Plasma cutting tutorials and training

How can I increase the service life of the machine?

During the installation phase, our technicians will help you understand how the machine works and what details to pay attention to in order to maintain its performance over time. In general, maintenance operations can be summarized as follows:

• Monthly: complete cleaning with a damp cloth and a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust; clean the guides with a cloth soaked in diesel fuel; clean the racks with a brush and vacuum the dirt.
• Three-monthly: check the wear of the mechanical limit switches; check the condition of the cables.
• Every six months: clean the filter of the electrical panel, remove it and blow it with compressed air

Attention must also be paid to the suction bench, if necessary, remove the grating to remove the contents (dust, small fallen scraps). If your counter has a conveyor belt, follow the instructions in the user manual.
When the grating is too worn out it is strongly recommended to replace it.


What to do if an error occurred?

If there are any error messages, at the top of the screen there is a code indicating the type of error. With a double tap or a quick double click on the error message, an interface will open containing a table where the most important data regarding that error and a description of how to remedy it are summarized.

We recommend that you try to resolve the error yourself only if the intervention is basic (check that you have turned on the air / water / gas etc …) or do not hesitate to contact Promotec assistance who will be able to guide you or organize an intervention.


What gas should I buy?

If you are in doubt about which gas to use and buy, just consult the cutting tables. They indicate the gases to be used and the mixtures at the right pressures for each material and for each condition of the system. Furthermore, in the manuals are indicated the data relating to the purity and quality of the gases to purchase.

The quality of the gas and the purity of it as they are inserted in the cutting system, are essential for a good cut and to increase the life of the machine.


What are the correct cutting parameters? Can I go faster?

The correct cutting parameters can be found in the manuals that Promotec provides or they are easy to find online. Leafing through them you can easily understand which cutting parameters to set so that the operation is performed in the best way.

Generally, if you follow the indicated parameters, you will not encounter any problems. In some cases, however, the status of the consumables or the strong differences in temperatures during the year may require a slight variation in the cutting parameters, this is a phenomenon that is easy to find in laser cutting. In case of need and doubts, Promotec can guide you to find the optimal set of cutting parameters according to your requirements.


What risks do I run if I approach the machine during a process?

The entire machine is equipped with accurate and studied safety systems.

It is obvious to think that the portal is the most dangerous area. In fact, its perimeter is continuously controlled by a system of specially positioned and programmed lasers.

Their functioning is divided into three phases which represent three different risk levels. It passes from a phase in which the operator is warned by an acoustic signal to one in which the machine is slowed down, the last phase makes the machine stop and it enters an emergency stop.


Do I need to drill or cut first?

It is advisable to make the holes and then proceed with the cut. This is because the forces involved during drilling are so high that they could move the sheet metal.

The binder is also used for this purpose, however, if an entire sheet is pierced or threaded, the probability of accidental displacements is much slim to none.


Is it necessary to lubricate when drilling?

Lubrication is already present in our drilling system; the user will only have to worry about checking the oil level inside the lubrication unit.

The part-program will activate / deactivate the lubrication in complete autonomy. It is absolutely forbidden to approach the machine during drilling because the chips produced or a sudden movement can cause serious damage to people and things.

However, during any operation the machine has a laser system that monitors the area surrounding the portal, this means that an approach would cause the system to stop.


What kind of tips can I mount? Where do I buy them?

Promotec at the time of purchase will indicate the type of tools and the minimum and maximum dimensions they must have and will provide you with some according to the sales agreements.

The choice of tool is influenced by the type of lubrication and mechanical characteristics of the drilling machine but above all by what material you want to drill. Generally, hard metal tools require minimal lubrication and diameters up to about 30 mm but for some applications on customer request we can go to much wider hole diameters or different shapes / materials of the tips.


What are the correct drilling parameters? Can I go faster?

The correct drilling parameters can be found in the manuals that Promotec provides or they are easy to find online by searching for the name of the tool manufacturer.

Leafing through them you can easily understand which cutting parameters to set so that the operation is performed in the best way.

Generally, if you follow the indicated parameters to the letter, you will not encounter any problems. In case of need and doubts, Promotec can guide you to find the best series of drilling tips according to your necessities.

Using cutting parameters other than those recommended can cause rapid tool wear, shortening its service life. Increasing speeds to shorten machining time leads to a less good hole finish and a much shorter tip life, with increased costs and time resulting from tool replacement.

Increasing the speed too much can also lead to tool breakage.


How do you change a tool?

• Grab the tool in the spindle with one hand, wear gloves or use a cloth to protect yourself from sharp parts;
• Press the tool release button located near the spindle;
• Insert the new tool;
• Release the button.
At the end of the insertion, it is necessary to reset the tool height as follows:
• In JOG mode, approach the tool reset position;
• Select “tool height reset” on the display;
• The CN, through a sensor system, will identify the dimensions of the tool, recalling the correct parameters during processing.


When to change consumables?

With the wear of the consumables, the quality of the cut changes in terms of edge angularity, width of the cut and burr formation. The main causes of electrode wear are the number of arc strikes, the cutting times, the thickness of the material and the quality of the gases used.

Before each cutting operation, it is advisable to carry out a visual check of the consumables in order to quickly identify any visible defects and damage. Also pay attention to burn marks or discolouration as well as the possible presence of molten material.

The normal life of consumables for state-of-the-art oxygen plasma systems is approximately two hours of ignited arc and from 900 to 1500 pierces.


Why does it cut badly?

Plasma cutting can generate a non-perfect cut in some cases: the cutting tables provided by the generator manufacturer have not been respected; the wrong gas is being used or its purity is inadequate; consumables have reached the end of their lifetime and need to be replaced.

The electrode and the nozzle may present a premature failure causing a deterioration of the cutting quality, a non-piercing or a sudden loss of arc during the cut.

One of these parameters or even the sum of them generates a cut that may not satisfy the customer; it can be recognized by the presence of burr, by residual molten material on the component, by the cut surface that is not perfectly perpendicular, or by an incomplete cut along the entire thickness of the sheet metal.


What maintenance should I do? And when?

Ordinary maintenance interventions are aimed at containing normal deterioration of use as well as dealing with accidental events. However, these interventions do not change the essential structure of the plant and its intended use. The maintenance that a customer can do are:

Before starting the cut, with the machine in safe mode, check that:

• There are no signs of burns or discolouration on the torch spare parts, in this case replace them (see the manual of the plasma generator);
• Check that the connections are tight;
• When necessary, empty the scraps collection drawers;
• Accurate control of the torch cables and general control of the cables;
• Top up lubrication oil;
• Clean the guides of the X, Y and Z axes;
• Clean the racks of the X and Y axes;
• Clean the Z axis recirculating screw;
• General cleaning of the machine with a damp cloth.
For very detailed information, simply consult the manual provided at the time of installation or ask Promotec assistance service.


What consumables should I mount? Where do I buy them?

Consumables can be purchased directly from Promotec by contacting the assistance service. We always emphasize to our customers the importance of using original consumables to increase the cutting capacity and the lifetime of the cutting system. Buying from Promotec means getting the right product quickly.

To understand which are the right consumables, just consult the laser cutting tables, they contain the product codes to communicate to Promotec, or alternatively, contact us to help you choose the right consumables.

Consumables vary in relation to the material to cut and its thickness; fitting the wrong consumables generates a bad cut or can ruin the consumables.