When someone looks at adding an abrasive waterjet to their shop, there are many points to consider, such as the size of the machine and the operating requirements. Ultimately, though, it comes down to one thing: money. Whether saving it or making it or a combination of both, money is the dominant concern. With so many variables surrounding abrasive waterjet systems, it is easier for manufacturers to focus on just one aspect and paint that as the only variable of value. For example, stating that a pump is the fastest while ignoring software or table hardware. From the beginning, OMAX took a different approach: develop an integrated system, where all the components are designed from the ground up to work seamlessly together, with each subsystem optimized to maximize the performance of the other subsystems.
The System Concept
Michael Schumacher once said, "I hate to take compromises with a racing car. The more standard a car is, the more compromises you have to take." Putting all your effort into building a powerful engine without exerting similar efforts in the suspension and aerodynamics means your car won't be able to move around the racetrack as fast or as efficiently as the competition. The same can be said for abrasive waterjet systems. Having incredible pump power won't do you a bit of good if the table cannot move the nozzle fast enough to take advantage of that power. It is only when all three major systems; the pump, the table, and the software; are all designed together to complement one another seamlessly that maximum performance can be achieved.
System Components: The Pump
So how does OMAX optimize these three components to help you at the bottom line? Let's start with the pump. The abrasive waterjet pump is there to do one thing: convert electric motor horsepower into hydraulic nozzle horsepower. There are many ways this can be done, but the key is not to just create nozzle horsepower, but create it as efficiently as possible in order to avoid wasting electrical power. OMAX does this with their 4th generation direct drive pumps. These pumps are the most efficient in the industry, converting 85% of the input electricity into hydraulic horsepower. On top of that, because it is a direct drive pump, no additional power is needed to cool an extensive hydraulic system, as you need with an intensifier. Similarly, by running at 60,000 psi, the OMAX pump reduces maintenance by limiting ultra-high pressure fatigue throughout the system.
System Components: The Software
Having this great delivery of hydraulic horsepower is meaningless if it is not effectively used, and the Intelli-MAX software steps up to ensure that horsepower is properly utilized. On the programming side, the software is simple to use and can import files from just about any CAD/CAM system, reducing operator time. Once the path is created, the operator only has to choose the material type, thickness, and edge quality and his work is done. The 4th generation Intelli-MAX cutting model that is built into the controller takes over, precisely calculating the toolpath over thousands of points per inch to create the fastest possible cutting solution.
System Components: The Table
Understanding nozzle horsepower and software speed is easy, as both of those have a direct impact on cutting performance that can be seen. More challenging to see but just as important are the subtle improvements on the table that help to enhance and maximize the output of the other two components. On the high pressure side, we use short, straight lengths of high pressure tubing in our scissor plumbing. This reduces the amount of friction loss throughout the high pressure system, and when combined with other fine-tuning throughout that system, you get the best transfer of hydraulic horsepower from the pump to the nozzle.