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Plasma Cutting

Plasma Cutting

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Plasma Cutting - High Definition Plasma Cutting Machine

As a company established in 1986, Patrick Steel has the expertise, experience and industry insight that has seen the business continually grow for a generation. The company decided that the addition of a high definition plasma cutting machine, coupled with the four multi-headed flame cutting machines would have a positive impact on lead times and quality. In addition, it would open up the potential to explore new markets, particularly with thinner material, allowing customers a viable alternative to the more expensive laser and water-jet cutting. The future potential to offer a non-ferrous cutting service, including stainless steel and aluminium would be a further benefit.

The automotive, aerospace, construction, fabrication and general manufacturing subcontractor, fully investigated the potential benefits of a plasma cutting machine. Upon investigation, the clear benefits of adding plasma cutting to the existing flame cutting and grinding services were apparent. It was the recommendation of numerous independent steel profiling companies and service engineers that led the 12 employee company to Kerf Developments and its RUR2500 plasma cutting machine.


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Plasma Cutting

Plasma Cutting

Plasma cutting grew out of plasma welding in the 1960s, and emerged as a very productive way to cut sheet metal and plate in the 1980s. It had the advantages over traditional "metal against metal" cutting of producing no metal chips, giving accurate cuts, and producing a cleaner edge than oxy-fuel cutting. Early plasma cutters were large, somewhat slow and expensive and, therefore, tended to be dedicated to repeating cutting patterns in a "mass production" mode.

As with other machine tools, CNC (computer numerical control) technology was applied to plasma cutting machines in the late 1980s into the 1990s, giving plasma cutting machines greater flexibility to cut diverse shapes "on demand" based on a set of instructions that were programmed into the machine's numerical control. These CNC plasma-cutting machines were, however, generally limited to cutting patterns and parts in flat sheets of steel, using only two axes of motion (referred to as X Y cutting).

With CNC plasma cutting machines, a plasma torch blows an inert gas at high speeds out of a nozzle, through an electrical arc, which turns some of that gas to plasma.

Automated plasma arc cutting systems provide several advantages over other cutting methods such as oxyfuel and laser:

Rapid Cutting Speeds: plasma arc cutting is faster than oxyfuel for cutting steel up to 25 mm thick and is competitive for greater thickness. Plasma cutting achieves speeds greater than those of laser cutting systems for thickness over 3 mm. The fast cutting speeds result in increased production.

Wide Range of Materials and Thickness: Plasma cutting systems can yield quality cuts on both ferrous and nonferrous metals. Thickness from gauge to 80 mm can be cut effectively.

Economical: Plasma cutting is more economical than oxyfuel for thickness under 25 mm, and comparable up to about 50 mm.


Introduction – RUR2500 plasma cutting machine

Plasma Cutting

The RUR is a machine that has been designed with reliability, ease of use and expandability in mind. It includes several key features that we believe differentiates the RUR from its competition and other machines within the Kerf range.

The RUR is available with cut widths of 1,500mm, 2,000mm, 2,500mm and 3,000mm.

The crossbeam is a fabricated steel construction that is stress relieved and precision machined, the result of which provides a strong, lightweight structure that is ideal for modern high-speed plasma cutting machines. The strength to weight ratio of the RUR enables rapid acceleration and deceleration without putting motors and drive train under excessive load.

The result is a smooth running, low resonance, precision frame onto which we can mount a choice of plasma or gas cutting heads. The crossbeam runs on precision linear rails and bearings that run the length of the machine and it is driven by twin synchronised servomotors to ensure positional accuracy.

The design of the RUR is such that the machine can be configured with an optimum cut length be it for single sheet or pendulum loading to maximise productivity. The design is such that it can be extended at a later date should the need arise.

The support tables are isolated from the side rail assemblies to ensure that the key precision and drive elements are not affected by shock loading, power surges or the intense localised heat generated during the cutting process. The RUR offers users a high-quality, cost effective and reliable precision profiling system with excellent accuracy, durability and repeatability.


Control System

Control System

Reliable and repeatable positioning of the cutting head is essential for precision cutting using a high definition cutting system.

The Burny® Division of Cleveland Motion Controls manufactures a range of easy to use shape-cutting motion control solutions for oxy-fuel, plasma, laser, and waterjet cutting machines. They have supplied approximately 30,000 Burny® controllers worldwide.

The Burny 10 LCD has taken the next step in PC-based shape-cutting motion control.

The control is an industrial-grade PC, designed to operate in extreme shop environments where temperature and humidity extremes, metal dust, RF radiation, vibration, and constant machine movement are commonplace. It is easy to learn, easy to use, and allows multiple control and program tasks to be completed simultaneously.

The BURNY 10 LCD produces extremely precise and repeatable motion control by utilising a Windows® embedded operating system and real-time motion control.

The control also contains a large, 15", full-colour, touch screen interface as well as familiar features common to all BURNY products: including help screens, 50 shape library and the ability to create/edit shapes within the control.


Plasma Units For RUR Machines

Plasma Units For RUR Machines

Kerf offer a range of plasma units that satisfy demand from entry level air plasma systems through to the leading high definition plasma cutting systems.

Plasma and machine tool suppliers may make claims for the cutting capability of their plasma units for materials using ideal conditions, premium grade material and new consumables.

The figures quoted by Kerf are based on “normal” working conditions, materials and consumables. We have set out below our expectations for what you could achieve in a production cutting environment using the Kaliburn 150 amp, 200 amp and 275 amp units.

These plasma units are available in either ProLine or Spirit configurations. One key differentiator with the ProLine and Spirit range is the ability to mark and cut using the same consumables with the Spirit.


Spirit (Automatic Gas Console)


Torch Height Control

Torch Height Control

The key to consistent cut quality and consumable life is a high-quality plasma source, accurate CNC control and a precision height control unit.

The INOVA torch height control is a microprocessor-based torch height control system that accurately sets the initial piercing height and controls the torch-to-work distance of a plasma torch during cutting operations.

Each system includes a control module, plasma system interface module, a torch lifter assembly, interconnecting cables and breakaway kit to prevent damage to the torch in the event of a collision.

We believe that for your project the Kaliburn Fineline 200, (200amp) with INOVA torch height control would prove to be the most cost-effective unit for you.

For more information about our CNC flame cutting, CNC profile cutting or Lumsden grinding services, contact Patrick Steel Ltd today on: 02476 645 422 /

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