Alma has many years of experience with plasma cutting, a technology that is particularly widespread in industries that use half-thickness sheet metal, especially ship-building. Plasma cutting was the starting point for several innovations in programming methods devised by Alma: continuous cutting without lead-ins/outs, bevel programming, etc. In addition to flat cutting, Alma software for 3D cutting or beveled cutting also comprise plasma cutting processes.
The plasma cutting process consists in cutting by localized fusion using an electric arc. The energy is concentrated in the form of a jet of ionized gas – the plasma – channeled at very high speed onto a precise point on the metal surface of the part. The thermal energy of the arc (up to 20,000°C) and kinetic energy of the jet melt the metal at the point of impact and blow the molten metal out of the cut area.
This process is mainly used for medium thickness sheets (10 to 30 mm) but can cut any electro-conductive material with a thickness between 0.5 mm and 160 mm. The cutting precision is roughly 0.2 mm, making it possible to produce bevels. The main advantages of this process used very widely in the ship-building industry are: minimized deformation, high cutting speed for small to medium thickness sheets, possibility of using several torches, minimal burring on cut materials, etc.
The performance of almaCAM Cut in plasma cutting are due in particular to its capacity to satisfy technological requirements, to support specific machines and processes (particularly in the ship-building industry), and also its capacity to function entirely automatically.