China Steel of Sault Ste. Marie, ON Installs Massive 90KSI Waterjet

China Steel, a custom fabrication and machine shop in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, recently added a massive 90KSI Jet Edge waterjet cutting machine capable of cutting virtually any material up to 24'x13'.

With its 100hp 90KSI Jet Edge X-Stream powered system, China Steel (pronounced "keena") can cut parts up to 50% faster than waterjet shops with standard 60KSI waterjets. They also can cut large parts twice as fast with dual abrasivejet cutting heads with mirroring capabilities.

Established in the late 1950s, China Steel continues to be owned and operated by the China family, which traces its proud metalworking heritage to early 19th Century blacksmiths and metalworkers in Friuli, Italy. Under President Fred China and brother Vice President Carlo China's direction, China Steel has grown to become a diversified and technologically advanced metalworking plant with sales worldwide.

The multi-disciplined ISO 9001:2008-registered shop offers many metalworking services, including CNC and conventional machining, milling, turning, boring, bending, cutting, rolling, pipe processing, robotic welding and much more. It manufactures a wide range of custom products, including fabricated plate products, structural steel, decorative metalwork and machined parts. Its diverse projects have included everything from decorative staircases to locomotive underframes to dozens of parts for the U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicles to stainless steel dewatering wheels for steel mills in the Ukraine and India.

China Steel has always kept a sharp competitive edge by diversifying their products and services and by continually investing in the latest technology, explained Carlo China.

"In order to stay in business, you have to be diversified and keep up with technology," Carlo noted. "If you don't keep up with technology, you might as well put a lock on the door."

It was the company's belief in diversification and technology that compelled them to purchase not just a waterjet system, but to invest in one of the largest and most powerful waterjets available.

"We were looking at lasers and plasmas, but the waterjet is more versatile," Carlo recalled. "It has higher precision and is capable of cutting thicker diverse materials, plus it's environmentally friendly and there's no heat distortion. You cut a part and it fits. With Oxy, plasma and laser you are limited to what you can cut. Waterjet is open ended.

"We went with the 90,000 psi system because it gives us the cutting horsepower that we need, and we went with the large table because we have a diversified shop and many of the parts we cut are of significant size. One of the parts we cut is 22 feet. That's why we went with 24 feet. Our machine can also cut very small parts and that really impresses people when you can hold up a tiny part. They say, 'wow, you cut that on that big machine.'"

The Chinas decided to buy a Jet Edge after meeting the waterjet manufacturer's Elliott-Matsuura Canada representative Robert Miller, who they instantly took a liking to. Elliott-Matsuura Canada is Jet Edge's exclusive Canadian distributor.

"We looked at other manufacturers, but we really liked Robert Miller," Carlo said. "He's got a personality and he's very knowledgeable. He has owned a machine shop so we speak the same language."

Only a week after installing their Jet Edge, China Steel was already busy processing parts and contemplating more and more diverse applications for their waterjet system.

"The waterjet opens up a whole new world for us because there are so many things you are able to do," Carlo noted. "You start thinking 'wow, we could do this or we could do that.'"


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