Plasma Cutting

How to Connect CNC Cutting Tables with a Hypertherm Plasma Cutter

How to Connect CNC Cutting Tables with a Hypertherm Plasma Cutter

Plasma cutting operations can become precise, efficient, and effective by using a CNC cutting table along with most standard plasma cutters. Customers at Baker’s Gas and Welding frequently purchase plasma cutters, especially the Hypertherm Powermax 45, 65, and 85, but then the next question for some customers is: How do I set up an automated cutting table? We hope to offer a few tips on doing that safely and effectively

Why Purchase an Automated Cutting Set Up?

If you’re in the market for a cutting table and automated torch for your Hypertherm plasma cutter, you may be wondering if it’s worth the investment. While each user’s needs will vary, consider that an automated cutting system is more efficient, providing a cleaner cut on the first pass without dross and at high speeds.

You’ll not only save time, but you’ll save money, since automated cutting extends the life of your consumables. The design of the automated torches also increase the duty cycle of your machine, leading to less down time. And if you need to switch back to your hand-held torch, it’s easy enough to switch back using the quick-disconnect feature.

What Do You Need to Run a CNC Table for Plasma Cutting?

A plasma cutter running on a CNC table needs sufficient electrical power that matches your machine, either single phase or three phase power. A steady power source is essential for making clean, effective cuts. Do not attempt to make any modifications with your machine. Some have consulted DIY blogs and forums, while others have looked up modification options on message boards. However, Powermax representatives strongly recommend purchasing the correct machine torch in order to operate your CNC table.

A CNC table also requires clean, dry compressed air and network connectivity in order to run the drafting software if your project requires it. While selecting a location with optimal electrical and network connections, keep in mind that you’ll need adequate space for operating the torch safely and a safety system that removes fumes while the machine cuts.

Setting Up a Plasma Cutter with a CNC Cutting Table

The ideal set up for automated cutting with a plasma cutter is to pick up a CNC table with an automated torch that plugs right into your machine. The rear panel of plasma cutters like the Hypertherm Powermax 45, 65, and 85 have a machine interface connector where you can hook up your automated torch.

The machine interface port that you need to use for a CNC cutting table will only work if you have removed your hand torch. In other words, you can’t keep both torches plugged in so that you can switch between both applications simultaneously. You can use your imagination about why that safety feature was added!

Which Ports Do Plasma Cutters Need for Cutting Tables?

Since the Hypertherm Powermax plasma cutter is one of the bestsellers at Baker’s Gas and Welding, we’ll review a few key specs about the ports each machine offers and how to use them rather than addressing a wider scope of machines.

The Powermax 45 only has a CPC port. It does not have a Serial Port. However, you can find both a CPC port and Serial port in the Powermax 65 and 85.

In order to use a Serial Port in a Powermax 65 and 85 plasma cutter, you’ll need to upgrade the power supply with the following kits and cables:

228539 Includes serial interface port, internal cables, and RS-485 board.

Serial cables:

– 223236  RS-485 cable, unterminated, 25 ft / 7.6 m
– 223237 RS-485 cable, unterminated, 50 ft / 15 m
– 223239 RS-485 cable, 9-pin D-sub connector for Hypertherm controls, 25 ft / 7.6 m
– 223240 RS-485 cable, 9-pin D-sub connector for Hypertherm controls, 50 ft / 15 m

In order to use the CPC port, for the Powermax 65 or Powermax 85, order the following upgrade kit:

228697  Includes machine interface port, internal cables, and voltage divider board.

Cables: To use the built-in voltage divider that provides a scaled down arc voltage, in addition to signals for arc transfer and plasma start:

– 228350 terminated with spade (fork) connectors, 25 ft / 7.6 m
– 228351 terminated with spade (fork) connectors, 50 ft / 15 m
– 123896 terminated with D-sub connector (compatible with Hypertherm controls), 50 ft / 15 m

Learn More about Mechanized Cutting

Once you find what you need, be sure to check out the reviews and rock bottom prices for Powermax plasma cutters at Baker’s Gas and Welding.

Learn more about Plasma Cutters


Ed Cyzewski


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