Troubleshooting Checklist: When Issues with Consumable Life & Cut Quality Arise

Production managers and operators have high performance expectations of their equipment. When customers experience problems with the cut quality and the life of the plasma cutting consumables, the following steps should be addressed:

  • Read the owner’s manual accompanying the equipment. “The owner’s manual is the bible for settings, trouble-shooting and performance indicators. Understanding how the equipment works and the pitfalls to avoid can prevent a catastrophic failure.”
  • Operators should conduct a visual check to ensure that the consumables are not being over used, while checking for nozzle hole distortion and visual cracks of ceramic materials. Any distortion from the original appearance specifies the time to change the consumables.
  • Check the filter elements for any improper installation or wearing of consumables that are indicated by any sputtering or hissing of the plasma arc.
  • See if there is the usage of a filtration system at the power supply. If not, this creates the risk of moisture within the gas lines when cutting with shop air.
  • Review the used consumables for any discoloration of the carbon arc trails or copper. If so, it means that there is too much heat from improper gas flow or moisture within the torch lines

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  • Check the gas pressure for improper settings, worn out parts, and any filter elements in need of change. These could cause the torch arc to blow out and try to re-ignite.