Skip to main content

7 Answers to Your Questions about Hook & Loop Die Cutting

Whether you’re new to the concept of Hook & Loop die cutting, need some clarification, or have a specific question about the process, our latest blog provides you with some answers.

Let’s assume we all know what Hook & Loop is. So what does it mean to die cut it? Let’s start with some frequently-asked questions…

What Is Die Cutting?

Die cutting is a process using a machine to mass-produce cut-out shapes. You can create the same shape, with the exact same dimensions, over and over without using scissors, stencils, or a craft knife. It saves time and produces a professional and consistent result.

Who Invented It?

It all began in the mid-1800s as a way to streamline the shoemaking industry. The soles of shoes were cut out of leather by hand which was a time-consuming, laborious and expensive process. The invention of the die cutting machine revolutionized shoemaking, enabling mass production and brought about the standard shoe sizing which exists today.

As technology advanced through the 1900’s the hand crank machine made it possible to use dies of multiple shapes and sizes. This allowed cobblers to create any part of the shoe with the same machine. Shoes became easier to make and much more affordable. Finally in 1977 Bob and LaDorna Eichenberg invented the first hand-operated unit for consumers. Ever since die cutting machines have continuously advanced, and with the help of modern technology have transformed manufacturing in many industries.

Where is It Used?

Die cutting is widely used in manufacturing, ranging from print material to electronics to large automobile parts. In heavy manufacturing, industrial strength die cutting machines deliver speed and reliability while being able to withstand an intense workload.

Typical Applications for Die-Cut Hook & Loop 
  • Acoustical Insulation
  • Automotive, RV and Boat interiors
  • Aircraft Interiors & Insulation
  • Cable & Wire Management
  • Electrical Components and Enclosures
  • Electronics
  • Filters & Media
  • Flexible & Reusable Packaging
  • Furniture & Seating
  • Medical Equipment & Devices
  • Military Gear
  • Plastic Injection and Blow Molding

You can also check out this short video to see Halco’s die cutting in action.

What is Rotary Die Cutting?

In simple terms it’s a high-speed method of cutting using a spinning cylinder-shaped die which is ideal for high-volume orders. Known for its precision tolerances, this process can perform multiple operations in a single pass allowing rapid production runs. Rotary die cutting is also an excellent method of producing kiss cut parts.

What does it Cost?

Think of die cutting as an investment in improved productivity. There are a few upfront costs involved but the production expense per unit is very low so the payback can be quick.

In-house vs Outsourcing – Which Is Better?

As specialists in turn-key Hook & Loop solutions we believe in the economics of outsourcing, but we also realize it’s important that you have the facts, so you can decide what’s best for you. Here are some things you must consider:

Buy the Equipment

Investing in your own machinery can be expensive, with equipment running anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a simple DIY unit to $40,000+ for a machine suitable for commercial production. Then you’ve got to hire an operator and train them how to use it. As manufacturing cycles vary, downtime can quickly erode the financial case behind the investment. Also, working alongside fast moving parts raises the risk of injury, with a host of OSHA regulations to be aware of. Lack of compliance can lead to severe fines or even a plant shutdown.

Outsource the Work

The main cost in outsourcing is creating the die. Hook & Loop dies can range anywhere between $300-$600 each, depending on the design and cutting method. Halco uses Rotometrics, the industry leader for rotary dies in North America. Typically a minimal cutting fee is built into the price of the finished goods.

Some companies will charge a setup fee on projects requiring multiple prototypes or design changes. Due to the complexities involved those fees are usually quoted on a case by case basis.

Is Die Cutting Right for My Business?

Generally, the economics of die-cutting make it a no-brainer for even the simplest production runs. Labor costs add up quick, and wherever simple handwork can be replaced by automation the effects on the bottom line can be seen almost immediately. For literally pennies on the dollar you’re eliminating production bottlenecks while improving quality control.

In some cases every job is different and needs can vary. In those situations die-cutting may not be the answer. It really depends on the business you’re in.

Our Approach

Halco specializes in the converting of reclosable fasteners into a vast range of shapes and sizes to suit any requirement. We die cut a variety of Hook & Loop materials, either sew-on or adhesive, all uniquely designed for your application. Adhesive versions can be supplied in continuous rolls on a peel-away liner or kiss cut on rolls or as individual pieces.

Halco has also partnered with 3M offering customized die cutting of Dual Lock , Scotchmate and 3MGripping Material for applications where those fasteners are specified.

Examples of 3M Die Cut Dual Lock Fasteners

Examples of 3M Die Cut Dual Lock Fasteners

Flexibility Is Key

We have found almost every business is unique, along with the projects they work on. With that in mind Halco offers the lowest die cutting minimums in the industry. Whether we’re collaborating with small startups or large manufacturers we’ve taken pains to lower the entry barrier and make die-cutting viable for every business.

The biggest value you can get out of any solution will always come back to your workforce. Are they empowered to focus on core high value activities? At Halco we’re committed to enabling our clients to outperform by replacing low value activities with automation. What we like about die cutting is the results show up quickly on the customers bottom line.

To get a free custom analysis of your own, contact our Sales Team.