625 Spectrum Xtreme not cutting consistently

Hello! I am somewhat new to plasma cutting and have been running the 625 Spectrum Xtreme on the Crossfire Pro. I am having a new issue where the plasma cutter does not seem to shoot enough to pierce but it is inconsistent! We tried clamping to different slats and even clamping directly to the material being cut. It sometimes cuts full power as it should but then the very next cut it will go back to being far too weak to pierce. I tried examining if any connections were loose or if there were any visual issues with the grounding clamp but could not find anything. Has anyone else had this issue that found the solution? I hope it’s something as simple as a loose connection, but I don’t know where to start.

Does the arc look green? If it does, your electrode is worn out.

Have you tried new consumables?

Do you have any air drying equipment in your air line? A simple moisture trap is not enough.

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Fill in the following

Material:
Thickness:
Pierce Delay:
Pierce height:
Cut Height:
Amps:
Air pressure to the cutter.
Cut air pressure?

Have you verified your cut height?

Describe your air system, what are you doing to treat your air?

What do your consumables look like?

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You should always clamp to the material. The slats do not provide a reliable connection. The spot on the material should be bare metal (no residue from Hot Rolling or other oxidation). This may not be your complete problem, but it is highly recommended.

Also, check that your cable to the Work Clamp is not disconnected from the metal post at the PC connector or corroded at the clamp.

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Would a worn electrode cause the cut to be very weak then back to normal cutting? I am not familiar with this so I was not sure if when the electrode is worn out that its completely done.

Thanks for the insight! I will check the clamp today

We tried cutting 3 different material and thicknesses and the issue persisted. Pierce delay was changed from 1s all the way to 0.1s but no luck. Cut heigh we have a THC. We are cutting at 20A 250V and tried going back to the original set up we had which was 110V 20A just to see if the issue remained, but it was happening even then. Air pressure we have set to 90. I am going to verify a few things from the other replies to see if anything changes

If there’s a pit in the center of the electrode where the haphium used to be that is 1/16 of an inch or greater than that electrode is spent. Also if you see any green in your cut your electrode is spent.

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When you say “cut height we have THC” does that mean you don’t have a cut height set in CAM or you are using nominal voltage in the THC?

Even with a THC, you have to program the height that you want the THC to maintain. It doesn’t know the correct height. All it can do is move the torch up or down to maintain a target voltage. That target voltage is either taken from samples at the start of the cut or from nominal voltage that you put into Firecontrol. If you didn’t set the correct height in your CAM setup, the sample voltage will be wrong and the THC will maintain that incorrect height.

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Sorry about that, the cut height we have set for most of our cuts is 0.059in.

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Have you verified you cut height and pierce height? Actually measured them?

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We have not but I dont think that would cause an issue since its always been the same parameters? The plasma cutter ran fine before but once we tried running it the other day it just did not have the same intensity. I am going to try to verify the electrode is the problem hopefully tomorrow.

torch height has A LOT to do with the longevity and accuracy of the cuts and life of the consumable.

plan a 6" cut…pause Firecontrol 3" into the cut (spacebar)
get a set of feeler gauges and measure the actual height of the torch…

90% of the people who do this adjust the torch cutting height in the software and end up with better cute and longer lasting consumables…

just because you set 0.06 in the software does not mean it will be that…

most of my cutting tools in sheetcam are set around the 0.043 to get 0.06…

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incorrect cut and pierce height will cause premature failure of consumables.

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Not to throw sand and oil on the track but I am with Knick. The cut height, as verified by measuring and not the specification in the g-code made all the difference in the world to getting a much more satisfactory performance.

I went for 8 or 10 months thinking everything was going great. Then the dross got bad and the bevel was pronounced. Nothing I tried worked: new consumables, changing the cut height in CAM, changing all sorts of things. Finally, I ran Phillips cut height test gcode:
cut height test.tap (224 Bytes)

This cycles the IHS and establishes a springback of 0.02 inches and sets the cut height of 0.06 inches. Then the program stops without any further action. No torch firing, No further action. Simply measure the metal to torch distance. If it is indeed somewhere near 0.06 inches then you are golden.

I was at 0.095 inches after this test. I revamped everything about my tools and for the last 2 years have set my springback to -0.02 and my cut height at 0.021. This gives me a cut height of 0.060 inch cut height and nearly dross free and minimal to no bevel.

We are not saying that is happening with you but if you have not ruled it out, you might be pleasantly surprised with the results. At least it would make us happy that you checked this variable off the table.

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Thank you all! I will check the consumables and definitely verify my cutting height! I am new to plasma cutting so I appreciate the help and will update when I get the chance today

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Okay so I was able to verify that the consumables are in good shape, and I did slight adjustments to the height of the plasma cutter to match what it should be on sheetcam. It was cutting somewhat consistently and towards the end of manual calibration of the height it was more consistent and cutting through more often than not. Still need to perform more test runs and change material thickness, I was only testing on 18 gauge stainless and the goal is to cut 3/16" with a nice pierce. Will update sometime at the end of this week so thank you everyone for the help!