Big new water jet cutting machine takes Front Street to the next level
Monday, January 25th 2021
Front Street Shipyard in Belfast, Maine, is now operating a five-axis 3D waterjet cutting machine that is the largest of its kind in Maine and among the largest in the country. The new machine is cutting large parts for use in Front Street Shipyard’s own boat construction and refit projects, and is also provide cutting services to outside businesses as part of a new division of the company. Purchased with the support of a Department of Transportation grant, the waterjet cutting machine expands Front Street Shipyard’s capabilities beyond the marine market into the manufacturing sector.
The waterjet cutting machine uses high-pressure water streams to cut, shape, and ream very large parts such as frames, molds, and panels used in manufacturing and construction. Capable of working with nearly any material including textiles, stainless steel, and titanium, the machine cuts parts directly from engineer-drawn electronic data with a high degree of precision and accuracy within two thousandths of an inch. The parts can be as simple as flat panels and as complex as tubes, bevels, countersinks and wraps.
The new waterjet cutting machine has facilitated Front Street Shipyard’s expansion beyond the marine industry. The 10-year old company launched its new Manufacturing Division to leverage the waterjet machine’s full capabilities in any industry. The Front Street Shipyard Manufacturing Division is now selling waterjet cutting services to manufacturers, OEMs, and custom builders around the country. The size of the machine’s cutting bed makes it one of few resources in the country for producing large, complex parts with such accuracy.
“For our boat building and repair team, this machine will streamline our work on custom and production boats, reducing costs and improving the quality of the end-products,” said JB Turner, president of Front Street Shipyard. “It also gives us the opportunity to diversify the services we offer beyond boat building and repair, which will ensure our company’s success through occasional downturns in the industry.”
Front Street Shipyard purchased a Suprema DX 1340 model from Illinois-based Waterjet USA LLC, the largest model the company has ever built and installed. The material table size is 41 feet by 13 feet with a 20-inch Z axis.
Here is a video of the machine at work: