In the world of plasma cutting, there are several different devices available to get the job done. Some shops go the way of manual portable plasma cutters, while others decide to automate with a plasma cutting robot. There are advantages and disadvantages with each method.
So, before we get started, what is plasma cutting? Plasma cutting is an application that is used by several different industries to cut metals of varying thicknesses. The torch uses inert gas blown at a high speed that is electrified, which turns some of the gas to plasma. Since the plasma is very hot, it melts the metal work piece, and the melted metal is blown away by the gas.
As mentioned above, there are several different ways to achieve this level of cutting application, and some companies decide to go with a portable plasma cutter. These portable machines are fairly inexpensive, some costing under $5,000, and they are able to cut medium-sized components and can be used by fabricators and hobbyists alike.
However, when it comes to speed and accuracy, a worker operating a portable plasma cutting system is at a loss. No portable plasma cutter on the market can match the speed and precision of a robotic plasma cutter. These robots are programmed with a repeatability that cannot be achieved by human hands. Also, by speeding up the process, robotic plasma cutters increase production for manufacturers, which saves time and money.
Cost may be an issue with a robotic plasma cutter though, especially to a hobbyist or a small manufacturer. Some robots cost over $40,000 per unit, which may make companies with smaller machine budgets shy away from automation.
But, before these small to medium-sized companies completely turn their heads from robotics to choose a plasma cutter that is portable, they should know that there is another option – an option that companies like RobotWorx offer to companies all the time.
RobotWorx, a certified integrator of FANUC, Motoman, ABB, Universal Robots, and KUKA robotics, offers companies the option to buy used but like new robots at a greatly reduced rate. We buy robots from companies, and we put them through a comprehensive reconditioning and inspection process to make them look and work like they just came off the production line a few days ago.
If you are looking to possibly automate your plasma cutting system, contact RobotWorx online or at 740-251-4312. Our team of experts will work with you to build you a system that fits within your budget.