Water Jet Company Attributes Success to AS9100 Certification, Increased Sales and Marketing Efforts, Consistently Accurate Jet Edge Water Jets
KENT, Wash. - The "Great Recession" has been no match for Pegasus Northwest of Kent, Wash. The Boeing-certified industrial water jet cutting shop has increased sales by 57% since 2007, keeping its five Jet Edge water jet cutting machines humming 20 hours a day weekdays and 12 hours a day weekends.
Established in 1970, Pegasus Northwest has built a thriving business using computer-controlled 60,000 psi water jets to cut parts from virtually any material up to 14" thick for a wide variety of industries, including military, marine, automotive, architectural and aerospace. It counts Boeing among its major longtime customers, and credits the aerospace manufacturer for inspiring it to enter the precision water jet cutting market in 1997.
Pegasus Northwest General Manager Ron Palstring attributes his company's stunning success throughout the recession to its decision to invest in its quality program and greatly increase sales and marketing efforts.
While other businesses went into bunker mode, Pegasus Northwest took the initiative to become the first AS9100-certified company in Washington and hired a full-time sales and marketing manager to drum up new business. As a result, the water jet company is running at 70% capacity and has even installed two additional Jet Edge water jet cutting machines to keep up with demand.
"Currently Pegasus is the only AS9100-certified company in the state of Washington," Palstring noted. "Boeing is a big part of our business, and we knew if we could become certified it would be to our advantage. The price tag for such certification was over $30,000 plus a lot of hard work from our quality manager and the entire staff. We have to pass annual audits and follow strict rules and procedures."
Pegasus's commitment to its quality program and experience meeting stringent aerospace industry performance requirements have helped it grow into one of the largest water jet shops in the Pacific Northwest, Palstring added, emphasizing that the company adheres to the same quality control practices for all of its customers as it does for Boeing.
"We are known for our quality and three-day turnaround," he said. "We can hold tight tolerances, ± .005" in most cases and sometimes even tighter depending on the material. We can cut thick materials and only leave +.060" excess per side, and we have drills mounted on our waterjets so we can pre-drill sensitive materials such as composites. We also invest in diamond water jet orifices. The diamond heads last us approximately six months and gain us efficiency, accuracy and increased nozzle life."
Palstring is quick to point out that his company's decision to invest in consistently accurate Jet Edge water jets has not only given them an edge on quality, but also has won them Boeing's confidence to calibrate their own machines.
"Boeing approved and qualified our Jet Edge machines because of their consistency in accuracy," he said. "We did this by collecting data for quarterly ball bar and laser calibrations over the past two years. Now Pegasus has authorization to ball bar and laser our own machines per our quality procedures. This is a huge time and cost saver."
The Jet Edge machines' accuracy also helps Pegasus keep pricing competitive because it is able to cut parts net to customers' specifications, Palstring added.
"We can offer this because of our machine accuracy and skilled machine operators," he explained. "All of our water jet operators control their cutter compensation and manage the tool wear (nozzle life)."
Pegasus's Jet Edge water jet tables include a 12'x14' with two heads and a drill, a 12'X8' with two heads and a drill, a 6'X10' with four heads and a drill, an 8'X10' with four heads, and a 6'X10' with two heads. Some of its machines have seen more than 10 years of service, including the 18-year-old 6'x10' system. The water jets are powered by a 50hp, 100hp and three 150hp waterjet pumps. All five machines are plumbed to each pump to prevent downtime.
"I'm happy I went with Jet Edge and would purchase another machine if needed," Palstring said. "I like our Jet Edges so much that I even offer tours of our facility to their prospective customers who are not direct competitors. Jet Edge has excellent machine accuracy and reliability as well as pump and seal life, and I love that its systems have main Z and sub Z motors for individually controlling each water jet nozzle. Jet Edge also has excellent customer service and tech support, plus a knowledgeable local sales rep and engineering staff."
About Jet Edge
Established in 1984, Jet Edge is a global designer and manufacturer of waterjet systems for precision cutting, surface preparation and coating removal. Jet Edge systems are used around the world in a broad range of industries, from the world's leading airlines to automotive, aerospace, industrial manufacturers, machine and job shops. Jet Edge waterjet systems are proudly made in the U.S.A.
For more information about Pegasus Northwest, visit www.pegasusnw.com or call 253-854-5451.
For more information about Jet Edge, visit www.jetedge.com, call 1-800-JET-EDGE (538-3343) or 763-497-8700.