By: Brian Sherick, Flow International | View original post – https://www.fabtechexpo.com/blog/2017/10/04/waterjet-cutting-fabricators
Today’s waterjets are much faster, more accurate, and less expensive to operate than the machines that were available a few years ago. Systems are improving, like the new Mach Series from Flow, to have much faster acceleration rates, cutting parts with shorter cycle times than other waterjet systems currently available in the industry.
Regarded as the most versatile process in the world, waterjet offers fabricators capabilities that no other technology can provide. Waterjet cutting is a cold cutting process that generates little heat, which results in no stress, alterations, or warping of materials. This provides capabilities which range from cutting details in aluminum and steel to cutting composites and thick materials like titanium, allowing fabricators to take on any manner of work.
Features like a 94ksi intensifier pump can increase productivity up to 50% and solutions for taper compensation have become more mainstream, allowing the ability to cut near-net shapes saving countless hours of machine time. With the demand to improve predictable uptime, Flow has launched an industry first comprehensive preventative maintenance and exchange program. As these type of service plans become an industry standard, waterjets are becoming more reliable and easier to maintain.
Software capabilities are also progressing to take advantage of the latest control capabilities to support equipment productivity and reliability. Technology has expanded the ability to import a wide variety of modeling formats that can work with both 2D and 3D cutting models. Software programs, such as FlowXpert, contribute to the waterjet’s efficiency by automatically cleaning up geometric issues, creating the most efficient path, and creating previews to check for any cutting issues.
As waterjets quickly become an integral part in most fabrication shops, the cutting technology offers a versatile solution that allows businesses to work with virtually any material on one system. The waterjet leaves no heat affected zones, resulting in a part that has a satin smooth edge. Often times, a waterjet cut part eliminates the need for secondary finishing operations, allowing more manpower to be utilized for other projects.
The future of waterjet cutting will be quieter, cleaner, and more productive. As the industry evolves, waterjet cutting will be a critical process in fabrication and machine shops, allowing the ability to streamline workflow. Manufacturing organizations looking to reduce cost and increase efficiency will continue to rely on waterjet systems, benefiting from how the technology compliments other processes resulting in an overall improvement of shop productivity and a smoother running operation for fabrication shops.
Application specialists will also be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate the latest waterjet technology at the Flow International booth, 1233.