Why is Victory different from other vendors in the market?

Victory supplies brushless servo motor powered industrial quality CNC plasma and gas cutting equipment. We do not use stepper motors or other ‘hobby shop’ grade products in our systems. We supply complete systems ready to produce with all the ‘extras’ our competitors consider options: automatic torch height control, automatic torch collision protection, helical planetary drive gear boxes, pneumatic pre-tensioning and emergency stop switches located where emergency stop switches should be.

Can the Victory equipment be used for routing?

Our heavy-duty tables are designed and built for an industrial environment. While our tables could be used for routing, it would be a waste of your money. For that you need a lightweight table such as those offered by the hobby shop people. Their tables are too lightweight and inaccurate to do our job and ours are overkill to do their job. Multi-use machines generally do not do any one thing well.

Is it difficult to import my drawings into Victory cutting software?

Not at all! Our software has been designed for simplicity and ease-of-use. Our software allows the direct import of DXF formatted drawing files. The DXF file is available with almost all CAD and art creation programs. DXF is the universal drawing exchange format. Our software allows you to optimize DXF files for CNC cutting, create arrays and to scale the size of the object to be cut.

Where do I get a DXF drawing to start with?

Our package includes an exceptionally good CAD program that allows you to create drawings from the start, edit drawings or exchange drawings with your customers. Our CAD is completely interchangeable with the world’s leading CAD program, AutoCAD.  While simple to learn and use, it is a robust feature-laden CAD program.

Can I use drawings sent to me by my customers?

Yes! You will be able to open, view, edit and convert all CAD drawings. If they are not sent to you in DXF format you will be able to easily change them to a DXF.

Can the Victory system use an oxy-fuel torch?

Yes, there is a program included in our standard software that operates an oxy-fuel torch. There are a number of gases that can be used with oxygen to cut really thick material. Our tables are designed to support a full sheet of 2” plate in whatever size the table is. We can strengthen your table to support additional plate thickness, on request. Some thicknesses require a small, inexpensive change like additional load bearing pads and some will require additional expense for this support.

Can the Victory system use my present plasma cutter with its hand torch?

No. Hand held torches are made to be “hand held,” although some vendors do try to use them in their hobby units. Our machines are industrial grade, professional tables and require a plasma cutter with a machine torch. The machine torches are made for cleaner and much more precision cutting. Plasma cutters made for automated systems have several other necessary features as in addition to a machine torch.

Do Victory systems require an independent high dollar height controller when using a plasma cutter larger than 100 amps?

No. Our system will accept all plasma cutters designed for automated systems, even the high frequency start units of more than 100 amps. An integrated Torch Height Controller (one operated through the main cutting program) is much more convenient and efficient than an add-on stand-alone unit.

What is Homing?

During installation, the gantry must be installed squarely and hard stops must be installed in the correct places. Once this is done, whenever the machine is started for the first time each day, or after a power outage the machine must be “Homed.”  Clicking the radio button for “homing” causes the machine to perform an electronic check and reset of the electronics to correct put all the electronics in synchronization. When “homing” is completed the gantry will produce square cuts even if it has had a bump or has encountered something left on the guide rails.

What do I do if the torch goes out during a long complicated cut?

Don’t fret, although with some other systems you’re in big trouble! With the Victory, simply check the bottom of the screen to see what caused the stoppage: Lost Arc or Collision Detector. If the Collision Detector was tripped (maybe you left your lunch bucket sitting in the middle of the table), simply remove the obstruction, click the “RESET” radio button and then click “Start Cycle.” You will then be asked if you would like to restart where the collision occurred, click “yes” and off you go again.

If Lost Arc was the issue, click the “RESET” button and then select “Tool Change” at the bottom of the screen. The torch will move to your preset torch service area where you can check the consumables and replace them if necessary. On completion select the “Move to Where E-Stop Occurred.” After the gantry has moved back to its original stopping point, select “Start Cycle.” There are also “Move Back” and “Move Forward” tabs for relocating the torch over the cut. Not so bad after all and you’ll be able to keep your job!

What happens if my electricity goes out while I’m in the middle of a huge cut in the center of a 8’x20’ piece of 1 1/2” Stainless Steel the boss paid $20,000 for and was expecting to sell for $40,000? And it happens on my payday?

Again don’t fret! The Victory is not a hobby machine. When you get the power back on the Victory will know exactly where it started the cut! It won’t take long to get it back into cutting position with the move forward button.  Pat it on the back and tell it to go again. The boss will never have to know it was your coffee pot that kicked the circuit!

Do I need to know how G-code works to use the Victory?

Not at all, the drawing converter does all the G-Code work. You will pick up a lot of knowledge about G-Code after you operate the machine a while. It is a good thing to know and understand but certainly not necessary to manually create.

What is Plasma Arc Transfer and why is it so important?

This is what keeps your cutting program from pretending to cut when it’s not, e.g., if the arc fails to start or after the fire has gone out. Many hobby system vendors claiming to sell industrial quality systems will tell you this is not necessary. It isn’t if your operator has the time to sit by the machine and watch it’s every move and to stop the motion manually when a torch fails to start, a tip burns out or when cutting small pieces and material tips up. At Victory and with all other professional industrial-grade systems we believe this should be automatic. The operator can do other things while the machine is cutting and be assured that it will stop all motion if the fire goes out. This abrupt, complete stop is what allows an accurate and simple restart after the problem has been corrected.

Why does the Victory system use the expensive planetary gearboxes instead of the cheaper timing belts?

We built 38 so-called “industrial tables” for a leading marketer of hobby systems trying to cross over. Although the model we built was the top of their line, they insisted on using the tiny static mounted spur gears and rubber belts supplied and used on their entire line of hobby units. This decision proved a major detriment to the accuracy and reliability of what might have been a decent unit. Static drives and rubber belts are the equivalent of installing a Ford Pinto drive train under your lifted F-250 hunting truck. It might get you to the general area a few times but it won’t get you to the woods where the big bucks are. We knew better when we developed the Victory system. Any industrial grade table will have planetary gearboxes with 5/8″-3/4″ shafts and no more than 8 arc-minutes of backlash on all axes.

What is an arcminute?

It is something you don’t want many of! It is the engineering measurement of the degrees of backlash (slop, wiggle, giggle, trouble) when the direction of motion changes abruptly. Believe me: motion changes abruptly when plasma cutting at 280 inches per minute! Good software slows the torch travel momentarily when an abrupt change of direction is coming up but backlash is still a critical issue. Rack and pinion drives and planetary gearboxes with close tolerances keep the motion as accurate as the plasma arc can really produce. Water jets and lasers use ball-and-screw drives to produce the accuracy they require to fully utilize their very fine cutting stream.

Why plasma and not water jet or laser?

The cost of a water jet or laser cut per inch of thickness cut is very expensive when compared to plasma. Plasma is hands down the fastest and most economical way to cut ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Plasma is very practical and accurate enough for 85% of America’s shape cutting needs. For the other 15% and those with the need to cut non-conductive materials such as rubber, glass and cardboard, water jets or laser would be the answer.

What about the cost to cut?

The general rule of thumb is water jet cutting cost three times as much as plasma. A laser costs eight times as much as plasma. When you are doing the math you may need both hands and feet to tally the full cost! That’s also times the cost to acquire, times the cost to operate, times the cost to maintain. Then you’ll need another hand so you can subtract the lost cutting speed. Water jet and laser are slower than a ‘kid waiting on Christmas’ if you are cutting any thickness.

I need to cut some stainless and aluminum. Can I do it with a plasma cutter?

Certainly! Any ferrous or nonferrous metal can be cut well with plasma. While standard plasma will do the job, high definition plasma will do a better job. The Victor Thermal Dynamics Auto-Cut and Ultra-Cut plasma cutters come with Water Mist Secondary, which uses nitrogen and water for excellent cuts on stainless and aluminum.

I’ve heard something about high-definition plasma. What is that all about?

It is wonderful! They were hard to sell before the recession because they do cost more. But when the bottom dropped out and everyone was looking for a way to save a few bucks and be more competitive they started selling. We sold more high definition machines in the last 12 months than anything else! They virtually eliminate cleanup! That translates to more money in your pocket very quickly. It is a fast pay back! Standard-def plasma leaves a 3% to 5% bevel from top to bottom in a cut and some slag on the bottom side of the cut. High-def leaves a 1% to 3% bevel and almost no slag. All high quality plasma machines slow down 20% to 40% and the automatic torch height controller locks the torch height when encountering a small radius or sharp turn so just a little low speed slag is left in those areas. This slowdown is not really visible when cutting, but very necessary.

Why do I need a water table? My buddy has a downdraft he is happy with, although I do see a lot of brown dust and burned up gloves laying around.

Everything has its place. Downdraft tables are great for light gauge cutting, particularly when coupled with some sort of smoke and dust collector that recirculates cleansed air into the cutting area. Without the recirculation of the cleansed air, your expensive shop heat is pulled out of the building and cold air pulled in through every crack and crevice into the building. Your operators will be trying to ride the gantry to keep warm! The brown dust is the oxidized steel and it will short out printed circuit boards and get on everything in the building. It seems to me that very few downdraft tables catch more than about 80% of the smoke and dust. Thin gauge metal gives up the heat from a cut very fast and operators can remove parts almost immediately. Gloves get burned because thicker plate material holds the heat well and will burn right through the operator’s gloves if he tries to unload too soon, particularly if there are a lot of small parts to collect. On the other hand, water tables collect 98% of the smoke and dust without sacrificing any shop heat and all cut parts, thick and thin, large and small can be taken off immediately with a bare hand. Just think of the savings in gloves alone!

Does the water move? Where does the water go in a Victory table? Why is the water table so deep? Is that green stuff I see in the pictures antifreeze?

The water does move from a completely dry cutting bed to a cutting level just under the material or just over the material as desired. It only takes a few CFM of shop air and three minutes to move the water from the bottom storage chamber to completely cover the material on the table.

That takes care of the first three questions, now for the third: it isn’t antifreeze, although it does lower the freezing temperature some. It’s 3% Plasma Quench and 97% tap water. Plasma Quench eliminates rust inside the table, on the raw cutting slats and on the material to be cut. A new sheet of material can be left on the table all weekend with the mixture over it, under it or anywhere in between and there will be no rust. There is no odor with Plasma Quench. We have been using our Plasma Quench for two years and see no reason to discard it any time soon. When we decide to change it, the MSDS sheet tells us we can legally dump the diluted mix on the ground or in a sewer. Plasma Quench is non-toxic when diluted to 3% of water volume.

Why would I want a multi-water level cutting bed?

The bottom of the cutting bed is only 6” below the material to be cut, so all the small parts cut will stop there if they fall through the slats. It is really nice to lift them out of a dry area and not have to “fish” for them as you do on some competitors’ water tables. In addition, when cutting aluminum the water level should be at least 2” below the bottom of the material to allow for the escape of hydrogen.

Why are the Victory cutting slats short and installed in a herringbone pattern?

We use short slats (never over 36” of standard 4” x 3/16” flat bar) for cutting slats and install them in the herringbone pattern to make them last longer. When they are short, they are easy to pull out and invert to use the other edge or to exchange with other less used slats on another part of the table. The slats installed from the left hand end of the operator side and along that side get the most cutting time and wear out the fastest. The angled installation helps reduce the chance of a long straight cut right down the top of a slat. We get over a year’s use of our slats by reversing and exchanging them. There are slat holders every three inches, so the additional slats can be added or slats can be moved closer together if cutting a lot of small parts. When cutting a lot of large parts the slats can be farther apart. The 6” on center slats that a Victory is supplied with seem to meet the majority of uses.

I really like the look of the operator station mounted on the gantry. Why aren’t the Victory operator stations mounted on the gantry? I want to be up close, where the action is.

You might watch a Victory in action before you make that decision. There are not that many operators fit and healthy enough to keep up with an gantry-mounted operator station when it’s cutting 1/4″ plate at 280 inches per minute. First you’re chasing it and then you’re running from it! The gantry changes directions not on a dime but on a match head! We could put a moving seat on it but you would need a NASCAR safety harness with a head restraint to ride it. Besides, there isn’t anything much to do during a Victory cut. Whatever needs arise can be more easily dealt with from a few feet away. The units mounted on the gantry are meant for slow and really thick plate cuts or oxy-fuel burns.