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Market Size and Trends

The waterjet cutting machine market is estimated to be valued at US$ 1.32 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach US$ 2.04 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% from 2024 to 2031.

Waterjet Cutting Machine Market Key Factors

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The growth of the waterjet cutting machine market is driven by increasing demand from end-use industries such as automotive, mining, and aerospace & defense. Waterjet cutting technology is gaining popularity over traditional cutting technologies owing to its ability to cut through any material without generating heat. This property makes waterjet an efficient cutting option for heat-sensitive materials. Additionally, growing need for material precision cutting and rapid prototyping has positively impacted the demand for waterjet cutting machines. A wide range of applications and advancements in waterjet technology, such as 3D slicing, are expected to offer lucrative opportunities for the market players over the forecast period.

Demand from Automotive Industry

The automotive industry has been adopting waterjet cutting technology at a rapid pace over the past decade. Waterjet cutting allows for precise contour cutting of vehicle body panels, chassis components, and other parts with intricate designs. The complexity and customization in automotive designs has been increasing steadily with new vehicle models being launched each year. Original equipment manufacturers and automotive component suppliers require a technology that can deliver agile manufacturing and aid in reducing production lead times. Waterjet cutting fulfills this need perfectly through its ability to cut a wide range of sheet materials, including mixed material stacks, without imparting mechanical stresses. No two vehicle models are exactly the same in their design details so automakers depend on flexible cutting systems to efficiently manufacture all variants of a vehicle platform. Waterjet cutting machines have emerged as a preferred solution here compared to traditional cutting methods owing to their programmable operation and ability to cut complex 3D forms on demand. With automobile production continuing to expand across major economies, the need for efficient metal cutting technologies from automakers and suppliers remains high, thus driving increased sales of waterjet cutting machines in the coming years.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Waterjet Cutting Machine Market Concentration By Players

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Advantages over Traditional Cutting Methods

Waterjet cutting has gained popularity as a viable alternative to traditional cutting methods like flame cutting, plasma cutting, and laser cutting in recent times. One of the major reasons is that it does not involve high temperatures during the cutting process and eliminates heat-affected zones that are common in other thermal cutting techniques. This gives waterjet the ability to cut through heat-sensitive materials with great precision without altering the physical properties of the material. Examples include cutting acrylic, wood, food products, and composite sandwich panels. Waterjet is also versatile as it can cut through pretty much any conductive material like steel, aluminum, and stainless steel regardless of thickness. It cuts by a mixture of highly pressurized water and abrasive materialjet which enables clean cutting edges without any dross, burrs, or melting. The cut quality and accuracy is far superior to mechanical cutting like sawing or shearing. Growing demand from industries like aerospace, marine, electronics, and medical device manufacturing have validated the various advantages that waterjet cutting holds over legacy cutting methods. Its ability to automate complex cutting processes has increased its popularity as a fabrication tool. With continued enhancement in waterjet technology, it is expected that more manufacturing sectors will migrate to waterjet cutting for its precision, quality output and cost effectiveness.

Waterjet Cutting Machine Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Market Challenges:

Strict environmental regulations have increased the cost of using these machines as they require expensive abrasives and produce harmful waste. Additionally, the precision of waterjet machines has made it difficult to cut certain dense and intricate materials. The need for well-trained operators further raises expenses. Due to their lower cutting speed compared to laser machines, waterjets are not ideal for high-volume production. The market must overcome these cost and efficiency obstacles to expand.

As additives are enabling waterjets to cut an even wider array of materials. These machines find applications in more industries like mining, aerospace, and automotive. Their non-thermal cutting technology allows for sensitive materials to be cut without damage. With advancements to improve speed and precision, waterjets can take on more roles previously done by lasers.

Waterjet Cutting Machine Market By Offerings

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Insights By Offerings- Reliability and Versatility Drives Hardware Dominance

In terms of offerings, hardware contributes the highest share of the waterjet cutting machine market. It is expected to account for 53.7% of the market share in 2024 owing to its reliability and versatility. As the core component powering the entire waterjet system, hardware equipped with robust cutting heads, precision guidance systems, and industrial-grade pumps and jets are essential for a variety of precise cutting needs. Whether trimming materials or complex 3D shaping, hardware handles the physical cutting process and serves as the backbone of any waterjet operation.

Given water jetting involves pressing water or abrasive-water mixtures at ultrahigh pressures, hardware components including injectors, focusing tubes, and sapphire jewels require heavy duty engineering to withstand extreme forces over prolonged usage. Leading manufacturers invest heavily in R&D to fortify hardware with maximum uptime commitments. Installations favor robust hardware proven to execute cuts dependably for years with minimal downtime. As waterjetting is deployed for high-throughput production as well as delicate prototyping, versatile hardware can optimize processes across application types.

While software and services improve workflow automation and support, hardware remains central to the wet-cutting process. As waterjetting assumes increased responsibilities from simple subdivision to complex profile manufacturing, hardware innovations unlock greater cutting sophistication through advanced guidance, powder mixing, and multi-stream injection capabilities. Integrated hardware suites offer 'lights-out' fabrication abilities. Their tight mechanical integration and decentralized architectures improve process consistency. As hardware underpins core cutting competencies, its resilience, versatility, and proliferation of capabilities drive the largest market share in waterjet offerings.

Insights, By Waterjet Type- Precision Advantages Drive the Dominance of Non-abrasive Waterjet

In terms of waterjet type, non-abrasive waterjet contributes the highest share. It is expected to account for 67.8% of the market share in 2024 due to its precise cutting capabilities ideal for intricate parts. Whereas abrasive waterjet mixes garnet or aluminum oxide crystals into pressurized water streams, non-abrasive waterjet relies solely on the impact force of water molecules accelerated above 3,000 PSI. Without erosive grit, non-abrasive waterjets preserve details when trimming foam, textiles, rubber, or delicate materials where abrasives would damage surfaces or leave undesirable edges.

Non-abrasive waterjets perfectly cut gasket materials, seals, bladder materials, and specialty textiles without compromising integrity. Medical producers rely on them for custom prosthetics, implants, and thin silicone parts. Aerospace fabricators make detailed bulkhead models and trim composite skins. Manufacturers of electronics create precise enclosures, connectors, and non-metal sheets. Non-abrasives also excel at low-volume prototyping & sampling applications requiring replication of precise patterns or complex contours. Their fine resolution, burr-free edges and limited kerf width enable intricate waterjet work.

As designs integrate evermore complex 3D curves and narrow internal clearances, non-abrasive waterjet technology stands alone in delivering clean, burr-free cuts without compromising fragile materials. Coupled with their gentleness on heat-sensitive substrates, non-abrasive waterjets prove indispensable to industries demanding utmost cutting refinement at the micrometer level. This precision edge drives their strong market preference versus less-surgical abrasive alternatives.

Insights, By Product Type- Intricate Shaping Capabilities drive 3D Waterjets' Leadership

In terms of product type, 3D waterjets is expected to hold the greatest market share of 41.5% in 2024 due to their novel capabilities for intricate 3D part fabrication. While traditional robotic and micro waterjets specialize in planar cuts, 3D waterjets create freestanding objects by strategically removing material from all directions. Through advanced nozzle manipulation systems and multi-axis gantries, 3D waterjets sculpt models and short-run production parts directly from Computer Aided Design (CAD) files without need for tooling changes.

3D waterjets open opportunities in versatile on-demand manufacturing. Design and engineering firms employ them for conceptual prototyping and research. Aerospace manufacturers streamline production of complex intake parts and ducting. Medical device fabricators craft customized implants. As products integrate bespoke ergonomics and aesthetic contours, 3D waterjetting carves objects without size constraints. The technology even helps fabricate its own replacement parts through closed-loop manufacturing.

As their intricate shaping expands waterjetting into new realms of 3D machining, 3D systems assume increased strategic importance. Their multi-directional dexterity enables applications far beyond simple cutting, like intricate sandblasting, selective foaming, and multi-material assembly. Coupling with additive technologies may one day merge moldless fabrication with moldless casting. As waterjets push into generative domains, their leadership in intricate 3D part-making cements their growing market prominence versus planar-centric alternatives. The ability to prototype complex geometries from mere CAD data leaves 3D waterjets unmatched.

Regional Insights

Waterjet Cutting Machine Market Regional Insights

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The North America region currently dominates the global waterjet cutting machine market. The region is expected to account for 35.2% of the market share in 2024. The presence of major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Flow International, Omax, and Bystronic in the U.S. is a key driver of the region's leadership position. Additionally, countries like the U.S. and Canada have been early adopters of advanced manufacturing technologies across industries such as aerospace, automotive, and shipbuilding. This strong manufacturing footprint of North America has supported the widespread adoption of waterjet cutting machines for precision cutting applications over the past few decades.

Industries in North America also demand high-pressure and high-precision waterjet systems to cut exotic new materials. As a result, waterjet cutting machine manufacturers in the region have focused their R&D efforts on developing sophisticated machines that can cater to these discerning industry needs. The region is now home to some of the most technically advanced abrasive and pure waterjet cutting machines in the world. Strong presence of manufacturing industries and continued innovation by regional manufacturers have helped North America cement its leadership in the global market.

The Asia Pacific region has emerged as the fastest growing regional market for waterjet cutting machines in recent years. Countries like China, India, and Japan have exhibited high double-digit growth and are expanding their manufacturing capabilities aggressively. Growing industrial activity across diverse end-use industries such as shipbuilding, machine shop fabrications, and stone cutting is driving the demand for waterjet technology in Asia Pacific. The region's low input and labor costs have also encouraged local fabrication jobs to move from North America and Europe to the Asia Pacific region. This shifting of manufacturing locations has increased the consumption of capital goods like waterjet cutting machines.

Additionally, the presence of global OEMs in countries such as China through manufacturing facilities or partnerships with local firms has improved access to waterjet technology. Rising affluence, growing construction activity, and government initiatives to develop manufacturing are some of the other factors propelling the Asia Pacific market. The rapid industrialization and manufacturing growth witnessed in Asia Pacific economies make it the most attractive regional market currently.

Market Report Scope

Waterjet Cutting Machine Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 1.32 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 6.4% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 2.04 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, South Africa, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Offerings: Hardware, Software, and Services
  • By Waterjet: Abrasive and Non-abrasive
  • By Product Type: 3D, Micro, and Robotic
  • By Industry: Electronics, Automotive, Food, Aerospace, Metal Fabrication, Construction, and Others 
Companies covered:

Omax Corporation, Flow International Corporation, Koike Aronson, Inc., WARDJet, Inc., Jet Edge, Inc., Resato International BV, Water Jet Sweden AB, STM Waterjet, Kimtech, Techni Waterjet, Innovative International Ltd., Swaterjet, A Innovative International Ltd., BFT GmbH, NLB Corporation, TNLB Corporation, and Water Jet Germany Private Ltd.

Growth Drivers:
  • Demand from Automotive Industry
  • Advantages over Traditional Cutting Methods 
Restraints & Challenges:
  • High Costs Associated with Waterjet Cutting Machines
  • Requirement of Skilled Labor for Operation

Key Developments

  • In June 2023, Flow International Corporation is a global leader in providing innovative waterjet cutting solutions for various industries. launched the Mach 200c and EchoJet waterjet systems, which introduce advanced bevel and five-axis cutting capabilities. These cutting-edge technologies set new standards in the industry, allowing for the fabrication of complex parts with precision.
  • In September 2022, KMT Waterjet Systems Inc., a leading provider of ultra-high pressure pumps and components for waterjet cutting systems worldwide, introduced the KMT PRO 50 waterjet pump as part of its New Generation waterjet technology. The KMT PRO 50 pump, operating at 9,000psi/6,200bar/50hp, is now available for purchase globally. This pump offers several unique benefits, including a 40% increase in cutting speed compared to standard 60,000psi/4,100bar 50hp waterjet systems. Additionally, the KMT PRO 50 uses up to 50% less abrasive garnet and significantly reduces water and electricity consumption, resulting in a daily savings of three hours of work time.
  • In July 2022, OMAX Corporation, a major U.S.-based manufacturer of water jet systems, unveiled its latest innovation, the OptiMAX Precision Jet Machining Center. This cutting-edge machine is the most accurate and advanced abrasive water jet produced by OMAX to date. The OptiMAX product line stands out for its user-friendly design and was created to address industry challenges by delivering high processing speeds, exceptional reliability, and enhanced automation capabilities.

*Definition: The waterjet cutting machine market encompasses the manufacturing and sales of waterjet cutting machines. Waterjet cutting machines use a very fine jet of water at high velocities to cut through materials. They are capable of cutting through even tough materials like steel and aluminum sheets with extreme precision. These machines find applications across various industries like automotive, shipbuilding, aerospace, stone cutting, fiberglass cutting, food processing, and others for processes like contour cutting, drill cutting, machine marking, and structural steel cutting.

Market Segmentation

  • Offerings Insights (Revenue, US$ BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Hardware
    • Software
    • Services
  •  Waterjet Insights (Revenue, US$ BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Abrasive
    • Non-abrasive
  •  Product Type Insights (Revenue, US$ BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • 3D
    • Micro
    • Robotic
  •  Industry Insights (Revenue, US$ BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Electronics
    • Automotive
    • Food
    • Aerospace
    • Metal Fabrication
    • Construction
    • Others
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, US$ BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
      • Rest of Latin America
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      • GCC Countries
      • South Africa
      • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players
    • Omax Corporation
    • Flow International Corporation
    • Koike Aronson, Inc.
    • WARDJet, Inc.
    • Jet Edge, Inc.
    • Resato International BV
    • Water Jet Sweden AB
    • STM Waterjet
    • Kimtech
    • Techni Waterjet
    • Innovative International Ltd.
    • Swaterjet
    • A Innovative International Ltd.
    • BFT GmbH
    • NLB Corporation
    • TNLB Corporation
    • Water Jet Germany Private Ltd.

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the waterjet cutting machine market is projected to be 6.4% from 2024 to 2031.

Demand from automotive industry and advantages over traditional cutting methods are the major factors driving the growth of the waterjet cutting machine market.

High costs associated with waterjet cutting machines and requirement of skilled labor for operation are the major factors hampering the growth of the waterjet cutting machine market.

In terms of offerings, hardware is estimated to dominate the market revenue share in 2024.

Omax Corporation, Flow International Corporation, Koike Aronson, Inc., WARDJet, Inc., Jet Edge, Inc., Resato International BV, Water Jet Sweden AB, STM Waterjet, Kimtech, Techni Waterjet, Innovative International Ltd., Swaterjet, A Innovative International Ltd., BFT GmbH, NLB Corporation, TNLB Corporation, and Water Jet Germany Private Ltd. are the major players.

North America is expected to lead the waterjet cutting machine market in 2024.

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