Five-axis water-jet cutting system partnership

Posted on 09 Oct 2018 and read 527 times
Five-axis water-jet cutting system partnershipCNC specialist NUM ( is helping Koike Aronson Inc — one of the USA’s top manufacturers of fabrication equipment — to develop an ultra-precise five-axis bevel head for its water-jet cutting system.

This innovative engineering project will enable customers to use extremely fast abrasive cutting speeds to increase the productivity of their precision metal parts fabrication processes.

Koike’s latest-generation water-jet cutting system — the K-Jet — is designed to cut various types of material, including steel, aluminium, plastic and glass.

There is a choice of five machine configurations — offering standard cutting areas up to 1,829 x 3,657mm — and three KMT intensifier pumps, with pressure ratings up to 90,000psi.

These machines feature a substantial floor-mounted cutting table with a load capacity of 610kg/m2, and they offer a choice of optional Ebbco abrasive removal and closed loop filtration systems for efficient water management.

Koike has collaborated with NUM to develop a versatile five-axis CNC bevel head for its K-Jet machines, combining precision with ultra-fast movement when used with pumps up to 60,000psi capacity.

Explaining the association with NUM, Koike product manager Tim Joslin said: “Most CNC companies produce proprietary hardware and software, making it difficult to integrate third-party products. NUM, with its open-architecture approach to CNC, is a notable exception to this practice.

"For example, the company’s Flexium+ CNC system readily interfaces to standard cutting software such as IGEMS and SigmaNEST, and its NUMDrive X servo amplifiers are fully compatible with the specialist direct-drive torque motors that we build into our new bevel-cutting head.”

Using NUM’s Flexium+ 68 CNC platform, Koike’s five-axis machine has a linear accuracy of ±0.076mm and a repeatability of 0.025mm.

Moreover, the CNC system offers interpolation and synchronisation on all five axes, and it can accommodate a sixth axis.

For Koike’s five-axis head, NUM is supplying four 1.2Nm SHX-series single-cable servomotors and a smaller BPX-series servomotor — each complete with its associated NUMDrive X servo drive.

The company is also supplying the PLC hardware, a 19in touch-screen and CNC software that includes specific water-jet cutting functions.

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