Job Shop Perseveres During Start-up, Now Swimming in Orders
As any new entrepreneur knows, starting a business can be at once an exciting and terrifying prospect. However, for those with the pioneering spirit to push through the fear and reach for their dreams, incredible rewards can be realized. H20 Precision founders Sean O'Shea and Dave Henderson are shining examples of how hard work and persistence can help dreams come true.
Sean and Dave began H20 in July of 1999 with the purchase of a used OMAX Model 2652. As they struggled to get things off the ground, both men continued to work other jobs during the day and to run their OMAX in the evenings and on weekends. Pursuing their dream during the first year on only a part time basis, after a year of juggling impossible schedules, Sean and Dave began to receive enough work orders for the OMAX that they could quit their day jobs and commit to their new business full time.
Eight years later, H2O is in full operation with four OMAX machines in two buildings. Since purchasing their first machine, they have added three Model 55100 units to their shop, which have allowed them to take on larger projects.
As a job shop, H2O constantly receives different types of materials to cut. Primarily, they cut metals for architectural and industrial work; however, they recently received an order to cut ½" thick rubber for a cable TV show, a twelve-hour job. The variety of jobs they are asked to take on keeps them on their toes; what might come through the door next is anybody"s guess. With the rubber job, accuracy was not a big focus, but many of the company's orders come from local and overseas machine shops that require high tolerance work.
By utilizing OMAX Make and Layout software programs H2O is able to deliver quick accurate parts the first time to their customers. This has earned the company a well-deserved reputation for quality and reliability that keeps customers coming back, and keeps their machines running for nearly twelve hours a day. Sean and Dave are vigilant about downloading new versions of the software as soon as it is released. According to Sean, there were times when he wished the software could perform a certain function, only to discover later that his question or issue had already been resolved in the newest version of the software.
Innovative, user-friendly software is just one of many OMAX machine features that H20 appreciates. Another is the Solids Removal System (SRS) that they purchased with their newest 55100 machine. The SRS has done such a great job removing the abrasive from their tank that after eighteen months they have yet to clean it out. No wonder that H20 already has plans to purchase an SRS for each of their other machines.
Of all the features offered by OMAX, the direct drive pump has arguably provided the most benefit to H2O. With the limited power supply from which they had to draw, finding the most efficient pump on the market was critical; and that's why Sean and Dave ultimately chose the OMAX crankshaft style pump. These pumps use much less power than other waterjet pumps, and are easy to maintain. "We are often getting around 800 hours between rebuilds on our pumps and can generally complete a rebuild in about 40 minute," says Sean. "It's a simple pump to work on, which is great when you're doing all of the maintenance yourself."
Both Sean and Dave had worked in shops with abrasive waterjets before, and both men clearly saw the incredible potential of the industry. When it came time to purchase their own waterjet, they chose an OMAX because of its ease of operation, the great service and support, and their familiarity with the machines. They were pleased to discover that the excellent support for which OMAX is renowned lasted well after the sale.
At some point, Sean and Dave want to diversify their company's services to include secondary processes such as surface finishing. Until then, they will continue to focus on what they do best - providing quickly machined precision parts for their customers. With their business expanding and at nice pace, another large format machine is a definite possibility. In fact, they have already picked out a place for it in their shop.
Owner: Sean O'Shea and Dave Henderson
Location: Hayward, CA