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Water Jet cutting uses an ultra-high pressure stream of water to carry an abrasive grit. The abrasive does the cutting through a mechanical sawing action, leaving a smooth, precision cut surface.
Consistent flow of abrasive is a requirement for high quality waterjet cutting.
Automatic height control is absolutely necessary for fully automatic waterjet cutting.
There are many ways to cut mild steel plate, some of which are suited for automation some are not. Some are suited for thinner plate, some for thicker. Some are fast, some are slow.
The cost to operate a waterjet is a common question, as people struggle to understand the difference between running a typical plasma cutting machine and a waterjet cutter. There are different consumables, different power requirements, cost of water, and most importantly, the cost of abrasive.