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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Old machine, new problems

    Hi, it's been some time that I have posted, I teach metalwork in a high school since 2008. In 2008 the school bought a 4x4 torchmate, the one that uses aluminum extrusions to bolt together, three boxes to control it and the Blue Screen AVHC; runs on Torchmate 3 software. Its been a good machine for us once I did some modifications to it, added a second gantry motor, some air jets to keep the gear racks clean. Hypertherm 1000 is the power source with the machine torch.

    Due to budget constraints we have been cutting mostly mild steel crops I get for free from the local industry. mostly 16-10 gauge with some 3/16 and 1/4. Never have too much trouble with the machine cutting steel. I got a bunch of 1/8" aluminum crops from a local that built a boat and we have been cutting it but I have been having some issues.

    When the torch moves around its constantly moving up and down, I realize the AVHC is supposed to do that but its not keeping up and it is affecting the cut quality. I have done line tests, picked the best feedrate but the issue is that it slows down for all the corners the AVHC adjusts then speeds up on the straights it adjusts and when doing letters which is what we are doing its going all over the place. We do have this issue with cutting steel but it seems more prominent with the aluminum.

    What, if any, settings or changes can I make to get it to be more consistent and keep a constant height rather than diving up 1/4" down to sometimes touching then back to 1/8 off the plate. Current settings is 190 IPM, 165 volts on the height controller, 1/8" aluminum cutting PHSS out, 3" tall.

    As I understand it, increasing the arc voltage on the controller will increase the height, lowering it will decrease it, but too much means diving into the material. Do I need to slow down the cutting feedrate? If I slow it down would I drop the amps?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Re: Old machine, new problems

    When the machine deaccelerates for a sharp corner, the arc voltage rises and the automatic voltage control will move the torch down to maintain the target voltage. I am not familiar with this specific machine but most controls have provisions to deactivate height control during the acceleration and deacceleration phase. Running slower would be a benefit since the speed difference in the corners would be less and the arc voltage not fluctuate as much.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2021

    Re: Old machine, new problems

    We had a similar problem when I was still working in the fabric industry. Our boss was furious at the time, even though we didn't do anything wrong, and the problem was with the loom.

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