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Californian Shipyard Offers Water Jet Cutting

Jet Edge : 26 July, 2010  (Application Story)
Jet Edge has supplied Pacific Ship Repair and Fabrication with high pressure water jet cutting facilities for offering as part of the company’s repair and fabrication services
Californian Shipyard Offers Water Jet Cutting
Pacific Ship Repair & Fabrication (Pacship) is now offering precision water jet cutting services at its San Diego shipyard and fabrication shop.

The ship repair and fabrication contractor is capable of processing complex parts from virtually any material with its new 413.7 MPa (60,000 psi) Jet Edge Mid Rail Gantry water jet cutting system, which features a 2.44m x 3.96m (8ft x13ft) work envelope and is capable of maintaining +/- 0.0254mm (0.001in) linear positional accuracy (over 300mm (12in)) and +/- 0.0254mm (0.001in) repeatability (bi-directional).

Pacship added its new water jet cutting machine after receiving a Small Shipyard grant through the US Maritime Administration, said Bill Carroll, Pacship director of business engagement. The grant was offered to small shipyards to help them modernize and become more competitive.

Since installing its Jet Edge waterjet machine, Pacship already has experienced improvements in quality, efficiency and capabilities, Carroll noted. His statement was echoed by Pacship’s Sheetmetal Department Manager, Mr Dave Whitacre.

“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,” Whitacre said. “We recently accomplished the precision cutting of approximately 92.9 m2 (1000 Sq.ft) of 12.7mm (½in) 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.”

Pacship, which serves both the marine industry and general fabrication customers, uses its water jet 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.

“We determined that water jet cutting would be the best method for cutting these materials due to its precision and lack of heat affected zones,” Whitacre said. “Our method of cutting these materials prior to the procurement of our water jet machine was to plasma cut, torch cut, or saw cut.”

In business since 1969, Pacship specializes in aircraft carrier, combatant and auxiliary ship modernization and repair. Its customers include the US Navy, US Coast Guard, 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 full range of shipyard installation, maintenance and repair services including program 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.

Pacship chose a Jet Edge waterjet system for many reasons, Carroll explained, noting that the company specifically liked Jet Edge’s ease of operation, table size, and its robust construction.

“The Jet Edge Mid Rail Gantry System has a perfect combination of features to suit our needs,” he said. “The specific reasons why we purchased the Jet Edge water jet cutting machine are numerous including: cost, simplicity in operation, the ability to maintain the equipment ourselves, outstanding customer service and the warranty.

“We are highly satisfied with Jet Edge’s sales process, installation, training, service and parts. There is no doubt the greatest strength is the customer service. Jet Edge Regional Sales Manager Bradley Schwartz is without a doubt one of the most conscientious sales representatives we have ever dealt with. He has a superior knowledge of the product he is selling and the willingness to help out whenever the time arises.”
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