Dozens of visitors watched Thursday as a machine sliced through a piece of metal at Semyx’s Dalton headquarters at 1010 Abutment Road. The machine created no heat, no sparks, no light, just an occasional splash of water.
“We make water jet machines here,” said owner Haisar Shehadeh. “Many people know about water jets, but they think they are just for cleaning floors. They don’t know the full capabilities.”
Shehadeh said water jets can cut just about anything.
“We sell them to the stone industry, the automobile industry, the steel industry, aerospace, floorcovering,” he said. “They can cut rubber, plastic, stone, wood. We use them for circuit board, for the food industry.”
Shehadeh said some bakeries use water jets to cut pastries and cakes and cookies into various shapes and designs, all without getting the foods wet.
“It’s very versatile. It’s a cold process. When you use heat to cut through, it can distort the material. A cold process does not,” he said.
Semyx sells its machines all over the world.
“We usually can go in, install the machine and train the customer on the machine in five days. We come in on Monday and are finished by Friday,” he said.
Shehadeh said one of the company’s most high-profile customers is West Coast Customs, the California-based car remodeling firm featured in television shows such as “Pimp My Ride,” “Street Customs” and “Inside West Coast Customs.” Semyx recently signed a sponsorship deal with West Coast Customs, and its machines should be featured when “Inside West Coast Customs” moves to the Fox Sports network this summer.
The company invited a number of local business and political leaders to its headquarters on Thursday.
“A lot of people aren’t familiar with the water jet business, so we decided to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony and invite some of them over to see what we do. Right now, we have 15 people (employees),” Shehadeh said.
Mayor David Pennington praised the company as a “home grown success story.”
“The founders (Haisar and Amjad Shehadeh) are graduates of Dalton High School. It’s great to attract companies to this area, but it’s so much better when we can create these sort of companies here locally,” he said. “Dalton has had a rough time over the last few years. But it is still the manufacturing hub of Georgia. And companies like this show what we can do.”