SigmaTEK meets the challenges of plasma cutting small holes

SigmaTEK says its CAD/CAM software, SigmaNEST, can overcome the challenges of using a plasma cutting machine to produce high quality small holes.

The two measures of hole-quality are roundness and cylindricity. If a hole is cylindrical but not round, it is an indication that one of the following four key variables is wrong: 1. Feed rate. 2. Height control. 3. Lead-in and lead-out configuration. 4. Start-up and shut down synchronisation and timing. Automatic CAD/CAM nesting software, like SigmaNEST, can analyse the geometry of each part that is nested, and create an NC toolpath that optimises all four plasma cutting variables to ensure that every contour on every part is produced accurately and as precisely as possible for a specific material type and thickness. The software takes geometric features, like holes and other cutouts, bevels, and external contours into consideration, and adjusts the four key variables while it generates the NC toolpath. 1. SigmaNEST automatically adjusts the feed rate for each cut in an entire nest, to make sure the machine is going at the optimal speed. 2. SigmaNEST tells a machine when to turn off and turn on height control: to avoid crashing the machine. 3. SigmaNEST lead-ins and lead-outs are said to produce better roundness than other nesting systems. 4. SigmaNEST synchronises start-up and shut down to make sure the cut isn't damaged. "Lead in and lead outs are critical," says Mark Osowski of Cleveland Motion Controls."Overburn must be used with lead outs at kerf crossover."