Water jet cutting has enjoyed a rapid growth in usage over the past few years due to its key advantages over other technologies such as laser cutting. However, that growth might pale into insignificance compared to what the next decade holds in store.
Could the next decade see water jet cutting usage grow exponentially, by the mid 2020s could we reach a point where there simply isn’t a choice to be made? Water jet cutting will be the obvious and only choice for any job.
Given water jet cutting is what we do, a huge growth in demand obviously sounds great to us, but what is the prediction based on and how reliable is it?
The exponential growth predictions are made in a survey by Persistence Market Research. In their study, they have looked at the state of the industry, the benefits of water jet cutting and how these might be put to use over the coming years.
Two factors appear to be key.
Firstly, water jet cutting can do things other cutting technologies can’t do. A water jet can cut through thicker material (usually to around 10 times the depth of laser cutting for example).
Water jets can also cut complex three-dimensional parts via XD cutting – this means that a complex part for the aviation industry (for example) can be cut in one computer-controlled cut as the head rotates through both the X and Y axis. This 3-D cutting not only reduces the risk of any errors in the cut, but it also saves on time and cost.
The second main factor is the integration of water jet cutting in key industries and also emerging economies and, in some cases, both at the same time. In China and India, both rapidly developing economies, there is a huge growth in demand for automobiles and the predictions in the report are that this demand will be facilitated through use of water jet cutting of parts.
But what about closer to home? The UK economy is somewhat more established and there are fewer technological advances to be made, will water jet cutting have the same growth here?
The answer is perhaps a bit of yes and no (as is so often the case!). The UK won’t see growth in production in line with India and China of course, it’s hard to see demand for cars growing bya huge factor – and even if that demand did exist how much would be met by UK production?
However, the UK is a leading manufacturer in many industries, including the likes of aviation where cutting parts accurately is essential – the likes of Boeing are becoming ever-more reliant on water jet cutting.
There is also likely to be a knock-on effect from this, as usage of water jet cutting grows ever-more people will become aware of it and realise it can be the choice for any job, big or small. At TMC we have cut parts for formula 1 teams and major industries, but we have also cut parts for small shops and even a vicarage!
In the UK, we find many clients are surprised to learn water jet cutting has so many advantages – it is more accurate, can cut to greater depth and tends to cost less. It is also the cutting technology making the most rapid advances, in years to come the water pressure delivered will increase leading to ever-deeper cuts, the cutting jet itself will become thinner making cuts ever-more accurate.
Will there be exponential growth globally? Quite probably. WIll the growth in the UK be a bit more measured? Perhaps. Is water jet cutting emerging as the only sensible choice for any cutting job. Absolutely.