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This page is dedicated to educating you, the buyer, of what is out there in the industry, what is good about it and what is bad. Of course, our competition will justify what they use but common sense and some basic knowledge will allow you to see through that.

The following photos were taken at our shop. The competitors table shown here was run for about two hours before the customer realized that the hobby level controls and construction was not going to cut it. This customer has two of our XT machines and wanted to upgrade. We were 5-6 weeks out so he opted to purchase the competition. The customer paid more for these tables than he would have paid for a G3.

So why are these table in our shop? The customer came back to us and traded these new machines for two G3 machines. Are these machines worth $3000 more than our G3? Lets take a look at the difference.

The G3 uses the Victor iCNC Performance control. This is a purpose built industrial CNC plasma controller. The competitor uses CommandCNC controls. This is a Linux based hobby level controller.
The G3 uses a collision sensing torch mount that retains it's position after a crash. Optical sensors detect if the torch has crashed. We also use a sealed lifter with ball screw drive. Top of material sensing is done via ohmic sensing, which allies no weight to the material. Great for light gauge material all way through heavy plate.

The competitor uses an open style lifter with a ball screw drive. The switch in the center of the lifter is to detect top of material. The "floating head" method applies the weight of the torch and torch mount on the material before TOM is detected. Not good on light gauge material.

This competitor uses a magnetic breakaway torch mount. The customer modified the mount with springs because the magnetic mount kept failing and when it fell off, he could not get the torch back in the same position.

Width equals stability. The G3 uses a wide footprint on the gantry side plate to maximize stability. The competitor uses a very narrow gantry side plate. Push on one side of the gantry and see how far it moves before the other side moves.

The G3 uses Clearpath servo motors with planetary gearboxes. Planetary gearboxes are maintenance free and provide smooth, quiet. motion. We also use compressed air to engage the motors to the racks. This does two things.

1) The air cylinders are applying a constant pressure to engage the motors to the racks. Linear motion rack and pinion is designed to run with zero backlash fully engaged. Because the motors are "floating", any deviation in the rack is absorbed.

2) The air controlled by an electric solenoid valve and switch by an output on the iCNC controller. When a EStop is applied, all controller output disable, which disengages the motors from the rack. You can also disengage any time by pressing a button the controller to move the gantry by hand.

The competitor also uses Clearpath servo motors but with a belt drive. The belt is a point of maintenance and point of failure. The entire drive assembly is also hard mounted. A hard mounted drive like this rely's on the rack being absolutely true. If there is any deviation in the rack at all, there will loose spots, causing backlash, and tight spots, causing motor drag. These motors are also always engaged with the rack. In an emergency or to just move the gantry by hand, the motors can not be disengaged.

This manufacturer will try to make you believe that belt drive is an upgrade over gearboxes. Belts are cheaper and that's why they use them.

The G3 uses a double V profile rail with 2 carriages per side. We chose this rail because it' aluminum and hardened stainless construction make is very corrosion resistant. The V on top also sheds any debris or slag before it can get caught in the carriage roller guides.

We use a fine pitch rack with 2" diameter pinion gears for smooth motion. Racks are welded to ensure that they do not fail during operation.

This competitor uses a good quality rail with a single, double wide carriage. The issue with this rail is that debris and slag can get trapped on top the lower rail. If this happens, motion will stop and the servos will stall.

The rack on this machine is attached using VHB double sided taps (no screws or welds). This a common practice amongst manufacturers of tables in this category. We have seen plenty of cases where the tape has failed, which is why we weld our rack in place. Industrial quality machines should not be assembled using double sided tape.

   
   
   

 

 
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RC Enterprises - 208 Edwards Dr - Jackson - TN - 38301