Plasma Cutting Controller Maintains Z-Axis Height

Flashcut CNC’s integrated Torch Height Control (THC) for plasma cutting reads plasma voltage as a feedback mechanism to adjust the Z-axis height.

New Product From: 10/28/2013 Modern Machine Shop

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Flashcut CNC’s integrated Torch Height Control (THC) for plasma cutting reads plasma voltage as a feedback mechanism to adjust the Z-axis height. According to the company, adjustments are made thousands of times per sec. to maintain a precise distance between the plasma torch and the workpiece while cutting X-Y patterns. The control is said to provide smooth edges, sharp detail and high precision, and can handle warped or bent sheet stock as well as corrugated sheet stock.

The THC system consists of a controller card, a voltage isolation box, a stepper or servodrive and motor pair, and a Z-axis lifter. It is integrated with X-Y-Z movement so that the main controller knows exactly where every axis is, including the Z axis on the microsecond level, and Z-axis motion control is not duplicated. Real-time control of the THC as feedrates change prevents diving into the material as the system slows to a corner. Kerf-crossing recognition helps to maintain a consistent height over midair. The cut wizard automatically sets the THC values based on material and thickness.

The control system also features integrated CAD/CAM specifically for the plasma market. The system includes automatic kerf compensation, sheet management, true shape nesting and more. The THC system can be retrofitted to existing controllers based on Flashcut’s USB Signal Generator.

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