Roundtable Conference: Waterjet Technology
Dimensional Stone - September, 1996
William Campbell: Welcome and thank you for joining me for a discussion on the exciting technology of water jet cutting and its use in the Stone industry. Right now, we're awaiting the arrival of Terry Alkire, from flow Europe, but he'll be joining us momentarily.
So what'd I’d like to do first is get some background from each of you as to how you got into waterjet cutting. Harri, why don't we start with you? Give me some information about yourself and how you got into waterjet cutting.
Harri Aalto: Well I started more in the fine arts and public arts fields where I worked for many years as a sculptor and designer. I did design products and various commercial things as well.
Think about waterjet cutting and you are thinking about a future of explosive growth and nearly endless possibilities. Six experts in the waterjet cutting field have a lot to say about it.
Offering unparalleled creativity with a wide variety of materials, along with design possibilities that are virtually limitless, there are few things within the stone industry that generate more excitement or spark the imagination stronger than waterjet cutting.
First developed in the mid-1970s to cut furniture before moving on to cut composite materials for the aircraft industry, the water jet has proven itself to be an adaptable technology that has been utilized in a variety of other enterprises such as the food, textiles and automotive industries.
One of the latest moves the water jet has made with great success has been into the architectural surfaces industry. Within that broad category, the technology has had some of its greatest impact with stone. Cad driven and featuring greater efficiency and reliability, the abrasive water jet is carving out an ever-growing niche in the stone industry, thanks not only to the strength of its phenomenal production capabilities, and to its ever-increasing customer support and demand, but also to the vision of the people who stand behind the unique resource and urge it forward to explosive growth in the future.
In late July, dimensional stone gathered a distinctive panel of experts in the waterjet cutting services industry that included Harri Aalto, creative director of Creative Edge Corp. In Fairfield, IA; Terry Alkire, vice president of European sales & marketing, for flow Europe in Darmstadt, Germany; Tom Ferguson, president and customer advocate of Pietra Bella in Minneapolis, MN; Bern Gannon, computer integrated manufacturing manager at precision H2O in Spokane, WA; Jonathan Smiga,
President of Intarsia in Orlando, FL; and Richard Ward, President of Richel, Inc. Waterjet Consultants in Tallmadge, OH.