When Twelve Strike Bowling Services Owner Ron Richmond decided to add the waterjet process to his manufacturing facility in Long Beach, Calif., he insisted on two things: his waterjet system would be made in America and it would include a closed-loop water recycling system. No exceptions.
After researching several waterjet systems, Richmond chose an American-made 6'X12' High Rail Gantry Waterjet System manufactured by Jet Edge, Inc., of St. Michael, Minn. He equipped his waterjet with Jet Edge's Closed-Loop Filtration System, which recycles water and eliminates the need to dump it down the drain. This reduces water consumption and sewage costs and eliminates the risk of dumping hazardous materials down the drain, all which are important considerations everywhere, but are especially critical in Southern California.
"I do my damndest to buy American when I can," Richmond said. "I have yet to break an American tool unless I have been misusing it. I wanted an American-made waterjet with a closed-loop system because we are in the desert here and water is a huge issue. I also did not want to be dumping water down the drain. I do not have an environmental issue here and I do not want one. Logically in my head, I knew that an overhead gantry waterjet machine was the way to go versus a cantilevered arm system. You can't take something and have it hang out there and have precise performance."
Established in 1989, Twelve Strike is a leading manufacturer of automated scoring products for bowling centers around the world. Twelve Strike offers a full range of bowling scoring products, including scoring pedestals and overhead display monitors, as well as scoring computers, and point-of-sale, back-office and central control systems. To date, Twelve Strike has installed 224 systems worldwide. In a good year, the company installs 800-900 lane beds.
The family owned business was started by Ron's father Rex Richmond, who opened a bowling center in his retirement and quickly determined that he could build a better scoring system. Twelve Strike is now run by Ron Richmond and his wife Susiy Richmond, who continue to set themselves apart from competitors by sticking to Rex's unwavering commitment to his customers. Twelve Strike is the only bowling scoring systems manufacturer with a 24-7 support line that is answered by real people.
"We care about our customers," Ron said. "We aren't like a large corporation. If a customer wants to talk to me, he can talk to me."
Before installing their waterjet machine, Twelve Strike cut many of their parts on a 4'X4' plasma machine or outsourced them to waterjet shops.
"I needed to replace the plasma because I couldn't breathe," Ron said. "It put out so much soot and nasty crap and everything else. I looked at lasers and I looked at waterjets. I decided to go with waterjet because it will cut just about anything. The nice thing about the waterjet is there is no heat injected into the part. I'm also able to nest, which I wasn't able to do before. This saves me materials and time. My scrap is far less. I'd say 30-40%. Plasma cuts faster, but you have to grind the part afterwards. With the waterjet, there is no secondary finishing. This is a huge time saver."
Susiy pointed out that owning their own waterjet has relieved Twelve Strike of the hassle of waiting on outside companies for waterjet services.
"We were tired of waiting on other companies to get us our brackets and computer cases," Susiy noted. "Now we are able to cut our own brackets and cases and have them available at the moment we need them. And we are able to do special projects for our customers at the bowling centers. Since we have been able to bring the cutting in house, we are able to produce products quickly and accurately. Minus the cost of the waterjet, the parts are cheaper for us because we are not paying the added up charge for having the products made by someone else."
The waterjet system also has helped the Richmonds develop a side fabricating business, Fab Metal Shop, a full-service job shop that they started to help them survive the tough economy and the feast-or-famine business cycles of the bowling industry.
"I wanted to diversify for a long time because the bowling recreation industry is killer," Ron explained. "It comes in a tidal wave in the summer, and in the winter, you starve. The Fab Metal Shop is definitely a part of my business that I want to grow. Fab Metal Shop was born to help Twelve Strike."
Ron said he has no regrets about choosing a Jet Edge as his waterjet manufacturer.
"Jet Edge has surpassed all my expectations," he said. "I am very pleased with the system and with the service. Jet Edge stands behind its product. When I have called with a problem, they have gotten back to me in a reasonable time. It hasn't been days or weeks. I like the overall performance of the machine. The pump is fairly easy to maintain. You really only have a couple of seals to replace and the seal life is fine."
About Jet Edge's High Rail Gantry
Jet Edge's High Rail Gantry System produces complex parts out of virtually any material. Its overhead design allows full access to the work envelope and raises the critical components out of the process environment. The High Rail Gantry is available in 2' increments, from 4'X4' to 24'X14'. Multiple cutting heads can be added to increase productivity, and the system can be expanded in place.
About Jet Edge's Closed Loop Filtration System
Jet Edge's Closed Loop Filtration System eliminates the need for a drain by filtering and reusing water. A closed-loop filtration system prevents the introduction of hazardous materials into drainage systems, protects the waterjet pump, maximizes orifice life and reduces water/sewage costs.
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 Jet Edge, visit www.jetedge.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-JET-EDGE (538-3343).