Hobart Plasma Cutter Expands the Construction Equipment Toolbox

  • AirForceTM 625 provides a rated ½-in. cut on mild steel, can sever up to 7/8-in.

  • Tested reliability and durability performance for rugged construction jobsites
  • Efficient power use from engine drives to long extension cords

APPLETON, Wis., Aug. 4, 2008—When repairing a bucket, field pipe or cutting steel plate for a new brackets or patch panels, you’ll want an air plasma arc cutting machine that lets you finish the job quickly and move on to the next task. If you have the need for cutting speed on the jobsite, then Hobart Welders’ new AirForce 625 is for you.

Using only compressed air for fuel, this rugged 60-lb. unit produces outstanding cut quality when cutting at a rate of 10 inches per minute (IPM) on 1/2-in. steel using a hand-held torch. It can sever steel up to 7/8-in. thick and slices through thinner metals at amazing rates: 1/4-in. steel at more than 60 IPM and 1/8-in. steel at 200 IPM.

Time Saver

“The AirForce 625 is designed specifically to cut 1/2-in. thick steel, which is one of the fastest growing markets in plasma cutting. So many people routinely cut mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum in the 1/4- to 1/2-in. range,” says Caleb Krisher, product manager for Hobart Welders. “Because of its power, portability and cut quality, the AirForce 625 provides great versatility for light construction, maintenance and fabrication.

 “Here’s another significant time-saver when you’re trying to get on to that next task,” Krisher says. “The AirForce 625 finishes cuts more cleanly. Rather than being susceptible to the voltage drops that normally occur at the very end of the cut, it maintains power to cleanly sever the last piece of metal. This reduces or eliminates the need for grinding. And that lets you move on to the next job.”

Designed and tested for reliability and durability in rugged, dirty conditions, the AirForce 625 features Wind Tunnel Technologyä. This feature helps prevent abrasive dust and metal particles from damaging internal components. The Fan-On-Demandä function reduces the amount of airborne material pulled through the unit by turning on the cooling fan only when needed (machines without this feature have a fan that runs continuously). “For added protection during transportation from job site to job site, the AirForce 625’s rugged design places the air filter and regulator inside the unit’s steel casing,” Krisher says.

When it comes to performance while operating off an engine drive’s generator power, no plasma cutter in its class performs better than the AirForce 625. When paired with an engine drive that has at least 8 kW of generator power, it can cut steel up to 5/8-in. thick. When paired with a 5 or 6 kW engine drive, it can cut steel up to 3/8-in thick.

 “Heavy-duty users favor engine drives with 8 to 9.5 kW of generator power more than any other type of machine,” Krisher says. “That’s why we designed the AirForce 625 to produce an excellent quality cut when paired with an engine drive like our Champion™ 10,000.”

The AirForce 625 works well with engine drives because its power factor correction (PFC) circuitry uses incoming power with a higher efficiency compared to competitive units without PFC. As a result, the AirForce 625 draws about 30 primary amps on a 230 VAC line, or about 30 percent less than the competition. This also helps maintain performance by combating the voltage drop that occurs when using long extension cords.

What Is Plasma?

The plasma arc results from electrically heating a gas (typically air) to a high temperature. This ionizes gas atoms and enables them to conduct electricity; a fluorescent light is an example of plasma in action. A plasma arc torch spins a gas around an electrode. The gas is heated in the chamber between the electrode and torch tip, ionizing the gas and creating plasma. This causes the plasma gas to expand in volume and pressure.

The small, narrow opening of the torch tip constricts the plasma and accelerates it toward the work piece at high speeds (20,000 ft./s) and temperatures (up to 30,000o F).  The force of the high-intensity plasma jet pushes through the work piece and removes the molten metal. This jet easily cuts through metals with poor heat conductivity (stainless steel) or excellent conductivity (aluminum). The flame created by an oxy-fuel torch lacks plasma’s concentration and cuts stainless steel or aluminum so poorly (excess warping or metal waste) that professionals don’t bother to use it; they consider plasma arc cutting the standard process for these metals.

Plasma cuts easily through all metals that conduct electricity and has numerous advantages over an oxy-fuel torch. By cutting faster, plasma cutting improves productivity and lowers the cost of cutting. Plasma units also gouge, pierce, bevel, cut holes and trace shapes.Hobart backs the AirForce 625 with its 5/3/1 warranty, which covers the transformer for five years, the switches, controls and valves for three years and the torch for one year.   

For more information, or free literature, visit www.HobartWelders.com, call 1-877-HOBART1 (462-2781) or write to Hobart Welding Products at P.O. Box 100, Lithonia, GA 30058.

Hobart Welding Products offers a complete line of industrial-grade Stick, MIG, TIG and spot welders, plasma cutters and generator/welding power sources designed for easy use. Hobart products are available through farm and tool retail stores as well as welding supply distributors.

Hobart Welding Products is a division of Hobart Brothers Company, Troy, Ohio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW). Based in Glenview, Ill. ITW is a multinational Fortune 200 company that engineers and manufactures welding products, fasteners, components, assemblies and systems for customers around the world.

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