Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Waterjet cutting system showers manufacturer with success


January 11, 2013
By Special to Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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As an ISO9001:2008-certified company, Precision Waterjet Concepts serves a wide variety of customers and cuts virtually any material, specializing in AR plating and titanium.

The company, based in Pequot Lakes, Minn., has grown an average of 20-30 per cent each year since opening in 2002 and has had to relocate three times to accommodate its growth, according to Joe Quaal, company president.

In 2008, the company built a state-of-the-art 19,000 square foot headquarters in Pequot Lakes, designing it especially for the waterjet cutting process and for future growth.

The company uses both 5-axis and 3-axis waterjet cutting tools. It recently installed a third cutting system, a 4’x4’ Jet Edge High Rail Gantry equipped with four abrasivejet cutting heads. A 150hp Jet Edge waterjet intensifier pump powers the system. The company also has a Jet Edge Mid Rail Gantry capable of processing materials up to 8’x13’ and a Jet Edge High Rail Gantry capable of processing materials up to 9’x13’, as well as three 5-axis waterjets which process materials up to 144″ x 96″ x 36”.
Quaal attributes his company’s success to an overall increase in awareness about waterjet technology as well as to his company’s commitment to quality and its full-service solutions approach that includes CNC programming, intricate 3D cutting, high-volume 2D cutting, CMM inspection, final machining and welding. The company even machines its own 5-axis fixtures on a vertical machining center to ensure parts are cut to customer specification.

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Precision Waterjet Concepts originally started as a 5-axis only shop, but added its first 3-axis waterjet system in 2006 after determining that many customers also needed high-volume parts cutting services that were impractical on a 5-axis system.

Quaal says his intensifier pumps have been much less expensive to maintain than a competitor pump that powers his 5-axis systems.