If you run a Google search for water jet cutting news – admittedly something we might be more prone towards considering than you would – one topic dominates.
There are reports, near-endless reports outlining the potential growth in the water jet cutting market.
Some reports look at the global situation, others look at regions such as northern America or south east Asia. Others delve into their individual country – we have seen reports on Germany, Japan and the US in recent weeks.
Most of these reports are very weighty, most based on lengthy, strenuous research.
And, most importantly, all speak of huge growth in the usage of water jet cutting – this true across all timeframes and all locations.
Whichever way you cut it – if you will excuse so obvious a pun – the use of water jets as the cutting tool of choice is set for exponential growth.
What does this mean both for water jet cutting and industry as a whole?
We believe that the continual expansion of water jet cutting means.
Water jet cutting does not use heat and so the part being cut is not damaged, structural integrity is maintained.
Through modern XD cutting – the ability to cut in three dimensions – complex parts can be made in a single cutting process, eliminating all risk of error and also greatly speeding up the cutting process.
Whether the client is a manufacturer of planes, an offshore mining company or a sculptor working on an installation, all can benefit from fast turnaround and increased accuracy.
The automated production line was a turning point for industry, and those who embraced it quickly dominated, with others going out of business.
Water jet cutting is perhaps not that pivotal, but it is certainly true to say that those who have embraced this technology are increasingly enjoying leaner production costs and so are increasing market share.
On a global level, this is notable in parts of Asia and, for Europe and the US to keep up, they will need to quickly shift to increased use of water jet cutting for their manufacturing to remain competitive.
The reports detailing water jet usage suggest precisely this is happening.
As water jet cutting becomes ubiquitous across some industries, other sectors will wake up to the potential.
In recent years, we have seen food production heavily invest in water jet cutting – food can be processed in a sterile environment, with automatic portion size creation (for instance automatically analysing a salmon to ascertain how best to cut to maximise the creation of portions without wastage).
Artists also increasingly use water jet cutting, so too do those in the fields of sport – Formula 1 and motorsports being prime examples.
Hobbyists also regularly use water jet cutting for creating lifelike parts, or to create the detail required in set-ups such as model railway scenarios.
If there is increased demand, there will need to be an increased supply of water jet cutting equipment.
Leading dedicated centres such as our facility can add more cutting machines over time, but for smaller-scale jobs it may be that portable water jet cutting machines become popular.
Another possible long-term change would be to see water jet cutting readily available in town centres – similar to how you can go to get keys cut nowadays.
We predict a self-fulfilling change whereby water jet cutting becomes more available, demand for other options such as laser cutting falls and so their supply dwindles. This will then be repeated.
Water jet cutting is already highly competitive on price but greater adoption will only drive further efficiencies.
The cutting will become faster still, meaning more parts can be cut per hour, meach job requiring less resource.
It will become increasingly important not just for countries to embrace water jet cutting, but to have the best versions of this tech. At TMC, we were the first in the UK to have XD cutting – the ability to cut in three dimensions, Without this, you have to manually remove the cut part once it has been cut in one dimension, then reposition, and start the process anew.
This takes time and human intervention mand inevitably adds to the cost.
Further advances in technology will follow and it will be vital to embrace all of these.
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.