At the Sheet Metal Local 88 JATC in Las Vegas, Nevada, a new dual plasma cutter table from Production Products, Inc. will enable sheet metal apprentices to practice duct fabrication and beyond.

The Ultra Cut, or the ‘Beast’ as it has been rechristened by the instructors at the center, is a 5X10 plasma cutter table, weighing in around 6,000 pounds, and includes standard and high-definition plasma heads.

“A little unconventional than what a traditional shop would have, but we as a training center think it would be a great tool for us,” says Ed Abraham, training director at the JATC. “The way it’s all wired, there is power to turn on a certain head because you can’t run both of them at the same time.”

However unconventional, the high-definition plasma cuts up material to half-inch thick.

As the torch moves across the sheet metal, the operator can watch the progress on an LCD screen. The table produces clean corners when burned at 90 inches per minute.

But most importantly, the table allows instructors to teach the full spectrum of metal fabrication.

“The nice thing about this machine, what makes this machine unique and there are very few of them in the market, is this is a dual plasma machine,” explains Nolan Venne, the OEM sales manager for Thermal-Dynamics. “We helped with some of the design features of the machine and basically offered them advice on how to build a better machine.”

What's included on the 'Beast' plasma cutter?

The two plasma heads operate from two different power sources that have obvious visual differences.

On the other hand, the high-definition power source has coolant that runs through it to help keep the head cooler, including bottles for nitrogen on the table that are piped to the system depending on what material the operator is cutting.

“Once we tell it what we are going to burn, it decides what gasses it’s going to use and the pressure,” explains Abraham. 

In all, the machine took nearly six months to complete from start to delivery.

“For PPI, this was an introduction to a market place that they haven’t been into. This is getting them into the fabricating world,” says Venne, about the Ultra Cut’s power. “And they had the right product for it, they just needed a helping hand.”

He adds, “The way that PPI brought the solution together, it really made it viable. Some of the big advantages, when you use a high-performance plasma, you basically reduce your down time. You need to change your parts less often and your quality doesn’t degrade as fast. With this offering we’ve come out of it with a dual purpose machine at a very affordable price.” 

This story originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of SNIPS magazine.