Introducing FramingTech’s Latest Equipment Acquisition
Last month we spotlighted the recent 12,000 sq. ft. expansion of our manufacturing facility in Rochester New York. A big part of the reason for this major expansion was to meet the growing demand of customers for our high-quality, made-in-America T-slot aluminum solutions.
Besides doubling our Shipping-and-Receiving Department—and generating new jobs in the process!—we used the opportunity of this significant growth spurt to move our panel-cutting and other fabrication stations out of the old space (yes, it was getting crowded in there) and into the new space. Relocating our welding and grinding centers into the new space will also promote a better, more efficient workflow overall.
Most exciting of all, we could now create a dedicated work area for our recently acquired waterjet cutter machine: a WARDJet Model E-1530. Among its many capabilities, this new, powerful precision cutting tool will allow us to meet many of the panel-fabrication needs of our customers. Whereas previously this work often had to be outsourced to third-party vendors, it can now be done cheaper, better, and faster in-house.
About the WARDJet E-1530
Founded in 1995, WARDJet builds quality waterjet cutting systems that have earned the loyalty of customers all over the world. They were one of the largest capacity waterjet job shops in the USA up until 2003, when the company elected to switch gears and focus on building new waterjets for the industry.
The E-1530 sets itself apart from other waterjet models by featuring greater accessibility, allowing operators to load material through the table in both directions as well as work from either the front or back of the machine. With the E-1530, we can obtain the benefits of many of the same design features of larger, custom waterjets, but at a smaller overall footprint.
Thus, although the machine takes up minimal space on our fabrication floor, the large cutting area of the E-1530 accommodates most standard-sized sheets; while the open design permits maximum speed and efficiency in loading material and completing the cutting operation.
Basic Components and Operation of the E-1530
We normally think of water as a soft and gentle part of the natural world. Yet, over time, it can also erode rock. The same principle applies with a waterjet, which essentially speeds up the erosion process, but at the industrial level and in an extremely precise way.
In the E-1530, a high-pressure pump generates a flow of super-pressurized water through a cutting head. Inside the nozzle of the head, the pressurized water passes through a small-diameter orifice, where it forms into a small, coherent jet of water. This jet of water then passes through a section of the nozzle where it picks up a measured amount of granular abrasive, which is drawn into the water stream. The mixture of water and abrasive particles then passes through a mixing tube. Finally, the resulting abrasive/water slurry exits the nozzle as a focused, high-speed stream that can easily cut through plastic, aluminum, and even steel. “Like butter,” as they say.
A precision X-Y traverse motion system is used to accurately move the nozzle across the material to create the desired, computer-controlled cutting path. A water-filled catcher tank below the wireframe cutting platform dissipates the considerable energy of the abrasive jet after it has cut through the material being machined.
The photo gallery and video below will show you the E-1530 up close and in action. Enjoy!