There are many reasons why people may choose to use a waterjet cutting system. In some instances, the materials to be cut are temperature sensitive and wouldn’t do well with a standard laser cutter. The use of nothing more than a high-pressure jet of water allows for accuracy and temperature control as well as minimizing dust and fumes.
Waterjet systems are used to cut glass, rubber, copper, titanium, stainless steel, and stone, among other materials. A waterjet system is a piece of equipment that requires proper maintenance in order to remain functional.
Unmaintained System Problems
If your waterjet system is not properly maintained, you may end up with some of the following problems:
· Inaccurate cutting
· Increased use of consumables
· Excess water usage
· Replacement part costs
· Operational downtime
· Loss of business
· Total machine failure
If you’ve invested in a waterjet system, it is important to also invest in preventive maintenance software and plan for scheduled maintenance.
Each manufacturer issues their recommended maintenance procedures differently. Owners and operators need to be familiar with the manual and the procedures for maintenance. Even failing to clean the equipment can cause major problems. All shop workers should be competent in three areas of waterjet systems. The first would be software programming, the second, operating the equipment, and the third, maintenance. There are some waterjet systems that are more complex than others and may require more training in different aspects of maintenance.
Pump and Table
The pump and table have several components, such as seals, valves, swivels, and hoses. Some tables may require lubricant while others do not perform well when lubed. This is where knowing your system and the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance program is important.
Nozzle and Tank
In order to avoid uneven wear, minimize tapering, and extend the life of the mixing tube, it is important to make sure that the jewel orifice and nozzle body are correctly aligned, and that the mixing tube is rotated after 8 hours of cutting. Water quality, filters, and the solids removal system are all part of maintaining a well-running waterjet system. Temperature control is also important in maintaining the high-pressure seals and nozzle assemblies, as water that is consistently run through at high temperatures can damage rubber components.
No matter what company manufactures your waterjet system, it is important that every operator knows how to perform basic maintenance and to configure the settings for longevity and machine accuracy. If you’re counting on your investment in a waterjet cutting system to pay off and allow your business to grow, you have to maintain it to ensure the best performance.
The benefit of using a waterjet system over a cold saw or laser cutter may be negligible, depending upon what materials and accuracy you will be cutting, but, in some cases, it may be impossible to achieve accurate and non-damaging cutting with other tools. Understanding both the machinery and your industry as a whole will help you decide whether a waterjet system is beneficial.
If you are looking for the best in waterjet systems, visit Quantum Machinery and see what we have to offer to help your company offer the highest possible quality cutting services.