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Quick Start Cutting with Arc Voltage Height Control

The following topics are covered in this AVHC quick start guide.

Identify and name components

The Arc Voltage Height Control (AVHC) system consists of a number of components and a number of cables that electrically connect the components. By clicking the link below you will find  tables that list these components and cables so that you may identify them for use in the steps that follow.

Prepare cable ends

The AVHC Controller uses Phoenix-type (Euroblok) connectors. The connector has a removable terminal strip that is a press fit into the AVHC Controller. The individual wires must be prepared to ensure a good contact for the signal, and to eliminate stray wire strands that could cause short circuits. Find out more about connecting a wire by clicking on the link below.

CNC Cable to Torch connection

The plasma torch power supply will typically include a CNC Interface cable for use in controlling the cutting process. The large round connector plugs into the power supply while the individual wires at the other end connect to the AVHC Control.

Input cable to AVHC connections

Although some CNC cutting systems come completely wired, others, like the kits or upgrades may require you to make connections to the input cable. Find out how this is done by clicking the link below.

Input cable to safety breakaway connections

More recent models of the AVHC lifter stations are equipped with a magnetic breakaway that can help avoid costly accidents. If something causes the torch to breakaway from its magnetic mounting, its switch opens. The CNC Controller senses this and stops the table’s motors and turns off the plasma arc voltage. If not pre-wired, the cable will be added to the CNC input connector.

CNC start relay cable to AVHC

The CNC start cable runs from the CNC Controller’s “RELAY” connector to the AVHC Controller’s “START” connector. The two conductor cable will need both ends of both conductors stripped of insulation and inserted into the Phoenix-type connectors.

Raw plasma arc voltage to AVHC

The job of the AVHC Controller is to maintain a constant torch height or arc length over the material being cut, because that provides uniform quality cutting. It determines the torch height by measuring the voltage used to maintain the arc. The raw arc voltage cable carries this signal from the plasma cutter to the AVHC Controller.

AVHC motor cable to lifter station motor

The AVHC Controller raises and lowers the torch by turning the lifter station lead screw with a “smart motor.” The motor cable should be routed on the same path as the torch leads (through the cable carrier if present) from the torch to the AVHC Controller. However, keep the cable as far from the torch leads as possible to minimize interference.

General Wiring Diagram

Review this diagram and ensure that all the connections are securely made, that all cables have been safely routed, and that signal cables have some distance of separation from the plasma power cable. Note that Lincoln Electric plasma cutters include the raw arc voltage cable with the other wires in the CNC Interface cable.

Inspect (and clean and oil) the lifter station

Take the time to inspect, clean, and lubricate the parts. Periodically, moving parts should be inspected for excessive wear. Bearings, precision shafts, and drive screws should all be free of built-up dirt and rust and lubricated with a light machine oil.

Check lifter station operation

Any stickiness, misalignment or binding in the motion of the lifter station will almost always result in significantly reduced cut quality. .By verifying smooth, even movement, you promote high, quality cutting that is reproducible and economical.