Missouri University of Science & Technology Wins WARDJet Waterjet

Students reap rewards of participating in WARDJet's Build It! Challenge during IMTS in Chicago.

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Recently, representatives from Missouri S&T, WARDJet and Hypertherm gathered at the Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center (RMERC) on S&T campus to inaugurate the new WARDKit 5x5 waterjet cutting system. Unlike the other machinery in the RMERC lab, the WARDKit 5x5 waterjet was won by a student team in mid-September at the International Manufacturing and Technology Show in Chicago, Illinois. The S&T group traveled to McCormick Place in Chicago to participate in WARDJet’s Build It! Challenge, organized in association with the Smartforce Student Summit. The Student Summit was established to provide a forum for students, parents and educators to discover and use technologies utilized in advanced manufacturing.

During this event, over 200 individuals registered for one hour time slots to build components of a waterjet cutting system. The Build It! Challenge engaged teams of mechatronics students in a hands-on experience requiring them to assemble a high-end waterjet system. A waterjet is a CNC cutting tool that uses high pressure water, combined with a sand-like abrasive, to make detailed, highly precise cuts in a variety of materials including  10-12” steel, stone, plastics and foam using a jeweled orifice and 60,000psi. Students who participated in the build-off competition were then entered in a drawing to win the very waterjet they worked to assemble for their school’s machining lab, valued at approximately $89,000.

The Missouri University of Science & Technology team consisted of Jay Schafler (Graduate Student, Explosives, Mining and Nuclear Engineering), Marty Langenderfer (Senior, Mining and Nuclear Engineering) and John Rueschmann (Senior, Mechanical Engineering) led by Research Engineering Technician Jeff Heniff. The new WARDKit waterjet equipped with a30 horsepower 60,000 psi pump will replace a decades-old waterjet table with the latest in waterjet technology. WARDJet owner Richard Ward was in attendance to award S&T the grand prize waterjet, as well as Jay Kobzik whose company Hypertherm donated the pump for the system. Missouri S&T Chancellor Dr. Cheryl Schrader and other administrators were also in attendance to help cut the ceremonial ribbon with owner Ward.