How Do We Compare
A pretty good indicator of the reliability of a company is how long it has been around! The photo below shows a number of National magazines from 1980 - 1982 containing one to four page feature articles on our Torchmate cutting machines. Our Torchmate pantograph flame cutting machine won the "Product of the Year" award in 1980 from Welding Design and Fabrication Magazine. The issue dates are available upon request.
Technology has come a long way since then, and we have been on hand over the years to help bring it to you. Don't invest your hard earned dollars with a company that wasn't here yesterday, and may fold tomorrow.
- CUTTING CAPACITY: Full 4' x 8' capacity is standard. Some other manufacturers can't offer machines larger than 4' x 4' because of the difficulty in packing and shipping a finished machine. Instead, they offer reasons why a smaller machine is just as good. As you purchase locally the steel to complete our gantry kit, size is not a limiting factor. When the shape you are cutting is longer than your cutting table, it is terribly inconvenient. You have to stop halfway through a cut, move the material, making sure to align it on the table so the second half of the cutting process starts just where the first half left off. You generally need to fabricate fixtures into which your material slides. Since you will be working with different sized plates, and often remnants, this is very time consuming and tedious. This re-positioning of the plate on the material is sometimes called indexing. Having a table big enough to cut an entire plate saves perhaps 1/3 of your time and effort, and always produces better results.
- CONSTRUCTION: Our Torchmate 2 gantry rides on 1" diameter hardened and sealed needle bearing cam followers with a dynamic load capacity of 2,225 lbs. each. All guide rollers operate on precision cold rolled steel surfaces with a tolerance of under one thousandth of an inch. The Y axis (short axis) is a precision industrial linear motion system. The Y axis roller cassette has eight 1" diameter hardened rollers at right angles to each other. They ride on four hardened and ground rails encased in a heavy aluminum beam with zero clearance. The machine is driven from both sides via a drive shaft. Avoid machines that use construction materials such as angle iron or square tubing to hold the machine in alignment. Tubing size and squareness often varies .020" or more over a distance of a couple of feet. This inaccuracy makes it unsuitable for precision work.
- ELECTRONICS: By designing our machines to be light and rigid, we are able to use powerful stepper motors, rather than more expensive and inherently less accurate servo motors, which are constantly correcting small errors in position. Most Windows based driver software relies on the internal Windows clock, which is not always in sync with real time. To overcome this difficulty, the Torchmate system uses an external time keeper (signal generator) to take over this task. This provides better and more consistent control over speeds than systems that rely on the Windows clock. The 3.4: 1 timing pully reduction increases the effective torque of the motors to 459 oz. in. A man of average weight can stand on the Torchmate 2's roller cassette, and be carried on both axes. Try to picture doing this on competing machines in the same price range. Our automatic torch height control systems are state-of-the-art units, with their own self-contained computer. They monitor the torch tip to work distance continuously, while cutting, and make necessary adjustments. They rise 3 1/2" between cuts to avoid tip-ups, descend to a piercing height, and then to the cutting height for the next cycle. They are far more sophisticated and expensive to produce than simple switch controlled units that adjust torch height only at the beginning of each cut. We therefore have made them an option that can be added at any time.
- SOFTWARE: We have divided our software into two packages, one for creating and perfecting your shapes, and the other for running the machine. This allows those with other manufacturers' machines to benefit from the kerf compensation, automatic nesting, and other features of our CAD Module. It also lets you get started using CorelDraw or another drawing program initially, and add the CAD Module later, after the machine has paid for it. Our Windows software features on screen torch path simulation. You see the cut take place on the screen as the torch performs the cut. A digital read out tells you exactly where the torch is in inches at all times. A feed rate override lets you use your computer's mouse to make speed adjustments on the fly, while a digital speedometer tells you how fast you are going in inches per minute. The combination of our CAD Module and driver software provides more features than any other costing less than approximately $50,000. In addition to software instruction manuals, we provide a step-by-step fully illustrated 11" x 17" chart showing you the various operations of the CAD Module. Note the following features:
Torchmate CAD Module:
- Automatic kerf compensation
- Automatic nesting of shapes
- Automatic insertion of lead-ins and lead-outs
- Automatic raster to vector conversion (converting scanned images)
- Total control over cut sequence
- Total control over torch travel direction
- Full drawing functionality
- Ability to convert AutoCad drawings for cutting
Torchmate Driver Software:
- On-screen torch path simulation
- Generates its own G-code from imported dxf files
- Full 3-D functionality - just add our optional Z axis (not torch height control)
- Digital feed rate override with on-screen speedometer
- On-screen digital read out of torch position
- Three torch jog speeds, each of which is fully user defineable
- Ability to go back and start anywhere in a file
- Pause and restart capability
- Built-in G-code editor
- Single stage dwell on plasma on/off
- Separate pre-heat and pierce dwell for oxy-fuel
- EASE OF USE: Anyone with basic computer skills can quickly learn how to use the Torchmate software. Full illustrated instructions are provided. Connecting the electronics and learning to use the machine is not much different than connecting a new printer to your computer. If you were able to find our web site on the Internet, you probably have the skills necessary to use our machines. While our software is the easiest on the market to use, we don't drop you like a hot potato after you make your purchase, or charge you for telephone technical support. Our technical support group is well known for their friendly, unlimited support.
- COMPANY POLICY: We are a small business, and know what it is like to make a substantial investment for equipment. We want every Torchmate installation to be successful, and we will give you our honest opinion of whether our machine will meet your needs. We have customers doing everything from plasma cutting to sandblasting with our units.
- We sell our machines on their own merits, and don't devote space on our web sites to trying to bash our competitors. We believe our cnc machines speak for themselves.