When you work in manufacturing you have a decision to make; laser, plasma or waterjet cutting? ‘Which one is best?’ is the first question that many people ask. The most up to date and technologically advanced must be the best, surely? Well that’s not the case. In fact there could be a case for using any or all 3 of the manufacturing processes depending upon your needs and what you value most from the machine.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, from speed to cost and even waste. So let’s take a look at each option. Continue reading
The recent approval for the new nuclear plant at Hinckley Point had businesses across the region breathing a sigh of relief. Hundreds of companies locally and further afield pre-registered to become part of the supply chain solution for EDF Energy and its contractors with the aim of securing long term work in the region. With 90 major tier 1 contractors requiring further supply chain contracts of their own, the opportunities for businesses in and around the region are huge.
Many smaller local businesses took the step to improve their own staff development and training and internal processes with the aim of being ready and able to meet the demands of the project. The project which will take approximately 10 years to complete will provide more than 25000 jobs and have more than 5000 people working on site at any time. It is anticipated that it will provide 900 permanent jobs on completion. Continue reading
There are few products that we use in everyday life that have not had CNC machining take some part in their production. Cars, planes, household machines and appliances, medical parts and toys all get to visit the CNC machine at some point in their production.
CNC or Computer Numerically Controlled machining has become more versatile then ever over the years. The number of axis has increased and the types of machine available now mean that increasingly smaller and more intricate parts can be manufactured using CNC machining. Continue reading
Waterjet cutting has really come to the forefront of manufacturing in recent years because of its versatility. There are an array of reasons to choose waterjet cutting over other methods, and they aren’t all about the actual cutting control. Improved efficiency in processes and reduced wastage and costs also factor highly, which by default leads to improved customer service.
Omni directional cutting, cutting widths, stress free cutting and improved finishing are all advantages of using water instead of more traditional cutting methods. However, one of the most fundamental things with waterjet cutting is that when you use water, there is no Heat Affected Zone (HAZ). This is the area around where you’re machining that gets hot because of the machining process. The heat generated in this area means the structure of the material gets altered and can be liable to fracture. If machining composite materials using traditional methods, the HAZ can cause all sorts of distortions and reactions, resulting in breakage and wastage. The ability to cut cold removes all these barriers and means that almost any material can now be cut with no alteration to its base structure. Continue reading
Even though waterjet cutting has only come into its own in recent years it may surprise you to know that it has been around since the 1930s. At that time it was used at a low pressure and only for cutting soft materials. Whilst things continued to develop after the war, waterjet cutting became much more effective in the 1970s, when the first reliable high pressure pump was developed.
Whilst the earlier waterjet machines could cut softer materials they could not handle harder materials and metals. The ability to cut harder materials like metal came about following the addition of an abrasive to the waterjet cutting nozzle. This was a technique first used in the 1930s, however early versions of the nozzle were not commercially viable. Further development of the nozzle and the availability of a reliable pump led to a more effective waterjet that could now cut through a bigger variety of materials. Continue reading