Investing in a plasma cutting system for your business is a vital decision and there are many factors you should consider before buying one. You should make your purchase decision on the basis of the cut quality, reliability, cut capacity, ease of use, duty cycle and operating cost.
Some questions to ask are: What kind of plasma cutting are you planning to do? Are you planning to cut by hand or do you plan to use a table for the cutting?
When you figure out what type of plasma cutting you are going to do, you should take into consideration the thickness of the material you are going to cut. Try and select a plasma cutter that has a cut capacity to cut a material thickness you will be cutting around 80% of the time. For instance, if you will be cutting metal of thickness ½-inch thick mostly and will cut thicker metal occasionally, then you can select a ½-inch cutting system.
The next step is to consider the cut quality. Cut quality has an effect on the quality of the finished part and it also saves time in future production stages. It is a good idea to get parts with smooth and clean edges so that there is not much time spent on secondary finishing work. Better plasma cutters produce narrower cut width or kerf which implies lesser wastage of metal and more accurate cuts.
Reliability is a very important factor and typically, reliable plasma systems are manufactured with lesser components, they use software wherever possible instead of hardware, they are manufactured according to quality standards and pass the requisite tests.
Ease of Use
Ease of use of the plasma cutting system allows the operator to handle the tool easily and get the job done efficiently and quickly. If the plasma cutter is easy to operate, even an operator with little or no knowledge can get good results with it within schedule.
If your work requires that you move around and you take up cutting projects away from your unit, in this case – weight, size and portability of the plasma cutter become a very vital factor. Today, advances in technology have made it possible to buy lightweight plasma cutting systems without forgoing the performance and power. Some plasma cutters can automatically adjust for varied voltages, which is very beneficial if you will be using a generator as a power source.
Finally, you must consider the operating cost of the plasma cutting system and the consumable cost that also plays a very crucial role. The consumable life can considerably vary from one brand to another. Consumables that have longer life are key to reducing downtime and frequent replacements.
Thus, careful selection of your plasma cutting system after evaluating the various criteria can help you setup a cutting-edge business that can reduce downtime and increase the efficiency, productivity and the bottom-line of your business.
Here at Escco, we are happy to assist and advise based on your needs. Feel free to get in touch today for an informal chat, and let’s see what we can do for you. We’re always happy to help.