Rapid changes within the aerospace industry are being created thanks to the increasing use of water jet-cutting technology.
The industry has relied on water jet cutting for some time, parts cut accurately and quickly to increase the efficiency of plane manufacture. As modern airborne craft feature ever more parts, and materials used change this importance has grown.
And the most recent link-ups between water jet cutting and industry have been reported on the Aerospace Manufacturing and Design site, a site that should know about such things.
They mention a number of developments.
The site mentions one company that is making tweaks to designs several times per day, needing to design, cut the part and test regularly per 24 hours.
They have found that only water jet cutting can make this possible, the software is able to implement the design and ensure the cutting head, working in multiple axes, creates a 100% accurate representation.
Design tweaks that would previously have taken weeks, and in years past many months, can now all happen within 24 hours. However, this clearly puts those who do not have this speed built-in at a disadvantage.
Another example cited reveals that some in the industry are ensuring that students are gaining exposure to water jet cutting, believing that any new recruits they take on in design roles in future will need the ability to work in fast cycles.
Roles may require design, implementation through water jet cutting, testing, analysing the data and making edited designs.
They are seeking to develop allrounders who can carry out all aspects. In-house use of water jet cutting may be part of that future, though final designs are then sent to larger, specialist water jet cutting facilities for mass production.
For products such as drones, making efficiencies on production can reduce the eventual cost and move a product from being uncompetitive to being the most sought-after option.
We have written previously how the take-up of water jet cutting in southeast Asia has threatened existing manufacturing powerhouses in Europe and the United States.
Water jet cutting can create parts more accurately than other technologies can muster and it is often more competitive and faster too.
Those who remain with laser or other older options out of habit may lose market share, the article predicts.
The feature has other reasons too and makes for a fascinating read. It is available here.
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