CNC Plasma Cutting Accuracy and Machine Maintenance | KANO HD

Plasma Cut Accuracy and Machine Maintenance

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When asked about cut part accuracy, cutting machine OEMs (like Park Industries®) should address both the accuracy of their machine and the potential accuracy of the selected cutting process. Machine accuracy and cut part accuracy are not the same. High quality CNC cutting machines deliver accuracy far tighter than the plasma arc and oxy-fuel processes.

Generally, the expected accuracy for the high definition plasma cutting process is approximately +/- .040” (material thickness dependent) and +/- .125” for oxy-fuel cutting of heavy plate. So, to get the best possible results from either plasma arc cutting or oxy-fuel cutting, customers should select a cutting machine that delivers the best machine accuracy.

Park Industries® KANO™ HD is a truly unitized, CNC design with a welded steel machine frame. The frame is stress relieved before being machined in a 5-axis milling machine in a single set up. Before the KANO frame leaves the milling machine, Park uses a Faro laser interferometer to measure the relative location, straightness, and parallelism of all mating surfaces.

To ensure thermal forces from the cutting processes do not negatively impact machine accuracy, the KANO’s cutting tables are independent from the machine frame. Our tables rest inside the frame of the machine so heat buildup in the table will not be transferred to the machine frame.

When installed, KANO™ HD machines meet or exceed the ISO 230-2 specification for machine tools. Bidirectional positional accuracy is +/- .004” in a 60” x 60” area. The bidirectional repeatability is +/- .001”. These values are non-compensated and verified using a Faro laser interferometer.

Related: Watch the KANO™ HD Build Process

STAYING PRECISE

Okay, so the machine is accurate when new, but what about over time? A CNC cutting machine will continue to deliver the same accuracy it did when new if you adopt a maintenance-minded culture. Greasing components and replacing linear bearings according to the maintenance schedule are critical to proper machine performance. At least annually, use a dial indicator with a magnetic base to measure backlash in the X and Y axis. Record the values and report them to your OEM for their review and recommendations on further maintenance or repair.

Establishing a routine for your maintenance will keep your machine running optimally, and will reduce the likelihood of costly, unplanned downtime. For starters, follow your machine’s suggested maintenance schedule. Developing a cadence will help ensure that time is reserved for your machine maintenance, and the repetition will quickly become habit.

If you prefer not to do your own maintenance or if you’d like to better understand how best to maintain your equipment, Park Industries® offers ProGUARD™ Solutions. With a variety of support options available, ProGUARD™ Solutions range from an annual Health Check visit to multiple visits per year for high volume shops or machine owners concerned with caring for their equipment purchase in the best way possible. Contact a Park Industries® service support associate for more information and how ProGUARD™ might work in your shop.

Whether you do your own maintenance, or have considered ProGUARD™, regular machine maintenance is essential in minimizing costly downtime and improving the longevity of your machine purchase. A planned schedule is best, both to form positive maintenance habits, and to ensure that you have a clear picture of the overall health and repair needs of your machine. If accuracy is important, there are many considerations, but how you will care for your investment should always be among them.