Boost cutting machine productivity: upgrade to newer technology

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ESAB welding & cutting is offering customers with existing ESAB cutting machines the opportunity to upgrade and benefit from improved productivity, performance, reliability and cut quality. Thousands of customers throughout Europe could gain by upgrading their plasma, laser and oxy-fuel cutting systems to use newer technologies as some of the older machines could have now been operating for 30 years or more. Customers with very old machines are encouraged to upgrade to improve the machine performances, reliability, productivity and cutting quality.

Boost cutting machine productivity: upgrade to newer technologyThe options available to customers will depend on the specification of their existing equipment and the level of performance that they desire from an upgrade. Typical projects encompass a new CNC controller and plasma system; other upgrades might include plasma or oxy-fuel cutting heads and the laser system. In some cases, customers might also replace linear bearings and guides as well as servo motors and servo drives.

At the same time, customers often take the opportunity to add new dust/fume extraction equipment and up-to-date safety-related control systems. Frequently, an extra benefit of upgrading to new power sources is that the machine’s energy-efficiency improves.

Clearly, the performance improvement will be different for each machine depending on the existing technology and its replacement; an example is an older plasma cutting machine being used on stainless steel. By retrofitting the iSeries plasma power source, which utilises the water mist secondary (WMS) process with nitrogen as the plasma gas and tap water for shielding, customers benefit from up to three times faster cutting, a higher-quality finish that needs no post-processing prior to fabrication, and higher productivity due to reduced downtime for changing consumables. Overall, cost per cut can be reduced by up to 20 per cent.

Customers cutting thin or medium-thickness (1–15mm) mild steel can also gain substantially from installing a new iSeries plasma power source, primarily due to the much cleaner cut compared with older plasma systems. Another popular option when retrofitting cutting systems with new technology is the vision t5 touch screen CNC system. Its intuitive operating wizard is easy to learn so users who are not familiar with automated plasma cutting can very quickly start earning money with their new equipment. The built-in EasyNest facility also helps in optimising plate utilisation and the EasSshape part program generator makes it straightforward to import DXF or DWG component drawings for creating cutting paths.

If a customer is wondering what the benefits would be should they upgrade their cutting machine, ESAB can arrange for a representative to visit and discuss the existing machine and how it is currently used, as well as the potential for enhanced capability if upgraded. A quotation can then be prepared, together with any supporting documentary evidence to help the customer calculate the expected return on investment. Straightforward retrofits can be undertaken on site in a week or less, while more complex retrofits or refurbishments can take one month or more and may require the machine to be returned to ESAB’s factory or a local representative.

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