Complementing EDM with Waterjet Cutting

Abrasive waterjet cutting and wire EDM work are the specialties of Jack’s Machine. McGrail noted that what motivated him to venture into abrasive waterjet cutting was the fact that a large portion of the shop’s wire EDM work could be processed much faster using abrasive waterjet cutting. As a result, the shop continues to process additional parts on its OMAX abrasive waterjet cutting systems and takes on more high-production jobs.

With its OMAX abrasive waterjet equipment, Jack’s Machine easily and consistently holds overall part sizes to +/-0.003″ and cuts extremely square edges with surface finishes as smooth as 64 Ra. Plus, the shop does a lot of medical instrument parts, and abrasive waterjet cutting them eliminates the occurrence of heat-affected zones and edge stress typically associated with conventional machining methods, both of which can compromise part integrity.

Jack’s Machine has an OMAX 2652 JetMachining® Center and an OMAX 55100 JetMachining Center. Both machines are equipped with OMAX Tilt-A-Jet® taper-reduction accessory, Intelli-MAX® Software-based control and 30 hp high-energy direct drive pumps for 55,000 psi cutting capability.

The shop’s OMAX 2652 is a mid-sized cantilever-style machine. It has, as standard, a MAXJET® 5i Nozzle and programmable Z-axis movement. With a completely sealed and protected Ball Screw Drive System, the machine provides an X-Y cutting travel of 52″ x 26″ paired with a table size of 69″x 30″.

As a large cantilever-style machine, the OMAX 55100 sports a table size of 126″ x 65″ and work envelope offering an X-Y cutting travel of 100″ x 55″. The machine’s cantilever Y-axis on a bridge X-axis, with a Motorized Z-Axis, gives Jack’s Machine the option to load material from the three open sides of the machine.

We can cut parts right to size with our OMAX machines,” said McGrail. “The machines’ Tilt-A-Jet accessory, precision table motion and easy-to-use controls are what make that possible. Plus, part edges are smooth, square and taper-free.

He said that the software-based Intelli-MAX controls, which include free upgrades for the life of the machines, make it simple to load a customer’s DFX part file, initiate a tool path and have the machines running in minutes, and if needed, the controls allow him to quickly draw part files from scratch.