Water jet cutting has emerged as the leading technology for a large proportion of cutting jobs.
It can cut with great accuracy, it can cut to greater depth than technologies such as laser and it can also cut complex three-dimensional parts.
However, how do you choose a water jet cutting company.
At TMC Water jet, we are leading UK water jet cutters but this advice applies to searching for a company anywhere in the world. The qualities needed in a water jet cutter do not vary by location.
Experience is universal when looking for experts in any field or profession. It is easy for a company to say they can do X and Y, but do they have experience that suggests they have carried out hundreds of jobs.
The best water jet cutters have been in the industry for decades, this ensures they have carried out every type of job. To quote a cliche, there is no substitute for experience.
The Latest Machinery
Not all water jet cutting machine are equal, but what should you be looking out for?
The water pressure delivered through the cutting head determines the depth of cut attainable, but for cuts of thin materials this might not be a huge consideration.
What can matter more is the cutting technology. The latest software ensures complete accuracy of cuts while XD Cutting is the technology that enables water jets to cut complex three-dimensional parts in one fluid motion. XD cutting helps reduce the time of a cut, increase accuracy and also saves on expense as it removes the need for secondary process.
Any water jet cutter with XD cutting technology is serious about what they do.
An Ability To Work On Any Size Of Project
A water jet cutter who has only ever worked on small jobs for local businesses might not have the capabilities or experience to undertake a job for a major industry where the integrity of parts is of critical importance.
Similarly, a company who only speaks of their major clients and the huge jobs might not have the ethos or desire to give the same focus to any job, big or small.
Companies that display jobs of all types and all sizes show more of a passion for water jet cutting, an understanding that every part has to be perfect, regardless of whether it is for a model train enthusiast or a company in the aerospace industry (to pick two examples from our CV).
The size of the company
This can be a trade off. A smaller company might give you more of a feeling of personal service, a larger company might have more machines and an ability to cope with whatever workload comes in rather than jobs becoming subject to delays.
The ideal might be somewhere in the middle (aren’t ideals always somewhere in the middle…). A company that retains the ethos of a smaller business but has grown naturally through their success and reputation to become a major player.
How they feel
Most people are not experts in water jet cutting – we understand that, learning about the technology is never likely to be top of your to-do list.
This lack of knowledge can make it hard to know what to look for – it’s not like buying a car where you can compare engine sizes, MPG and other metrics and have a real sense of that they all mean.
This is where simply talking to companies comes in, call them or mail, ask questions, request testimonials, just get a feel for how they operate and how approachable and knowledgable they seem.
Trust your instincts.
Believe it or not, some water jet cutters are genuinely enthusiastic about their work, they love the industry rather than simply seeing it as the source of their profits. You can see some of this enthusiasm on YouTube – people using water jets to cut through all manner of weird and wonderful objects.
At TMC for example, we can think of jobs that have out a genuine smile on our face. There was cutting keys for a vicar who needed a new set for the parish church (these weren’t your ordinary keys). There was cutting a sculpture for the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester or similar work for the V&A museum in London.
With expertise, experience and a staff committed to the industry they work in there is room for pleasure in any industry.
When looking for a water jet cutter, do a bit of research to get a feel for companies you are considering and get in touch to get a real feel for how they compare.
If you would like to consider us for any job, please contact us on 01625 610 441 or via our Contact Page. At TMC we are leading water jet cutters and we were the first to introduce XD Cutting in the UK. We believe we stand out, but please follow the advice above to put us to the test!