By Valarie Johnson | Oct 08, 2013
Industrial cutting services
Sterling Edge Industrial Cutting
Founded: June 2006
Innovation as a catalyst: Sterling Edge banks on water-jet cutting to drive MFG growth
Colorado is home to several up-and-coming water-process industrial manufacturers. Blane Newton’s Sterling Edge Industrial Cutting is among the most well-connected.
“Our clients include Lockheed Martin, Ball, and NASA. We serve the state as our primary marketplace, though we do provide services nationally. One of our more exciting projects is the Orion, with Lockheed, one of the next generation space shuttles."
Newton also sees growth in manufacturing, here, in Colorado. “Our market is primarily industrial customers, with specific emphasis on the aerospace and defense markets, which gives our business a Colorado-centric dimension. But we do see a higher interest growing in manufacturing here in Colorado, particularly in the ventures that are launching now and an increase in producing products,” says Newton.
His technology could be a catalyst.
"Waterjet cutting technology is the leading cutting technology in the world,” says Newton. “It cuts more materials and more thicknesses in materials than any other existing technology. We cut anything from glass to plastics, wood, titanium and everything in between. The machines can work on 80’ by 160’ sheets of material, and up to 8 inches thick.
"We help companies save costs by offering shape cutting services utilizing the latest technology in water jet cutting,” says Newton. “We decrease the cost of acquisition of parts for our customers by often eliminating secondary processing. Waterjet is the most diverse of the cutting technologies.”
Water is compressed to 60,000 pounds per square inch and run through a diamond where an abrasive is introduced into the stream. The water provides the velocity for the abrasive to actually cut the material.
“I think the technology is absolutely exciting. It is the fastest growing machine technology in the world,” says Newton. “It is exciting and fun to work with and bring to the marketplace. Most of our customers have never heard of or used the technology before.”
Newton’s business model involves other, more traditional aspects he also views as key to growth “Our turn- around time, high degree of accuracy, and high quality, product turn separates us from the competition. Quality is number one and paramount in the product that we deliver,” says Newton.
Challenges: “One of the biggest challenges is shipping here in Denver because of the low manufacturing base and getting semi-trucks in and out,” says Newton. “It increases our costs to bring goods in and out of Denver.”
Opportunities: “The ability to use our own technology for our own products and turn our service inward to produce our own innovative product line,” says Newton. “A product line will be announce soon that will be unique waterjet creations for the award and recognition industry.”
Needs: “Waterjetting is such a unique service that we can't easily acquire prescreened employees, so on the job training is absolutely require", says Newton. “Our goal is always looking for that person who has good common sense, a strong work ethic and works well independently and those are the key qualities what make a successful waterjet cutter.”