Waterjet System Meets High Standards for Flexibility and Reliability

July 12, 2010
After a comprehensive equipment evaluation, a custom fabricator finds that ROI on a MAXIEM waterjet system makes sense for the scale and range of the materials it processes.

Humboldt Controls & Fabricating (HCF) produces stainless steel material handling equipment and control solutions in Humboldt, Iowa, for distribution throughout the Midwest. HCF delivers quality, cost-effective components and equipment that meet the standards in reliability, particularly for the food/beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

The MAXIEM series of waterjet cutting machines from OMAX are an alternative to laser cutting systems for job shops and fabricators. The MAXIEM 2030 has a work envelope of 122 X 79 in. A tabletop conveyor for finished parts at Humboldt Custom Fabricating.

The operating philosophy for this custom fabrication shop is to offer customers exceptional value within budget and on time. Therefore, HCF’s operators wanted to move away from outsourcing cutting services to control in-house lead times and production quality better. To maintain the shop’s strategic manufacturing processes and customer delivery requirements, HCF consulted MAXIEM distributor Erickson Machine Tool Inc. for proposals about adding an appropriate cutting system.

MAXIEM Waterjets is a division of OMAX Corp., which supplies each installation with Intelli-MAX® Basic software to support companies that need easier access to abrasive waterjet technology. The MAXIEM line is suitable for cutting almost any material, according to OMAX, including metal, tile, plastics, rubber, and foam.

A turntable station at Humboldt Custom Fabricating, Humboldt, Iowa.

Finished strips negotiate a corner of the conveyor at at Humboldt Custom Fabricating.

After a comprehensive equipment evaluation, HCF concluded it made good business sense that a waterjet cutting system fitted its needs better than a laser jet system, in term of the return on investment. According to HCF, the approachable pricing of the MAXIEM Waterjet line became one of the deciding factors.

“We investigated the facts and also other manufacturers of waterjets and found that the MAXIEM had the best product for the best price,” explained HCF business development manager Brenda Deal. “The MAXIEM waterjet cutter has been the perfect solution to fit our small business financial and operational goals.”

HCF acquired a MAXIEM 2030, which includes an X-Y cutting travel of 122 X 79 in., an ideal work envelope for the shop because it usually work with material in 5 X 10-ft sheets. Now, 75% of the individual components for their typical tabletop conveyor can be cut with the MAXIEM waterjet. Since their conveyor equipment requires 100% welding, cleaner cut parts from the waterjet provides a better assembly fit and higher quality welds. With high-quality welds, their material handling equipment can meet specific industry sanitation requirements.

A trimming line for stainless steel strip at Humboldt Custom Fabricating.

A sample of a finished part at Humboldt Custom Fabricating, which produces components and equipment for the food/beverage and pharmaceutical industries, among others.

“The waterjet cutter gives us the flexibility and reliability that we need to maintain our high standards for each cut,” said Deal. “In a short period of time, the waterjet has been able to reduce our lead times significantly, allow control over quality, and ultimately secure orders we may have otherwise not been awarded.”

HCF’s waterjet equipment acquisition shows how the MAXIEM product line adequately serves the small business sector. Since obtaining in-house waterjet cutting capabilities, HCF has increased their competitive edge and looks forward to the continued success of their custom fabrication business.

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