FOR fast, intricate shape cutting with flawless edges on glass, wood, plastic, sheetmetal, marble and foam, Power Machinery has released a range of water jet cutters from Water Jet Sweden AB.
Water jets have several advantages in many applications compared to other options as they can eliminate steps in production such as milling and drilling, without any requirement for special tools.
There is no heat affected material (as in laser cutting), no dangerous gases, and a modest amount of energy is required to operate this technology.
Compared to other processes, the advantage with high-pressure water jet cutting is a cold cutting process. A cold process with a jet of 1mm makes it possible to place the parts close to each other on blank material, thus minimising scrap.
The process gives a clean edge that does not require any second operation. Cutting does not include any heat effect on the material. For example, it is straightforward to perform multi-head cutting of Hardox 500, 80mm thickness.
Using advanced technology, Water Jets Sweden AB has brought water jet cutting accuracy down to 0.1mm for a maximum thickness of 300mm and the technology is increasingly being used across a variety of industries including aerospace and defence, engineering and manufacturing, manufacture of building fitout materials, ornamental displays, and others.
Cutting heads and focusing tube have been developed in-house for optimum cutting effect. The cutting head automatically aligns the focusing tube.
A patented guide system does not need any clamps to counter the so-called 'sideboard draw effect', which can result in uncontrolled movement.
CNC controlled, these water jets are available as 5-axis machines or as 3-axis single and multiple nozzle water jet cutters.
To provide the multiple access capability with the necessary accuracy, speed and reliability, Water Jet Sweden AB uses GE Fanuc CNC controls and associated drives for more than 90% of its machine production.
Standard models vary in size with cutting beds from 1m x 1m up to 6m x 4m, and a choice of the number of cutting heads to increase productivity.
For example, a Water Jet NC 6040 5-Axis machine is capable of cutting intricate shapes such as support ribs for aircraft wings from single, ultra-lightweight alloy blocks to extremely accurate tolerances.
Water Jet Sweden AB is continually developing new machine types, such as the recently released 5-axis Water Jet for use in the Chinese aircraft industry and a large 4m x 12m Quad machine with four cutting heads to be shipped to the UK.
Customer demand for larger and more capable machines has, coupled with advancements in technology, led to the development of such machines.
Another reason for the huge growth in global interest is the comprehensive product range available and the ability to customise standard Water Jet models to suit particular customer requirements.
Water Jet Sweden AB manufactures systems in all sizes and for all applications from integrated compact machines to systems with operating ranges of 9m x 4m or larger, as well as abrasive 5-axis water jet cutting heads.
The company holds several technological patents such as the patent on the hinged system of the X boom model, where the system aims to increase the accuracy of the cutting operation.