N°4 is the most important Fact when looking at the future of Oxy-Fuel cutting. Bringing the technique into the 21st Century and turning it into an autonomous driving cutting process: This is the task that lies ahead so that Oxy-Fuel can compete on a level playing field along with Plasma and Laser.
So what needs to be realised is that an Oxy-Fuel cutting torch can be more than a dumb cutting nozzle holder. What else do you think should the torch should be able to do? Ignite automatically? You may say there are already one or two on the market, yes, but far from enough. Integrated height control or distance measurement? Flashback detection? Is that enough? How about detecting whether the flame is on or off? That's all? Do you need more? For me, these are just the starting points.
The next step is fully integrated automatic gas control.
You may say that this already exists on the market. Yes for sure, offered by many manufacturers, some better than others. The key point here is that what is needed is full integration and interaction with the cutting torch, height control system and the CNC. It is about the processes; pre-heating, piercing and cutting. It's about creating a true unified cutting database.
What we are trying to achieve is to automate the process as much as possible, so that the operator can perform other tasks while the machine cuts. This aspect is still much neglected.
You know this certainly: I have often heard in workshops "I do not know what to do. One cutting machine operator provides perfect parts, has a low wear on nozzles and other consumables, the other produces lousy parts, with r each piercing operation needing a new nozzle."
What needs to be done is that the process know-how is transferred from the operator to the machine in an intelligent way.
Fact N°4 Oxy-Fuel needs more automation PROVEN!