March 8, 2017 | By Jim Colt
Determining duty cycle is tricky because there is no agreed-upon standard among manufacturers. How do you determine a system’s duty cycle, and how do you know if a particular system will meet your needs?
March 2, 2016 | By Jim Colt
It's not unusual to see shops replace at least some plasma cutting consumables at the start of every shift, but some of these consumables should last 50 shifts or more. Getting the most out of your consumables goes back to the basics: proper inspection and preventive maintenance.
July 27, 2015 | By Jim Colt
Choosing a plasma power supply is one thing; putting together an entire system is something else altogether. A complete plan includes an X-Y table, CNC system, software, and fume control.
May 6, 2015 | By Jim Colt
The four most common cut quality issues for fabricators are dross, edge angularity, material warpage, and metallurgy of the plasma-cut edge. Your ability to achieve the best results depends on the system, torch, and consumables you are using, as well as the accurate control of such highly critical parameters as pierce height, cut height, amperage, gas type and flow rate, and cut speed.
March 13, 2015 | By Jim Colt
Hole quality is one of the most frequently discussed topics in regards to CNC plasma cutting. Regardless of what type of machine you use, there are a few tips and tricks you can employ to achieve your desired hole cut quality.
January 17, 2014 | By Jim Colt
Metal fabricators with plasma cutting equipment that is 10 years or older may be surprised to learn just how far plasma cutting has come. The technology has evolved to the point that outside edges are smoother than ever, and precision holes can be cut to accommodate fasteners.
July 11, 2013 | By Jim Colt
Initially used for nonferrous cutting operations, plasma developed into a useful means for cutting 2-D sheet and plate steel when the water-injected plasma process was developed in the late 1960s. As technology developments improved the edge quality, cutting speed, consumable parts life, and long-term operating cost, it became competitive with other thermal cutting processes. In recent years, improved control technology has enabled plasma to be a contender in the realm of 3-D cutting, making it an option for tube, pipe, and profiles.
November 8, 2011 | By Jim Colt
The plasma cutting process is best-known for its simplicity and its ability to cut virtually any metal. These qualities plus the productivity it yields have made plasma cutting a universally accepted metal cutting process with a range of capabilities and applications. Engineering achievements throughout the last 10 to 15 years have contributed to the improved performance of he process.
December 2, 2008 | By Jim Colt
Plasma cutting has come a long way since it was developed in the1950s. Includes a sidebar that reflects some tube and pipe trends and a maintenance sidebar.
September 16, 2008 | By Jim Colt
Plasma cutting is one of the most efficient ways to cut sheet and heavy plate, but that efficiency can evaporate quickly without proper consumable maintenance.