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Three Ways Water Jet Cutting Reduces Waste

Water jet cutting is known as an environmentally friendly technology as it greatly reduces waste and does not produce harmful bi products.

In this post, we look at three specific ways in which water jet cutting reduces waste when compared to other cutting technologies.

No waste produced

This is the most obvious way in which water jet cutting reduces waste and so we will hurry through.

The cutting process uses only water and an inert abrasive called garnet, these are easily disposed of with no damage to the environment. From the part being cut, there are only the finest of shavings, these too easy to dispose of in a way that is kind to the environment.

The amount of energy used is minimised, and there is no wasteful heat produced.

The cutting process simply produces the cut part and some water with a few shavings and garnet mixed in.

The ‘off cuts’ can be of value

A post on the waterjetsweden website summed up this theory perfectly.

If you are, for example, cutting a metal part with a hollowed inside then some cutting technologies would somewhat butcher the offcuts. You would be left with chunks of metal with no earthly use, or at least not without remelting.
However, such is the accuracy of water jet cutting, the nature of the cut that the parts being removed can also be of use in their own right.

They use the example of hollow rings being cut, where you essentially end up with a sort of Matryoshka Dolls effect – three different widths of the part created.

The video below shows this process and how it creates these separate parts whilst minimising waste.

Time is also reduced, the cutting process creating multiple parts, without the need to start afresh each time.

As well as the cutting head, the software also enables this level of sophistication, working out how to make the best use of the raw materials to cut the parts in the most efficient manner.

Maximised Usage of Each Material

Building on the previous point, water jet cutting leads the way when it comes to reducing pure waste by ensuring that dead space within any raw material is minimised.

This is as true for a sheet of metal as it is for salmon fillets or even asparagus. We have written in the past about how the food industry has embraced water jet cutting.

The machines can visually assess the items coming to be cut and then maximise the portions cut with minimal waste, for instance cutting salmon to ensure every fillet is the same weight, yet there is almost zero waste from the fish overall.

This principle can apply to any material.

For any business, this is hugely advantageous as any waste naturally eats into profit as it is thrown away. But this matters for the environment too – we do not have unlimited food supplies or unlimited raw materials, so any technology that minimise waste is to be prioritised.

When writing about salmon production previously, we wrote:

“The cutting can create evenly-sized portions, or a mix – for instance a top loin portion (a valuable part of the fish) along with other evenly-sized non-top loin portions.
Bones can be detected, cut around and then they are automatically removed as the salmon fillets make their way down the production line.”

A huge number of salmon portions can be processed in this way with no need for intervention bar standard quality control checks.

Efficient is a key benefit – cutting down on waste – and so too time as this is a quick way to quickly process high volume.

There is also a video you can watch to see this process in action.



The Benefits of Waste Reduction

The efficiencies of water jet cutting benefit all.
There are the environmental benefits of making the most of raw materials, this coupled with there being no harmful waste to dispose of post cut.

For any business there are cost reductions, cuts can be made more efficiently and quickly, and so water jet cutting quotes compare favourably with any other option.
The automated process and level of efficiency also allow any professional water jet cutter to carry out a wide range of jobs each day and so turnaround times are reduced.