Prevention can go a long way in prolonging the life of your plasma cutting system and its consumables. All that is required is a small investment that helps in keeping your cutting system in top shape. The plasma system maintenance routine should comprise the two important aspects –regular inspection and cleaning and the regular replacement of worn consumables.
While your owner’s manual will give you the detailed steps for the maintenance of your plasma cutter, in this article, we have outlined a few simple steps that you can follow for the maintenance of your plasma cutting system to ensure that it provides optimal performance.
It is a good idea to check the inlet pressure of the gas, the condition and levels of the coolant, the air filters and do a thorough inspection of the plasma torch for any leaks in the water tubes or the O-rings daily.
On a weekly basis, you should check the leads and hoses for any cracks, the coolant flow and the gas fittings for any leaks.
Every month the power supply must be cleaned and you should check the coolant flow, the main contactor, the relay of the pilot arc, table to workpiece and ground connections, and the gas line connections thoroughly.
Apart from the daily, weekly and monthly checks, you must also check on the consumables that are prone to wear. Since the plasma cutting system is a precision machine and has many moving parts such as the plasma torch, relays, contactors, etc., these parts wear out with regular use of the plasma cutter. You will need to replace the consumables depending on the use of the cutting system and these parts will require to be changed after a number of pierces, arc hours or after a certain number of months.
After 500 arc hours of operation or after 6 months, the bullet plugs and the O-rings of the plasma torch, the coolant and the air filter must be replaced. After 1,000 arc hours or once in every 12 months, the main body of the torch, the main contactor and arc relay must be checked and may require replacement. In every 2 years or after 2,000 arc hours of operation, the torch leads, receptacle of the plasma torch and the coolant pump may need to be replaced and after 3,000 arc hours or 3 years of use, the valves, cooling fans, pilot arc, gas leads and the coolant pump motor need checking and be replaced if needed.
The key to an efficiently working plasma cutting system is to follow this routine regularly. After all, it is but true that “Prevention is better than cure.” Regular maintenance of your plasma cutting system and the consumables can go a long way in reducing downtime and improving the productivity of your plasma cutting operations.