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Business Blooms With Waterjet

Business Blooms With Waterjet

David Abare, vice president at New England Die Cutting and the shop's Jet Edge waterjet system.

New England Die Cutting Inc. (NEDC) ( President-Kim Abare says continued reinvestment in her company, even during economic downturns, has contributed to its phenomenal growth. One of the company's recent investments was in abrasive waterjet cutting.

Waterjet cutting increased the company's productivity by eliminating the need for tooling for short-term and long-term jobs and for prototypes. Waterjet cutting also lowered New England Die Cutting's material costs by providing the ability to nest parts tightly. The system also offers several advantages over traditional cutting methods.

The equipment produces burr-free parts that do not require secondary finishing work, while eliminating heat-affected zones, toxic fumes, recast layers, work hardening and the thermal stress associated with other cutting systems. Also, it allows the company to hold accuracies of 0.005 in. with repeatability of 0.001 in., over the system's entire work envelope. The waterjet cutter can cut materials up to 15-in. thick.

New England Die Cutting's waterjet system saves material in several ways. It maximizes material use by cutting tightly nested parts. It cuts little kerf, and it can cut parts from materials that would have been lost to scrap if traditional cutting methods were used. In addition, the system generates no hazardous waste, so it is environmentally friendly and reduces disposal costs.

The water used in the waterjet cutter can be recycled several times, through a closed-loop system, and waste water can be filtered so that it can be disposed of in a standard sewer. The garnet abrasive used in the waterjet cutter also can be recycled several times and is non-toxic, so it is safe for landfill disposal.

The waterjet cutting system New England Die Cutting purchased was manufactured by Jet Edge Inc. ( It cuts through materials using water pressurized to 55,000 psi by a 50-hp, 55-50C Jet Edge intensifier pump. The cutter is controlled by Jet Edge's PC-based AquaVision interface that includes SigmaNest software. The cutter has automated features that include true shape nesting, feedrate generation and corner ramping, graphical and/or G and M-code display, plate alignment, remote pendant, real-time cutter compensation, and point and click start/stop points.

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