Maintaining A Plasma Cutter
Q: What is consumed on a Plasma cutter?
A: There are two parts that will be used up in the torch. The first part is the tip. The tip has a perfectly round hole in the end that will become oblong over time. As it becomes oblong the arc will go to the to the other side and wear the tip even more. At this point it is time to change the tip.
The second part is the electrode. It is located under and inside the tip. There is a rare piece of metal called Hafnium in the tip of the electrodes that breaks off every time the arc is started. When the Hafnium is depleted there will be a 1/16" deep, and round crater in the tip of the electrode. At this point it is time to change the electrode.
Keep in mind that you will still get an arc and will be able to cut, but at a diminished thickness. By continuing to cut with depleted parts you will run the risk of ruining other parts of the torch that should normally last for a long time. Most people change both of these consumables at the same, but in reality you should change two tips to one electrode since the tip takes the brunt of the amperage and arc flowing through the torch.
Q: How do I clean the inside of a plasma cutter?
A: With the Spectrum 125C and 375, just take the cover off and, using an air-hose blow the components off with a stream of air. With the Spectrum 875, 375 X-TREME and 625 X-TREME, there is a Miller exclusive called "Wind Tunnel Technology". Wind Tunnel Technology prevents abrasive dust particles from damaging internal components. There is an actual tunnel through the machine in which the parts of the machine that get hot are placed. All of the electrical components and boards are protected from the dirty air that is drawn into the machine thus extending the life of the plasma cutter. To clean the inside of the machine just take off the louvers on the front and back and use an air hose to blow out the wind tunnel.
Another Miller exclusive is called "Fan on Demand". The fan will only come on when the unit has heated to a certain temperature. This reduces the amount of airborne dust/dirt pulled through the unit, cuts down on the power bill, and reduces noise in your shop.
Miller also offers custom covers for the 125C, 375 and 875. They are high quality covers that fit over the machine to protect your investment from water, mildew and abrasions. Available for the 375 X-TREME and 625 X-TREME is the X-CASE™, A durable, impact resistant hard case with additional storage space for Multi-Voltage Plugs, consumables, gloves, eye protection and more.