There are several benefits of purchasing a plasma cutting system as it can help in considerable improvements in product quality, cost savings and productivity for any business. Here are some of the factors you should consider before deciding on a plasma cutting system for your business.
Type of Material
Typically, standard-definition plasma cutters can cut mild steel whereas high-definition plasma cutting systems are capable of cutting aluminium, stainless steel and steel.
Thickness of Metal
The power sources for plasma cutting are rated according to their cutting ability and amperage. To cut thicker material, you will need a cutter of higher amperage, while a lower amperage cutter is sufficient to cut thinner materials. Ensure that you get the amperage recommended for the thickness of the material you will be cutting to get the best and most accurate cuts.
Best Cutting Speed
You should determine whether you will be doing cutting at a slow pace of small parts with a higher quality of holes or you will be doing fast-speed cuts of large pieces. It is better to select a cutting system that can handle twice the cutting thickness if you are operating at high speeds.
If you have an automated process, then you must take into account the duty cycle of your plasma cutting system in order to perform large and fast cuts that are time-consuming. Duty cycle is essentially the duration of time that you can continually cut before taking a break to ensure that your plasma torch does not get overheated. You can cut for a longer time if the duty cycle of your cutter is high.
Water vs Downdraft Work Tables
Water tables essentially make use of a water bath to collect the smoke and debris that is produced during plasma cutting. The water level can be adjusted by introduction and removal of compressed air. The table also has a chamber below the slats that collect the debris and small parts produced during the plasma cutting. The upper deck is emptied and the parts are removed easily when the water level is lowered.
Downdraft tables need an external exhaust system which can be quite expensive. Large-sized downdraft tables must be zoned, which means that the exhaust gathering system should be divided into sections and only one section is opened to the draft at a particular time. Downdraft tables capture most of the dust and smoke produced below the workpiece but do not collect the dust and smoke generated at the top.
Cost of Consumables
The consumables of the plasma cutter get worn out with use and need to be replaced. When buying a plasma cutting system, you must take into consideration the parts it will require in order to keep your operating costs low.
When you are planning to buy a plasma cutting system, do discuss these points with the manufacturers and they will be able to assist you a great deal in choosing the best plasma cutting system.