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A 60,000psi Mid Rail Gantry waterjet cutting system from Jet Edge is enabling Pacific Ship Repair and Fabrication (Pacship) to offer waterjet cutting services at its San Diego shipyard.

The ship repair and fabrication contractor is capable of processing complex parts from virtually any material with its new Jet Edge waterjet cutting system, which features an 8 x 13ft (2 x 4m) work envelope and is capable of maintaining +/-0.001in (+/-0.0254mm) linear positional accuracy (over 12in) and +/-0.001in repeatability (bi-directional).

Since installing its Jet Edge waterjet machine, Pacship has already experienced improvements in quality, efficiency and capabilities, according to Bill Carroll, the company’s director of business engagement.

Dave Whitacre, Pacship’s sheet-metal department manager, said: ‘We have greatly increased our capabilities in all types of material cutting, thus reducing the need to outsource precision cutting by keeping the work in house.

‘We recently accomplished the precision cutting of approximately 1,000ft2 [93m2] of 1/2in-thick Kevlar armour plating to assist in our ballistic door manufacturing.

‘As far as productivity gains, we can tell you that, for the sheet-metal department, the waterjet has significantly reduced the time on task jobs by a factor of five,’ he added.

Pacship, which serves both the marine industry and general fabrication customers, uses its waterjet to cut many military-use materials such as Kevlar and high-strength armour plating, as well as plastics, carbon fibre, rubber, copper and stainless steels.

Whitacre continued: ‘We determined that waterjet cutting would be the best method for cutting these materials due to its precision and lack of heat-affected zones.

‘Our method of cutting these materials prior to the procurement of our waterjet machine was to plasma cut, torch cut or saw cut,’ he said.

The company specialises in aircraft carrier, combatant and auxiliary ship modernisation and repair.

Its customers include the US Navy, the US Coast Guard, the Military Sealift Command, BAE Systems, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman, as well as other shipyards.

The ISO 9001:2008-certified and Navsea Master Ship Repair contractor performs a range of shipyard installation, maintenance and repair services, including programme management, structural fabrication, pipefitting, welding, electrical and electronics, rigging, painting, blasting, sheet-metal work and carpentry.

It also manufactures watertight doors, hatches and other marine closures.

In addition to its Jet Edge waterjet cutting machine, Pacship features a full-service sheet-metal department that includes CNC brakes, shears, plasma-cutting machines, rollers and finishing equipment.

The company chose a Jet Edge waterjet system for many reasons, Carroll said, noting that the company was attracted to the machine’s ease of operation, table size and robust construction.

Established in 1984, Jet Edge is a global designer and manufacturer of waterjet systems for precision waterjet cutting, surface preparation and coating removal.

Jet Edge manufactures precision waterjet cutting tables, waterjet pumps, and waterjet parts and accessories.Jet Edge also manufactures mobile waterjet systems for portable water jet cutting, ultra-high pressure water blasting, cleaning and surface preparation.This vertical integration provides customers with the convenience of only having to call one company for sales, service and parts.

Jet Edge service is available 24/7/365 days a year.

Jet Edge waterjet systems are used around the world in a broad range of industries, from the world's leading airlines to automotive, aerospace, industrial manufacturers, machine and job shops. Jet Edge waterjets are capable of cutting virtually any material, including metals, stone, plastics, composites, rubber, foam, food and paper. Jet Edge waterjets are built in St.Michael, MN, USA.The company has distributors in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America.

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