You have made the (may we say very smart) decision that you need a water jet cutter for your job.
That leaves one question – how do you find a water jet cutter who can do the job and what should you be looking for in a cutter?
Here, we offer a bit of advice and no, it isn’t as biased as Get In Touch With Us!
As with any work, you want to know that the company you are considering has experience doing a job similar to yours, or at least the size of the job.
Such is the growth of water jet cutting, there are numerous new companies cropping up. However, not all water jet cutters are equal – not all have experience, the best equipment or the most up-to-date software for managing the cut.
How important each of these are will depend on the nature of the job – cutting a very simple two-dimensional shape doesn’t require the same machinery as cutting a 3-d part for a passenger airliner.
The best water jet cutters have experience in a wide range of jobs, showing they not only have the expertise and experience but also that they treat every job with the same levels of professionalism.
For example, at TMC we have cut parts for motor racing cars and big industry, but also small parts for local businesses and installations for artists. Any new company might only have a very narrow range of experience.
The barrier to entry into our industry is lower than it ever has been – companies are even developing water jet cutters that people can install in their own garage or workshop.
At the other end of the scale there are XD cutters which have cutting nozzles that can move in multiple axes and cut complex three-dimensional parts in one motion. These machines also deliver water pressure that can cut through 25 centimetres of most material.
The accuracy of the cut also varies depending on the machinery and software used. The best water jet cutters create perfect edges and, because no heat is generated, there is no danger of the part being structurally damaged. This is different from laser cutting and it is also different from the lower quality machines starting to proliferate.
Is there a place for laser cutting and more basic water-jet cutting? Absolutely. However, the place might not be your part if you require complete accuracy.
Quick turnaround time
How quickly you need the part will vary. Most water jet cutters have healthy turnaround times, however if you need that part in a rush the choice of companies will be smaller.
For that, you will need to choose a larger cutter and also explain your requirements. If we got a request like that, it is likely that our capacity means your job could be prioritised without that affecting any other job on our books.
A company passionate about what it does
Does this matter? Maybe not. However, we believe that, where possible, it is always good to deal with people who love their job and are genuinely enthusiastic about it.
This enthusiasm leads to a desire to be the best and to produce work of genuine quality. It is this passion for water jet cutting that has seen us pick up some jobs that were outside the normal realms for what a water jet cutter might work on – these including art installations for both the Victoria & Albert Museum and Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery.
The downside to choosing a passionate company is that they might at times talk too much about water jet cutting. We are trying to work on that!
Obviously there is a marvellous tool called Google which makes it easy to search for things.
However, if you have a water jet cutting job and would like to discuss it with us please do get in touch. We are happy to chat through what your job requires and provide an obligation-free quote for the work.