This, in turn, helps maximize raw material utilization and accelerate overall part production.
Dumas, Hypertherm: We are focusing on uptime.
We believe a lot of opportunity exists to lower costs
and increase productivity by reducing operating
costs and addressing maintenance via scheduling
rather than operating in a break-fix mode. We are
working on shortening the time it takes to service a
system while also extending maintenance intervals
so that fabricators can spend more time cutting. An
unexpected disruption during manufacturing can
result in the need to scrap expensive material and
Also, since the cost of abrasives typically accounts for more than half of the operating expense
for a waterjet system, products that help fabricators
manage their abrasive media are available today
and are becoming more commonly used with every
2. What new developments
are enhancing waterjet technology?
Dumas, Hypertherm: To meet our goal to extend
uptime, we introduced a new diamond orifice with a
cutting lifespan that’s greater than 1,000 hours (see
Another uptime-extending feature is stroke monitoring that lets fabricators know if their pump is not
operating as optimally as it should be (see Figure
3). Improved user interfaces (graphics) have been
incorporated into pumps to help operators monitor
performance. In addition, Hypertherm has launched
a mobile assistance app that can provide shops with
important service information about their pumps.
We are also working on products and equipment,
such as the EcoSi;™ abrasive recycling system that
lets fabricators capture, recycle, and reuse spent
abrasive to reduce abrasive media and handling
In addition, we have several channel partners
that o;er robotic waterjet cutting.
Sherick, Flow: Our latest waterjet systems can accelerate at nearly twice the rate and cut parts with
better accuracy than older legacy machines. For example, the Mach 500 has a rapid traverse maximum
speed of 700 inches per minute (IPM) with a linear
straightness accuracy of ± 0.0015 in. per 3 feet.
We focus on ensuring predicable uptime and
have launched new preventive maintenance and
exchange programs to accomplish that.
Some of our advancements are still under development. Our so;ware is evolving to take advantage
of the latest control capabilities and work as a united fabric to support equipment productivity and
We o;er new system configurations with 3-, 4-,
and 5-axis cutting capabilities. In addition, we partner with Aquarese and Tech-Con Automation for
highly specialized applications.;
Bruner, OMAX: We strive to make our machines
easier to use and maintain with every new innovation. Some of the more recent ones are a new version of our control so;ware suite, an automated
solids removal system, and an extended-life nozzle.
To help fabricators struggling to find seasoned,
highly qualified operators, we’ve developed easy-to-learn machines. To date, we’ve released more
than 23 updates of our intuitive Intelli-MAX® So;ware Suite. A;er only one day of training, operators
can successfully get our waterjet up and running
and cutting parts.
Since machine downtime halts production, our
large-format solids removal system (SRS) not only
automates waterjet garnet removal, it eliminates
the need to shut down the machine to do so. The
SRS automatically removes garnet from the water
tank and pumps it to a location up to 100 feet away,
all while the machine continues to work.
Hypertherm has launched a mobile assistance app that
can provide shops with important service information
about their pumps. Photo courtesy of Hypertherm.
Fabricators need equipment that expands their
versatility while facing challenges with diverse
materials and thicknesses, frequently changing part
requirements, and demands for productivity increases,
industry experts say. Photo of waterjet cutting titanium
courtesy of Flow International, Kent, Wash.
E;orts to improve accuracy and eliminate taper continue. Photo courtesy of Flow International.
Hypertherm introduced a new diamond orifice with a
cutting lifespan that’s greater than 1,000 hours intended to help fabricators extend uptime. Photo courtesy of
Hypertherm, Hanover, N.H.