PLASTI-FAB

TUALATIN, OREGON

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 completed 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 o 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 larges 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.

To keep the water between 68 and 74 degrees year round, Plasti-fab added a swimming pool heater and retractable solar blanket to the waterjet tank.

It was taking them about a week to complete 28 holes, and now they can make 212 holes in four hours. Oxford also notes that he easily prevents delamination of his layered fiberglass parts by running a pre-piercing operation prior to cutting the circles.

This enormous project has helped Plasti-Fab grow from 45 employees to 105 employees in just two years. Plasti-Fab also uses their waterjet system to cut steel parts for its metal shop and neoprene parts for its gates department. In addition, the company manufactures numerous wastewater treatment products including flumes, shelters, gauges, manholes, gates, stop logs, and skimmers.

Plasti-Fab runs its waterjet system 10 hours a day, five days a week. It is required for this project to maintain a tolerance of 1/16inch over 24 fee, which is easy to accomplish with an automated waterjet system.

“I AM EXTREMELY HAPPY WITH THE SERVICE FROM JET EDGE. IN FACT, I AM FLOORED WITH THEIR RESPONSE.”

– WADE OXFORD, PLASTI-FAB CNC SUPERVISOR

Oxford said that the Mid Rail Gantry is very accessible and easy to load. He and Plasti-Fab Waterjet Operator Don Logan are able to load or unload the table in under an hour by using two forklifts and a hoist to maneuver the parts into position.

“It was easy to learn and operate. I’ve been very satisfied with the system and follow-up service since it was installed,” Oxford explains. “I’ve been able to pick it up in four months. I am extremely happy with the service from Jet Edge. In fact, I am floored with their response.”

Plasti-Fab Jet Edge