PACSHIP Offers Precision Water Jet Cutting

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Photo courtesy Jet Edge

Pacific Ship Repair & Fabrication (PACSHIP) is now offering precision water jet cutting services at its San Diego shipyard and fabrication shop. The ship repair and fabrication contractor is capable of processing complex parts from virtually any material with its new 60,000 psi Jet Edge Mid Rail Gantry water jet cutting system, which features an eight-ft by 13-ft work envelope and is capable of maintaining +/- 0.001 inch linear positional accuracy (over 12 inches) and +/- 0.001 inches repeatability (bi-directional).

PACSHIP added its new water jet cutting machine after receiving a Small Shipyard grant through the U.S. Maritime Administration, said Bill Carroll, PACSHIP director of business engagement.  The grant was offered to small shipyards to help them modernize and become more competitive.

Since installing its Jet Edge waterjet machine, PACSHIP already has experienced improvements in quality, efficiency and capabilities, Carroll noted.  His statement was echoed by PACSHIP’s Sheetmetal Department Manager, Dave Whitacre.  “We have greatly increased our capabilities in all types of material cutting, thus reducing the need to outsource precision cutting by keeping the work in house,” Whitacre said.  “We recently accomplished the precision cutting of approximately 1000 sq ft of ½ inch thick Kevlar armor plating to assist in our ballistic door manufacturing. As far as productivity gains, we can tell you that, for the Sheet Metal Department, the waterjet has significantly reduced the time on task jobs by a factor of five.”

PACSHIP, which serves both the marine industry and general fabrication customers, uses its water jet to cut many military-use materials such as Kevlar and high-strength armor plating, as well as plastics, carbon fiber, rubber, copper, and stainless steels.

“We determined that water jet cutting would be the best method for cutting these materials due to its precision and lack of heat affected zones,” Whitacre said. “Our method of cutting these materials prior to the procurement of our water jet machine was to plasma cut, torch cut, or saw cut.”

In business since 1969, PACSHIP specializes in aircraft carrier, combatant and auxiliary ship modernization and repair. Its customers include the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, BAE Systems, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman, as well as other shipyards.  The ISO 9001:2008-certified and NAVSEA Master Ship Repair contractor performs a full range of shipyard installation, maintenance and repair services including program management, structural fabrication, pipefitting, welding, electrical and electronics, rigging, painting, blasting, sheet metal work and carpentry.  It also manufactures watertight doors, hatches and other marine closures.  In addition to its Jet Edge waterjet cutting machine, PACSHIP features a full-service sheet metal department that includes CNC brakes, shears, plasma cutting machines, rollers, and finishing equipment.


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