Trim Tool & Machine, Inc., based in Cleveland, Ohio, has been offering abrasive waterjet cutting, machine building, stamping and diecast tooling, and CNC milling since 1999. The company provide services to a variety of industries, from architecture and arts to automotive, and is known for its quick turnaround time, delivering products within two to three days of an order, or on the same day if required.
Products Fabricated at Trim Tool & Machine, Inc.
Dane Willis, owner of Trim Tool & Machine, Inc., explains that the company will finish the work on the same day if the customer needs it complete. Trim dies, fixtures, gages, custom metal art and repairs, and special machines are specialties of Trim Tool & Machine, Inc. (Figure 1). The company is often recognized as one of the largest manufacturers of steering wheel trim dies in the USA, as it has manufactured trim dies used by virtually all automakers in the country.
Figure 1. Trim Tool & Machine, Inc. specializes in gages, fixtures, trim dies, special machines, custom metal art and repairs, but is best known as one of the largest producers of steering wheel trim dies in the United States. Photo courtesy Trim Tool & Machine, Inc.
A trim die helps to produce accurate and uniform components by trimming away excess metal from diecast castings (Figure 2). This specialized stamping tool is fabricated from thick hardened steel. Wire EDM is used by most companies for cutting trim dies, however Willis said the Jet Edge system is not only cost effective but also improves productivity, which provides the company with a competitive edge. The cost of cutting one inch using the waterjet system is $3 to $5 compared to $10 with the wire. Waterjet can be used for around 85 percent of the die.
Figure 2. A trim die is a specialized stamping tool made of thick hardened steel that is used to trim away excess metal from diecast castings, creating precise and consistent parts. Photo courtesy Trim Tool & Machine, Inc.
Figure 3. While many companies use wire EDM to cut their trim dies, Trim and Tool owner Dane Willis said he uses a Jet Edge abrasive waterjet system because it is much faster and more cost-effective. Photo courtesy Trim Tool & Machine, Inc.
Advantages of Using Jet Edge Abrasive Waterjet System
Waterjet systems are often used for cutting thinner materials, at Trim Tool & Machine, Inc. the Jet Edge abrasive waterjet system is used to cut thick hardened metals, including 9-inch thick 4140 heat-treated steel (Figure 4). The company is equipped to cut more thick steel than its competitors and usually cuts four to six inch thick metals all day long.
Figure 4. While waterjet is best known for cutting thinner materials, Trim Tool & Machine routinely uses their system to cut thick hardened metals, including 9-inch thick 4140 heat-treated steel. Photo courtesy Trim Tool & Machine, Inc.
To gain a competitive advantage, Willis invested in a 4-foot by 8-foot precision high-rail gantry waterjet system from Jet Edge. A 50-horsepower Jet Edge intensifier pump is a key component of the machine, and can generate up to 60,000 psi of ultra-high pressure water. The Jet Edge system was equipped with an extra large 5-foot by 13-foot tank to accommodate future expansion with a spreader bar.
Willis extensively explored all the available waterjet options on the market before selecting the Jet Edge system. He was impressed with the bridge-style overhead gantry of the Jet Edge system and the outstanding customer support provided by Jet Edge. Willis explained that the Jet Edge has surpassed his expectations, the phenomenal customer support resulted in Willis recommending Jet Edge systems over other products. The sales and service personnel at Jet Edge are simply great, he said.
Following installation of the Jet Edge system, Willis has improved productivity and reduced operating costs, helping his customers to save thousands of dollars and allowing him to expand the business (Figure 5). The use of the waterjet has allowed the company to maintain the tooling cost despite the steel increase.
Figure 5. Willis noted that his Jet Edge waterjet system has resulted in a huge boom to his business, and that his sales doubled the first year after he bought his waterjet. Photo courtesy of Trim Tool & Machine, Inc.
In one project, the customer requirement was to cut twenty eight 0.281 inch holes in half-inch thick hardened A-2 material. The Jet Edge system enabled Trim Tool & Machine, Inc. to complete the job for only $90. It would normally take hundreds of dollars for someone to carbide it or burn it, however this type of hardened steel can be tackled cost effectively with waterjet.
Customers in the stamping industry have also saved thousands of dollars thanks to the Jet Edge system, it is able to cut precise stamping strips that can be used to make sample hits before making final adjustments to the die cuts (Figure 6). Thousands of dollars can be saved in tryout time with the waterjet system, said Willis. The stamping process is perfectly reproduced by the waterjet technology when compared to plasma or laser, which leaves a case-hardened edge. Customers who see the advantages of waterjetting, would prefer it over plasma or laser.
Figure 6. Trim Tool & Machine, Inc. also has saved its stamping industry customers thousands of dollars by using its Jet Edge system to cut precise stamping strips that customers can use to make sample hits prior to making final adjustments to the cuts in the die. Photo courtesy Trim Tool & Machine, Inc.
After installation of the Jet Edge system, Willis witnessed a 100 percent increase in his sales in the first year. At that point, he started hiring people. The system is instrumental in his business growth and he said he couldn’t have run the business after the 9-11 industrial downturn, if he did not have the waterjet system.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Jet Edge, Inc.
For more information on this source, please visit Jet Edge, Inc.