Metal fabrication has been in existence for almost 7,000 years. In the past, metal fabrication was mainly a manual process and done with handmade tools; however, there has been so much of innovation in this area that metal fabrication and cutting processes have also become sophisticated and cutting-edge. The two processes commonly followed in the metal fabrication industry are fabrication using plasma and laser.
Industrial fabricators create individual orders for a variety of different companies like creating signage, parts and various components. These shops make use of plasma cutting machines that can be specifically programmed to cut the parts in the exact dimensions required. Fabricators are also using plasma cutting for a variety of applications from heating, air conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration and plumbing installations, demolishing old and erecting new industrial wash systems, to cutting shapes, or repairing excavator booms, etc. CNC plasma cutters provide the precision and power to meet these cutting requirements quickly as well as accurately.
Benefits of Plasma Cutting in Metal Fabrication
- Plasma cutters help fabricators to reduce wastage, fabrication time, keep tight tolerances, improve quality and reduce the requirement for templates or cutting and grinding by hand.
- Recent technological developments in the field of plasma cutting have allowed full integration of these high definition cutting systems with CNC machines. The new CNC plasma machines have touchscreen features, making the operation of the plasma cutter quite simple and easy. Also, it has an auto adjusting height control facility. As a result, operator training has also been simplified for even the most complex CNC plasma cutting systems.
- The CAM software that is part of the CNC plasma system has improved hole-cutting as it implements the best possible cut path and plasma cutting parameters.
- There are vast improvements in cut-to-cut cycle times.
- Improvements in the plate bevelling software have simplified the operation of the bevel head and the CAM software saves the operator’s time. Also, the new nozzles and gas mixing technology has helped to improve the stainless-steel edge quality that is more square, shiny and easy to weld.
- Air plasma cutting systems have improved cut quality, consumable life and duty cycles dramatically. These systems are mainly suitable for hand-held and portable cutting applications.
The future of metal fabrication is bright. However, with technological development, there also arises the need for a new generation of fabrication experts who not only have the necessary skills in the trade but also have the aptitude for advanced fabricating processes, innovative technology and computers to be success stories in the arena of fabrication.