Commonly Asked Waterjet Questions
Many of our customers have mentioned that they have a lot of general waterjet questions that they need addressed prior to making a purchase. So we have put together a list of the questions they've asked us. We have broken the list down into categories to help you more easily search for the answers you need. We would certainly welcome any additional questions. Just Give us a call at (330) 677-9100.
Hourly Cost To Run A Waterjet
Any tips on cutting thick materials?
Service and Support
- How does WARDJet typically fix material to water-only bricks for cutting?
We usually drill screws into the bricks around the perimeter of the material with washers overlapping the edge of the material to hold it securely in place. The amount of screws you use and the spacing between them are dependent on the size and rigidity of the material.
Cutting thick materials. Tips & Guidelines.
• Always do a few test cuts of the different sections of the part at the speeds with which you expect to cut. So take the part and look for inside corners, outside corners, radii etc, then make a small part that will have all these features and program it and cut it so you get an idea as to how these will look on the finished part.
• Write down the home position.
• Practice some job interrupt as you may well need to do this in a long cut.
• Decide where you will pause the program if you have to in the middle of the cut. In other words, is there a section of the part that is not critical to tolerances. In your case of the gear, the very inside and tip of each tooth will never come into contact with anything and hence will be in fresh air. As a result this would be a good place to pause the program and do any tests.
• Once you have the part on the table, run the full program with water only at a high speed. This will mark the material and confirm that the part will fit on the piece of material and your set up is correct.
• If you have to stop the program or you get a power failure do not rely only on the home position you wrote down. Rather start the program and run the first part with water only and check that it follows the cut that you have already done. You may also want to move it to another portion of the program and check that it still lines up there too. I am always concerned that when restarting a program you could be a few to several thousands of an inch out of position and this might not be good.
• As you cut through the part, take a hack saw blade and grind off all the teeth so you have a thin long gauge that will fit down the kerf that has been removed. Let’s say the material is 6” thick. Put a mark on the blade at say 6.5”. Then take the blade and insert it into the cut and with the bottom of the blade sticking out the bottom, slide the blade along the tool path and check that the material is cut all the way through. You of course have to make allowance for grates. But this will give you a good guide as to the status of the bottom of the cut.
• Make sure your abrasive is calibrated and set.
• Use the coarsest hard rock garnet you can with your orifice nozzle combination. In your case try to use 50 mesh hard rock with a 40th nozzle.
• Make sure the pressure is correct.
• Ideally put in a diamond orifice as this is a much more reliable way to go especially when the material you are cutting is costly.
• Check the condition of the nozzle.
• Make sure the cutting head is vertical as if it is not the tolerances of the part will be compromised. To do this line up the head or pierce a small hole in thin material. Then raise the cutting head up and the stream should go through the hole. If the head is not vertical it will ‘walk’ out of the hole and the direction of the cut will tell you how your cutting head needs to be adjusted.
When cutting very slowly in thick or thin materials, you need to be careful that you do not cut a hole through the floor of the tank. If you think this could happen, protect the floor by placing sacrificial layers of steel or scrap plate on the floor, making sure that there are no gaps where the stream could get between the scrap and cut the floor of the tank.
It is possible to cut a hole in the floor of the tank if you left the head on in one position and went to answer the phone and forgot about the waterjet. The jet is powerful enough that it will eventually cut a hole in anything in its way, including the floor of the tank. So always make sure you are thinking about how much energy is still available after going through the material you are cutting.
- Is it easy to make just one part, does it come out right the first time?
Generally getting the right part the first time should not be a problem unless there are extenuating circumstances. Our software and many years of experience should be doing all the work so you can get the right part first time.
- What kind of final part accuracy is realistically attainable? At what speeds does this start to decrease?
Generally as your speed increases you will have an increased amount of drag and taper on your part, but when cutting at the correct speed for your material you should be able to hold +/- 0.003 - 0.005". The speed that these changes occur at is going to vary depending on the material that you are cutting. It is recommended that you use our cutting speed calculator. This will provide you with cutting speeds for different quality finishes with different materials. You can then go into our learn more section to see photos of the different edge finishes and what they look like for quality 1-5 finishes.
- What kind of repeatability is the machine capable of on different areas of the table?
On our machines we quote repeatability at ± 0.002" in the X or Y axis on parts that range from a 5' span all the way up to a 40' span. We typically get results of much less than this and the results are available to all owners of each machine prior to shipping (we also offer to do the calibration and testing of the machines on the floor in our shop with live video so you can watch your machine being tested live from your desk). These results are on a linear measurement basis that is found through our precise mapping process that every WARDJet machine goes through. We also do a ball bar test in 3 positions on the table prior to shipping it and also when it arrives on site. Circularity and positioning tolerance vary with each machine, and we would be happy to discuss this.
- How thick can we cut?
Waterjet can cut 10" thick stainless steel without too much difficulty. (Not all systems can cut this thick.) At the other end of the scale, heart valves for transplants are also cut with water.
- Can I etch with a waterjet?
Yes, but as the jet slows down, so the stream cuts deeper into the material. It is not easy to get a smooth etched finish using a normal waterjet. Waterjet can certainly be used to mark numbers etc. onto parts, but is not really a good alternative to sandblast etching.
- What happens if the nozzle is too far from the material?
The further the nozzle is from the material, the less power the stream has and the wider the cut in the part. There is also an associated overspray that tends to "blast" the edges of the entry point of the water into the materials.
- What are the consumables associated with a waterjet?
Like any other piece of machinery your waterjet will have parts that wear and have to be replaced occasionally. The chart below is a general guide of the consumables involved with waterjet cutting as well as the average lifespan of those parts. This will vary by machine and application.
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- I have read that the accuracy of the positioning system is only part of the equation. An abrasive jet's precision is largely based on the controller's ability to control the jet's behavior. How does this machine's controller help me achieve maximum precision without having to cut multiple test parts?
You are correct there are multiple components that affect the accuracy of the machine. The first is the CAD/CAM software that is used to prepare the parts to be cut. The experience that is built into the intelligence of the CAM portion of the software will allow the machine to go do what it's
told. You must also have to have a controller that is intelligent enough to understand what it is being told to do.
Let's take a CNC milling machine for example. They typically have accuracy
that is 10 times that of a waterjet, but it's difficult to get an accurate part because the machine doesn't interpret the code it's given the way our controllers interpret the code to produce a high
quality waterjet cut part.
(i.e. Often a CNC mill like a HAAS will stop every time there is a change in speed - even if it is in a straight line - like going from 10 ipm to 5 ipm. This would never work with a waterjet - so the software and the machine must be able to transition speeds without stopping.) Our software has definitely addressed this and is able to communicate with the controller to ensure the highest accuracy possible.
- Does the controller compensate for:
- Jet Lag on straight sections, around sharp corners, around curves? How far ahead does it look?
Yes, the controller has ramping capabilities to adjust for corners, etc. You can control how far ahead it looks. Our controller and software are open architecture giving you the freedom to make changes. We set the software and controller with the standard settings that should be all you need, but if you wanted to make your own set of rules for a specific material or project, this can be done and saved for future use with just the click of a button.
- Kick back when accelerating out of corners?
It also ramps out of the corners, which helps prevent kickback from occurring. The acceleration and deceleration are different settings and can be changed if you wanted to and saved under a different configuration to be recalled whenever you wanted to.
- Kerf width (as wear occurs)?
Kerf compensation is standard in our CAD/CAM software and in the controller. You can put kerf compensation in both or either one. For example, you could put 40 th kerf in the software prior to sending the program to the controller, and then add .001" at a time at the controller as the nozzle wears - so the combined kerf would be .041" for example.
Several factors will compensate for taper - such as speed, pressure, abrasive flow, height of nozzle above the part, cutting under water, orifice/nozzle ratio, abrasive size and quantity. Several of these variables are in the hands of the operator, but our software will set all the parameters that are programmable based on the quality cut the operator selects when setting up the program.
- How does the controller pierce? (wiggle, dynamic, stationary)
The controller is capable of doing all of these piercing options. Our software also has several automatic ways of addressing piercing, so it is a case of selecting which one you want to use and when. Generally once you have selected a pierce procedure, you may want to keep it for similar kinds of materials, like all brittle and fragile materials would have one setting - (stone, glass, laminates, composites, marble, acrylic etc) where harder non brittle materials may have another setting - (steel, aluminum, stainless etc)
- Does the controller control pump pressure?
It is possible to use the controller to adjust the pump pressure between high and low-pressure settings. The high and low-pressure settings are variable and set at the pump. If you wanted to change pressure on a sliding scale, we can do this but the valves that enable this are not standard on our units. The ability to change pressure on all our new waterjets is a standard option.
- Does the controller have error mapping capabilities?
All of our machines are mapped on all three ballscrews prior to shipping. This can be repeated at anytime after installation for an additional charge. We do make this mapping data available to all customers upon request.
- Please explain controller and programming features?
WARDJet / Burny® 10 CNC Controller
I have provided some information below that is listed in our quotes regarding these items.
The Burny® 10 is a completely integrated Control System featuring a PC-based numerical control, 2 or 3 axes drive amplifiers and a comprehensive operators console. The PHANTOM provides the latest advances in CNC technology on a proven platform engineered to increase productivity and reduce costs. Utilizing Windows® XP Embedded, the Burny® 10 produces extremely precise and repeatable motion control and contains many features not found in other numerical controls such as true multitasking and DXF file conversion. Controllers are supplied with a network card and are ready to use for networking. Network cables, floppy discs and USB jump memory are not provided. Should additional options like fiber optic cables or wireless networking be needed, please contact us for a quotation. The operator's console contains functions for up to 3 waterjet stations. The Burny® 10 also features integrated 2 or 3 axes AC or DC drives. Supported by Burny's extensive staff of experienced in-house engineers and service technicians, the Burny® 10 is ready to perform for you today! As a premium member of the Burny family of numerical controls, the Burny® 10 continues a 35-year history of improving the productivity and increasing the profits of a worldwide customer base.
This extremely powerful feature provides precise control over the settings used in waterjet and other cutting processes. Process Control results in consistent cut quality, the elimination of setup errors and produces optimum conditions for achieving maximum consumable life and superior cut quality.
Quick Plate Alignment
Quickly compensate for plate that is not aligned properly on the machine. The PHANTOM rotates the part program for proper placement on the true plate position. With a few simple screen prompts the PHANTOM rotates the part program for proper alignment with the plate. Virtually drop the plate and cut. This saves material and wasted time moving the plate into the correct cutting position.
Expandable Shape Library
Allows commonly used standard shapes to be designed right at the control. Touch the screen to input the required dimensions and follow a simple logical prompting process. Shapes are graphically displayed with dimension lines to assist the numeric entry process. A dynamic display draws the shape, which reduces guesswork. Now even complex shapes can be made consistently and accurately.
True Multitasking Environment
Increase operator productivity by performing many different tasks within the Windows® XP Embedded environment. Load a new part program, create or edit a part program, choose a new part program from the shape library, create or edit a program nest, check production messages, fill out productivity sheets, monitor consumables life - all at the same time and all while the machine is cutting!
Fast DXF File Conversion
The PHANTOM accepts direct downloads of CAD/CAM DXF files, which reduces the expense of third-party post processing software. Further, the PHANTOM can automatically assign Lead In/Lead Out positions--or the operator can make these assignments manually.
Go To (Job Interrupt)
Interrupt the current cutting routine to cut a new part, move ahead multiple pierce points, recover from cut loss, recover from power loss, change torch consumables, interrupt a long nest, jump to the end of a part or nest, reverse cutting path - all quickly done at the touch of a button without losing machine position and without scrapping valuable material!
Monitor and Track Consumables
The PHANTOM tracks consumable usage and can alert the operator when a consumable change is required. Cut quality and part accuracy can be held to the highest levels.
Bright Touch Screen Interface
With an industrial-grade touch screen, the PHANTOM provides an extremely user-friendly machine interface. The wide viewing angle and high resolution graphics generate a bright display even in the harshest shop floor environment, allowing operators to easily and effectively move through the menus and guide the cutting machine
Full Color, Interactive Graphic Display
Eliminate dry runs and confirm the part program before cutting them with the PHANTOM's full color graphic display. View the cut path in real-time and monitor cut progress. Use the zoom tools to verify part spacing and eliminate wasted or unusable product.
- Can a part be saved if the machine is interrupted during cutting i.e.
the power goes out?
Yes the controller will remember the location on the table of the part you were cutting, as long as you don't move the part. Even if you lose power you just home the machine and then select the part you want to cut from the touch screen, and the head will go the exact point where you stopped cutting. The controller will also remember an unlimited number of parts that are on the table - so if you had 100 parts that were all interrupted to start another, you could then go and chose which one you wanted to go and finish at any time. Our grate system is also designed specifically with this in mind to hold the part where you clamped it into position. This is a key feature of WARDJet waterjets that is proprietary to WARDJet.
- Can the machine back-up?
Yes you are able to reverse the path of the cutting head all the way to the beginning of the program. You can also go to a specific part of the program using the graphic display on the controller. This is a really great feature.
- Is there a user defined zero?
There is an absolute 0 and there are 18 user definable home positions. Every time you start a program, we generally program the code so that the 0,0 position of that specific program is set to "program 0". The controller for will then remember this as long as the program is active, or in interrupted mode.
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- If capable of submerged cutting:
- How fast does the water level raise/lower?
This depends on the size of the tank and the amount of compressed air you have available to displace the water in the bladder that will then be pushed into the tank to raise the water level. The speed with which it goes down will depend on how fast the compressed air can escape from the bladder. Our systems have the ability to raise and lower the water as an option - except with the Z-45 where it is built into the unit. Instead of focusing on this feature we have invested a great deal of engineering design and time to make sure that our grates are flat. As a result, most users of WARDJet waterjets leave the water at 1" - 2" above the grates and cut all of their material under water.
What is the maximum submersion depth?
This depends on where you set your grate level. Our grates level can vary.
- What is the largest piece of material that can be cut while submerged for each machine size?
You can submerge a piece of material up to the cutting envelope size. On our Z-613 for example you could submerge a piece of material that is 6' x 13'.
- If the material is larger than the machine, can the material be put on top of the machine or are there guards in the way?
Our machines are designed to allow you to feed a piece of material that is larger than the table from the front and out the back.
The controller will allow you to index your material and finish your job. The gantry is open on both the front and the back so that you have easy access to the full cutting envelope. All Z-Series machines are designed to allow an 8' x 20' sheet to be fed through the waterjet from front to back. If you wanted to feed sheets up to 12' wide, just let us know and we can make it possible. If you look at our tank design, you will see that it is designed so that you can load and support
a large amount of
weight on the sides of the tanks as you feed material through.
- Are the support slats easily removed, individually or completely?
We generally sell our systems with our waterjet job shop grates, which are much easier to use then slats. They are removed from a Z-613 or Z-813 in three sections. Each section is reversible and can be replaced individually. They all come with an easy to clamp and remove system. This is unique to WARDJet. Please see videos on this on our website.
- Can the machine be easily moved around?
By using an overhead crane or two forklifts it is possible to move your waterjet to other locations within your facility if necessary. All our systems come with lifting locations for crane use. Our waterjets are built in our factory, tested and then shipped in one piece fully assembled. If you wanted to move it, there are steps you need to follow, but you could do this easily in a day. You would probably want to have a WARDJet technician come and check the squareness of the machine with a ball bar prior to cutting again, but the mapping need not be done again as we pin all our ballscrews.
- Can I stop in the middle of a part cut something else and then resume the first part?
Yes the controller has a job interrupt feature that will allow you to interrupt multiple jobs and then return to them. Again you will have to be sure not to move the parts that have been started. You could stop in the middle of an unlimited number of jobs and start another one. Hence again, the design of the WARDJet JOB SHOP GRATES allows this to be a useful function. If you are cutting on slats, the slats can be shaken with your fingers, hence moving the parts. So when you want to come back and finish a part you were working on previously, it may not be exactly where it was when you were cutting earlier - (maybe the slat got bumped) and that would be problem. With the WARDJet JOB SHOP GRATE design, the probability of the part being where it was clamped down is extremely high.
- What are my options if I can't meet the air requirements of a machine?
The air that a waterjet system requires is not an overly large amount as most of it is deadheading rather than being used up. If you don't already have this available in your building then you will need to purchase an air compressor.
- If I don't buy your grates what comes standard with your system? Are you sure the grates are that much better then slats?
Your WARDJet waterjet comes with a choice of four different grating options. So you select the type of grating system that is right for your application (or mix multiple types together). This allows you to get what you need rather then just everyone getting slats which is what other waterjet manufacturer's offer. We don't even offer slats because the modular job shop grates are so much easier to use. Slats tend to move in the center, they're wider causing them to create more kickback into your material, and they tend to not be level after the initial usage of the machine.
View the video link below to see the advantages to this grating system.
View Video about WARDJet Grates
How do you protect the moving parts from the abrasive?
On all WARDJet waterjets the moving parts are protected from abrasive by using fiberglass covers with a set of double lip sealed brushes across the openings. There are also air blowers providing positive pressure inside the covers to help keep the abrasive out. You also have the option of adding splashguards to the sides of the machine to help keep abrasive inside the tank area.
How often do I have to replace the grates?
The life of your job shop grates is going to vary depending upon how much cutting you're doing per day as well as where you cut. If you're always cutting in the same spot on your machine then those grates will need replaced more often then the rest of the sections in your tank.
The grate life is a largely variable figure, but they could last up to 6-9 months.
How many cutting heads can I run off of a 50 hp pump?
A 50 hp intensifier pump can run one or many cutting heads depending on the orifice used. The larger the orifice, the faster you will be able to cut. So a 50 hp, 60,000 psi pump can supply a single .014" orifice, 2 heads with .010" orifices, 3 heads with .008" orifices, 4 heads with .007" orifices or up to 6 heads if they are water only and using only a .005" orifices.
What kind of drive system does WARD Jet use on the Z-Series?
The Z-Series systems are ball screw driven machines. We have found that this ensures you the highest level of accuracy. Although this costs more then rack & pinion, we've found the extra investment is well worthwhile. So we include it standard with these machines.
How is it shipped? How do I unload it without an overhead crane?
The gantry will be shipped fully assembled to your facility as one part. If you don't have an available overhead crane you can unload your gantry using two forklifts. The other option is to hire a rigger to come for a short time and get the machine unloaded and in the correct position on your floor.
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What happens to the spent material/water? How is it removed from the tank?
The normal overflow water and cooling water from your tank should be able to go down the drain without causing any environmental problems. You will not be able to do this though if any of the material you have been cutting with your waterjet is considered hazardous.
All WARDJet waterjet systems are provided with a 100-micron filter system to remove most of the solids that overflow into the drain from the waterjet. The cooling water from the intensifier would be coming from the pump and could flow down the drain or you could install a chiller and run a closed loop system. Care must be taken that no solids should go down the drain.
The used abrasive can be removed from the tank either using an abrasive removal and recycling system, of which WARDJet Inc hold the patents for - see our web site and look up the WARD Abrasive Recycling Systems, a removal only system, or by shoveling it out and into the dumpster.
Has one of these machines ever been used with a drilled well as the water supply?
Yes, many of our systems are being run off of well water. You may need a water softener for this, which is something we could help you assess. You may also need to consider a DI unit. You cannot just go and get a DI system. It needs to be specifically configured for waterjet use. We sell these and can help you understand when this would be necessary.
Has one of these machines ever been used when city sewer was not available? Would the dirty water be drained to the septic system or to municipal ditch?
You need to look at the size of the septic tank and what it can take as inflow. If it cannot handle the inflow of waste-water, a 100% closed loop system with a DI unit and chiller will be needed. Under these circumstances, and we have units running like this, no water goes down the drain at all and all cutting water is used again for cutting. Make-up water is needed, as some water will be lost to evaporation etc.
What are my options if I can't meet the water requirements of a machine?
There are 2 types of water needed for running an intensifier pump. Cooling water and cutting water. This is explained later in these questions. If you have a limited amount of water available we would encourage you to consider a Deionization Unit customized for waterjet cutting to set-up a closed loop system. By reusing the water needed to cool your pump as well as the water used for the cutting head, you could reduce your water usage to only the water that evaporates.
What water quality is required? Do I need special water filters? How do I find out what water quality I have?
There are two sources of water required for your waterjet when operating an intensifier pump. The second water supply is the water that is sent to the cutting head.
We recommend that you contact a commercial company that specializes in water conditioning equipment to do a water quality analysis for you prior to installing a machine. (Ex. Culligan http://www.culliganwater.com)
The goal with the cutting head water is to have a low number of total dissolved solids, generally less then 100 ppm. Water with a higher number of TDS can be treated through softening or TDS reduction. Contact us for recommended methods of treatment. Your inlet water should also have a temperature less then 70° F (21° C). In order to reuse this water the DI (deionization unit) would be required. Generally 1 gpm of cutting head water will be required for a 50 hp intensifier pump.
The intensifier pump will require 0-5 gpm for the cooling water. This water will also need to be kept around a temperature of 70° F. In order to reuse this water we would recommend a chiller being added to the system. As shown in the above drawing this will allow the water to be re-circulated again and again. Typically this water is allowed to flow down the drain if a chiller is not used. Most customers do not use chillers and do let the water go down the drain. A chiller can always be added at any time.
Intensifier pumps will be supplied with two water filters a .5-micron filter and a .2 absolute filter. This should improve your water quality going into the pump and increase the life of your seals.
- What kind of drain is required? Will my floor drain work? Is it a problem to put this material down the drain?
Your overflow water and cooling water could be able to go down the drain without causing any environmental problems, as long as none of the material you have been cutting with your waterjet is considered hazardous. If that is the case then you would need to set up a closed-loop system. Care must be taken that no solids should go down the drain. WARDJet systems all come standard with a filter that will help remove solids prior to the drain.
- What temperature does my water need to be at?
For cooling water in the intensifier your inlet water should also have a temperature less then 70° F (21° C). This will allow the water to be used by the heat exchanger to reduce the temperature of the hydraulic fluid. Should this not be available, a chiller could be added to your system. You would also like to have a temperature of less then 70° F for your cutting head water. This should help you to achieve the maximum seal life.
- How does the chiller work? Do I need one? How much water am I really going to use per minute?
The chiller re-circulates the cooling water that is used by the intensifier's heat exchanger to cool the hydraulics. It cools the water and then sends it through the pump again. A chiller is most effective in areas where there is a water shortage, in warmer climates, or if the cost of water is higher. You could go through up to 5 gal/minute of cooling water on a 50 hp pump, so it may be a good option. This will only reuse the cooling water; you will still be putting approximately 1 gal/min of fresh water through the cutting head, which will not be reused with the chiller.
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- How long does it take to replace a nozzle? What tools are required?
Replacing a nozzle can be done in a matter of minutes - if not less than a minute - probably 20 seconds. No tools are required to replace a nozzle.
- Are the mixing tubes able to be rebuilt?
No. They wear larger in ID and then become too big to cut effectively. However, if you have a larger pump, you should keep the larger nozzles to use with a larger orifice diameter when cutting thicker materials.
- How long does a complete nozzle overhaul take and what is involved?
A complete overhaul includes taking apart the complete cutting head and changing out the consumables, which takes approximately 10 minutes if you are going to clean all the parts properly.
- What type of jewel is used?
We recommend you start with a ruby or sapphire, but you are welcome to change to a diamond at anytime. We don't start with diamonds as when you first use a waterjet after installation, there are burrs etc that will break free and could damage an orifice. If you damage a diamond in this way, the warranty will be voided. A diamond orifice is guaranteed for 500 hours and costs about $500. A ruby orifice should last about 40 - 80 hours and costs $13.
- How is the jewel aligned? Manually?
No â€“ it automatically aligns itself.
- Is there a mixing tube guard? Is it easily removable?
There is a wear insert that fits between the mixing tube and orifice to protect the body of the cutting head along with the orifice. It also aligns the abrasive into the mixing tube. It is a consumable and is very easy to remove - just loosen a screw and replace it. There is only one way it can fit into the head to avoid any confusion. There is a splashguard that fits on the tube as well. This will help to protect the body of the cutting head from the outside.
- Are different size mixing tubes available, short, long, large diameter, small diameter?
The nozzles come in generally either a 3" or 4" length. There are a variety of inside diameters available, which are chosen based on the pump you are running and the parts you are cutting. The cost is about $83 each. Custom length tubes can be supplied
- Who should I get my abrasive from?
Your machine will be provided with a free sample of abrasive. You are of course welcome to get quotes from any abrasive company you like. We are not an abrasive supplier, but there are many of them that can be located through research on the Internet.
- Do the WARDJet machines have an automatic height adjustment?
We do offer the option of adding a height sensor to any of our cutting heads. This will allow your cutting head to maintain a constant height between your nozzle and the material. This can help reduce the number of broken nozzles you'll have by running your head into your material. This is designed to adjust for minor changes in warped material, not for extreme variances in parts. There are videos in our video library on our website that can further explain this.
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- What happens if a mixing tube clogs and water shoots back into the system? Will the hopper need to be emptied?
We have a patented mini hopper with an anti-backflow device that prevents this from happening 99% of the time (we don't want to say 100%). When the water goes back up this tube it comes out through the flaps on this device prior to getting into the mini hopper.
- How easily is abrasive type changed?
It is easy to change out abrasive. If you have one hopper, simply pressurize the unit and collect all the abrasive and save it for use later. Then load the different grade abrasive into the hopper. If you have 2 hoppers, we just "T" into the abrasive feed line prior to going to the cutting head and switch from one to the other in seconds.
- How easy is it to change abrasive flow rate?
This is simply done by using a slide that is located on our mini hopper.
We recommend you view the mini hopper video on our website. We will be releasing our new variable delivery mini hopper shortly which allows the abrasive flow to be changed within the software and remotely.So for example, every time you pierce a piece of stone and have to go to low pressure at the pump, (which with a WARDJet waterjet can be automatically done within the software and controller) the abrasive can also be changed to suit the pressure selected to reduce the chance of clogging.Then when the system has finished the pierce and goes to high pressure, the abrasive will be increased to supply the optimal amount of abrasive again for maximum cutting power to be achieved.
- What are my options with the used abrasive? Is it hazardous?
The used abrasive can be removed from the bottom of your tank using either a WARD, an abrasive removal system, or by shoveling it out. There are several options at that point:
- The waste abrasive can be run through a WARD abrasive recycling unit which will result in dry abrasive being deposited back into a storage hopper for reuse with your abrasive waterjet.
- The waste abrasive can be removed and then stored in abrasive bags for recycling at a later point. Abrasive can be stored for years and then recycled when it becomes feasible. By using the reusable abrasive storage bags available through WARDJet, Inc. the water will be able to seep out leaving you with dry abrasive. These bags have bottoms that open for easy dumping when you're ready to recycle.
- Waste abrasive can be disposed of either into waste drums or directly into your dumpster. It is not considered hazardous as long as none of the material you have been cutting with your waterjet is considered hazardous.
- How far away can my bulk feed hopper be from the gantry?
We recommend that you keep the bulk feed hopper as close to the gantry as possible. It can be further away but this would require an increased amount of air pressure and is not recommended.
- Who should I get my abrasive from?
Your machine will be provided with a free sample of abrasive. You are of course welcome to get quotes from any abrasive company you like. We are not an abrasive supplier, but there are many of them that can be located through research on the Internet.
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Service and Support
- What is WARDJet's standard response if my machine goes down? Will you fly someone out here? How long will it take you to respond?
WARDJet is dedicated to providing the very best technical support in the industry. We are able to do this through a variety of means. Of course we recommend that you contact us either by phone or via email anytime you have a question or concern. Our trained technicians will then either address this with you verbally, or they may recommend that you log on to our website. On our website we have a live video link. By clicking on this and inserting your username and password you will be able to see everything we are seeing on our machine. This is done through a video camera in our shop focused on our floor model machine. Through this we are able to video the trouble spot you've indicated and then talk you through the solution. Many times there is a quick, simple fix to whatever you are struggling with.
The live video is the best option, because this response time is immediate and gets you up and running right away. You also have the option of having a camera installed on your end so that you can show our technician exactly what the question is. He will then be able to watch on his computer and recommend an action plan.
Should this not provide an adequate solution to your problem we will do everything in our power to get a technician on your floor in as reasonable an amount of time as possible.
What is included with the additional money I have to pay for installation and training?
When you pay for installation and training of your WARDJet machine the benefits are invaluable. This provides an experienced installer on your floor for as many days as you would like. He is then able to properly hook everything up on your machine, level your grates, and help you get going. Our installers have Renishaw Ballbar equipment to check how square your machine is. All of this will lead to you being able to achieve the best tolerances and most accurate cuts right away.
The installer will also provide hands-on training of your staff. This gives them the confidence to operate and maintain your machine right from the start. You will find this leads to a more successful waterjet operation, with your employees having the knowledge to operate at maximum efficiency. We also provide unlimited free training prior to shipping your machine at our facility in Tallmadge, OH. You are welcome to send someone to our facility in Tallmadge, OH so that we can thoroughly train him or her on our floor model machines.
- Do I get the consumables from WARDJet?
The consumables for your new intensifier pump as well as the cutting head are available through WARDJet. Most items are in stock at all times. Feel free to call, email, or fax an order in and we will get your parts out to you as soon as possible.
- What maintenance does the waterjet require?
Maintenance of a waterjet primarily revolves around servicing and changing consumable items in the cutting head and the pump. In the cutting head, orifices, nozzles, wear inserts, needle and seats, and abrasive delivery tubes will wear out. The pumps will need high-pressure seals, check valves and low-pressure seals serviced and changed as they wear.
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- How easy is it to program?
It is extremely user-friendly software, I recommend that you set-up a WebEx with us to allow us to do a full software demo for you so that you can experience this yourself. You should be able to go from a DXF part to having it ready to cut in 30 - 60 seconds!
- Is there collision avoidance software? Yes, this is a part of our GEMS software program. It is without a doubt the most effective feature avoidance software we have ever seen and is basically 99% trustworthy.
- What type of nesting software is available what comes with machine? Will it nest one part over and over? Will it nest different quantities of different parts on a sheet? Can this data be posted to different machines?
GEMS software allows you to nest multiple parts whether they are the same part over and over or you can nest different parts together. You can select the quantities that you want to nest and it will do that for you. You can operate GEMS off of multiple computers by adding additional seats of the software. GEMS will nest into any shape sheet - be it an odd shaped piece of scrap or a standard rectangular shape. It will nest parts within parts. The nesting is extremely powerful. We have been selling software for many years, and without a doubt, GEMS is the most powerful package we have ever seen. References are available from customers who have used various packages for years and then switched to GEMS.
- Scanning capabilities, please describe this process.
It is possible to scan a part into GEMS but you would have to purchase an additional module with the software. Generally if you came and visited us, we would ask you to sketch something on a piece of paper, and within 3 minutes of scanning it, have it cutting on the machine. We are THAT confident in our software!
- Will there be additional charges for more copies of the software for home, office, etc.?
Yes the cost for a second set of software is 50% of the cost of the first one.
- What type of charges should I expect in the future in terms of upgrades and bug fixes?
As long as you continue your annual maintenance fee then you will get all of the upgrades for free. The cost for this is 12% of the list price of the software.
- How long does it take to go from the software to cutting the part?
Using our revolutionary GEMS software package you will be able to go from a drawing, to a programmed part, to a finished cut part in minutes if not less then one minute. This does not have to be a complicated process. By combining the ease-of-use that you get with our software and controller you can get amazing results. We can schedule a WebEx at anytime to do a live demo for you on the software.
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- What is the difference between an intensifier pump and a crankshaft? What do you recommend?
In general the intensifier pump is more expensive to purchase, but cheaper to maintain. Based on running and operating the 6th largest capacity job shop in the USA up till 2003 (we sold it as it became a conflict of interest with our customers - so we decided to sell the job shop and focus on building the best waterjets with all our hard earned hands-on knowledge built-in) we would recommend the intensifier. We have also sold hundreds of used waterjets and have found intensifiers to be solid, proven technology. All WARDJet units come standard with intensifier pumps, unless requested otherwise. If you have a particular need for a direct drive pump we could supply that for you as well.
- Are the pump and filtration systems part of the machine or stand alone units?
They are stand-alone units.
- If I had a 220v unit and moved it to a new shop where 575v was available would I need a new motor or is there a jumper system in the motor that can be switched?
The motor could be ordered to be dual voltage. However, transformers are relatively low cost and that would be the easiest way to go.
- What are my options if I can't meet the power requirements of a machine?
If you do not have 460V power available but do have 230V we should be able to change over the voltage on a new intensifier pump for you prior to shipping and installation. A step-up transformer could also be an option. Should you not have 3-phase power you may be able to purchase a phase converter to make this a possibility. Note that a phase converter would only be used to run smaller pumps such as a 20 - 25 hp pump.
- How far away can my pump be from the gantry? Can I build a platform to put this on?
Ideally the pump can be located up to 20' away from the waterjet table. If the pump is placed further away from the machine, larger diameter high-pressure tubing will be required to reduce any pressure loss. This may add additional costs to your waterjet purchase. The pump can be located on a platform above the ground although they will both need to be accessed regularly for maintenance and operation.
- How long does it take to replace the seals in the pump?
After your operator has been trained on changing the seals in your intensifier and has done it once or twice, it should come pretty easily for them. Generally an experienced waterjet operator is able to change out a set of seals in one end of the intensifier in approximately a half hour to an hour.
- What is the maximum thickness of material I can cut with a 50 hp pump?
The maximum thickness of material is going to vary dramatically depending upon the type of material. All Z-Series machines have 12" of Z-travel, allowing you to cut material up to 12" away from the surface of the grates. The 50 hp pump could enable you to cut up to 10" thick steel.
- Can one guy run the waterjet and the recycling unit at the same time?
Yes! We have designed the abrasive recycling system exactly for this purpose. You don't to hire another person in order to recycle your abrasive. The waterjet operator can watch the recycling unit and listen to it while it runs without having to stop cutting.
- Where can I learn more about abrasive recycling
Besides on our website, there is also a good article here.
- Who uses this system now?
Companies that can justify it and are typically larger users. This is a financial calculation that can you can use our Abrasive Recycling Calculator to help you with.
- What is the ratio of reclaimed abrasive to waste?
This depends on what you start with and what abrasive you are using. Generally you should expect to recycle 50% or more of your abrasive. It is critical that the abrasive must be one that is a known quantity with known characteristics. HPA will not recycle well. You should ideally be using GMA, GMX or HPX abrasives.
- How do I get an idea of what sort of reclamation rate I might be able to get from my abrasive?
Send us about 5 pounds of your used abrasive. This should be gathered from various depths and areas of you tank, since finer abrasive will tend to settle near the top. Gathering the abrasive from various locations will give a more representative sample. We will perform a sieve analysis of your abrasive and provide you with a report showing the breakdown of the mesh sizes. Based on this you can decide what the next step should be. Typically if the numbers look good, a company will send us 2000-4000 pounds of their used abrasive and we will run it through the recycling system. You would certainly be invited to come watch the WARD PRO while it works. We will then ship your recycled abrasive back to you so that you can cut with it and see the results first-hand.
- What is the foot print of machine?
The machine itself is approximately 60” x 72”. You will also need some room for the waste hopper and the hopper that holds the tank water before entering the WARD PRO.
- How far can the dry abrasive be delivered from the WARD PRO?
Once the abrasive is dry and ready to use, it can be delivered up to 60 feet away from the machine.
- What is the cost of operation of the WARD PRO?
Estimated at $7 per hour. Remember you only run the machine if it has a full load of abrasive to recycle. So you only incur the cost of the $7 when you are generating revenue through recycling.
- What are the maintenance costs of the WARD Pro?
The $7 per hour operating cost should cover all costs of operation and maintenance excluding labor. The actual cost of power will change the operating cost a bit. Labor should be minimal and easily be a part of the waterjet operators duties to keep an eye on the WARD PRO from time to time to make sure it is running efficiently.
- What is the life span of machine?
We have machines that have been running for over 10 years in the field that are used every day. We have a customer who has a 30’ x 13’ waterjet with 4 heads and 200 hp who operates 24 hours per day. They have used their WARD 1 from the day they got their machine and continue to do so.
- What if I am cutting a lot of wood or plastics?
In that case, a more careful evaluation of your application will be required. Please contact us for more information.
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