Rainford Gives Micro Waterjet Machine UK Premiere at MACH 2018

Making its UK exhibition premiere at MACH 2018 will be the new line of Finepart micro abrasive waterjet machine tools that are now available from Rainford Precision. On Stand H19-300 from the 9th to 13th April at the Birmingham NEC, the UK’s leading micro machining specialists will be marking a tectonic shift in waterjet technology with the new Finepart WMC500 II system.

Initially introduced to the industry at the Advanced Engineering Show in November, the new waterjet technology overwhelmed the industry with the potential benefits and market opportunities. Manufactured in Sweden, the intriguing new method of cutting will solve a wide range of issues for industrial professionals when cutting common aerospace materials as CFRP, aluminium alloys and titanium together with other types of advanced materials such as ceramics and glass. In comparison to conventional methods such as milling, wire or die sink EDM; the Finecut waterjet system eradicates the issue of heat generation through machining. By processing parts without generating high temperatures, the Finepart waterjet series eliminates any structural or metallurgical concerns that are critical for the integrity of the finished part in the aerospace industry. 

What differentiates the Finepart micro abrasive waterjet WMC500 II machine is the micro-fine jet of just 0.2mm. This provides a positional accuracy of +/-2.5microns, a repeatability of +/-2 microns and an adjustable jet pressure from 500 to 4000bar. The Finepart WMC500 II maintains these impressive precision parameters through its highly dynamic motion control system, the Alpha servo drive and linear drive technology and the thermally stable floating Invar scales.

In comparison, alternative waterjet systems that claim to be ‘precision’ systems can only offer precision levels in the +/-0.1mm range. The Finecut micro abrasive waterjet system has a work envelope of 500mm by 500mm with a cutting depth up to 80mm, making it suitable for micro, small and medium sized components.

The compact and clean Finecut machine is powered by a FANUC 31i-B5 CNC control system that is familiar in most machine shops. To further simplify operation, Finepart has developed a Windows based HMI interface with a Multi-touch system that only indicates the required parameters and functions the operator requires. This tailored operator interface makes the new WMC500 II simple to set-up and operate. It is also very flexible and astoundingly productive for processing advanced materials.

Finepart has been manufacturing high-end waterjet machine tools since 2007 and the Scandinavian company has extensive expertise and success throughout Europe. The customer list includes toolmakers, prototyping and wire EDM workshops, research institutes, medical device and aerospace manufacturers, consumer goods companies and also manufacturers processing ceramics, plastics, CFRP and other extremely challenging material types.

The flexibility of the Finepart micro abrasive waterjet machine is highlighted by its options list. The extensive list includes a 5-axis manipulator for tilting the cutting head +/- 15 degrees, a Lehmann rotary table for rotating the components through 360 degrees, a precision camera system for 2D measurement of components, a Renishaw probing system, a choice of a 11kW or 22kW motor for high powered cutting and a selection of cutting head nozzles for varying the diameter ranges of the jet from 0.2mm to 0.5mm in 0.1mm increments.

Commenting upon the new relationship with Rainford Precision, Finepart Sweden AB Managing Director, Mr Christian Ojmertz PhD says: “We see huge opportunities among the micro manufacturing, aerospace, medical device and even the general subcontract sectors in the UK. Working with Rainford Precision will create a synergy whereby our waterjet range perfectly complements Rainford’s existing product lines. It also presents an exciting opportunity for the customer base of Rainford Precision, the UK’s primary micro manufacturing specialist.”

As well as having the UK’s first public display of a micro abrasive waterjet machine at MACH 2018,  Rainford Precision will be presenting technologically advanced innovative ranges of drills, end mills, thread mills and circular saws for micro machining and hard material applications from brands such as Iwata, Xactform, Hobe, Louis Belet, Osawa and Union Tool. Furthermore, Rainford will once again be demonstrating the comprehensive line of Air Turbine Spindles® with spindle speeds varying from 25,000 to 90,000rpm and the KERN range of micro machining centres. All of these brands will on show on Stand H19-300 at MACH 2018.