Now that you have decided in investing in a brand new plasma cutter for your fabrication unit, you can begin preparing for its arrival. This means allocating adequate space in the shop to accommodate the plasma cutting system and making sure that the power supply is adequate. However, the most important thing that you need to prepare for is the way to remove and manage the fumes that are produced during the process of plasma cutting.
Irrespective of the type of metal work you are doing, if the plasma cutting system is being used in an enclosed area, then you must ensure that the fumes are managed in an effective manner. CNC plasma cutting systems usually produce plenty of fumes and tiny debris that are very small and cannot be seen. These become extremely hot and are converted into smoke. Managing the smoke and fumes are essential for the safety of the operator as well as the people working in the vicinity of the plasma cutter.
Ventilation that can effectively remove and control the fumes and particles of different sizes is essential in your metal fabrication shop irrespective of the kind of cutting work done in the unit. The dust and smoke produced during plasma cutting can rapidly blanket a closed room without proper ventilation and this can be very harmful to the health of the people in the immediate area. It is recommended that a plasma cutter is not used outdoors. This means that you must take proper indoor control measures.
A downdraft table has skirts around the base that enclose the entire area under the table. A fan sucks out the air and removes it outdoor, or via the air-filtration system in case you are recycling the air. This is a very effective and simple way by which the smoke and dust can be eliminated; however, this system must be customised according to the plasma cutting setup.
Another way in which the fumes and dust can be contained is by using a water table which essentially comprises a shallow table of water that is located under the table’s cutting surface. When the plasma cutter cuts the metal, the sparks, dust and metal fragments are blown into the water and are quickly extinguished. However, you must be careful to keep all electrical devices away from the water when using a water table for cutting.
Proper ventilation is of utmost importance and helps in protecting health, the environment and the equipment in your metal fabrication unit. If the unit is not adequately ventilated, this will create a hazardous work area. So, before buying and installing your plasma cutting system, make sure that you plan and install a proper ventilation system.