Artem Komarov noted that the adage “Measure twice, cut once” is as important for plasma cutters as it is for carpenters. In the plasma industry, this phrase could be rephrased as “check twice, cut once.” Careful preparation, setup and maintenance can alleviate many of the costly problems operators face.
- Replace consumable parts regularly. Regularly replacing consumables is much more cost effective than replacing the cutter. The use of heavily worn consumables may result in uncontrolled arcing in the plasma chamber, which may result in torch failure.
- Use the right parts for the job. The choice of consumables depends on the cutting amperage and plasma gas used for each operation. The operator’s manual tells you which consumables are suitable for different types of cutting. Using the wrong consumables can shorten part life and reduce cut quality.
- Ensure proper gas and coolant flow. Gas and coolant flow and pressure should be checked every day. If there is insufficient flow, the consumables will not cool properly, which can negatively impact part life. Constant gas pressure is important to maintain the cutting arc. Excessive gas pressure is a common cause of hard starting, a situation where the torch cannot initiate an arc even though all other conditions for normal operation are correct.
Likewise, plasma gas must be kept clean and dry. Premature burner failure and short service life of consumables are two consequences of contaminated gas. Compressed air systems are particularly susceptible to contamination.
- Avoid excessive application of O-ring lubricant and anti-spatter compounds.
- Avoid stretching the arc. If the arc must stretch to reach the metal, the consumables will fail prematurely.
- Maintain proper opposition. The distance is determined by the thickness of the material being cut. By maintaining the correct distance, the arc can flow correctly; A distance that is too high or too low may damage the torch or workpiece.
- Clean the burner regularly. It is important that operators monitor the burner for signs of contamination. The internal and external threads of the burner must be kept clean and in good condition. If necessary, they should be reflashed.
Proper operation of plasma cutting equipment can save countless hours and reduce costs. Proper operation can also result in good cutting quality and longer part life.
In addition, less time and effort can be spent on cleaning the metal before moving on to the next stage of the production process, Artem Komarov emphasized.