Waterjet Cutting Technology: The “Hygienic” Future of Industrial Automation


  • Published On : Sep 04, 2020

The waterjet cutting technology is known for its versatility with regards to cutting diverse materials like flammable materials, glass, composites, and metals. The specialty of the machine is that it makes use of pure water/mixture of abrasive material and water in the form of cutting media for cutting steel plates up to 10 inches. This could be exemplified with Flow International Corporation offering Mach series waterjet cutting machines capable of cutting materials having thickness up to 24 inches. The other functions performed include rapid drilling/cutting thin or precise shapes in metals, stones, and glass.

Advancements in technology is also influencing the waterjet cutting machines’ adoption across various verticals. These advancements include developments of 3D and micro waterjet cutting machines and robotic waterjet cutting machines. They are reported to provide a higher throughput. For example – WARDJet does provide robotic waterjet cutting automation solutions to electronics, textiles, automotive, and aerospace verticals, so as to come out with weld test samples.

Waterjet Cutting Machine Market Trends

The demand for waterjet cutting machines is all set to witness a substantial rise every passing year due to the upgradation in equipment. The waterjet pressure levels are showing improvement beyond 50,000 psi (standard ultra-high pressure levels). Improvements like these (apart from the ones stated above) are expected to create a major overhaul in the market.

The US holds the largest market share due to an increasing demand in applications like packaging, robotics, beverage, food, and tobacco. Europe follows suit.

Healthcare and Aerospace to Be The Two Hot Cakes?

The aerospace industry prefers abrasive waterjet cutting machine with 5 to 6 axis motion control as it facilitates cutting of Inconel, titanium, composites, stones, etc. Abrasive particles like garnet are used along with high-pressure water stream to accelerate the cutting process by erosion of materials. Waterjet cutting machines, in fact, prove to be ideal pertaining to precision cutting solutions for aerospace parts like engine components, fuselages, rotary blades, interior cabin panels, etc.

Abrasive waterjet technology proves to be conducive for healthcare as well, as “heat” does not come into picture, and precise material cutting happens without bringing about even the slightest change to the structural properties. This cold-cutting process does take the healthcare industry in its stride and the scenario is expected to persist in the forecast period.

Who else would Lay their Hands on Waterjet Cutting Machines?

Apart from the US and Europe, the other regions are focusing on using waterjet cutting machines to render beverage, food, custom packaging solutions. Amongst the industrial applications mentioned, pure waterjet finds its usage in cutting the soft materials. Plus, advantage regarding sanitation is likely to drive the adoption in the near future.

Western Europe and Asia-Pacific –Significant Contributors?

Western Europe has been significantly contributing to the waterjet cutting machine market. This could be reasoned with upscaling industrial automation, increase in usage of steel, and consumption of indexed steel in the construction industry. For example – steel’s consumption, in the year 2017, rose by 1.3%. Moreover, consumption of indexed steel registered a rise of 4.8% in the same year (The base year considered is 2016). This data comes from European Steel Association (EUROFER) AISBL statistics.

Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth in the upcoming period. Rapid urbanization followed by improving financial conditions, especially in economies like South Korea, India, and China, is expected to fuel the demand for waterjet cutting machine going forward.

Covid-19 Impact

The outbreak of Covid-19 has resulted in disruption of the supply chain all across, and waterjet cutting machine market is no exception. Though the demand hasn’t ceased, the temporary breakage on the part of linearity is expected to give mixed results in the year 2020. From 2021 onwards, the situation is expected to get back to normal. In fact, post Covid-19, the demand is expected to exponentiate, as hygiene will be of greater concern.

Key Players to be on the “Innovation” Spree

Innovation has been the focus area of key players to stay a class apart. For instance – H-model waterjet cutting machine was showcased in Feb 2018 for the first time by Waterjet Sweden at “Euro Blech 2018”. The specialties include laser plate alignment, adjustable water height, air-over-oil hydraulic cooling, laser height control, and clamping.

The global waterjet cutting machine market is expected to witness a CAGR of 7.8% between 2020 and 2030.

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