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Router Expanded AST Waterjet's Capabilities

CNC Router storyAST Waterjet of Grand Prairie, Texas, added a MultiCam® 7000 Series Router to broaden the job shop's cutting capabilities, which expanded its business. The router cuts sheet metal faster, more efficiently and with a higher precision edge quality than a waterjet. Plus it processes virtually any material.

"I bought the router because I was missing out on opportunities,." Tony said. "Before MultiCam installed it, I had contracts in place with lower bids. Bright and shiny finished parts with machined edges amaze my customers."

Founded in 1993, AST's original owners purchased the second waterjet machine MultiCam manufactured. It was actually a router converted into a waterjet. Tony bought the company in 2006 and added a MultiCam 7000 Series Router as an equipment upgrade to be more efficient. He and 10 employees service oil field, aerospace, machinery, wind farm and cabinet industries in a 20,000-square-foot shop.

Tony singled out MultiCam because it's a known commodity from a quality standpoint. He wanted the most heavy-duty and dependable industrial router. So he choose the 7000 Series with a heavy gantry, 20-hp drill-and-tap spindle, pop-up alignment bins, zoned table and 30-hp vacuum pull-down unit. The first 8' wide 7000 Series MultiCam built, it features a raised gantry for 3-D carving.

"The router allows me to machine various materials efficiently that most shops can't." Tony said. "It's more advanced and easier to use than competitive machines. MultiCam is a great operation with prompt personal service and tech support."

Countersinking, tapping and chamfered edging used to take multiple machines and steps. Now AST does it all in one setup on the router in much less time. Unlike waterjet, router-cut parts are virtually taper free. Customers perceive them to be better quality and worth more.

AST has to cut one part at a time on the waterjet but machines hundreds in one setup on the router. The shop cuts, countersinks and taps multi-layer base plates for aerospace HVAC systems. One router replaced the work of three

machines and cut the job time from two or three days down to just two or three hours. Now AST makes these parts by the thousands.

Business took off quickly, keeping AST's router running eight hours a day. As the workload grows, Tony will move up to two shifts and add another router.

"I've moved many jobs from waterjet to router with much lower operating costs," Tony said. "And I no longer turn work away or bid too high. With a lower price point, I get more new business. The MultiCam Router's extra capabilities and speed increased my business and revenue by 33% in the first six weeks."

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