Die cutting machine for parking permits and possibly scoring

Kaylene

Member
I work for a college. I am a graphic designer running the Design and Print Center. I was approached to see if I could start producing the college's parking permits (similar to a door hanger). These are printed on various colors of coverstock. I need to find a die cutting machine for this purpose (they order about 14,000 parking permits each year). I don't want to order the perforated variety that Xerox sells and spend tons of time punching them out.

I noticed that some die cutters can also score or perforate, which would be nice since I print quite a bit of notecards, etc. - but this is not a requirement.

I'd like to be able to find other products I can create with the die cutter too. I need something that is not incredibly costly (under $5000 if possible). I am just at a loss of exactly what I need without going overboard.

I would appreciate any assistance you can give me. Thanks!
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
Hi Kaylene and welcome to the forum.
A digital die cutter will give you the greatest flexibility, with die cutting, kiss cutting and scoring capabilities. Look at the Vivid Veloblade and Duplo PFI-blade products. You will need to increase your budget though.
Alternatively, a rotary die cutter may be suitable and more friendly to your budget, if you are always cutting the same shapes.
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
Classic problem.
If you spend $10,000 today and run 15,000 permits - the first year they cost you 0.66 each - to die cut.
If you spend $10,000 toady and run 15,000 permits for 5 years they cost 0.13 per permit - to die cut.
So maybe the BEST option is to NOT spend $10,000 and partner with a 'local' print shop to do the die cutting.
Just my 0.02 worth. But the math and the ROI equation won't lie. Make a decision and get your work done.
:)
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
Classic problem.
If you spend $10,000 today and run 15,000 permits - the first year they cost you 0.66 each - to die cut.
If you spend $10,000 toady and run 15,000 permits for 5 years they cost 0.13 per permit - to die cut.
So maybe the BEST option is to NOT spend $10,000 and partner with a 'local' print shop to do the die cutting.
Just my 0.02 worth. But the math and the ROI equation won't lie. Make a decision and get your work done.
:)
It's not quite that simple though, is it?

Assuming your asset depreciation on capital purchases is 25% reducing balance,
  • If you spend $10,000 today, you'll see a $2,500k charge in this year's accounts + maybe a revenue charge if for example you need to run a new radial circuit to the machine location.
  • Next year, you'll see a $1,875 charge, plus probably also a revenue charge for an annual maintenance agreement, that was free for the first year
  • In year 3 the depreciation charge is $1,400 and the annual maintenance is 5% higher than the previous year.
  • Fast forward to year seven, when temptation for the latest technology wins, the book value of your asset is just $1,330, but you sell it on the s/h market or trade it in for $3,500, giving you $2,165 to offset against year one depreciation on your new toy (which is $3,500 as the new asset costs $14,000
  • and so the cycle goes around again...
So, assuming even-ish volumes, the actual cost per item doesn't fluctuate all that much over the term.
 

kslight

Well-known member
I’d vote for vending it out unless you had a lot more work planned for it (which case I’d also definitely want a more robust machine than $5000 would buy, on the new market at least).

Most letterpress shops will already have a die for something like what you want. At the shop I use, a simple die cut job would only be a few hundred bucks to run ($150 more one time if they had to make a die, but if you use a standard shape then that cost shouldn’t exist).
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
In the case of the OP's current volume of 14,000 die cut permits per year, IMO the deciding factor on whether to consider bringing in house will be based on frequency and convenience.
If the 14,000 permits is say one order per quarter for 3-4k permits, then outsourcing probably makes sense and is little hassle.
If however smaller quantities are required most weeks, on demand, or if (like we were before buying a Veloblade) the OP is fed up with relying on a supplier's poor courier service causing missed deadlines, then bringing in house could be a no-brainer.
Since bringing kiss- and die-cutting inhouse, our creativity has flourished and the ability to make one-off samples of new ideas and show them the next day has been invaluable and brought new opportunities.
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
It's not quite that simple though, is it?

Assuming your asset depreciation on capital purchases is 25% reducing balance,
  • If you spend $10,000 today, you'll see a $2,500k charge in this year's accounts + maybe a revenue charge if for example you need to run a new radial circuit to the machine location.
  • Next year, you'll see a $1,875 charge, plus probably also a revenue charge for an annual maintenance agreement, that was free for the first year
  • In year 3 the depreciation charge is $1,400 and the annual maintenance is 5% higher than the previous year.
  • Fast forward to year seven, when temptation for the latest technology wins, the book value of your asset is just $1,330, but you sell it on the s/h market or trade it in for $3,500, giving you $2,165 to offset against year one depreciation on your new toy (which is $3,500 as the new asset costs $14,000
  • and so the cycle goes around again...
So, assuming even-ish volumes, the actual cost per item doesn't fluctuate all that much over the term.
And I agree, after purchase, between the depreciation cycle and maintenance costs, the cost per year changes some small amount- each year - roughly $0.17 in your example.
But this could be depreciated much more quickly - one year.
And to make it a simple analysis comparing actual run costs with their associated differences BEFORE purchasing the equipment and BEFORE having actual run numbers, etc. I believe my B.O.T.E. (back of the envelope) works acceptably.
It is a relatively small purchase compared to other printing equipment purchases which do necessitate a more complete cost analysis.
As long as you understand the limitations of each type of calculation.
 
Last edited:

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
But this could be depreciated much more quickly - one year.
I don't know anything about accounting standards and policies t'other side of the pond, but you couldn't (legitimately) do that in the UK.
Important here not to confuse depreciation with deferred taxation on capital allowances.
By definition, depreciating the asset in one year would be stating there is no residual value at the end of said year. Be that the case, the purchase would be revenue and not capex at the outset.
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
I'd like to be able to find other products I can create with the die cutter too. I need something that is not incredibly costly (under $5000 if possible). I am just at a loss of exactly what I need without going overboard.
Hi Kaylene. For your environment, I'd recommend going with a digital die cutter instead of a rotary die cutter so you don't have to make dies for every job. A digital die cutter uses a drag knife on a flatbed instead. They are slower, but lower cost in the long run as dies can cost hundreds each. This model sold by Duplo is sold under several different labels. Graphic Whizard has the Sinajet DF0604-MT and they tend to be lower cost than Duplo. Unfortunately, I don't think any of these, or any reliable production level die cutter is going to fall within your $5,000 budget. I think going with the BlanksUSA pieces that @gregbatch recommended is your best bet. We use those here and we don't punch out the holes. We leave them in and the customer can do it as they go to hang it up. We just have to cut down the sheets to size.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
Hi Kaylene. For your environment, I'd recommend going with a digital die cutter instead of a rotary die cutter so you don't have to make dies for every job. A digital die cutter uses a drag knife on a flatbed instead. They are slower, but lower cost in the long run as dies can cost hundreds each. This model sold by Duplo is sold under several different labels. Graphic Whizard has the Sinajet DF0604-MT and they tend to be lower cost than Duplo. Unfortunately, I don't think any of these, or any reliable production level die cutter is going to fall within your $5,000 budget. I think going with the BlanksUSA pieces that @gregbatch recommended is your best bet. We use those here and we don't punch out the holes. We leave them in and the customer can do it as they go to hang it up. We just have to cut down the sheets to size.
They have product that is already punched out, which is the price I quoted. Best to get a sample and see if it runs OK in your machine. Sometimes you have to run it short edge feed, and also try rotating 180. Some sensors are not in the middle.
 

jimas67

Well-known member
I work for a college. I am a graphic designer running the Design and Print Center. I was approached to see if I could start producing the college's parking permits (similar to a door hanger). These are printed on various colors of coverstock. I need to find a die cutting machine for this purpose (they order about 14,000 parking permits each year). I don't want to order the perforated variety that Xerox sells and spend tons of time punching them out.

I noticed that some die cutters can also score or perforate, which would be nice since I print quite a bit of notecards, etc. - but this is not a requirement.

I'd like to be able to find other products I can create with the die cutter too. I need something that is not incredibly costly (under $5000 if possible). I am just at a loss of exactly what I need without going overboard.

I would appreciate any assistance you can give me. Thanks!
 

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