Types of CNC Plasma Cutting Machines

A CNC plasma cutting table from Machitech


Metal fabrication processes have undergone significant advancements with the integration of computerized numerical control (CNC) technology. Accordingly, CNC plasma cutting machines have become a vital asset in the industry, offering precise and efficient cutting solutions. However, not all CNC plasma cutting machines are the same, as several types of plasma sources are available to handle different fabrication needs and work volumes.

Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of some common types of CNC plasma cutting machines used in metal fabrication:

Air Plasma

Air plasma cutters are Ideal for low-volume manufacturing and entry-level steel fabrication machines, as they are suitable for lighter and thinner materials. However, they are limited in cutting speed and thickness capacity, and they produce lower cut quality compared to other types of plasma cutters.

Oxygen Plasma

CNC cutting machines that utilize oxygen plasma are commonly used by mid-range fabrication shops. In comparison with air plasma cutters, they deliver higher cutting speeds, increased thickness capacity, and better cut quality. The drawbacks are that oxygen plasma cutters may not be suitable for high-volume processing, and they can cause oxidation on the cut edge.

High-Definition Plasma

High-definition plasma, which is created using a gas blend and a smaller nozzle, is often the choice of steel service centers and shops with high-volume processing requirements. It offers excellent cut-edge finishes and faster cutting speeds using superior accuracy. It also costs more to use and can require more complex maintenance procedures.

What Are CNC Plasma Cutters?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology has upped the game in the steel fabrication world, resulting in the highest levels of craftsmanship. Using a computer-aided design and manufacturing process, they produce repeatable cuts using precise dimensions and eliminate the chance of human error. They require time-consuming setup and programming and a higher upfront investment compared to handheld processes, but the benefits are significant.

How Do CNC Plasma Cutters Work?

CNC plasma cutting machines operate through computer numerical control, utilizing automated processes to achieve precise cuts. Instead of relying on handheld torches that may lead to irregular cuts, CNC software is used to program multi-axis bevels for precise fabrication. The software allows fabricators to identify and correct potential shape or profile issues before the cutting process begins, minimizing material waste and errors.

The integration of CNC plasma cutting tables has significantly impacted steel fabrication operations through:

  • Improved quality of fabricated products
  • Reduced labor costs, as a single technician can operate the machine
  • Enhanced safety in the shop, especially with industrial-sized tables that minimize material-handling risks
  • Higher productivity and faster turnaround times, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction

Offering Custom CNC Plasma Cutting Options

Machitech offers CNC plasma cutting systems for businesses of all sizes and types that are hoping to streamline their metal fabrication processes. Our experienced engineers and drafters offer state-of-the-art solutions that can be customized to fit any production demands, and we also provide flawless installation services and comprehensive training for your operators.

Contact us today if you would like more information about our CNC plasma cutting products.