If you search “pierce delay” you’ll find a lot of posts where people with mostly Hypertherm plasma cutters complain about errors from Firecontrol (Error: Torch starts moving…). This is because people first use the published pierce delay values found in the Hypertherm manuals. The problem is that Hypertherm measures this value from the moment the arc is ignited. CrossfirePro measures this value starting from the time the command was issued. What this means is that the published values in the Hypertherm manuals are too short. So to get around this you have add a set amount to the published values.
Hypertherm provides what is known as the “arc transferred” or “arc OK” output from their cutters. The CNC controller can then monitor that signal to know when to start the pierce delay timer. In May 2020 Langmuir suggested support for this would be coming…
To further complicate the issue, Hypertherm ‘first fire’ can result in a longer delay. The arc ok method would negate having to worry about this, in practice for myself I haven’t found it to be a problem.
I have yet to get the error, but I am running an Everlast not Hypertherm. Is it recommended to add the extra time regardless of machine brand? I have thought my pierces a little sloppy, and was eventually going to monkey around with trying dial in better values, but it always seems there is something more important to do.
If you are not getting errors then I wouldn’t worry about it. If you think they might be a little long (leaving a large divot) then you could use the feature within Firecontrol that allows you to decrease the pierce delay without having to regen the gcode. Once you get the error you know you’ve gone too short.