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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 handheld plasma system you already own.

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 handheld 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 a 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. Reach out to our team if you are in the market for a new plasma cutter. 

Ed Cyzewski


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