Waterjet Cutting Machine Troubleshooting Tips

 Waterjet Cutting Machine Troubleshooting Tips

Waterjet cutting machines quickly emerged as among the most versatile appliance nowadays. Homemakers are in awe with what this piece of equipment can do for them with regard to extending the shelf life of their highly perishable food items. 

In complete contrast to a thermal cutting method, according to water jet machine manufacturers, waterjet cutters can seamlessly cut through metal without having to leave behind heat-affected zone or HAZ. 

According to water jet machine manufacturers, the manner in which the method employed through the use of waterjet cutting machine works is completely different from how the thermal cutting style is carried out. They can cut through metal without producing or leaving a heat-affected zone or HAZ. This explains the reason why waterjet cutting technology is the method of choice when it comes to cutting, trimming, and shaping metal parts for construction applications and even for aerospace technology, where even the slightest changes in metallurgical attributes could affect the integrity of the material.  

Perhaps the most hardworking of all the components of a waterjet system is the intensifier.  It is comprised of numerous moving parts, and for that reason, there is a higher possibility that something could go wrong at any given time. Common issues encountered here has something to do with over stroking, short seal life, and water leaks. Three other commonly complained issue with an intensifier-based waterjet system is low water pressure, hydraulic pressure failure, and hydraulic temperature overheating. 

Overstroking

There is nothing unusual happening to it if the intensifier would strike faster during startup, as well as when transitioning between high pressure and low pressure. But under normal machine operation, the intensifier is supposed to strike smoothly to the right and left at just about the same speed as on the other.  There are occasions in which the hydraulic piston would travel way faster to just one or even in both directions, sometimes it would even exceed to more than what the pump can support. They refer to this event as over stroking, and would likely trigger the alarm. 

Irrespective of whether you see the overstroking is tending to the right or to the left, or in both directions, the best course of action you need to take is just reset the alarm. 

Regardless of whether the overstroking is tending to the left, to the right, or in both directions, the first thing you should do is reset the alarm. After which you are supposed to

  • Turn the cutting head off. 
  • Turn on the pump and let the pressure build-up on its own.
  • Now you can turn the cutting head-on. 

Keep an eye on the intensifier stroke rate using the operator interface indicator or you can manually monitor instead of the proximity switches.

Water Leaks

Another area of concern in most waterjet cutting machine is water leakage. If there is a visible water drip after every few strokes, take this as an indication that your seals are coming so close to the end of their service life. With that, you need to have a spare so you can immediately replace them, just in case. 

Should there be an obvious drip after every stroke, that calls for you to change the seals at the soonest possible time? If you have observed leaks in some other areas, take that as an indication of a worn part, damaged seat or loose-fitting. 

Presence of leaks calls for your immediate attention right away so as to prevent the nearby components from getting damaged too. You need to keep an attentive eye on the following: 

Water leaks from the cylinder end mean that the high-pressure seal from that end has failed. 

  • If there are hot water leaks from the end cap, take this as an indication that the cylinder’s static end has failed, and thus would be needing replacement. 
  • Check out for cold water leaks from the end bell, you may take this as a sign that the O-rings pointing inlet water towards the cylinder bore has just failed and thus would be requiring replacement. 
  • Check out for the weep hole’s warm water on the check valve, it might be a sign that your output adapter is loose or that your high-pressure poppet seat failed. It might also mean to say that the check valve’s seat has just cracked.  

These troubleshooting tips will help save you more money and time on a service technician, which in a way helps you to optimize your profits.