1993-03-01

Headliner Trimming Using Robotic Waterjet Cutting Systems 930306

Accurate, high-quality trimming is critical in the manufacture of automotive headliners. And as a wide variety of headliners are trimmed with various patterns, flexibility is essential.
The method of cutting headliners with a high-velocity, ultrahigh-pressure stream of water attached to a robot offers not only flexibility, but also competitive process times, clean, non-compressed cuts and no harmful fumes.
In the life of a headliner, it is not uncommon to have hundreds of engineering changes. Before water jet cutting, these changes were handled by retooling cutting dies, which requires weeks of work and costs thousands of dollars. Robotic waterjet cutting can accommodate these changes in a matter of hours by simply reprogramming the robot.
When robotic waterjet cutting was introduced, it was typical for a system to cost as much as $350,000 to $500,000. With the recent innovation of more sophisticated robots, supporting software and lower-cost waterjet components, this cost has dropped to the $160,000 to $300,000 range. Ultrahigh-pressure waterjet systems have become more reliable and affordable, offering an effective reduction in the upfront capital cost and lower operating costs throughout the life of the equipment.

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