Laureate Machine and Automation has celebrated the installation of a WARDJet waterjet machine won as part of the Build It! Challenge competition that took place during IMTS 2016. John Mullet, Laureate Owner, won one of two machines given away by waterjet manufacturer WARDJet Inc. Mullet represented the pro side of the challenge, which placed students up against industry professionals in a waterjet build-off. On the student side, Missouri University of Science and Technology walked away as the educational winner, which brought the combined total prize packages to $200,000.
The waterjet prize was an E-1515 machine (1.5 meter by 1.5 meter) with a 5' x 5' cutting area. Mullet felt that it might not serve his needs as well as a WARDJet 1530 E-Series model with a 5' x 10' cutting area, so he was offered a trade-up option in which WARDJet credited Laureate the value of the smaller machine, allowing the company to purchase the E-1530 for the difference in price.
Laureate, established in 2000, designs and builds automated finishing systems. The business was equipped to provide CNC machining, wire EDM and welding/fabrication, and Mullet had previously considered a waterjet purchase knowing the versatility of waterjet technology would complement his capabilities.
The waterjet was delivered and installed over a three-day period that included basic training and calibration from WARDJet. "After the WARDJet installers came out and performed ball bar calibration, the machine was cutting within a few thousandths of circularity on a 24 inch diameter circle. Pretty amazing for this large of a machine," said Mullet.
Mullet and his crew began cutting parts immediately and the shop made money on the first day of official operation. "We have already experienced cost savings by cutting in-house some of the parts we were previously contracting outside," Mullet said. The company had been outsourcing waterjet cutting of some large tool and jig blanks that could now be brought in-house and cut on the new waterjet.
Mullet also saw some notable differences when using the WARDJet machine. "I am really impressed with the rigidity of this machine and the quality of cut compared to what we were seeing on parts cut on the cantilevered design machine our sub-contractor was using," he said.
For more information contact:
180 South Ave.
Tallmadge, OH 44278
Laureate Machine & Automation, LLC
100 Laureate Drive
P. O. Box 55
Leipsic, OH 45856