Combination Waterjet/Plasma CNC Shape Cutting Machine

The Hydrocut™ LX CNC waterjet/plasma cutting machine from ESAB Cutting Systems operates thermal and non-thermal processes on the same gantry for high accuracy waterjet cutting where needed, or high speed, low cost plasma cutting when possible.

ESAB Cutting Systems (Florence, SC) offers their new Hydrocut™ LX waterjet shape cutting machine, a combined waterjet and plasma cutting system. The Hydrocut CNC shape cutting machine uses the patented combination of thermal and non-thermal processes operating on the same gantry, allowing the machine to cut with the high accuracy of waterjet where needed, but employ the high speed and low cost of plasma whenever possible.

By combining waterjet and plasma on the same machine, both tools can be used on the same parts. High precision contours can be cut with waterjet, while non-critical contours can be cut with plasma. This patented system allows users to obtain precise cuts when needed without sacrificing speed on every cut.

Parts that are suited for the waterjet-plasma combination can be cut in a fraction of the time, resulting in dramatic cost reduction and productivity increase when compared to waterjet cutting alone.


The Hydrocut LX combines the accuracy of waterjet and with the speed and productivity of precision plasma on the same machine! A patented combination of thermal and non-thermal processes that provides the best of both technologies with fully integrated process control using m3 Plasma™, Vision® T5 CNC and Columbus™ III programming and nesting software.

The Hydrocut LX is a heavy-duty gantry with a high-stiffness beam design featuring dual precision linear rails and precision rack and pinion drives. It is designed to cover large working areas and full size sheets, and can be equipped with up to four waterjet stations, and can also carry up to two high-definition plasma stations, featuring the m3 Precision Plasmarc system.

The Hydrocut LX is equipped with the latest in waterjet cutting technology, featuring KMT’s 90,000 psi capability for increased cutting speed and reduced abrasive consumption. By increasing the water pressure from 60 kpsi to 90 kpsi the abrasive is accelerated to a higher speed, thereby cutting faster while using less. This helps lower operating cost, because the cost of abrasive can be as much as 75 percent of the operating cost of waterjet.

The m3 Precision Plasmarc system provides high precision cutting on carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum from gauge material up to six inches thick. The most advanced gas control system in the industry, the m3 system is fully automated by a Vision® T5 CNC, a Windows® based touch-screen control.

Flexibility in selection and mix of shield gases allows an operator to produce the best cut quality on any material. The operator simply selects the material type and thickness, and the Vision control automatically selects and mixes the optimal start, cut and shield gas combination. Process parameters for most plasma cutting and marking applications are preloaded in the Vision T5 CNC, and custom parameter files can be easily created as needed.

The ease and simplicity of part setup is complemented by use of Columbus™ III CAD/CAM programming and nesting software, designed specifically for plasma, oxyfuel, laser, and waterjet cutting. This advanced software handles simple to highly complex cuts, multi-process cuts, labeling, and nesting jobs quickly and easily.

The Vision T5 control and Columbus software in combination with m3 plasma and 90,000 psi waterjet work together seamlessly to provide the highest cut quality on all contours with fully automated process control from part concept to completion. This fully integrated process control in conjunction with the patented process combination makes Hydrocut the ultimate tool for maximum production and precision cutting.

ESAB Cutting Systems, PO Box 100545, 411 South Ebenezer Road, Florence, SC 29501, 843−664−5618, Fax: 843−664−4403, szlotnicki@esab.com, www.esab-cutting.com.

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