When Tualatin, Oregon-based Plasti-Fab, Inc., landed a contract to cut hundreds of circles out of 8,000-pound fiberglass plates, they decided abrasive waterjet would best complete the job. The company had to find two things: a waterjet manufacturer capable of building a 14’x28′ waterjet table, and a system that could be installed outdoors-their building already had two CNC routers and there was no space available.
Plasti-Fab CNC Supervisor Wade Oxford explained that after researching several waterjet systems, only Jet Edge in St. Michael, Minnesota, was capable of delivering the large system they required. The company selected Jet Edge’s Mid Rail Gantry that features a rugged floor-mounted rack and pinion drive-rail motion system. The waterjet system, which is the largest in the Northwest, is powered by Jet’Edge’s 50-horsepower iP60-50 intensifier pump, rated for 60,000 psi.
Plasti-Fab installed the system under a steel awning equipped with a hoist, then added a swimming pool heater and retractable solar blanket to the waterjet tank to keep the water between 68 and 74 degrees year-round. Oxford says the Jet Edge waterjet system is hands-down much faster than cutting the parts with a hand router which yielded poor results after a week of tests.