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New Advanced Micro Waterjet Technology Installed

Ceramics micro wj part

Nanoker, based in Spain, specialises in technical ceramics and advanced nanocomposites for various extreme applications. In their latest advance, they have pushed the boundaries by adopting micro waterjet technology. After successfully securing a tender from CERN, they conducted a thorough market scan to identify a suitable machine system. Ultimately, they selected the NCM 10 Micro Machine from Water Jet Sweden.

Preparation Phase:

Prior to the machine delivery, CAD/CAM and Machine Training sessions were conducted to prepare the Nanoker team for the new workstation and technology. All Water Jet Sweden's customer training sessions are tailored to each client's specific application and the participants' previous experience.

Whilst software training can be conducted online, Nanoker machine training was carried out at Water Jet Sweden HQ in Ronneby, Sweden, as part of the Factory Acceptance Tests. In addition to the basic machine operation skills, the training covered workflow routines on how to adjust settings before cutting new parts or when changing material characteristic or thickness. For every new set of parts, the machine needs to be finetuned to get perpendicular cuts with tolerances at +/- 0.02 mm.

“The operators of this machine had good general knowledge and previous experience from CAD/CAM and CNC machines which was a big advantage as it enabled us to go into more detail about their specific tasks,” said Christian Persson, System Engineer at Water Jet Sweden.

Initial Trainig

Initial machine training in Production Hall 2 at Water Jet Sweden HQ in Ronneby, Sweden

Setting up the Workstation:

While training took place in Sweden, Nanoker's factory in Spain prepared the area for the new workstation. The workstation was to be placed adjacent to the CERN production line, in a separate room to mitigate noise, dampness, and abrasive dust. Connections for water, electricity, air, and space for the machine were all prepared in advance.

“We unloaded the machine with a forklift, but since the ceiling height was lower where the workstation would be, we had to put it in place with skates,” reported David Olsson, technician at Water Jet Sweden.

Measuring the perpendicularity of machines after installation is standard procedure at Water Jet Sweden. However, unlike traditional waterjet machines which are laser measured and ball bar tested in the factory before delivery, for the NCM 10 Micro machine, laser measurement and ball bar verification are also conducted after installation.

The layout of the workstation was thoroughly designed early in the project to have a small footprint and at the same time be easy to service and operate. The high-pressure pump is placed inside the safety zone, since it is started up at the beginning of every shift and then controlled from the operator panel.

The tip-container for abrasive waste is also placed inside the safety zone. When it gets full it is easily removed with a pallet jack, pulled out through the safety door, and emptied with a forklift outside the premises. However, the abrasive pressure vessel was placed outside the safety zone to be able to refill abrasives while running the machine.

Safety Zone

High Pressure Pump and Tip Container inside the safety zone

Getting Started:

The final phase of all customer training is always held at the customer site in their own environment to familiarise the team with their new environment and equipment. After installation Water Jet Sweden travelled to Spain to conduct this at Nanoker’s factory.

After installation we also had complementary operator training to repeat handling, maintenance and safety around the workstation. It is good to repeat this after the workstation is in place in the environment it is supposed to be operated,” said David Olsson.

Since waterjet cutting is all about controlling natural forces, it is advantageous to have good knowledge of the specific machine and materials to get the perfect compensation and cutting speed, when processing at fine tolerance. For that reason, an electronic microscope with a handheld device was used to recurrently check tolerance and surface quality.

Pre checking surface roughness

A handheld microscope was used to pre-check shape and surface roughness

I stayed until the machine operators at Nanoker had produced a series of approved parts themselves. By the time I left, they were undertaking all the finetuning without my involvement, so I am fully confident they are well prepared to run their production for CERN as expected. Since leaving, there have been no customer support requests which is definitely a positive sign.” said David Olsson.

New Machine Up & Running

Up running, producing high tech ceramic parts for CERN accelerators

With the successful completion of training and testing, Nanoker commenced production of high-tech ceramic parts for CERN accelerators.

“The micro-water jet machine enables Nanoker to access a very precise technology to cut very hard materials in ‘close-to’ 2D geometries. Apart from the business related to Big Science industry, it will present new avenues for the company to produce parts according to customer specifications with a different machining strategy. This technology will enable Nanoker to access other markets as well, such as industrial market. The production of this “close-to” 2D geometries in hard ceramics were limited to electrically conductive materials by using wire-EDM, and now, thanks to micro waterjet, Nanoker can machine both electrically and non-electrically conductive materials.”
Mr. Sergio Rivera, Product and Business Development Manager at Nanoker Research S.L.,

Sergio Rivera at Nanoker

Mr. Sergio Rivera, Product and Business Development Manager at Nanoker Research S.L

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About Water Jet Sweden

Water Jet Sweden develops, manufactures and markets advanced solutions for water jet cutting and provides a quality aftermarket offer with service and parts. Since 1993 they strive to be the obvious first choice for customers worldwide who seek solutions in water jet cutting of high quality and high technical content.

For more information on how we can increase your throughput and reduce your processing costs with our world-leading water jet cutting technology or to get a quote on any of our waterjet cutting machines just call us on 01937 845499 or send us an email to info@wjsuk.com