Abrasive waterjet machine maintenance is critical to harnessing the promise of its engineering. This is the reason why facility managers are advised to establish a comprehensive maintenance program that is:
- Specifically suited to how the machine is used within a facility
- Adherent to the recommended maintenance practices of the manufacturer; and
- Designed to cut facility costs in the long run
The problem, however, is that some facilities still fall short of these goals and, as a result, they miss out on a slew of rewards. Chief of these is making full use of the power of the machine. So if you want to make sure that your facility gets the most out of your abrasive waterjet cutter, remember these maintenance pointers.
Consult the machine’s manual regularly
Waterjet manufacturers prescribe recommendations that are based on years of real-world experience, as well as industry case studies. And these are exactly why you have to follow them. Manufacturers such as Techni are well-versed on what makes their machines work best, which is why they issue maintenance intervals and other procedures. Follow these to the letter so that you are sure of doing what is ideal for the machine, as well as protect the warranty of the equipment.
Inspect for signs of damage in essential components
It is also critical that you routinely check the machine for signs of damage. The table slats, for example, must be checked at least once a month to verify that they are still performing well; rotating them once a month has been found to increase their longevity. Pumps and plumbing components should also be inspected for leaks; any leaks that exist at high-pressure can wear away components beyond repair.
During operations, we recommend establishing workplace measures that are aimed at reducing the need for maintenance, particularly repairs and replacements. If you’re loading garnet or another abrasive into the machine, for example, doing something as simple as taking extra caution with opening the bag so that no plastic or other component gets mixed with the abrasive can spell a lot of difference.
Finally, make sure that maintenance procedures are carried out in a clean working environment. This may seem obvious but there are still a lot of facilities that fail to halt operations temporarily to ensure proper maintenance. In the long run, though, the extra effort that you put into the process will pay off significantly for your waterjet machine and the quality of its results.