If you are planning on getting a plasma cutting system for your metal fabrication operations, you must take into consideration all the logistical aspects before the installation.
Preferred Table Layout
You should figure out the space needed and take into account the plasma system components needed including the cutting table, power supply, the CNC controller and compressed air. The layout should be planned in such a way that it optimises the operational requirements and the workflow. The cutting surfaces must be wider by at least a foot and more than three feet of the cutting area in order to accommodate for the gantry parking and loading.
Ensure that your plasma cutter is powered by the proper input voltage. This will mainly depend on the kind of plasma cutter you have decided for the system. While some plasma cutters require single phase power, others need 3-phase power. The input voltage is usually pre-set at the factory, so you must inform the manufacturer about the power supply you have. The computer system controlling the plasma cutter may also require a UPS or uninterrupted power supply.
The kind of ventilation required depends on whether you have a downdraft or a water table. A dust and smoke collector must be installed in the case of a downdraft table in order to clean the exhaust and recycle the clean air. In the case of a water table, the smoke and dust are controlled, so an exhaust fan is not required.
A steady supply of compressed, dry air is needed for the plasma cutter. The compressed air should not drop below 120 PSI. It is highly recommended that you get an air compressor dedicated to the plasma system as the plant air systems usually fall below 102 PSI when the plant is operating at full capacity.
High-frequency electricity or transit voltage from the power source can interfere with the control cables and the CNC controller and can cause the system to malfunction. You need to ensure that there is proper grounding which depends greatly on the kind of plasma being used and the condition of the soil at the site.
You need to buy appropriate CAD drawing software as the programs that are included with the controller software are useful only for light editing. There are many CAD software packages available in the market today.
Water Treatment for the Water Table
You need to treat the water in the water table when installing it in order to prevent the growth of bacteria and development of rust in the table.
Depending on the plasma cutting system, the consumables required will differ. It is a great idea to keep spare consumables at hand for replacement in case of malfunction or wear.
Training for Operation
The training to operate the plasma cutting system usually happens when it is being installed and it is a good thing to have the operators trained at this time so that they can get all their doubts clarified on how to operate the plasma cutter.
Planning before the new plasma cutting system arrives is a good thing so that you can install it easily and the start-up is smooth and efficient.