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Waterjet Cutting

Goodbye to grinding

By Lauren Duensing

A switch from plasma cutting to waterjet allows manufacturer to eliminate secondary operations

March 2018 - Everyone loves a workhorse. Whether it’s a trusty old car that reliably starts every single day or a pitcher who keeps on throwing strikes well into the eighth inning, hardworking people and equipment keep everything running smoothly. However, even the best lose a step with age, and as retirement looms, it’s time to begin evaluating new talent and technologies.

When the team at Garlock Sealing Technologies, Palmyra, New York, decided to replace an aging machine, they saw an opportunity to modernize and streamline their operations. Garlock has a 125-year history as a multinational manufacturer of high-performance fluid sealing and pipeline products.

“After receiving 11 years of service from our Plate Pro plasma cutter from Koike Aronson, we decided to modernize to our first waterjet machine,” says Brandon Phillips, product engineer–expansion joints at Garlock Sealing Technologies. “The K-Jet provides high-quality products for our customers and, considering our past experience with Koike Aronson, the purchase was an effortless choice.”

FFJ 0318 waterjet image1

The K-Jet can cut up to 500 in. per minute, and its heavy-duty construction allows for smooth, accurate motion.

Jeffrey Gates, sales training/waterjet specialist at Koike Aronson, Arcade, New York, notes that waterjet cutting machines are “very versatile, and there’s no heat stress induced into the material when you cut it.”

Heavy-duty machine

Garlock installed its Koike K-Jet abrasive waterjet cutting system in late 2017. The K-Jet is designed to produce precise shapes and features a heavy-duty cutting table that is mounted separately to the floor, rather than to rails, which reduces deflection caused by heat buildup and vibration. It can cut up to 500 in. per minute with a table capacity of up to 125 lbs. per sq. ft. Koike Aronson handles nearly all the manufacturing of its equipment in house to ensure quality—and the company also uses its own products to build customers’ machines.

The K-Jet comes with a two-year warranty, helical rack and pinion, high-precision, low-backlash gear boxes and a KMT 90,000 psi pump. Gates says the machine also features the Flashcut Titanium CNC control, which comes with a large color touchscreen and provides operators with the ability to do all the programming “right on the control itself.”

Garlock is getting the most use out of the dual cutting heads “when cutting a high volume of parts or custom parts,” says Phillips. “The dual cutting heads allow us to accelerate our productivity and shift between two heads when desired.”

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Waterjet-cut parts come off the table free of dross and without a heat-affected zone, minimizing secondary processing time.

Many of Koike’s customers who purchase a K-Jet are embarking on their first experience with waterjet cutting, and the maker helps with both installation and training, sending pre-installation documentation to prepare customers for machine delivery and operator instructions, as well as being on hand to answer questions as needed.

Garlock’s operators took advantage of the additional training “due to the minor changes between our previous plasma cutter and the new K-Jet machine,” Phillips says. The training helped personnel become accustomed to the features and gave them an opportunity to work through any sticking points. “While training, we learned that setting up a nest that is cut with two heads was something that did not come naturally for us. But, after familiarizing ourselves with the machine, many of the operation steps became an acquired behavior.”

Reduce post-cut cleanup

When Garlock first approached the team at Koike to discuss implementing waterjet cutting, its major concern was the amount of secondary operations that the shop traditionally performed on parts.

“They were using one of our old plasma machines, and they were getting a lot of dross, a lot of splatter from it. They wanted to get away from that,” Gates says. “In addition, they didn’t want any heat-affected zone.”

Garlock produces parts for a broad range of industries, including chemical and petrochemical, refining, pulp and paper, power generation, semiconductor, primary metals, food and pharmaceuticals, and original equipment manufacturers.

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The K-Jet's dual cutting heads come in handy when cutting a large volume of parts.

“We frequently cut retaining rings on our K-Jet, which are created from a combination of carbon and stainless steels,” Phillips says. “These parts are used as a supplement for our rubber expansion joint product line.”

Retaining rings are “used when bolting an expansion joint’s rubber flange with a metal pipe flange,” he explains. “Its purpose is to distribute the bolt load around the flange evenly and generate a seal. Our customers’ applications require our parts to meet specific tolerance requirements, for example, ensuring a proper seal in cooling water systems is essential for our nuclear customers.”

Garlock continually develops solutions that meet customers’ unique sealing challenges. And upgrading to waterjet technology fits right in with the manufacturer’s approach to product innovation and efficient operation.

Previously, cutting these parts with the plasma machine required hours of post-processing cleaning up and grinding, Phillips says. “Since upgrading to the K-Jet machine, we have eliminated the requirement for grinding—both saving time and providing a less labor-intensive routine for our operators.” FFJ

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Beckwood Press Co. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters Triform

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc.

LASER TECHNOLOGY

Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

AMADA AMERICA, INC.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. Mazak Optonics Corp. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC MC Machinery Systems Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

Murata Machinery, USA, Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC TRUMPF Inc.

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group MTS Sensors Rolleri USA

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

PRESS BRAKES

Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC.

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial Automec Inc. BLM Group
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

MC Machinery Systems Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies SafanDarley

WATERJET

Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

PUNCHING

Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit

SAWING

Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc. Behringer Saws Inc.

WELDING

Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. DoALL Sawing American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

HE&M Saw Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Savage Saws T. J. Snow Company

 

MetalForming Inc.

 

 

 

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

 

 

 

Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

 


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