Working with waterjet cutters can be a challenge for facilities that want to keep lean and clean. However, that is not to say that the process is a hopeless one. There are, fortunately, steps that you can take so that you can still meet environmental and industrial guidelines. Some of the most important of them are as follows:
Invest in the right equipment
Keeping your cutting facility as clean as possible sometimes require the addition of equipment and accessories. For instance, if you are cutting metal, chances are the water that you use for your applications will hit one part of the panel at some point and thus create kickback. What you can do to mitigate this is to install shields around your water tanks so that there is lesser damage. You may also use a flood nozzle around the water streams to contain the waste that your applications will generate. And if you’re using abrasives in cutting, you may want to consider getting an automatic abrasive removal system if your budget allows for it.
Streamline your cutting methodologies
It is also beneficial to vet and evaluate your current methodologies involving waterjet cutters to make sure that they are the best practices for your specific requirements and goals. For instance, if you can, consider only using water to cut your materials instead of using an abrasive. Similarly, if it is possible, look into cutting underwater. This will not only radically reduce the amount of waste that your applications can incur, it is also more quiet and resourceful.
It is also recommended to take a second look at the cut path programming. If the resulting cut edge does not need to be super fine, you can cut your materials with tabs. Or you can create pierces around the edges of the material to minimise the kickback.
Train your team to be proactive about cleaning
Finally, make cleanliness a facility-wide responsibility, and incorporate it into your culture. Talk to your staff about what everyone of you can do to keep your facility clean and lean, and take suggestions. These suggestions should especially be encouraged from those who work with the machines directly, such as your operators and cut programming designers. And be proactive about cleaning; waterjet cutting machines should be treated like cars, at the end of the day. The sooner you clean the muck off them, the better it will be for the condition of the equipment, as well as the tidiness of your facility.