Cutting is one of the basic processes in the metalworking industry. A few decades ago, the cutting process involved some simple tools since the designs were relatively easy. Today however, there are new advancements in plate processing technology, designs have become  more complicated, demanding more refined industrial machinery to deliver sophisticated cuts. Some of the plate processing systems that you are likely to find in the modern manufacturing company are profile cutting system machines. These are cutting-edge pieces of equipment that help to cut specialized parts from metal plates. Read through to understand what profile cutting systems are, what they can be used for, what types are available on the market, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

What are Profile Cutting Machines?

Profile cutting systems are specialized fabrication machines that follow CAD/CAM drawing applications to profile cut metal plates (mainly steel) to the desired specification. Profile cutting is usually done on a flat table, and since metals come with different thicknesses and grades, they require distinct types of machines to achieve the desired cuts. The workpiece is cleaned thoroughly to ensure that it doesn't have residue so that the cuts can be precise. Profile cutting machines optimize material usage and productivity, thereby saving you time and minimizing waste or scrap.  

What Can Profile Cutting Machines Do?

Profile cutting machines enable you to make all straight, contoured, and intermediate cuts with a bevel on a large variety of stiffeners. All profile cutting is delivered when the workpiece is ready to be assembled or machined with any slag eradicated to shorten the production times. Profile cutting machines can be used to cut metals of different thicknesses delivering accurate, cost-efficient, swift, and clean cuts.

Types of Profile Cutting Machines

There are several profile cutting machines, each with its pros and cons. All of these features can be combined in one machine to provide the benefits of the operation best suited for the job at hand. Some of the most popular types include:

Plasma Profile Cutting

This is a cutting process in which an ionized gas at temperatures of more than 20,000 °C is used to melt and get rid of the material from the cut. During this process, an electric arc is placed between an electrode (cathode) and the piece being worked on (anode). The process is ideal for cutting stainless steel and carbon profiles of different grades and thicknesses. It creates less distortion since it uses less heat and pressurized gas as well as producing a desirable edge.

Oxy Profile Cutting

This low-cost method is utilized when you want to cut two-dimensional profiles from a steel sheet and plate.  These machines are CNC controlled, and they utilize Oxy-Acetylene,or more often Oxy-Propane, flame to profile cut through metals. They are ideal when cutting thick plates of up to 12" thick and when cutting metals that are not distorted by heat (heavy steel plate). They deliver efficient cutting that displays  low operation cost but typically requires further processing for a clean edge or welding.  

Water Jet Profile Cutting

This process involves machines that use pressurized water passed through a jet to cut through various materials. Water jet cutting machines deliver water that is pressurized at 20,000psi to 100,000 PSI (60,000 PSI is most common) through a fine nozzle where it is mixed with an abrasive additive (Garnet usually) delivering precise cuts without inflicting any thermal damage to the material. This type of profile cutting is ideal for a vast array of materials, including ceramic, titanium, steel, stone, granite, fabric, and brass, among others.  

Laser Profile Cutting

Laser profile cutting is the most common type of profile cutter in the market. It comes with several benefits over the other types of profile cutting as it is efficient, very fast (within 1” and under thicknesses ), cost-effective, and uses less power. It boasts minimal distortion and is ideal for thinner metals of between 30 Gage and 1”. It delivers accurate and fine cuts, and it allows for close nesting and narrow cutting. 

Find Your Ideal Profile Cutting Machine with SFMS!

We hope you understand that the type of profile cutting machine you need in your workshop will depend on several aspects such as the type of material you are working on, its thickness, and how it’s affected by heat. Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales has got you covered if you are looking to furnish your workshop or company with a high-tech profile cutting machine. With years of extensive involvement with thousands of industrial machines, SFMS will help you get the best used or new profile cutting system machine for your manufacturing company. 

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