DRC copper mine installs Jet Edge 5-axis waterjet cutting system

Mine officials plan to double productivity with help from Jet Edge Waterjet.

Waterjet manufacturer Jet Edge, Inc. and its Africa representative Jetstream Cutting Solutions CC, have announced that operators of a remote copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are planning to double the mine’s productivity with the help of a new Jet Edge Edge X-5™ 5-axis waterjet.

The DRC mine operation, which is at least a three week’s drive from Johannesburg, South Africa, plans to use the Jet Edge waterjet system to speed up the completion of a copper processing plant. The Jet Edge machine is the mine’s second waterjet system. In 2012, they installed a new Jetstream 3-axis waterjet, powered by a 90 000 psi (6200 bar) 50hp Jet Edge X-tream xP90-50 hydraulic intensifier pump.


The Jet Edge EDGE X-5 Dual Head Waterjet Cutter installed and ready for handover

“They run their first machine 24/7,” said Jetstream Cutting Solutions Director Malcolm Cruickshank. “The Jet Edge X-Stream pump was key to the success of the first machine because they could utilize the higher pressure to increase productivity.”

For their second waterjet system, the mine operators selected Jet Edge’s premiere 90,000 psi (6200 bar) EDGE X-5 system with dual or independently programmable 5-axis cutting heads and laser plate mapping system, Aquavision Di industrial PC controller, and IGEMS CAD/CAM waterjet cutting software.


Jet Edge Dual 5 Axis Cutting Heads in action – cutting pipe flanges out of 20mm stainless steel

Cruickshank noted that the mine officials chose a Jet Edge system for their second machine based on the reliability of their first Jet Edge pump, and Jet Edge’s ability to quickly supply spare parts when needed.

“Reliability is very important to them due to the remoteness of the mine,” he said. “They appreciate the speed with which Jet Edge can supply spares.”

Jake Hall, a Jetstream subcontractor and director of Mobile Digital Solutions of Sylvania, Australia, will oversee the installation of the Jet Edge system and train the mine’s waterjet operators how use the new 5-axis machine.


Malcolm Cruickshank of Jetstream Cutting Solutions with Deon De Bruyn and John Hoffman from the mines maintenance division at the handover of the Jet Edge EDGE X-5 Waterjet Cutter

“The EDGE X-5 is a good system,” Hall noted. “It’s intuitive and easy to operate. I’ve seen lots of systems in my 11 years working with waterjets and it seems to do the job very well and will be easy to teach. The Aquavision Di controller is extremely reliable. Its PLC based. The IGEMS software is great. It solves a lot of the problems of other CAD/CAM software. It’s been specifically designed with waterjetting in mind. Lead ins and outs are easy and it’s easy to nest multiple parts. Most importantly, you’re not stuck to a certain order. With some software, if you miss one step, you have to start all over again. IGEMS is flexible and it’s not labour intensive. The library of materials is good and the speed control is good.”

Hall added that he has been very impressed with Jet Edge’s X-Stream intensifier pumps, service and training.

“The X-Stream pump is bullet-proof,” he said. “We feel comfortable that we have a good support network and that we can call Jet Edge any time, day or night.”

For more information contact Jetstream Cutting Solutions CC on TEL: 011 468 1093 or visit www.jetstreamcutting.co.za