Waterjet operating costs

A ball park figure for a generic machine would be roughly $25 to $30 per hour plus whatever you pay your employees.

The operating costs include the following:

  • Abrasive
    An abrasivejet uses abrasive at a rate of between one-half and one pound per minute (0.2 and 0.5 kg/min). Over the course of an hour, it can consume up to 60 pounds of abrasive, or about a bag of abrasive.
  • Electricity
    The high-pressure pump consumes a lot of electricity, so even though electrical rates are cheap in most parts of the country, these costs can add up quickly.
  • Water
    The price of water will depend on whether you recycle, but a waterjet consumes about a gallon per minute of water.
  • Replacement of worn parts
    Nozzles wear out with time and need to be replaced between every 40 and 100 hours. They are expensive and cost hundreds of dollars. Similarly, replacing worn parts for the high-pressure pump adds to the per hour cost.

Clearly, carefully tracking costs can make a big difference in making a profit with a waterjet machine. Fortunately, most modern waterjet control software keeps track of how many hours the machine is running, so this simplifies the task of calculating the per hour rate.