He admitted that it took some time to get used to the
so;ware. Putting a round circle on a tube was easy. Cutting out rectangles in the tubing used in the pump was a
challenge because the tube was to be bent at a 30-degree
angle, becoming a gusset and tongue support brace. First,
the shape was new to the Lantek Flex3D so;ware, so it had
to be drawn in the flat form. Second, it had to be applied to
the tube as a “skin” in the so;ware, according to Schrank.
When the design work was completed, Schrank had to
dial in the waterjet cutting. This involved fixturing parts
correctly to avoid vibrations and adjusting the power, from
say, 100 percent to 90 percent, to deliver just the right edge.
“It’s very scientific, but there is also some art to it,”
Schrank said. “It’s like machining.”
AA Precision Tooling had an order for 20 pumps, and as
of mid-March, it had completed 15 of them. One of the ear-
liest pumps, sent to Congo and installed late last year, has
been used about 13 hours per day, pumping out more than
7,000 liters of water daily. Schrank said he heard a story
that a person from South Africa trekked to Congo just to
see the pump in action.
For future pump models, Schrank said he is looking to
possibly add a powder coating over the galvanized steel.
He had some requests from the field for a choice in colors,
and he said that an additional coating
might add to a more durable finish.
In the meantime, AA Precision
Tooling is cutting more flat work (see
Figure 4). For instance, it has put a
45-degree bevel on a 0.1875-in. stainless steel piece that is later formed
into an ellipse to act as an end cap for
an HVAC header.
“You can cut it out and machine it,
but I’m able to cut that out in minutes, and it’s done rather than trying
to grind it into shape,” he said.
The Best Water in Town
One of the side projects that came
with the waterjet was establishing a
water purification system. The shop’s
well water is hard, and Schrank knew
he needed something purer and so;er to get the best performance from
A friend engineered the purification
system, and Schrank plumbed it. The
system includes a so;ener, a filtering
system, a reverse-osmosis system,
and a water tower.
“I’m burning about 60 gallons of
water an hour with the waterjet. I
have 500 gallons on tap. When I get
down to about 300 gallons, the system starts making water. I make 30
gallons of water per hour. I can run 12
hours straight without running out of
water,” he said.
Of course, AA Precision Tooling is
not going to cut for 12 hours straight.
But even if they cut for a long stretch,
maybe four to five hours, when a
break comes for cleaning up or changing over to a new job, the water purification system can deliver another 30
gallons ready for use.
News of the purified water has gotten out to neighbors as well. Schrank
said that it’s not unusual for people to
swing by to fill up their bottles or jugs.
That’s not too bad for a simple metalworker—helping to improve the
lives of people on another continent
and the neighbors down the street at
the same time.
Editor-in-Chief Dan Davis can be reached
AA Precision Tooling, 507-455-2051,
FORGE Manufacturing Solutions,
KMT Waterjet Systems, 620-856-2151,
Waterjet USA LLC, 630-208-1567,
Please join us for
the 33rd annual
Motor City Slitters
Monday, July 17, 2017 | Detroit Golf Club | Detroit, Mich.
Benefitting Local and National Charities!
In addition to supporting local charities, the event will bene;t students
across the country. Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, the Foundation of FMA,
will host a silent auction to bene;t the John Grossheim Memorial Scholarship
program. The scholarship is named after a longtime Outside Processors
Council (OPC) veteran who was passionate about encouraging the next
generation of workers to consider a career in the metals industry. In addition to traditional items like golf clubs, attendees can bid on industry-related
services such as slitting, pickling, or transportation services. To learn
more about the silent auction or to donate processing services and/or other
items go to nbtfoundation.org/processors. Brought to you by
*Enhanced Outing! For a registration fee of $250.00, Golfers will play on
one of two premier Donald Ross designed courses on the same property with two
afternoon tee times:
BBQ LUNCH ON PATIO: 10:00 a.m.
FIRST COURSE TEE TIME: 11: 30 a.m.
SECOND COURSE TEE TIME: 12:00 noon
COCKTAIL HOUR: 5: 30 p.m.
DINNER FESTIVITIES FOLLOWING COCKTAIL HOUR WITH PRIZES!
To register for golf or to become a sponsor visit