Ram punching is a powerful cutting method used to cut large numbers of small shapes such as labels, envelopes and cards. Unlike die cutting, which cuts one sheet at the time, ram punching is used to cut through a whole pile of paperboard. To avoid waste, the paperboard is first cut down to fit the size of the intended shape.
Laser cutting is the most elaborate cutting method. It permits the finest details and the most complex forms. With the right paperboard almost any pattern can be achieved – only the paperboard sets the limits. The intended design is etched through a copper template, which is positioned over the paperboard sheet. A laser beam then runs back and forth over the template, vaporising the paperboard along the contours of the pattern. A drawback with this method may be that the reverse side is slightly discoloured along the contours of the pattern due to the heat of the laser beam. If you don’t want this discolouring to show, you need to cover it with print – but you can also deliberately incorporate it into the design.
Key paperboard features
Which features do complex forms and latticed designs require in the paperboard? You need strength for the sake of formability. Tearing resistance and surface strength are definite musts to accomplish cut edges without cracks, debris or frays. To achieve cut surfaces as white as the paperboard surface itself, you need to use paperboard made solely from bleached pulp. Otherwise, the somewhat darker middle layers will show. Flatness and dimensional stability are crucial for enabling runnable production.