With their new Jet Edge Mid Rail Gantry system, Precision Waterjet Concepts can now cut large parts twice as fast thanks to the system’s dual abrasivejet cutting heads with mirroring capabilities. Powered by a 60KSI, 150hp Jet Edge iP60-150 waterjet intensifier pump, the Mid Rail Gantry is capable of processing materials up to 8’x13’. The system complements the company’s existing 5-axis waterjets which process materials up to 144 x 96 x 36”, and its workhorse Jet Edge High Rail Gantry System which features four abrasivejet cutting heads for high-volume cutting of materials up to 9’x13’. The High Rail Gantry also is powered by a Jet Edge iP60-150 pump.
An ISO9001:2008-certified company, Precision Waterjet Concepts serves a wide variety of customers nationwide and cuts virtually any material, specializing in AR Plating and titanium.
Precision Waterjet Concepts has grown an average of 20-30% each year since opening in 2002 and has had to relocate three times to accommodate its growth, said Joe Quaal, company president. In 2008, the company built a state-of-the-art 19,000 square foot headquarters in Pequot Lakes, Minn., designing it especially for the waterjet cutting process and for future growth.
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.
Precision Waterjet Concepts originally started as a 5-axis only shop, but added its first Jet Edge system in 2006 after determining that many customers also needed high-volume parts cutting services that were impractical on a 5-axis system.
“We chose Jet Edge for our 2-axis systems because they are easier to run and maintain than the competitor systems that we looked at, plus we were looking for a manufacturer in Minnesota that could get someone in here quick if there was a problem,” Quaal said. “We went with a Mid Rail Gantry for our second system because of the mirroring system and programmable head spacing. We cut a lot of extremely large parts and we can save a lot of time and money by mirroring. Fifty percent of the time, we are mirroring. The programmable head spacing also saves us 10-15 minutes per job on set up time.”
Quaal noted that Jet Edge’s mirroring system holds much tighter tolerances than competitor systems that he had considered.
“When we bought the second system, I got quotes from four companies and visited them all,” he said. “The Jet Edge’s tolerance was impressive. It met our specifications. The other machines that do mirroring don’t come back into spec. Some of them are off by .030” to .040”. You can’t have a step like that on a part. Their head spacing tolerance had too much slop.”
Quaal also noted that his Jet Edge intensifier pumps have been much less expensive to maintain than a competitor pump that powers his 5-axis systems.
“Our Jet Edge pumps cost 20% less to maintain than our other pump because the Jet Edge seals are less expensive. The seal life is similar, but we save $8,000 to $9,000 a year. The Jet Edge iP60-150s are the best thing on the market. I will keep putting them in.”