Derek Loebsack.Click image to enlargeby Mary Scianna

Derek Loebsack knows a thing or two about waterjet technology. For close to 18 years now, he’s co-owned and also worked in waterjet fabrication shops and has serviced and repaired all brands of machines and pumps including Flow, Jet Edge, KMT, OMAX and WardJet machines. When he and his partner in a waterjet fabrication business decided to go their separate ways, he set up Loebsak Waterjet Canada Ltd. in Waterloo, ON, in 2012.

“I had a bunch of work that needed to get cut so I started sub contracting out to job shops I knew in the area, including Ament. Today, about 80 per cent of the jobs I get I sub contract to Ament Group.”

His wide network has allowed him to become somewhat of a waterjet matchmaker. Companies call him and he puts them in touch with different waterjet shops in the area based on customers’ needs. Increasingly though, an important part of his business is servicing waterjets. According to Loebsack and Fred Jones of Ament Group, a waterjet fabrication shop in Linwood, ON, the technical service Loebsack provides fills a gap in the industry.

Techni QuantumNXT dual machine.Click image to enlarge“There’s a real need for service and repair of waterjets in this area. Fred and I can build intensifiers with our eyes closed, but for many shops who don’t have the expertise, it’s a bit of a challenge,” says Loebsack.

Asked about the most significant changes he’s seen in waterjet technology and he says it’s the pumps.

“Everyone has hydraulic intensifiers, although some like OMAX have direct drive pumps. The direct drive pump gives you about 55,000 to 60,000 psi, but it’s fully controllable and you can adjust pressures. With intensifier pumps, they tend to be offered in either high or low pressures. The technology on the Techni waterjet mixes direct drive and intensifier technology and it’s a new concept. I haven’t had a chance to run the machine yet, but Techni Waterjet says the machine has a lot less maintenance in that it’s very easy to change seals.” SMT

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