The standoff distance of a waterjet cutting system is measured by the space between the waterjet's nozzle and the workpiece. For the majority of applications, standoff distance should be around 1/8th of an inch. To achieve the most consistent results, this distance should remain constant throughout the entirety of the cut. However, there are some circumstances that may cause the standoff to change, even if the Z-height of the cutting head stays the same. Installing a height sensor can drastically reduce the likelihood of this situation occurring.
2D height sensors are most commonly used when processing material that is not perfectly flat. Inconsistencies in the levelness of the workpiece can cause fluctuations in the standoff distance between the nozzle and the material. This can cause variations in kerf, taper, and overall cut quality. In some instances, a material fluctuation greater than the nozzle’s standoff distance can cause collisions between the nozzle and the material. Broken nozzles can cause damage to the material and unnecessary downtime, detracting from your bottom line.
The 2D height sensor encompasses the nozzle with brushes that rest on the surface of the material. If the thickness or height of the material changes as the cutting head jogs across the cutting table, these brushes will move up or down with the material. The height sensor registers the up and down movement of the brushes, sending signals to the cutting head that will adjust its Z-height accordingly. By correcting the Z-height based on the height of the material, a consistent standoff distance can be achieved. This will prevent the possibility of the nozzle coming into contact with the material, and will ensure a uniform cut regardless of material inconsistencies.
Watch the 2D height sensor video below to see how this accessory prevents damage to the cutting head and nozzle. For more information about the height sensor or any of our other waterjet accessories, contact WARDJet at 330-677-9100, or visit wardjet.com/get-in-touch.