Water jet cutting has seen consistent growth over the past decade, with the technology used ever-more in every part of the world.
This increase has not been driven by just one industry, there has been an uptake across multiple sectors.
In this post, we take a look at a few major industries and specific companies that are advocates for water jet cutting.
Boeing have led the way for the aviation industry in utilising water jet cutting.
In this industry, accuracy is of paramount importance, an ability to cut parts to the highest of standards in a repeatable manner.
Another key consideration is that water jet cutting does not damage the cut part – unlike other technologies there are no micro-abrasions created or risk of structural weakness. The water jet cutting process is more akin to accelerated erosion than it is to a forced breaking of material.
Boeing were an early adopter, water jet cutting has been used by the aviation industry for more than three decades, but now every major manufacturer of planes uses water jet cutting.
We are not just talking about the plane body, either. Internal parts such as the seat frame, overhead lockers and more will often be cut by water jet. There are also all those other parts built by the industry as a whole, these including guided missiles and military aircraft.
There’s also the technology too – the numerous systems used in every plane and also the control towers – we will come on to technology.
When you next get on a plane a lot of your experience, a lot of what you will take for granted will be the result of water jet cutting. Maybe even that lovely in-flight meal…
Water jet cutting is used by some major players in the food industry – recently we wrote a blog on how US firm Tyson Foods have incorporated this tech into their processes to gain a competitive advantage.
It may come as a surpriser to think of water jets being involved in the food industry, but the food stuffs need cutting somehow. A sterile, accurate, fast and cost-efficient option would seem perfect.
Water jet cutting can cut with incredible accuracy, advanced uses have even seen machines developed that automatically detect where best to cut. One example is the asparagus industry in Germany whereby water jet cutting minimises wastage and so has led to an overall increase in productivity that saves hundreds of thousands of euros per year.
Given water jet cutting’s use in the aviation industry, it will not come as a surprise to learnt hat car manufacturers also use this tech.
However, it isn’t just your family-friendly hatchback that will have been made partly through abrasive water jet cutting, it is also those cars you see on the sports channels.
Formula 1 makes heavy use of water jet cutting – at TMC Water jet we have been a part of this trend, working with Force India in past years.
There may be no other sport in which small differences make so huge a difference – getting one part slightly wrong can relegate the best car to the back of the grid.
Water jet cutting is more accurate than other technologies and so it is used heavily in both making and developing some of the fastest vehicles on the planet.
So far we have mostly mentioned parts you might imagine have a certain size and weight to them. Plane wings, car parts, guided missiles (OK, maybe not asparagus).
Water jet cutting is also used for delicate jobs, both for art but also technology.
The computer this post has been writing on will have components that were cut through water jet cutting, the phone or screen you are reading it on will likewise.
Accuracy is of course essential to these parts, so too the fact that water jet cutting does not create heat. When you are cutting microscopic parts for electronics, any heat created could compromise them working.
It is notable that water jet cutting has grown hugely in usage in areas that are known for making electronics, for instance south-east Asia.
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!