Fabric Die Cutting compared to NC Cutting Operational Efficiency , Cost & Quality Comparison

Benefits of Fabric Die Cutting

Cut Part Quality

  • Superior Accuracy
  • Superior Consistency
  • Not Impacted by Complexity
  • Preferred by Sew staff
  • Unlimited Hole Sizes
  • Unlimited internal shapes
  • Low Scrap
  • Ease of Use

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  • No Need to Monitor Numerous and Complicated Performance Factors
  • Simple Labor with No Specialized Training
  • Minimal Maintenance and Consumables
  • No Need for Support and / or Maintenance Contracts
  • Production Flexibility

Fast – Up to 40 Markers / hour

  • Easy Schedule Adjustments
  • Easy Personnel Changes
  • High Throughput
  • 1 Press Equals 8-10 Cutters
  • Low WIP
  • Scalable Footprint

Cutting Options

Here we will review the advantages of Die Cutting Fabric Material vs NC Cutting.


The global Auto Interior Trim industry uses high-density cutting boards in manufacturing interior trim and seating component. High-density cutting boards with sharpened steel cavities that are either embedded into the board or mounted on top. These cavities have been carefully shaped to cut the fabric pieces as precisely as needed.

There are many different perspectives about cutting technologies many of which are inaccurate.
This difference in opinions is generally based on old, anecdotal “rules of thumb” from a time when cost studies were extremely basic and usually missing many of the important costs that actually have a big impact.

Die Boards

Single-Stroke Die Cutting

A single-stroke cutting press cuts the entire marker – up to 5.8m in length – all at once. The SCHWABE USA Straight Ram Hydraulic Beam Press is world renowned as the largest, most powerful press for cutting fabric, and at less than 1 minute, it provides the fastest cycle time available today.

SIngle Stroke

Incremental Die Cutting

Progressive or Incremental die cutting cuts in sections on a SCHWABE USA Straight Ram Hydraulic Beam Press with the addition of a fully automated DieVac™ system, a beam press cuts with the same incredible accuracy of a single-stroke press.

Die Vac Cutting

These precision cutting dies are built to close tolerances for accurately cut parts, with premium steel and die board for long life, and are designed to be maintenance free.
*Well defined notches in whatever size is needed
*Consistent, perfectly round holes in many sizes
*All plies within tolerance
*Very low rejection rate
*Proprietary steel cavities for consistent, repeatable parts year after year
*+/- 1mm or better cut part tolerance
*Easier sewing = faster sew cycles and better finish quality
*Fewer sewn cover quality issues (looseness, wrinkles, waviness, tightness)
*Less steaming and finessing needed
*Well suited for pour-in-place technology

Benefits of Fabric Die Cutting

Benefits of Fabric Die Cutting s NC Cutting.001


NC Cutting Limitations:

Difficult to achieve tight tolerances and repeatable parts
Material compression is compromised by continued loss of vacuum as knife cuts through plastic barrier
Requires significant, continuous input from operators and maintenance personnel
Continuous blade wear = poorer performance towards end of blade life, which is every day for a production cutter
Blade deflection means inconsistent parts from different plies, especially for high plies
Quality demands can limit part placement within the marker
Never able to achieve fast speed, maximum ply height, or tight buffer, all at the same time

SR Cad

Key Differences – Die Cutting vs NC Cutting

Accuracy and Consistency
  NC Cutting Limitations:
  Limited drill hole size (usually 2-4 per head)
  Blade cut holes are not round
 Notches are not consistent

Maintenance Costs & Downtime
NC Cutting Limitations:
  Extremely maintenance dependent
  Expensive maintenance contracts
  Dozens of spare parts and consumables to keep in stock
  Daily – Weekly – Monthly – Yearly PMs – all require loss of production time

Labor Considerations
  NC Cutting Limitations:
  Complexity of equipment demands highly trained operators
  Intricate electronics require highly trained maintenance personnel
  Increased operating and maintenance skills = increased wages
  To address high skill requirements, cutter companies offer extensive
  training programs = more cost and more time
  Seriously problematic for areas with high labor turnover

Cost Estimating
  NC Cutting Limitations:
  OEMs in the automotive industry continue to use price as the primary determinate for    awarding contracts.
  NC Cutting – Estimations for quoting are significantly less accurate because of the large number of inputs that cannot be confirmed until actual production begins and the optimization process is completed. This is long after the bidding has concluded.


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Fabric Die Cutting is Faster and delivers Better Yield than NC Cutting

Automatic Fabric Cutting with Incremental / Progressive Feed

The most commonly used cutting process for cutting fabric is known as a “progressive feed” or “incremental” press.

This SCHWABE Straight Ram Hydraulic Beam Press is outfitted with a DieVac™ system. With the addition of a fully automated DieVac™ system, this SCHWABE Straight Ram Beam Press cuts with the same incredible accuracy of a single-stroke press.

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Advantages of Die Cutting Fabric

  • 100% cutting accuracy670445
  • Almost zero scrap parts
  • Tremendous productivity
  • Excellent fabric utilization
  • Occupies less floor space than other systems
  • Material will not move while cutting
  • Pattern complexity immaterial to productivity. All interior blades and punches cut simultaneously
  • CAD pattern nesting utilized
  • Each ply is consistently cut, top to bottom
  • Can easily cut 250,000 linear inches of material per minute

Materials: Die Vac 2

  • Tri-laminates 
  • Bi-laminates
  • High nap velours
  • Stretchy polyesters
  • Quilted material
  • Vinyls
  • Satins
  • Sponge or foam filled material


imagesWatch machine demo video on Freeman Schwabe YouTube channel

Progressive Feed / Incremental Die Cutting with DieVac™ System

SCHWABE USA Straight Ram Hydraulic Beam Press with DIEVAC® cutting system

1. The material to be cut is stacked atop the die. This is done offline while previously prepared dieboards are run through the press

2. When loaded with material, the dieboard is transferred to the press via roller tables.

3. The press lowers the DieVac™ hood over the entire material-laden die, and all the air is quickly removed by a powerful vacuum.

4. The preloaded dieboard and hood enter the press as a single unit, and pressure is applied incrementally along its length as it moves through the press.

5. The dieboard exits the press with the pieces accurately cut, and the hood is removed. Total cycle time is 1.5 min.

6. The dieboard is transferred to a picking table where the cut pieces can be removed. Meanwhile, the next dieboard is being run through the press in the same continuous cycle.

The force of the vacuum creates a firm block of material that does not shift during the cutting process. The vacuum remains constant until the cutting is complete.
The result is clean, accurate, cut parts every time.

Quality Advantages

Die Cutting

  • Quality:
    High standards, low reject, and ease of sewing
    Well suited for pour-in-place technology
    Less steaming and finessing to achieve good appearance
    More consistent covers and build
    Fewer ongoing issues (looseness, wrinkles, wavy sews, tightness) because of poor quality n/c cut parts
    Well defined notches
    Consistent hole size with perfectly round shape
    Perfect top to bottom ply comparisons
    Very low rejection rate
    Ease of sewing resulting in faster sew cycles and improved quality

NC Cutting

  • Quality:
    Lower standards due to machine variables
    Inconsistent covers and build
    Quality Issues (looseness, wrinkles, wavy sews, tightness) because of poor quality n/c cut parts
    Notches are not consistent
    Limited drill hole size (usually 2 per head)
    Blade cut holes are not round
    Substantial difference in top to bottom ply comparisons
    Very high rejection rate (especially for PIP parts)
    Difficult to use for pour-in-place technology

Benefits of Fabric Die Cutting s NC Cutting.001

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Cutting Press with Manual Progressive Feed System – Auto Interior Trim

Re-Manufactured SCHWABE USA SR 230

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Straight Ram Hydraulic Beam Press
 with NEW Manual Progressive / Incremental Feed System

The SCHWABE USA Central Guide Straight Ram Hydraulic Beam Press with four (4) cylinder hydraulic system; the cylinders also act as the actuating mechanism of the press, pushing down from a top structure vs. pulling down from a bottom structure.

The cylinders are mounted inboard on the press in order to create a matching deflection between the head and bed, rather than having the head and bed gap
the way conventional four post presses tend to do.

The heavy duty, rigid, large diameter center guide is used to keep the head and bed parallel vs. a hydraulic balancing system or some type of linkage/toggle mechanism. The Schwabe exclusive design eliminates the need for adjustment should the system be carrying an unbalanced load

There are only five (5) moving parts in the Schwabe SR design; there is no linkages thereby resulting in less scheduled maintenance and easy serviceability.

SR230 Progressive Feed.003

SR230 Progressive Feed.005

SR230 Progressive Feed.004

imagesWatch machine demonstration on Freeman Schwabe YouTube channel

SCHWABE USA Straight Ram Hydraulic Beam Press

SCHWABE Straight Ram Hydraulic Beam Presses Capabilities

Cut Roll or Sheet Goods
Handles Large Die Boards with Large Amounts of Rule
Kiss Cutting Capabilities Through Mechanical Stops
Feed Systems – Roll Feed, Clamp Feed, Single & Dual Sliding Tables,
Manual & Powered Tables, Progressive Die Cutting, Vacuum Die Cutting
Matching deflection between Head and Bed of hydraulic press
Eliminates the need for complex balancing systems.
No more than 5 moving parts in the SR design
No Linkage involvement, means less scheduled maintenance and less spare parts inventory.
Schwabe SR hydraulic system is freestanding for easy access for maintenance.

Made in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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Cutting Spacer Fabric on Cutting Belt – Freeman Schwabe Model NC60

corporate-logo-plus-great-place-to-work Freeman Schwabe Model NC60
Automatic CNC 3-AxisTraveling Head Die Cutting Press
Cutting Spacer Fabric on a Urethane Cutting Belt

General Specifications

Automatic CNC 3-AxisTraveling Head Die Cutting Press
Cutting Force – Sixty-six (66) U.S. Tons
Head Size – 29.5”D x 29.5”W
Bed Size – 35.4”D x 110.2”W
Maximum Material Width – 86”
Cutting Stroke – 7.1”
Daylight – 8.1” from head to bed without cutting surface.
Max.Head Traverse – 72.8” center to center distance.
Die Mounting – Manual pneumatic self- centering adjustable die clamps under the head for ease of die change. Dies loaded through a side access window.
Spacer Fabric

Cutting Automotive Interior Spacer Fabric 

Unwind Stand

ControlsControl Panel  – Mitsubishi PLC and PC based control system, incorporates all the controls for the press, including those for set-up/manual operation, as well as those for automatic operation. PLC storage includes die height, die cutting positions, material feed distances, maintenance and diagnostic processes.








For more information

Call: +1 513 947 2888

Email : Sales@FreemanSchwabe.com

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Traveling Head Cutting Press – Prices Start $30,950 – Fully OSHA Compliant

The Traveling Head Press is probably the most versatile and most economical of all hydraulic die cutting presses, and also the safest when the machines are fully OSHA compliant.

Freeman Schwabe supplies the following Traveling Head Press machine types for all budgets and all applications, all OSHA compliant.

  • Manual Traveling Head Hydraulic Cutting Press
  • Automatic Traveling Head Hydraulic Cutting Press
  • CNC 3 Axis Traveling Head Hydraulic Cutting Press

PLEASE NOTE: All Freeman Schwabe hydraulic cutting presses are OSHA CompliantOSHA Compliant

Here is our latest Traveling Head Press Machine Technical Specification sheet including the Basic Starting prices for Model TH 25 $30,950 and Model TH 30: $39,975

TH25 TH30 Pricing Freman Schwabe

For more information is it our Traveling Head page on our website

Watch  Video Machine Demonstration of a Freeman Schwabe Hydraulic Traveling Head Press with InFeed Pinch Roll


Watch more videos on Freeman Schwabe You Tube Channel

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Automotive Seating and Interior Trim: Faster Cutting and Better Yield vs NC Cutting Systems

Watch SCHWABE USA die cutting demo video showing different applications used in the Auto Seating & Auto Interior Trim Industry.

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Posted in Auto Trim, Automotive Interior, Automotive Seating, Schwabe Automotive Interior, Schwabe Die Cutting, SCHWABE SR with DieVac System | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Auto Seating & Auto Interior Trim Applications SCHWABE Die Cutting

SCHWABE USA Die Cutting Presses & Systems are proudly Made in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA and are the popular choice for manufacturing in the Automotive Seating and Interior Trim industry.

SCHWABE USA Die Cutting Systems cut high volumes of materials FASTER and provide a BETTER YIELD (and ROI) than NC Cutting Systems.

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