Taking it off-road
- Created: 2017-09-04
Racing pit box manufacturer Murrco Fabrication opens waterjet job shop, extending its customer base off the track
by Jaimie Larson, marketing manager, Jet Edge Inc.
For years, Murrco Fabrication Inc.’s competition racing pit boxes have been the go-to tool cart for Saturday night racers. Now, the Nashville area metal fabricator is extending its business beyond the motorsports industry with the opening of a new waterjet job shop that offers cutting services.
Since launching its waterjet cutting service in August 2016, Murrco has fast become the waterjet shop of choice for Nashville area home builders trying to keep pace with the city’s roaring housing boom. Murrco has been running its waterjet system at a breakneck pace, cutting primarily ornamental iron products, including handrails, custom mailboxes and street signs. The company is also cutting a variety of racecar parts for local teams as well as parts for its Murrco signature pit boxes.
Mike Murray, owner of Murrco Fabrication, has expanded his business and entered new markets because of a Jet Edge waterjet cutting system.
Equipped to excel
Murrco equipped its waterjet shop with a brand-new industrial CNC waterjet cutting system built by Jet Edge Inc. Murrco’s system is a 5-ft.-by-13-ft. mid-rail waterjet system. Jet Edge touts the mid-rail gantry as a workhorse waterjet system designed to provide years of dependable service in harsh industrial environments. It’s capable of cutting precision parts from virtually any material and can accommodate sheet sizes up to 5 ft. by 13 ft. It cuts parts with a 55,000-psi supersonic jet of water mixed with garnet abrasive, leaving a sanded smooth edge with no burrs, slag or heat-affected zone.
Murrco powers its waterjet with a Jet Edge hydraulic intensifier pump, which is built to last. With proper maintenance, a Jet Edge pump’s lifespan can exceed 70,000 hours. Jet Edge offers free maintenance training to pump customers to ensure its pumps deliver on their reputation for a long life.
Waterjet cutting precision aluminum parts.
Murrco also fit its waterjet system with IGEMS waterjet software for optimal CAD/CAM/nesting performance.
Using dtiCore diamond orifices and diamond guard filters from Diamond Technology Innovations maximizes cut quality and eliminates unnecessary downtime to achieve unparalleled reliability.
A full-featured pendant on the Jet Edge waterjet allows Murray to get closer to his projects with losing any functionality.
Filling a demand
Mike Murray, Murrco’s president and owner, decided to add waterjet cutting services to his one-man fab shop after noticing a growing demand for the service from his customer base, which had already grown beyond the racing industry. Murrco’s reputation for quality, service, and fair pricing was the main driver behind that growth.
“The waterjet service market is booming, and I wanted to get involved and establish my company as a waterjet service provider,” he says. “I plan on using my Jet Edge waterjet to provide quality and accurate parts and products in a job shop environment. As time goes on, I'm sure some new racecar parts will be added to Murrco's production. Production type work in the motorsports industry is the goal.”
Murray inspects an aluminum part fresh off the Jet Edge waterjet.
The ability of waterjet to cut an endless array of materials and its reach into multiple industries were very attractive to Murray, whose business sustained the Great Recession and is now benefitting from the rebounding economy.
“Having waterjet cutting services in-house opens up a wide array of possibilities and new markets for Murrco,” he says. “I‘ve cut parts from aluminum, mild steel, graphite and wood. The thickest material I’ve cut was 2-in.-thick mild steel, and it was amazing how well the finished product turned out.”
The Murray racing team includes Crew Chief Matthew Murray, Chief Engineer Michael Murray and their driver dad Mike Murray (right).
While Murrco’s waterjet shop has been keeping Murray busy, he still finds time now and then to trade his shop apron for a fire suit. Murray races in several late-model car competitions, including the All-American 400 in Nashville where he drove his #48 Chevrolet with sponsorship from waterjet industry leaders Jet Edge, Choice Waterjet Parts, Diamond Technology Innovations and IGEMS in the 100-lap race. Racing is a family sport for the Murrays, with sons Michael serving as chief engineer and Matthew serving as crew chief. Murray’s wife and daughters-in-law never miss a race.
“I have been involved in racing for about 40 years,” Murray says, noting that he also plans to use his waterjet to help improve his team’s performance on the racetrack. “We’re excited to have Jet Edge on our team. Having a waterjet broadens our imagination in regard to the things that we can make in-house for the car.”
Murray says he is very happy with his decision to go with a Jet Edge waterjet cutting system. He says he chose Jet Edge after doing his due diligence – 14 months of researching options, to be exact.
“Reading, talking to those that owned waterjets and more reading,” Murray says of his research about the waterjet process. “Jet Edge offered everything, quality, service, options and competitive pricing. The IGEMS software is so easy to learn and has endless options for operation.
“I made the right choice and would put my waterjet up against anything on the market,” he continues. “You can't beat service after the sale, and that is what Jet Edge delivers. The experience I’ve had so far has been great, not only with the equipment but also with the support they offer. I would recommend them to the guy like myself that is just now entering the market and to the big manufacturers that are looking for ways to cut costs and improve productivity. Anyone reading this can feel free to call me with any questions on my waterjet on a personal level.”