Technology streamlines plasma cutting process

July 17, 2012

Technology streamlines plasma cutting process -

ESAB Welding & Cutting Products has introduced SmartCycle™ technology for integrated plasma cutting machines.

The automatic system produces optimized nests of plasma cut parts. The technology integrates the entire cutting machine, including the CNC, gantry, plasma system, torch height control, and programming software so that they all work together, streamlining process control and machine motion and removing unnecessary process delays and tool motion, the company says.

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 systems work together for efficient nest cutting. The m3 Plasma™ control enables fast arc starting and shortened preflow times where possible.

Since vertical torch position is controlled 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. By skipping initial height sensing where possible and eliminating the full torch retract after every cut, the technology reduces the total time required to cut a nest.