How to purchase the perfect CNC waterjet for your shop

October 11, 2017

Considering a CNC waterjet? They cut steel, aluminum, marble, plastics, foam, PVC, and many other materials just as well as any other CNC machine. They do it fast with high quality, and without doing damage to the environment.

For those reasons, they grab the interest of many CNC machine shops. If you’re interested in adding one to yours, and you’ve decided to evaluate further, make sure you look at these factors during your consideration:

Attend a Demo

You can get sample parts cut by a waterjet. But, there’s always a chance that didn’t actually happen with the parts you get.

Let’s hope no company would be that dishonest.

Even better, ask the company to give you a demo.

No secondary machining should be needed following completion of the work by a CNC waterjet. Inspect dimensions for accuracy. Take a close look at inside and outside corners.

Understand the Thickness At Which the CNC Waterjet Cuts

Waterjets have an amazing amount of cutting power. They can cut nearly any material that’s up to 10” thick, and up to a 6” thickness with steel.

Compare this to CNC plasma cutters, which cut fast, but typically can’t exceed a 2” thick cut.

That puts the versatility of CNC waterjets in perfect perspective.

What Horsepower Do You Need?

With enough power, your CNC waterjet can have multiple cutting heads, which skyrockets your productivity.

You can use this simple method, chart, and table to precisely calculate the horsepower you need from your CNC waterjet.

Know Your Variable Operating Costs

You can easily find the fixed cost of your desired CNC waterjet. But what’ll it actually cost you to own and operate it?

To get a reasonable estimate, consider all the following:

  • How many hours you will operate it each month
  • Electricity
  • Installation costs
  • Training
  • Consumables
  • Water
  • Abrasive
  • Nozzles
  • Labor
  • Pump seals
  • Many other factors

Make sure you create a reasonable estimate of what these expenses could be.

Warranty and Tech Support

Does the manufacturer you’re considering have a reputation for good support? Will they come to your shop in person? Or, do you have to do it online?

How does training work? Do they offer you spare parts, or do those come from third parties?

As you evaluate CNC waterjets, compare what you find. When you finally purchase, you’ll end up with the right machine that boosts your productivity and secures your position in the marketplace.

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