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Five-Axis Bevel Head for Waterjet Cutting System

NUM has helped Koike Aronson to develop an ultra-precise 5-axis bevel head for its K-Jet waterjet cutting system.

The cutting head's human machine interface (HMI) is based on a large 19" touchscreen from NUM.

The Flexium+ screen provides intuitive user guidance.

CNC specialist NUM is helping a fabrication equipment manufacturer to develop an ultra-precise 5-axis bevel head for its waterjet cutting system. This engineering project will enable customers to use fast abrasive cutting speeds to further increase productivity of their precision metal parts fabrication processes.

K-Jet Waterjet Cutting Systems

Koike Aronson's latest generation waterjet cutting system, the K-Jet, is designed to cut various types of material-including steel, aluminum, plastic and glass-without creating any heat-affected zones. "There is a choice of five machine configurations, offering standard cutting areas up to 72 x 144 inches (1,829 x 3,657 mm), and three KMT intensifier pumps with pressure ratings as high as 90,000 PDI, making it the world's fastest waterjet cutting system for straightline cutting," said a company spokesperson.

Each K-Jet machine features a robust, floor-mounted cutting table with a load capacity of 125 PSF (610 kg/sq. m), which is equivalent to supporting 6" mild steel. The tables employ a heavy-duty precision machined main beam and saddles, fully enclosed air pressurized bellows and hidden linear guide ways. There is a wide choice of optional Ebbco abrasive removal and closed loop filtration systems for efficient water management.

5-Axis CNC Bevel Head

As part of its ongoing commitment to helping customers improve the productivity of their parts fabrication processes, Koike, in collaboration with NUM, has now developed a versatile 5-axis CNC bevel head for its K-Jet waterjet cutting system. The cutting head is specifically designed to combine ultra-fast movement with precision positioning capabilities and is available with pumps up to 60,000 PSI capacity.

Koike chose to partner with NUM mainly because of its open CNC architecture and its willingness to actively participate in joint development projects. As Koike Aronson Product Manager Tim Joslin explained, "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. The company's Flexium+ CNC system, for example, 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."

"Based on NUM's powerful Flexium+ 68 CNC platform, Koike's 5-axis bevel head introduces a high level of cutting performance," said a NUM spokesperson. The overall system offers a linear accuracy of +/- 0.003" (0.076 mm) and a repeatability of just 0.001" (0.025 mm).

In addition to the 5-axis CNC system itself, which features interpolation and synchronization facilities on all five axes, as well as provision for a 6th axis, NUM is supplying four 1.2 Nm SHX series single cable servomotors, together with one smaller BPX series servomotor for the IGEMS head, each complete with its associated NUMDrive X servo drive. The company is also supplying the PLC hardware, equipped with 16 inputs and outputs and an EtherCAT gateway and a large 19" touchscreen for the cutting head's HMI.

The CNC software being supplied by NUM includes specific waterjet cutting functions. The Flexium CAM Shapes library contains a large number of pre-defined common cutting shape forms, enabling the machine operator to quickly select the desired shape from the library, make dimensional inputs and create the motion sequence-without requiring knowledge of G-code. Material types and cut types can then be incorporated to optimize the waterjet's cutting speed, and parts can even be nested using the on-machine block style nest feature.

The firmware in NUM's CNC system contains several optimized waterjet cutting functions, one of which is key to maintaining accuracy during high speed cutting. As Steven Schilling, General Manager of NUM Corporation said, "Our firmware has a built-in feedrate linear interpolation feature that can be used to smoothly ramp from one speed to another during movement. This produces a better cut quality by ensuring that material is completely cut through over the entire cross section-an especially important consideration when dealing with the extremely fast cutting speeds of Koike's new bevel head, in conjunction with NUM's tilted nozzle management feature."

For more information contact:

Steve Schilling

NUM Corporation

603 East Diehl Road, Suite 115

Naperville, IL 60563


Koike Aronson, Inc.

635 W. Main St.

Arcade, NY 14009

800-252-5232 / 585-492-2400

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