Over the past few months WMH has seen a big increase in enquiries from food manufacturers looking to harness the power of water-jet cutting technology into their production processes.
While waterjet cutting itself isn’t new the growing trend within the food industry seems to come from three areas; the need for more control of the product, flexibility to cut random shapes and reduction of costs.
For anyone not familiar with waterjet cutting the basic principle is the use a fine jet of water at very high pressure to create a “blade”. For food applications the water is pure, for industry water jet cutting using abrasive inclusions in the water enables the same technology to cut metals and stone.
A waterjet cutting nozzle can be mounted on a servo drive and linked to a vision system which enables accurate product cutting without the need for touching and guiding the product which with baked food products can often be difficult. Alongside this there is an increasing desire for products to be cut into random shapes, for example cutting different seasonal shapes. The same vision and servo technology can be employed to plan the most efficient cutting pattern and carry out the cutting. The final advantage of waterjet cutting over blade cutting is the cost saving in terms of product change-over, with no physical blade to be changed between products, production of different products can be almost seamless saving downtime and cleaning costs. Similarly there are no change-parts to be swapped between products and there is no degradation of the cutting surface over time.
With the level of interest is this type of cutting technology WMH has built a test unit which has been put used for proving the principle of operation with a range of products including cheesecake, cream-slices, bread and vegetables.
For more information please visit our website www.wmh-uk-lt.com or call 01579 383788