Some inexperienced fabricators make the mistake of neglecting to consider the cost of needed accessories when they purchase a water-jet cutting machine. Such accessories can have a profound effect on your profitability if you don't factor their cost into the cost of making each product. This article discusses some of those important accessories that you should think about as you plan to buy a water jet cutter.
Water Treatment Equipment
As you already know, a water jet cutter uses a stream of pressurised water mixed with an abrasive to cut materials. The water used should meet the water purity standards set by the manufacturer of that cutting machine. However, it may be hard for you to have water from the municipality that meets those purity standards. You may therefore have to acquire water treatment equipment in order to improve the purity of the water that you use. For instance, you may need to install a water softening system in order to reduce the quantity of the dissolved minerals in the water that you use. The cost of acquiring and maintaining that water treatment equipment should be added to the total cost of buying and operating the water jet cutter.
Abrasive Handling Accessories
Productive time can be lost if you have to shovel an abrasive, such as garnet, manually into your water-jet cutting equipment. It is advisable for busy fabrication shops to invest in abrasive handling equipment, such as a garnet feeder and a garnet remover. Those two basic accessories will ensure that your cutting machine remains working without any forced breaks due to a shortage of abrasive or an accumulation of spent abrasives in its tank. Consider the cost of different handling systems and select the one that will suit the dimensions of the cutter that you wish to buy.
Nozzles and Piercing Accessories
Water jet cutters come with standard nozzles that are designed to take full advantage of the total capacity of the cutter. However, you may need smaller nozzles in order to conserve abrasives as you cut thinner materials. Similarly, you may need piercing accessories in case your shop will be handling delicate materials, such as glass, that can shatter as the water jet tries to pierce them before the cutting process begins. These nozzles and piercing accessories wear out and have to be replaced periodically. Factor their cost into your budget before you go shopping for a water jet cutter.
Consult a water-jet cutting expert for a detailed breakdown of all the costs that you are likely to incur as you use that cutting equipment. That discussion will enable you to make an informed decision about the suitability of acquiring that equipment for your new fabrication shop.