For increased productivity when automated plasma cutting, ESAB Welding & Cutting Products has launched enhanced versions of its 200-, 300- and 400-amp versions iSeries high-precision plasma power sources to double cutting output to 400, 600 or 800 amps, respectively. The new capability, standard on iSeries systems, requires using matching consumables, a connection kit with cabling and associated software for the controller.
The concept is similar to paralleling two welding power sources to use larger diameter electrodes for increased productivity, explains Dirk Ott, VP Global Plasma Automation. This new capability features some modest software and hardware enhancements, but the challenge was developing the new 600- and 800-amp consumables for stainless steel and aluminum.
Target applications include fabricators and steel services centers that use two torches on the same gantry and those cutting sections of stainless steel and aluminum material up to 6.25 in. (160 mm), which are primarily in the power generation, pressure vessel, chemical and petrochemical processing industries. Users of 600- and 800-amp systems primarily want faster cutting speeds on non-ferrous material that ranges from 2 to 4 in. (50 mm to 100 mm). As an example, the 600-amp system cuts 3 in. (75 mm) stainless steel at 13 inches per minute using H35 (the H35 process uses 35 percent hydrogen/65 percent nitrogen for the plasma gas and nitrogen for the shielding gas).
The Water Mist Secondary process, which incorporates nitrogen as the plasma gas and ordinary tap water for shielding, produces superior cut quality and a lower cost per cut on stainless steel and aluminum. On stainless steel, the WMS process cuts up to 300 percent faster and lowers cost per cut by 20% or more compared to systems that use Argon-Hydrogen (H35) for the plasma gas.
In addition to WMS and H35 for non-ferrous, ESAB offers a full line of consumables for cutting ferrous materials, as well as using argon for plasma marking. All XT torches use existing parts for underwater cutting for fabricators that want to reduce smoke and glare.
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