In order to better understand plasma cutting and how a plasma arc is sparked, it is important to be aware of the four major system components of every plasma cutting system: the power supply, RHF console, gas console, and torch.
- Power Supply: is a constant current DC power source. It houses the control circuit for the proper sequencing of the entire plasma system. The power supply also holds the cooling system for the torch.
- RHF Console: is where water and gas plumbing reside, along with other related control devices. The RHF console also holds the remote high frequency starting circuit—this allows for more effective electrical noise shielding and the power supply can be installed up to 200 ft from the torch.
- Gas Console: houses metering and solenoid (coiled wire) valves for shield and plasma gases. The gas console interfaces with the shield and plasma gas supplies, the RHF Console, the Power Supply, and the Motor Valve Console. For the convenience of the operator, make sure that the gas console is mounted above the power supply.
- Torch: holds all of the consumables and is the actual generator of the plasma arc, thus making it the most important component of the plasma cutting system.
For more Basic Plasma Theory from Hypertherm, click here.