A waterjet machine has several benefits to offer to a machine shop. This includes being able to cut different kinds of materials that can be touched with extraordinary precision. But, waterjet cutting machines come in different types, thus the right one for your own machine shop may be difficult. So, the question is, how do you find the best machine? Below are some tips that will help you choose the one that will be of great use for you.
Consider the Materials that will be Cut
In order to cut harder materials, a waterjet machine will need to have a grit material to its water stream. Thus, if you always cut harder materials like aluminum plate, steel, or some kinds of stone, you need to choose a model of the cutter with an ample grit tank so it will be easier to load, unload, and of course, maintain.
On the other hand, if you are mainly cutting softer materials like thin plastics or wood, you will likely need plain water. In this case, the efficiency and capacity of the grit tank will not be as important. At the same time, you could get away with using a lower-pressure machine than you would if you opt to cut steel.
Consider how Complicated the Cut that the Machine Needs to Make
If there is no need for complicated cuts in your machine shop, it be better to find a cutting machine that can do basic cuts and shop out the complicated cuttings jobs to specialists. On the other hand, you can spend extra money on a machine that can do a little bit of extra work once in a while.
Consider Buying a Used Cutting Machine
The price of a used cutting machine is typically half of factory-new equivalents. The higher price of a new machine over a used one does not even provide more benefits, unless you consider the extra time that you get to spend with your creditor as you pay interest on a business loan as a positive.
If you Buy a Used One, Carefully Inspect the Machine
If you happen to opt for a used one, it’s a must that you thoroughly inspect the machine so you will have an idea of what you are getting. Make sure that you check the following.
The Intensifier- Waterjet machines have an electric pump used to produce the needed intense pressure for the stream to cut hard materials. Check if the pump’s seals are in good condition and free of leaks.
The Nozzle- Check if the nozzle is in good condition. Although a damaged one is easy to replace, it’s important to check whether it’s damage or not before you start using the machine.
Electrical Cabinet- Make sure that the wires are neat and in order or if the electrical cabinet is a jumbled mess of patches that will take forever to sort out.
Maintain Documentation- A machine that is well taken cared of need to have a long history of maintenance record that will tell you the issues that the previous operators encountered and how they were able to fix them. If the seller fails to provide the maintenance documentation of the machine, that’s a red flag.
Control System- What is the kind of control system that your machine uses? Is its interface fully functional or are there some missing functions and controls? A damaged controller can greatly damage the machine’s functionality.
If you can, acquire a demonstration of the machine in action. Also, have the seller perform a test run of the machine as this will help reveal issues that may not be obvious from glancing at the maintenance history of the machine.