A Cure For Jetting Safety Concerns

Robotic waterjetting system from Stutes separates operators from dangerous high-pressure water
A Cure For Jetting Safety Concerns
Tryan Stutes, right, the owner and president of Stutes Enterprise Systems, discusses the features of the waterblasting head on his Hydra X Xtream Pad Dragon robotic waterjetting system with an attendee at WWETT 2015. The system offers pressures up to 20,000 psi at 43 gpm, while keeping the operator away from potential harm.

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Operator safety is paramount in the waterjetting industry. With more companies — especially those in the refinery and petroleum cleaning industry — wishing to remove their operators from possible harm from high-pressure sources and caustic chemicals, automated systems are becoming more common.

The Hydra X Xtream Pad Dragon from Stutes Enterprise Systems, introduced to the water and wastewater industry at the 2015 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show, is just such a product. The innovative robotic waterjetting system allows the operator to manipulate the variable-speed rotating nozzles as an extension of his own body. 

“What we essentially did with this product was took a compact excavator and added a tail whip that swivels back and forth and doesn’t pinch or puncture the high-pressure hose,” says Tryan Stutes, the president and owner of Stutes Enterprise Systems. “Our blasting head comes in a small package while offering a wide range of motion.” 

The head rotates 180 degrees left and right, and 180 degrees up and down, allowing the operator to reach small crevices and cracks far out of arm’s reach. It can blast water at pressures up to 20,000 psi at 43 gpm. The Pad Dragon’s intelligent hydraulic system controls the speed of the nozzle’s spin rotation and other functions from the comfort of its climate-controlled cab. It’s also efficient, as there’s no need to idle-up the engine to power the hydraulic controls. 

“Operator safety is the biggest factor with the design of this unit,” says Stutes. “It allows for less wear and tear on the operator, a faster clean, less downtime, and less cost for protective equipment, as the operator can stay in the comfort of the cab.” 

Multiple tools are available with the blasting head, with a quick-change system that allows the operator to make adjustments in minutes. While the target market is service workers and companies that work in refinery and utility pipe cleaning and blasting, Stutes says that several municipalities have also purchased units. The unit can also be hooked to a trailer jetter to give it full hydroexcavation capability. 

“We designed this unit to be a fit across multiple industries,” Stutes says. “Now it’s a matter of getting the name out there and letting municipalities and contractors know that there is a different, safer option out there for what they’re trying to do.” 

The 2015 show was Stutes’ first as an exhibitor, and overall he was enthused by the excitement surrounding his unit — after first explaining what it is, and what it’s capable of. 

“I think a lot of people in the industry have a vision of what a waterjetting system looks like, and this is something that, looks-wise, is completely different,” Stutes says. “There was a lot of education on this product at the WWETT Show, and once people learned about it, they wanted to know more. The feedback I’ve gotten from those who have units in the field indicates that they don’t want to do anything without it.” 

Stutes says he’s excited to see where the market for the unit goes in the coming year. Based on the feedback he received at WWETT, the unit’s hydroexcavation functionality could potentially be an even bigger selling point. 

“Just being at the WWETT Show for the week, we gained a ton of knowledge on this industry,” he says. “I’m confident that this waterblasting unit is a great fit, and I look forward to working with this industry even more.” 866/362-9332; www.aquablasters.com.


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