Common CNC Plasma Cutting Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Whether you are new to CNC plasma cutting, or an experienced pro, mistakes during the cutting process can happen. But, when mistakes happen it usually means costly downtime in the workshop, wasted materials, and potentially frustrated customers. Fortunately, there are many common CNC plasma cutting mistakes that are completely avoidable. By arming yourself with knowledge and implementing best CNC plasma cutting practices, you can reduce or eliminate the occurrence of cutting mistakes, thereby maximizes efficiency and quality for increased profitability.

  • Do Not Use Consumables Until They Burn Out
    • This can be called using consumables “until they blow.” All consumables have a lifespan but that lifespan varies significantly depending on the materials being cut and cutting technique. A common sign that consumables need to be replaced is the cut quality diminishes. When you begin to notice this, it is better to replace consumables right away than try to use them until they completely run out. If you use them until they burn out, it could lead to CNC plasma system damage and other major problems.
  • Cutting Too Fast or Too Slow
    • Not only will cutting too fast or too slow lead to using up your consumables faster than necessary, but it will produce other problems as well. For instance, if you cut too fast or too slow, the quality of the cut will be negatively affected. To produce the highest cut quality possible, use the right consumable for the material you are cutting and cut at the appropriate speed.
  • Incorrect CNC Plasma Torch Assembly
    • Cleanliness and precision are the name of the game when it comes to plasma torch assembly. All parts should align and parts should not have to be forced into alignment. When all parts fit together correctly and snugly, the torch has been assembled properly. Additionally, cleanliness is important to ensure that parts fit together well, ensuring proper electrical contact. When assembling your torch, use a clean rag to reduce dust and oil on the parts and be sure not to over-lubricate parts.
  • Piercing Too Low
    • As we know, the distance between the tip of the torch and the material being fabricated dramatically impacts the quality of the cut. Many fabricators make the mistake of piercing too low which causes molten metal to splatter – not good. This can be avoided by utilizes an automatic torch height control (ATHC) – all Machitech Automation system come with ATHC.
  • Maintaining Proper Gas and Coolant Flow
    • Routine maintenance is often one of the best ways to extend the life of a tool. The same goes for a CNC plasma cutter. It is recommended that gas and coolant flow be checked once per day to ensure that it is adequate and accurate. If the flow is not sufficient, it may diminish the life of consumables.