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Tactical CNC Plasma Tables Blog

3 Advantages of Automatic Torch Height Control for Metal Fabrication

Plasma Table Cutting

Handheld cutting may have been the standard for many decades but CNC automated cutting has since become the industry standard.  This is true not just for mass production but smaller metal fabrication shops as well.  There are many reasons this is the case: efficiency, accuracy, productivity, safety and more.  A plasma arc is not straight; it tapers slightly to form a curve.  With handheld cutting, great experience and patience is required to achieve a precise and accurate cut.  This is because, should you hold the torch slightly too high, or slightly too low, or at the wrong angle, your cut quality will be diminished.  Below are 3 reasons automatic torch height control has become the fabrication industry standard.

  1. Consistent Cut Quality
    • With a handheld torch there is a large margin for human error. When you hold the torch too high, the kerf becomes wider (and if you hold too high, it becomes more narrow) and thus a nice, clean cut becomes wavy and simply not ideal. With CNC controller, your CAD/CAM software will tell your automatic torch height control the precise ideal height at which to hold the torch so that the optimal cut is achieved. When you want to achieve a consistent cut quality which each individual cut and/or part, automatic torch is the easiest way to do so.
  2. Reduced Material Waste
    • As mentioned, handheld cutting has a higher margin for error and that error can lead to significant waste of materials. Sheets of material are not inexpensive so it is best to ensure precision and accuracy with automatic torch height control so that material waste is diminished and money can be saved.
  3. Enhanced Efficiency and Speed
    • Handheld plasma cutting may be an art but it is a time consuming art. That may work if you are a small metal fabrication shop that work with metal fabrication as a hobby but if you run a business, efficiency and speed are the key to profitability.  An automatic torch height controller receives instructions from the system’s CAD/CAM software so it rapidly achieves optimal height and adjusts as needed throughout the cutting process. This kind of rapid, accurate cutting is not possible with handheld plasma operation.  Automatic torch height control can achieve a higher volume of cuts at a far faster speed with precision and accuracy to enhance profitability.

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