Banner
Waterjet Cutting

Ready for race day

By Nick Wright

Michael Waltrip Racing demos its Jet Edge waterjet on “Modern Marvels”

May 2012 - For professional stock car team Michael Waltrip Racing, the media spotlight is a familiar glow. Based in Cornelius, N.C., and founded by its Daytona 500-winning namesake, MWR builds more than 50 cars per year that race before scores of NASCAR fans.

Perhaps less visible to the NASCAR faithful but foremost to race day performance is the team’s car fabrication. “Modern Marvels”, the documentary TV show exploring technology and its uses, recently gave a glimpse into MWR’s workshop.

The segment was shot for the episode “Under Pressure,” showcasing the science behind high-pressure applications. On the show, MWR demonstrated the power of its waterjet manufactured by Jet Edge Inc., St. Michael, Minn.

The company has used Jet Edge waterjet-cutting technology since 2008 and upgraded to the X-Stream water intensifier pump the following year. The X-Stream generates up to 90,000 psi, delivering a stream at almost 2,000 mph as it exits the nozzle. It’s integrated with a Jet Edge high rail gantry waterjet system.

For parts such as chassis, suspension and body components, MWR cuts steel (1018, 1045, 4130), aluminum (6061, 7075, 5052), polycarbonate and Tegris, a lightweight thermoplastic composite. The waterjet tackles thicknesses from 0.01 in. to 6 in. in steel and aluminum, says Nick Hughes, technical director at MWR. Depending on the material, cutting 2-D patterns and profiles into metals isn’t always easy, he says.

“The waterjet is fast, can cut complex shapes through very thick material and not leave a hardened, heat-affected edge,” Hughes says. “Also, the cut is very fine, so there is less wasted material.”

Among MWR’s notable vehicles are the #55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry driven by Michael Waltrip, Brian Vickers and Mark Martin, the #56 Napa Auto Parts Toyota Camry piloted by Martin Truex Jr. and the #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry driven by Clint Bowyer, according to a press release.

Nancy Lauseng, marketing director at Jet Edge, says the X-Stream cuts faster than a 60,000 psi system–up to 50 percent depending on the material. For MWR, which cuts about 1,000 parts with the waterjet for each car, that’s a huge gain. “By cutting faster, MWR is able to get design improvements to the racetrack two weeks faster, which is huge in their highly competitive sport,” she says.

ffj0512-waterjet-jetedge-lead2

From shop to screen
Extensive behind-the-scenes production and a full day of filming translated into about a five-minute segment, replete with up-close waterjet cutting shots, montages of pressurized environments and metal cutting comparisons. “I was pleasantly surprised with how much footage they did use,” Lauseng says.

Before the shoot, the “Modern Marvels” crew interviewed Michael Wheeler, Jet Edge’s R&D engineer, to understand how waterjet systems work and how ultra-high-pressure water is produced. Lauseng assembled descriptive text, diagrams and supplemental video footage for the show’s producer, Half Yard Productions. When it was time for the shoot, she and Wheeler traveled to North Carolina. Wheeler appears in the segment as well, detailing waterjet’s power and capabilities.

“It was very exciting to be involved in the shoot,” she says. “The crew was a blast to work with.” Off-camera, MWR has improved its cutting speed by 35 percent, is using about 25 percent less garnet abrasive and has reduced operating costs by 30 percent.

“They upgraded to the X-Stream specifically so they could increase productivity,” says Lauseng. “They have been able to reduce waterjet operating hours from 60 to 65 hours per week to 40 to 50 hours per week, saving on labor and overhead.”

By slashing production time, MWR has been able to develop a side business building cars for other race teams. FFJ

If you like racing, check out FFJTV at Chicagoland Speedway

Sources

Banner

Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

TPMG2022 Brands


BPA_WW_MASTER.jpg