Hopefully this guide can help answer a question we regularly get asked by our customers regarding the storage of dies:
“What is the best way to store hot foil blocking dies and embossing dies? And how long should we keep them?”
Firstly, it should be said we manufacture dies in brass, copper and magnesium and they all act very differently in storage:
- All three metals are easy to scratch, even in storage, so first things first they should never be stored directly on top of each other – it’s always a good idea to individually wrap each die in bubble wrap or foam and place in a close-able cabinet or drawer.
- For embossing dies with a counterforce (force plate) it’s recommended to pin the counter to the die instead of weakly placing it on the die. This means it won’t shift at all during the storage process and will give it a much longer shelf life.
- A great way to prevent die depreciation is of course to not store the die yourself. Why not ask the customer or printer if they want to look after it? This way there will be no question mark over who is responsible if the die is damaged in storage, thus saving further costs.
- Never store the dies in a cardboard box in the corner of the warehouse. The box could easily be moved or kicked, leading to more than one scratched die and a large potential replacement cost.
- It’s recommended to do a ‘stock check’ every 2 years to remove old dies from your possession. Especially if you know the customer has gone out of business it’s a great way of making a bit of money from the local scrap merchant. Copper, in particular is worth something, as is brass.
- Magnesium on the other hand is cheap and it weighs little. It can be recycled.
Hopefully this has helped you decide what to do with your hot foil stamping and embossing dies. Just remember they scratch and pick up dirt extremely easily so caution should always be taken where it can.