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Tactical CNC Plasma Tables Blog

CNC Plasma System: Important Components for Smooth Motion

Plasma cutting systems are popular in industry because of their ability to make cuts of consistent quality without damaging or warping the surrounding material. But the quality of the cutting torch is only as good as the supporting components.

Plasma cutters rely on smooth motion to cut correctly. Any hiccups in movement caused by vibration or debris can throw a cut off, causing businesses to incur costs and interrupting their processes. Ideally, errors in cutting should be avoided.

The best way to avoid costly cutting mistakes is to choose a plasma cutter that has high-quality hardware that provides smooth motion. There are many important components for smooth motion that any manufacturer must consider before making a purchase.

The Type And Quality Of Bearings

The purpose of bearings in CNC plasma cutting systems is to allow the gantry to move smoothly in the X, Y and sometimes Z directions. Smooth motion prevents any vibrations or disturbances from affecting the torch head, ensuring that the cutting motion remains consistent.

The choice of bearings can make a significant difference to the operation of the device. Top models tend to opt for grooved bearings that run on interior rails. Grooved bearings are particularly useful because they help to sweep dust and debris off the machinery automatically, negating the need for regular cleaning, and making plasma cutters suitable for dusty workshop environments.

Grooved bearings that sweep debris off rails prevent any particles from upsetting the motion of the torch head, providing a consistent cutting motion where it counts.

The Quality Of Rails

Translating instructions from the computer into mechanical movements of the cutting system relies on the accurate construction of the system itself. Specifically, the rails and overhead gantry must be perfectly straight to provide a reliable, real-world representation of the computer design’s coordinate system. If the tracks are off by a fraction of a degree, then the plasma cutter will not accurately and faithfully recreate the computer CNC design.
High-quality rails are made from a single piece of extruded metal. Trueness can be checked using a laser guide or other implement. High-quality rails allow the gantry to move unimpeded along the length of the table, facilitating sharp cutting motion.

The Gearing System

Plasma cutting tables use gearing mechanisms to convert energy from motors into useful motion for the gantry. The action of the torch head is, therefore, dependent on the quality of the gearing system. Most gearing systems on plasma cutters use a combination of steel-reinforced plastic drive belts, and metal gear rings. The quality of both of these components has a significant impact on the final quality of the motion, with better materials yielding better accuracy and longevity.

The Feedback System

A motor on each axis governs the movement of the cutting torch. Feedback devices couple with these motors to provide the computer with information about how far the cutting head has moved. Lower latencies help plasma tables offer faster and smoother motion, especially when cutting tight corners and cuts in multiple dimensions.

Latest News

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Not a problem.
Tactical CNC introduces a single oxy-fuel station to compliment your plasma cutting system.
With the new Tactical 5 software, oxy-fuel parameters are also loaded for operator convienience.

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