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In The Shop Shop talk, shop tools & fixtures, shop wear, anything for the shop that is not covered in another forum.

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  #1  
Old 11-08-2018, 11:51 PM
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bru21 bru21 is offline
Expedition Vehicles Aust.
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 212
Looking at a waterjet

I run www.eva4x4.com.au
We build a heap of off road trucks, beds, service bodies etc.

We are having issues with our laser cutter taking 2-3weeks on every order, and all cutters seem to have the same timeframe.

We cut 3,4,8mm alloy and 2,3,4,5,6,10mm steel, 2-6mm stainless.

As we are regional and gas supply is an issue, I was thinking of investing in a waterjet to save lead times for development and one offs, and using the regular laser cutters for volume jobs.

Does anyone here run a waterjet and does it add significant value to your shop? Obviously Plasma would be cheaper, but it does not have the definition we need, as our market is quite high end.

Power is not an issue as I have dual feed 415v/125A my shop.

Thanks and regards,

Justin
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:14 AM
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stock93 stock93 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 204
I wouldn't rule out hi def plasma. I was looking at some in person this week at fabtech. We have seen less cut quality from some waterjet parts.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:40 PM
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entropy entropy is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 910-Miles from the armpit of the west.
Posts: 8,588
4 various reasons I never invested in a 2D cutting platform; and at this point having shuttered my business this year, I am no longer qualified to comment on current processes. So here is my irrelevant thought...

In the past I farmed out all my flat work & still do.
That said, should I ever be back in the market and have the utility (power, budget, etc) to floor any type of machine; hands down I would not hesitate to go with a Laser over Plasma or Water. Particularly in the one off arena! Being able to generate the level of precision that is inherent in the Laser just makes custom work and higher quality production work justifiable.
Being able to 'Slot & Tab' accurately is just too big of a production aid to easily pass up! Secondarily you can load the machine, in your area, with outside work and perhaps speed the paying for the machine thus enhancing the ROI time.

My next choice would be WaterJet for the other then metal capability.

E
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:51 PM
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Scrambled Scrambled is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: KY
Posts: 459
Justin-

I just spent 3 days at Fabtech in Atlanta. There were lots of water jets there. Manufactures were also making deals there. If you can wait, you might want to go to a trade show.

Steve
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:03 PM
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bru21 bru21 is offline
Expedition Vehicles Aust.
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 212
Thanks fellas,

I might look at laser a bit more.
Everything we do is tabbed and self jigging, so we need the accuracy.

Thanks Justin
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2018, 02:29 PM
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Bo185 Bo185 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 35
I would do a laser. Keep as much in house as you can will save money in the long run. If you have enough parts to keep the laser running 8-10hr a day it will pay for itself quick. Waterjet quality I have seen isn't really good as it can be, but most times its operator error. Also the fiber laser cutting doesn't need the Co2

Also the issue with WJ is cut speeds. Laser will be way faster. Call a WJ manufacture and ask what cut speed is for your material thickness, then calculate how long it will take to cut a whole sheet. The speed of a laser will be worth it as well as its way faster than WJ.

Last edited by Bo185; 11-19-2018 at 04:31 PM.
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