Combined plasma and water cutting technology from the manufacturer TCI. Provided by TCI for Lantek.
To the extent that two technologies that historically have competed in very different markets are now together gaining ground in certain industrial sectors by complementing each other in such a way as to compensate each other’s weaknesses.
For example, mixed solutions combining the new plasma and water jet cutting machines are being sold to customers who require the production of parts with a large outer perimeter, without the need for high precision cutting, which at the same time require perforations, which by contrast do require high precision cutting since some sort of machining process will be carried out subsequently (tapping, countersinking, etc.). In this type of work the tempering of the edge can generate problems for said machining that can be corrected through the combination of both technologies.
The best way to understand it is by highlighting the virtues of each of them:
Water jet cutting is very useful for those materials that can be affected by heat, since the cutting is done cold. To increase its power, an abrasive element capable of working on pieces of more than 300 mm is introduced. It provides an excellent quality of finish without heating the material or modifying the properties of the cutting perimeter, but a high price is paid in terms of the time required. This type of cutting, even using high pressures and an abrasive element, is around 10 times slower than plasma cutting.
Plasma offers higher cutting speeds than water jet technology for the same material/thickness but it heats the material and tempers the cut edges, which is detrimental to the quality.
Therefore, the combination of both cuts allows us to manipulate, in the same part, the outer contour using plasma and the inner holes, in which high precision is needed, using the water jet, thus taking advantage of the benefits of each technique. In addition to this unified use, the customer will have a cutting table which is 100% operational for cutting separately, either using water jet, or using plasma.
The two technologies will undoubtedly continue to coexist independently in their traditional sectors. Plastics, coatings, cement panels, ceramics, stone or glass in the case of water jet; steels and ferrous materials in the case of plasma. However, in a market where there is a tendency to economize through the integration of tasks, this type of combined machine cutting is increasingly gaining ground.
At the same time, this need is something Lantek has detected among users and, in our desire to accompany the customer as they grow, we have developed this ad hoc solution to boost productivity by optimizing processes, implementing shorter production cycles, improving the rotation, coordination and management of resources, and efficiency, reducing the consumption of energy, materials and time.
What these technologies do have in common is the CAD/CAM software that automatically programs both types of cutting which, in our case, is the Lantek Expert Cut, a software solution suitable for any technology, not just water jet and plasma, that allows tables to be configured by material and/or thickness so that the parts can be worked on separately. With this software the user can design or import a part, check stock, execute cutting sequences, generate CNC programs and calculate times and costs.
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