When operating on a CNC Plasma, eventually torch and consumables will need replacing but there are definitely ways to extend the life of these parts. Here are some tips for caring for your torch and achieving the maximum life of consumables.

Torch Tips:

  1. Make sure all parts within the torch are properly aligned and fit together: allows for good electrical contact and correct flow of gas and coolant through torch
  2. Change consumables before they are completely worn out otherwise this can cause uncontrolled arcing in plasma chamber
  3. Clean any dirt or grease on torch threads where the retaining caps screw on
  4. Clean all interior parts of the torch
  5. Ensure there are no gas or coolant leaks in torch or torch leads
  6. Avoid collision: try to program your shape cutting system to travel around, and not over cut parts (MultiCam’s Quick-Stop Crash Protection option for CNC Plasmas can help prevent damage if collision does occur)

Consumable Tips:

  1. Properly tighten consumables, but do not over-tighten
  2. Everytime you change consumables, clean the torch by activating the air or gas flows as this removes any debris or coolant that may have leaked into the torch plenum
  3. Ensure that air or gas flow rates (or pressures) are set correctly before cutting the material. Additionally check operators manual for appropriate consumable power levels as incorrect gas flows will affect cut quality and consumable life
  4. Pierce at correct height: if torch height is too low molten metal will hit the front end of the torch causing damage to the shield and nozzle. If piercing is too high there will be slow arc transfer, ultimately causing misfiring and excessive nozzle wear (MultiCam’s Automatic Torch Height Control option for CNC Plasmas automatically samples the voltage at the beginning of each program and sets this value for you)
  5. Adjust arc voltage: as the electrode wears, the torch will get closer to the plate, to maintain optimum cutting height increase arc voltage in 2-volt increments up to 10-volts higher than the initial setting
  6. Ensure part programs do not allow the arc to extinguish without metal underneath the torch (known as “rampdown error”). This can occur when rip cutting off the plate or when lead out is improperly programmed
  7. Regularly clean front of torch: remove accumulated spatter from cutting process

Source: MultiCam Newsletter: “HVAC Edition” – Volume 1, Issue 4


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