July 19, 2012
ESAB Welding & Cutting Products has introduced SmartCycle™ technology for integrated plasma cutting machines. According to the manufacturer, the technology boosts plasma cutting productivity by streamlining process control and machine motion and removing unnecessary process delays and tool motion.
The system is automatic, requiring no operator intervention to produce optimized nests of plasma cut parts. It integrates the entire cutting machine, including the CNC, gantry, plasma system, torch height control, and programming software.
The Columbus III programming and nesting software identifies process improvements and inserts the appropriate programming codes into the nest. The Vision CNC and Smart Voltage height control system work together to cut the nest efficiently. The m3 Plasma™ control enables fast arc starting and shortened preflow times where possible.
With vertical torch position controlled directly from the CNC, the torch can be positioned at high speed to within a few inches of the plate before switching to a slower speed for more accurate plate sensing. For many cuts, the system also allows the torch to retract partially, then reposition to the next pierce height without having to sense the plate surface.