Page 29 - MetalForming May 2019
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   A compact abrasive waterjet cutting machine, such as this one employed at Dunphy’s Cycles Machining LLC (white machine in center background of photo), enables produc- tion of prototypes and custom parts where floor space is a major concern.
approach. When owner André Beard started the company in 2008, he sought to address the lack of adequate safety equipment in his prior industry, shoring and safety for construction. Now, his shop’s custom rockers, blanked out on the waterjet cutting machine, have appeared on national championship motorcycles while its APL Load Arrestors offer features in demand by companies such as Jaguar Land Rover.
The 2626 JetMachining Center pro- vides the smallest footprint of Omax’s cantilever-style waterjet machines, and a completely sealed and protected ball- screw drive system. It features a cutting envelope of 737 by 660 mm, and com- bined with the hopper and pump, can cut for hours with minimal downtime, according to Beard. Key to the machine’s effectiveness at Ash Safety, he continues, is its IntelliMax software.
“The fact that the software is free, including all of the upgrades for the life of ownership, and can be loaded to any laptop I own,” Beard says, “has been a large factor in deciding to buy the machine and employ it so widely.”
Effective as Classroom and Prototype Tool
This level of flexibility and ease of use makes abrasive waterjet technology a useful classroom tool as well, partic- ularly for engineering coursework that depends on the kind of quick proto- typing—and associated need for quick machining—common in the perform- ance racing industry. At the United Kingdom’s University of Central Lan- cashire (UCLan), for example, the For- mula UCLan program designs and builds race cars employing an Omax Maxiem 1515 JetMachining Center to help students garner more experience with manufacturing equipment.
“It helps us give our students the engineering-design skills to consider effective methods of production during the design process,” says Paul Critch- ley, UCLan LIS Workshop Services’ principal technician. “The engineering industry demands graduates with more practical skills and a much
prevent the use of most manufacturing equipment, much less a full-sized waterjet cutting machine. Instead, owner and founder Dan Dunphy built his shop around Omax’s ProtoMax abrasive waterjet solution, designed for the smallest spaces.
“I wanted to make custom motor- cycle parts but knew it would be too time-consuming to program them for a CNC mill and lathe,” says Dunphy. “The ProtoMax is so much faster and easy to program, which is why it worked best for us.” He first discovered the power of waterjets at his previous shop job, where he often ran parts for his own 2016 Harley Davidson Street Glide Special on its Omax 2626 JetMa- chining Center. Inspired by its per- formance and accuracy, he made abra- sive waterjet the center of his own shop, a choice he calls “the best decision I have ever made.”
The ProtoMax proves ideal for pro- totyping and relatively low-volume cut- ting of almost any material less than 2 in. thick. Delivering 30,000-psi cutting power with a 5-hp pump, ProtoMax submerges work material in water for clean, quiet cutting that won’t disrupt a shared workspace. Omax’s Intelli- Max software controls programming of part files and the cutting operation.
The shop, which also uses a three-
axis CNC milling center and several welding machines, no longer produces custom parts for motorcycles exclu- sively; with the ProtoMax and Intelli- Max software package, Dunphy has expanded his part-production opera- tions. Today, the shop cuts parts rang- ing from gun jigs to boat-motor mounts, in a range of materials that would be impossible to machine effi- ciently in a shop of Cycle Machining’s size without an abrasive waterjet cutter.
Larger Machines for Larger Runs
Of course, as shop-floor space grows, so, too, do the part-production opportunities with waterjet cutting technology. Ashfield Products Ltd., bet- ter known as Ash Safety, cuts brass, bronze, Perspex, stainless steel and tool steel to 25 mm thick, producing custom safety parts for high-perfor- mance motorcycles and marine engines. An Omax 2626 machine han- dles these tasks. With its 200-liter abra- sive hopper and 30-hp EnduroMax pump, the shop handles materials effi- ciently, even as its clients push auto- motive material science to its limits.
Working alongside two CNC turning centers, a vertical machining center and assorted manual equipment, Ash Safety’s 2626 has transformed its
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Fabrication: Waterjets

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