Waterjet Machinery Comparison Guide and Key Questions to Ask
The water jet industry in Australia offers a range of suppliers and manufactures. In this article we’ve reviewed some of the key players and what they offer in terms of technology, support and what questions to ask before buying.
The key players we’ve identified are; OMAX (who Headland Machinery represent and support), Techni Waterjet, Performance Waterjet (they represent Flow Waterjets) and Waterjet Sweden.
You are reading this on the headland.com.au site, so full disclosure we have a bias towards OMAX Waterjets. Never-the-less, we wanted to share a fact-based article on the differences and more importantly the key questions to ask all manufacturers or suppliers to the Australian market.
Here’s a quick snapshot below on the market information available, as at 29 June, 2020.
Company: Techni Waterjet (GMM)
About: Italian owned and manufactured in Thailand. Owned by GMM, Italian Stone Processing equipment manufacture. 1000 installed across 26 continents.
Support: All Australian support based out of Victoria.
Technology: They offer an Electric Servo driven reciprocating Waterjet Pump. They have a Pac 60 5 Axis Cutting Head. Their pump power is lower than most, so it requires a smaller nozzle head. A smaller cutting head mean slower cutting, regardless of what the pressure is. Ask them to talk you through the power options and nozzle sizes and how this can impact cutting speeds.
Feedback on the software is that it’s not as intuitive as most, so make sure you get a demo and confirm training and support.
The X and Y axis drive system on this waterjet is based upon “belt driven” technology rather than OMAX’s traction drive technology. This can be susceptible to garnet contamination and with no encoder based closed loop feedback system, there is an impact accuracy and can delay detecting any issues or faults during cutting. Be sure to quiz them on this and the benefits of each of the technology types.
Software can be challenging to use, so make sure you get a demo with your drawing or DXF and not one they have pre-prepared. Also confirm if any upgrades to the software or additional licences are included or you have to pay for these and if so the cost and downtime if any for those upgrades.
Company: Performance Waterjet
About: The Australian distributor of Flow waterjet.
Support: Their service support is offered throughout Australia through contractors and not factory trained technicians. Be sure to confirm their level of training and expertise on their Flow waterjet machines. Also confirm and compare the costs of their spare parts for maintenance. The most common used parts such as nozzles are a good part to compare across the suppliers.
Technology: They run Windows 7 on the machine controller, which can be troublesome as Windows won’t support this technology going forward. This can also impact the amount of inputs the software can handle.
Ball screw drives on these machines means you need to ensure you can regularly maintain these machines, monitor any wearing which can lead to backlash. This is the case with any machine without traction drive.
They also offer hydraulic intensifiers, which is seen as older technology and less efficient for ultra-high pressure cutting.
Software – confirm if you have to pay for any upgrades to the software and if this will impact cutting time.
Company: OMAX, represented by Headland Machinery
About: Headland has been representing OMAX since 2011.
Support: Headland offers support throughout Australia within each state. Each engineer is based within that state and is employed by Headland Machinery. All states, with the exception of Northern Territory have local support.
Technology: OMAX have a range of technology, options and price points.
- GlobalMax– An affordable entry into waterjet cutting. It comes with OMAX GlobalMax Software to turn your designs into reality. Available in three models with various cutting envelopes. It includes the Omega Drive System is especially designed for the waterjet industry. Requiring no lubrication and with 180 degree engagement with the drive, every transition is smooth. Read more on GlobalMax.
- Maxiem Abrasive Waterjets– The Maxiem is a great all-rounder machine with the ability to take you from prototyping to high capacity production. Minimise Downtime: thanks to Intelli-VISOR SE System Monitoring. One of the most popular models is the 2030 (3,048 mm x 2,007 mm). Read more about Maxiem.
- OMAX Abrasive Waterjets– The OMAX range is the largest and most powerful. This high precision waterjet cutting machine is the ultimate waterjet solution. Known as the green machine, this model does not produce any noxious fumes, liquids or oils. Read more on OMAX.
- MicroMax– Is a jetmachining centre. This machine is capable of accuracy of less than five microns, while maintaining all the benefits of being an abrasive waterjet machine. Read more about MicroMax.
- ProtoMax– The most compact of the waterjet solutions. This machine is easy-to-use and popular amongst technical colleges and Universities for prototyping and educational purposes. Footprint: this is the smallest of all the machines at approximately 1metre by 1 metre in size. Read more on ProtoMax.
Software upgrades are included in every machine sale. You can rest assured your software will be updated for free with minimal disruption or downtime.
Company: Waterjet Sweden
Water Jet Sweden develops, manufactures and markets advanced solutions for water jet cutting and provides an aftermarket offer with service and parts.
Support: In terms of support, they provide this out of Sweden as they currently do not have local representation. Confirm turnaround times for support and what their over-the-phone or online support is like. There is not too many of these machines in this country. Be sure to confirm install numbers and location of these to determine what level of local knowledge and support you will receive. Spare parts can be expensive as they have to be imported from Sweden.
Technology: They have KMT pump technology, renown as a well know quality pump and highly robust. They are large and industrial in their look and feel. They are robust machines and price point can be out of reach for some customers. They offer hydraulic intensifiers which are seen to be an inefficient pump in ultra-high pressure technology terms.
Confirm if software upgrades are to be paid for each time or if they are included.
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Know what questions to ask any local manufacture or supplier of waterjets before you buy.