Plasma Cutting Table Set Up Guidelines
Today’s guest post is by Tim Lux of Miller Electric.
Given the fact that smaller cutting tables are becoming more affordable, the
use of automated tables over hand cutting is becoming more and more popular. In
most cases it is not necessary to purchase a new plasma cutter to go onto a cutting table. The majority of the cutting tables sold today will adapt to the hand held plasma system you already own.
Image Source: Baker’s Gas and Welding
While it is possible to purchase a plasma system that comes table ready with
a machine torch and all the cables like the Spectrum
875 Auto line (Miller part number 907396-00-2), you can just as easily hook
up your Spectrum 625 X-Treme with a hand held torch (Miller part number 907531-01-1) with only a few modifications.
3 Signals for an Operational Plasma Cutting Table
The First Signal
The table needs a signal to tell the plasma cutter to turn on the cutting
arc. The cutting table control box is going to supply two leads for this.
The Second Signal
Some tables come with an automatic torch height adjustment option. This is an
option and not all tables have this. On tables that do not have this
option, you will manually set your torch height in the fixture. For tables that
do have this option, the control box for the table will have two leads, normally
black and red or labeled + and -, that go to the plasma cutter.
The Third Signal
The third signal the table is looking for is an “ok to move” signal. This
basically tells the table that the plasma cutter is cutting metal so it can go
ahead and start moving. Some tables require this signal. Other tables just use a
timing offset or a delay between the start signal and the actual time the table
starts movement—something you can set on the table.
If your table requires an “ok to move” signal, you can provide it with a reed
switch (Miller part number 190602). If your table is looking for this signal,
the control box will again supply 2 leads that need to be connected to the coil
of the reed switch.
The reed switch is an open cube with two coil leads coming out of it. To hook
it up, run your work clamp lead through the cube three to four times and connect
the two coil leads to the leads coming from the control box. The reed switch is
a magnetic switch that closes when current is detected by it. Once the work
connection sees current from the plasma arc, it is passed through the reed
switch and the switch closes.
While this article addresses the ease of hooking up your existing plasma
cutter to a cutting table, you should consult either the cutting table or
plasma cutter manufacturer’s service department with any questions you might
have. Miller is always happy to help answer any questions regarding our cutting
equipment and will be happy to answer questions about hooking up Miller
equipment to any cutting table.
Learn more about plasma cutting: 5 Keys to a Clean Cut