Maximizing Your CNC Plasma Cutting Investment

Integrate Blast Cleaning into Pre-Cutting and Save

If you’ve already made the investment in a CNC plasma cutter, you’re probably reaping many benefits in your fabrication processes: automated cutting and fabricating, reduced labor time, improved quality, and lower costs. You’ve been able to replace tired old beam drills, band saws and coping machines and eliminated the need for marking machines and small burning equipment. Now take that investment to the next level by integrating a blast cleaning system into the pre-cutting process for even better results and greater savings.

Blast Cleaning with CNC Plasma Cutter Applications
MetFin Series IV Model 4422 pass through blast machine: 20’ of in-feed, 20’ of out-feed roller conveyor.

Increase Your Leverage

CNC plasma cutters are a significant investment. Having the right tools for the right job makes all the difference to your bottom line. So consider this: after saving significant time in your steel fabrication process, why slow things down by having to blast clean large, unwieldy beams and structural steel pieces in their final pre-paint phases? Blast cleaning before plasma cutting will save you even more time, improve your finished products substantially, and save on costs – both in terms of labor and actual expenditures.

Get More Accurate Cuts

Blast cleaned surfaces yield more accurate readings of stand-off distance as measured electronically by your CNC plasma cutter. Misreadings result in increased wear on the components. Blast cleaning helps photo eye systems operate more precisely, therefore tracking material more effectively. For complex parts with many layout marks, blast cleaning before laser and/or plasma cutting creates a notable advantage: cleaner cuts and better welds downstream, resulting in overall higher quality fabrication.

Reduce Manpower Expenditures

Using blast cleaning before cutting, your post-fabrication materials can be painted immediately, with little or no additional treatment required. Because you get such clean cuts, materials from beams and channels down to plates and bars can go right into the paint process without the requirement for touchup blasting. Think of the savings this delivers in manpower costs! Not to mention eliminating all those inconvenient touch point resets that not only slow things down, but often yield inaccurate cuts. Giving your plasma cutter’s electronic eye a clear surface uncontaminated with rust, dirt, or scale eliminates the need to keep stopping to reset touch points.

Extend Consumable Lifespans

Processors using robotic cutting systems for steel beams and structural steel shapes can find significant cost savings on consumables with preprocess blast cleaning. Automated plasma cutting systems perform better on clean steel free of rust or mill scale. Piercing through surfaces contaminated with rust, slag, dirt, and/or grease blows those contaminants back up into plasma torch tips. Eventually this decreases the usable life of consumables like torch tips, drilling machines and mechanical cutting tools which, by their nature, already have limited usable life spans.

Increase Customer Satisfaction

Steel fabricators are increasingly requesting that preprocessors, warehouses, and steel service centers provide clean material prior to using CNC plasma cutting steel fabrication systems. The trend towards blast cleaning steel beams and other structural steel shapes prior to CNC plasma cutting means pre-cleaning is an asset for any processor accustomed to sandblasting surfaces just prior to paint finishing. Performing small touchups after blast cleaning and painting beats having to manually blast clean an entire beam any day!