A comparison between intensifier and direct drive: The high pressure pumps STREAMLINE PRO-III and TRILINE TL-I and their applications
Of course, different pump types are suited for different types of applications. For example, the models STREAMLINE PRO-III and TRILINE TL-I could not be any more different: While the PRO-III series can generate up to 6200 bar water pressure with its intensifier and can also handle the most challenging applications using its special technical equipment, the less expensive model TL-1 pump with its economical direct drive is positioned more as an entry-level model or as a supplier of high-pressure for simple cutting jobs.
Naturally, the question arises as to how the two drive concepts are different – or even more important, which concept is best suited for which concept, and one thing is clear: Both pump types have their reason for existence.
The intensifier pump - The expert for challenging applications
An indisputable advantage of the intensifier pumps is the maximum pressure range of up to 6200 bar. A direct drive pump cannot get up to this volume and therefore the intensifier must be the first choice for all users that want to cut especially thick or hard materials, such as titanium or thick concrete plates. Even if the waterjet cutting machine is designed for high loads – e.g. in demanding multi-shift operations – a model with intensifier offers more, since this technology is more durable and the components last longer. And as soon as the high pressure pumps are connected to a network, the direct drive pump is completely out, since this technology does not allow for this type of connection. Lastly, it should be mentioned that the use of the intensifier technology is also recommended in cases in which the cutting process includes high switching cycles. That is mainly the case with pure water applications, when many individual parts should be produced with high cutting speed, such as when cutting rubber seals or applications in the food industry. Here, the user of an intensifier pump profits in that the water pressure is maintained even with a closed valve and thus can be directly released again when the valve is opened.
The direct drive pump - The economic entry-level model
In contrast to this, high switching time with direct drive leads to increased signs of wear, since this technology is characterised by a continuous water flow, which must be diverted with a closed cutting valve. The more often such diversion is required, the more the pressure control valve is stressed.
Thus the direct drive pump can exploit their strengths even better with continuous cutting processes: The high efficiency of the pump increases the more the connected waterjet cutting system works without interruptions. For this reason, the TL-I model is better suited for abrasive applications: Compared to pure water applications the cutting speeds here are mainly lower, which also has the effect of a lower number of cutting cycles. Furthermore, the lower minimum pressure of a direct drive pump is an advantage with the processing of brittle or multi-layer materials: Since the TRILINE pumps can take the operating pressure down to a minimum of 100 bar, there is a lower risk of the material breaking when inserting into materials such as glass or ceramic and for multi-layer materials the risk of delamination decreases. And as already mentioned, the TRILINE pumps are very well suited as an entry-level model due to their low initial investment and to use for less demanding or smaller applications, in which the low connected load or the small space requirement of the pump plays a role. This is often the case in smaller custom cutting operations or manufacturing operations which only occasionally use their waterjet cutting systems.