1. Regularly Replace Consumable Parts
In order to be cost-effective, make sure to replace your consumables regularly so that you do not need to replace the entire torch itself. Using worn-out consumables may cause uncontrolled arcing in the plasma chamber which can ultimately result in torch failure.
Signs of aging consumables include: diminishing cut quality, oxide residue in the nozzle, and gouging on the inside/outside of the nozzle.
2. Assemble the Torch Properly
With correct care, you should expect your torch consumables to last for two 8-hour work days, but this is dependent upon many factors such as the gauge of the work piece and the pierce rate. Make sure that the torch is assembled so that all parts are correctly aligned and have a snug fit. Correct assembly of the torch ensures good electrical contact and the correct flow of gas and coolant throughout.
3. Use the Correct Parts for the Job
The operator’s manual for your CNC will define which consumables are appropriate for various types of cutting. If you use the wrong consumables, your parts may need replacing and the cut quality can be reduced.
4. Clean the Torch Routinely
Plasma operators must examine the torch for signs of contamination. Make sure to keep the internal and external torch threads clean and in working order. Use a cotton swab in combination with an electrical contact cleaner or hydrogen peroxide to clean the torch.
5. Use a Compressed Air Dryer
It is almost mandatory to have an air dryer that removes both free water and water vapour from the torch’s compressed air stream. Remember that clean, dry compressed air is essential to maximize equipment uptime and consumable life.
6. Ensure Correct Standoff
The thickness of the material being cut determines the torch’s standoff which is the height of the torch above the work piece. When you determine the correct standoff, the arc will flow correctly. However, if the standoff is too high or too low, the torch or work piece can end up being damaged.
MultiCam CNC Plasma machines offer Automatic Torch Height Control to determine the correct standoff. The MultiCam system automatically samples the voltage at the beginning of each program and sets this value for you to give the optimal cut, longer consumable life, and reduce the chance of error.