FIELD NOTES: Plasma cutter

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Supplier: MicroStep Canada

End User: All Seasons Equipment


All Seasons Equipment (ASE), Oakville, ON, has built a reputation for manufacturing high quality commercial roofing equipment.So when it came time to replace a 15-year-old plasma cutter, Tony Leal, vice president, turned to MicroStep Canada.

“We went out for quotes, but in the end MicroStep had very competitive pricing and the added benefit of dealing with people we trusted. We’ve been doing business with them for years because they used to service our old plasma machine,” says Leal.

ASE purchased the plasma cutting machine in the summer of 2017. The machine has been running for more than five months now and Leal hasn’t had any issues with it. Indeed, several of his employees that were resistant to the introduction of the first plasma machine, are happy with the performance of the new MicroStep machine, the Mastercut Compact.

“When we got the first plasma, it was a hard change for some of the older guys in the shop that thought they could process parts faster, but now with the new machine they all love it. It simplifies work and it has improved efficiencies.”

The MasterCut Compact is a versatile CNC cutting machine that is available in an entry level version with rails in the X direction for fully automated oxyfuel cutting or cutting with conventional plasma, or enhanced for high precision plasma cutting for applications such as pipe, profile or elbow cutting, and marking. The machine has a working length of 1,500 to 6,000 mm and a working width of 1,500 to 2,000 mm. The machine is equipped with Hypertherm’s True Hole technology that consists of nesting software, a PC-based CNC control, an HPR 130 XD plasma system, and a torch height control system. The True Hole technology is designed for mild steel and produces higher quality holes than had been previously possible using plasma, according to Hypertherm.

Leal says he likes that cutting parameters and CAD programs (in the MicroStep Asper software) can be stored in easily accessible directories. Employees who run the plasma machine like that it’s quicker to set up the sheets on the plasma, as they don’t have to worry about ensuring the sheet is centered “because the plasma system knows the sheet is off square, so you can place the sheet in any position on the table and the laser head does the work and tells you where it’s cutting, so it’s a lot simpler and faster,” explains Leal.

ASE has come a long way from the day it was formed by Leal’s father Arnie Leal in 1975. Today, ASE is one of only a few companies in North America with the most extensive line of roofing equipment sold to customers in Canada and the US. Approximately 90 per cent of the metal it uses to build its roofing equipment is 10 gauge mild steel. ASE works with sheet and pipe that is punched, cut, sheared, bent and welded in-house. SMT

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