How should the perimeter shape be situated on the tool?
If you are able to put some degree of shew on the shape (ie. the cross blades do not run exactly 90 degrees from the web), this will deliver lower cutting force and longer life. The issue, however, is that it might make delivery more difficult on the end of the press. If you are trying to stack the cartons with a stacker, skewing the shape on the tool may make the stacker work improperly.
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