Water jet cutting may be able to cut with more accuracy and to greater depth than other technologies. It may be the cutting technology that avoids damaging the cut part, but there sometimes remains one small problem.
How is it possible to find a local, high-quality water jet cutter?
As leading water jet cutters ourselves. We came to realise this is a problem. We are based in the north east of England, we would hope anyone in that region needing water jet cutting would consider us, but what of those in other regions? What do businesses do when there is no water jet cutter remotely close to them?
We want to respectfully suggest that the question is framed wrongly. You don’t need to find a water jet cutter near to you, you just need to find any water jet cutting company with a good reputation and an ability to take care of the logistics, getting your cut part to where it needs to be.
This works two ways. You shouldn’t automatically discount a water jet cutter just because it isn’t local, equally you shouldn’t choose your cutter simply because their location is closest to yours.
Rather than focussing on who is local, we would suggest the following criteria need taking into criteria.
Clearly, there is no point finding amazing water jet cutters on the other side of the world if it is a small job and they are unwilling to ship parts globally.
Checking this is of course straightforward – a simple phone or email conversation should quickly determine whether the cut parts can be delivered to where they need to be on time.
Many chose local based on an assumption it will be the cheapest option – certainly delivery overheads may be reduced.
However, there are other costs that impact how much each company charges and it may be that there are cutters further away who have huge benefits of scale (more machines, higher pressure water jets, faster turnaround times).
If a company further away can match a local one on price, can deliver on time and has a better reputation then you would have to question the benefit of staying local.
All water jet cutters have technology that is recognisably similar in that there is a cutting head that delivers a high pressure jet of water mixed with abrasive garnet.
However, there are nuanced differences. Just how high is the pressure, how small a diameter is the cutting jet capable of?
The software is also key – how accurately can this turn the drawn plans into the cut part?
Complex parts also rely on XD cutting – this is a water jet cutting machine that has a cutting head which can move in multiple axes. The benefit is that any part can be cut in one fluid motion, rather than having to be cut on one plain, then repositioned, cut anew and so on and so forth.
Ultimately, you may not know enough about water jet cutting to have any ideas which software is the best – it’s quite a niche topic!
That brings us to the next point
Has the water jet cutter you are considering carried out jobs similar to yours?
Do they have testimonials, can they show images or final parts?
As with any interaction with a business, you are seeking confidence, for them to demonstrate that they understand the job you require and can prove that it is well within their capabilities.
After all the above, if local seems to be the equal of any other water jet cutter then of course go local!
It might also be that your cutting job is simple and you sense that any water jet cutting company can deliver – if a water jet company close to home is competitive on price then they are bound to be a strong option.
However, distance away should only be one factor and it should not be crucial.
After all, a part that is delivered from a few miles down the road, but is unfit for purpose isn’t of much use.
At TMC, we are a water jet cutter who serve the whole of the UK and increasingly Europe too, with clients across the content trusting us to work on their projects.
Despite our success, we remain a company that focusses on every client and work on projects of all sizes.
If you think water jet cutting might be of use for your project, please do get in touch for an obligation-free chat.
Call us on 01625 610 441 or use our Contact Form.