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Beijing Flourishing Start Control Technology Co.

, Ltd
Torch Height Controller for Plasma/Flame CNC Cutting Machine
SH-HC30
Manual

Beijing Flourishing Start Digital Technology Co., Ltd


92.: 100043
No.9 Shuangyuan Road, Shijingshan District, Beijing, 100043, China
Tel: (010)88909150
Fax: (010)88909271
Website: www.startsh.com

Contents
1. Preface
2. Overview
3. Installation
4. Quick operation guide
5. Commissioning
6. Operating guide
7. Control panel
8. Troubleshooting
9. Initial positioning
10. Commands between CNC and height controller
11. Remote height controller

3D View of Remote Controller Graphic model of remote

controller

All
rights
reserved
Forbidden to distribute or duplicate any file for the purpose of commercial,
communication or others without particular authorization. Compensation will be
incurred if any clause is violated. All rights belong to Microstep Control
Technology Co., Ltd.
D
is
c
l
a
i
m
e
r
We have made a consistency inspection to the contents of the printed file against the product described.
However, we cant guarantee absolute accuracy due to the impossibility to eliminate inaccuracy
completely. Nevertheless, we will verify the information in the file regularly and make necessary
amendments in the revised version. Any suggestion for later improvement is greatly appreciated.
Microstep reserves all the rights to make necessary amendments on the basis of technical
improvement.

Contents
1 Preface ................................................................................................. 1
1.1 Purpose ........................................................................................ 2
1.2 Important Statement.................................. ................................2
1.3 Warning ...................................................................................... 3
1.4 Terms Explanation......................................................................4
1.5 Company Information ............................................................... 5
2 Overview.............................................................................................. 5
2.1 Technical Features ..................................................................... 5
2.2 Main Technical Indicators........................ .7
3

Installation ...................................................................................... 8
3.1 Mechanical Installation............................. ..8
3.2 Electrical Installation Connection ........................................... 14
3.3 Function Introduction of Volatge Divider Board 22
3.4 Dimensions Figure of Volatge Divider Board............................ 25

4 Quick Operation Guide for Capacitance and Arc Voltage Height


Controller .............................................................. . . . . .26
4.1 Control Operation of Electrical Operation Panel: (External
Switching Mode) ..............................................................................26

4.2 SH-2002AH/SH-2200H Operation of CNC System Output


Interface (I / O Control Mode) .......................... .27
4.3 CNC system communication interface is used to complete the
operation (RS232 communication mode) ......... 28
4.4 Operation Flow ........................................................................ 28
4.5 Daily Operation Flow................................ ..29
5 Operating guide................................................................................. 30
5.1 Parameter Setting ..................................... .30
5.2 Manual Operation..................................... ..30
5.3 Automatic Operation ............................................................... 31
6 Debugging........................................................... 31
6.1 Initial Debugging of Capacitive Detection32
6.2 Debugging Steps of a Key Height Calibration32
7 Controller Panel ................................................................................ 32
7.1 Control Parameters................................... .33
7.2 Operation Panel ....................................................................... 34
7.3 Display Status Description........................ ..36
8 Troubleshooting ................................................................................38

9 Description of Initial Location Function....................................................39


9.1 Positioning Mode................................................................................39
9.2 Setting of Positioning Height .............................................................39
9.3 Process ................................................................................................39
9.4 Initial Arc Voltage Collection (Set Value A).....................................39
10 Instruction Functions Related to M of CNC System and Height
Controller..40
10.1 Function M of Direct Control Output Port of CNC System .........41
10.2 Fixed Cycle of Function M .............................................................41
11 Remote height controller .........................................................................44
11.1 Function Introduction.....................................................................44
11.2 Operation Guide..............................................................................45
11.3 Wiring Instructions .........................................................................47
11.4 Installation Dimensions ...............................................................48

1 Preface
Whether in flame cutting mode or plasma cutting mode, it is vital to maintain the stability
of the distance (height) between cutting torch and work piece, for it will directly affect the
cutting speed and the cutting quality.

Fig. 1-1 Model SH-HC30 height controller for flame/plasma cutting torch

1.1 Purpose
Model SH-HC30 height controller for flame/plasma cutting torch is an automatic height
control module integrated with mechanical lifting and electric control features, which is
specially designed for portable flame and plasma cutting machine as another new product
developed by Beijing Microstep Control Technology Co.,Ltd. in the field of industrial automation
control

Model SH-HC30 height controller for flame/plasma cutting torch is simple and easy to use,
convenient to commission and modest in price. In addition, it insists the sell points of all
Microstep products--good product performance at modest price. It is an ideal accessory to

match welding or cutting equipment.


1.2 Important statement:
In case of any discrepancy between Model SH-HC30 height controller
for flame/plasma cutting torch and the contents of this manual, the
actual product should be referred to. Any amendments of the product or its
accessories are subject to change without prior notice.

For updated contents, please

visit our website at http://www.startsh.com/eng


or simply call Beijing Microstep Control Technology Co., Ltd.
Be sure to read the safety warnings and precautions carefully to avoid
any accidents due to incorrect operations.
Please strictly follow the detailed instructions in the manual before
installing and using this machine.
In case that Model SH-HC30 height controller for flame/plasma
cutting torch and/or this manual is illegally used, the user shall be
liable for all the aftermaths and Microstep will take no legal liability,
for it doesnt represent Microsteps position.
The safety warnings are used to prevent any damage to human body
or properties.
In case of any quality problem found in using this product, please call
the service center of the manufacturer or authorized agents or
distributors to get service and help.
Its not allowed to duplicate, distribute or utilize any content of this
manual without a written permi

who violates shall undertake all the liabilities for the loss.

1.3 Warnings
Please read and strictly comply with the following instructions before operating the product, thus to
assure the designed product control accuracy and prevent any damage and accident.
Installation must be carried out by certified technical personnel with relevant
experiences.
Please thoroughly read the instructions before starting installation.
Make sure the local power supply satisfies the required specifications.

Installation, plugging or unplugging power cord are prohibited when


the power switch is on.
The product should be positioned far away from any heat source if possible.
The controller shell must be grounded well to avoid electric shock or
affecting the controller.
The work piece must be well grounded too and maintain a good connection with
the controller shell for assured accuracy of height control.

Note: If the controller shell and the work piece are not properly grounded, the height controller will not
work normally.

Please handle the product with care and make sure no impact or
shock; otherwise, damage to the product might be incurred. .
Never try to disassemble the product or modify its internal construction;
otherwise, accident or fault might occur.

1.4 Terminology Definitions


One-keystroke height calibration: In capacitance height measurement
mode, the specific inductive capacity between the capacitance
detection ring and work piece may affect the accuracy of height
measurement due to temperature, pressure, humidity, gas composition
and many other ambient factors. In addition, the serious non-linear
relationship exists between capacitance value and height value.
Microstep has developed the intelligent program of "one-keystroke
height calibration". Only one keystoke will automatically set the
product based on various ambient factors. And within the range of
3-30mm, high accuracy, high precision and high linearity is possible in
display and control.

High speed zone: When the difference between the actual height and the set
height is relatively big, the cutting head will advance towards the set value at the
highest speed in order to reach the set value the soonest; this travel zone is called
high speed zone.

Speed regulating zone: If the cutting head reaches the set value at a
high speed, severe oscillation may be caused and the height control is
unstable. In order to achieve a smooth transition, the speed regulating
zone is set. This zone is located between the high-speed zone and the
dead zone. In this zone, when it is far away from the set value, the
cutting head will move at a higher speed; otherwise, at a lower speed.
The range value of this zone is adjustable. If it is set too big, the
transition is smooth, but the tracking time is too long; if it is set too
small, the tracking is conducted
easy.

Dead zone: Within a certain height range, the height of the cutting

head will not be adjustable any more. The range is called dead zone. If
the dead-zone range is set too wide, the control precision will be too
low; if it is set too narrow, the cutting head may oscillate up and down
easily. An appropriate value of dead zone will not only guarantee the
control precision but also generate no oscillation.

2. Overview
2.1

Technical Features
Stepper motor instead of conventional DC motor
Model SH-HC30 height controller for flame/plasma cutting torch uses
the proprietary stepper motor control technology of Microstep to
replace the conventional DC motor height control technology, which
makes it faster and smoother in addition to significantly intended
service life.
Directly displaying the height of cutting nozzle in capacitance height
control mode

The advanced height linear calibration technology makes absolute


height display and control possible when the distance between the
cutting nozzle and work piece is within 3 ~ 30mm in the capacitance
mode under for automatic height control in unit of millimeter and
display accuracy of 0.1mm.

Integration of mechanical lifting device and height controller


Detector, controller and drive are highly integrated with adjustable
stroke up to 10cm.
All Digital Technology
Circuit uses SMD technology without any adjustable devices; all
digital control technology ensures high product reliability.
Simple and convenient linearization calibration
The feature of "one-keystroke height calibration" guarantees that in
any circumstances, the user only needs to press one key to calibrate
the absolute height measurement and achieve linear height
measurement.
Applicability in tough environment
The shell uses tamper-proof, waterproof and moisture-proof
aluminum box sealed design, particularly applicable to the severe
environment of high temperature or high electromagnetic interference
from flame cutting or plasma cutting operation.
Various interfaces easy to use.

The interface is simple and easy to control. It is suitable for any flame
cutting and plasma cutting CNC system or using alone.

RS232 communication interfac

Asynchronous communication function enables connection with CNC


system and facilitates parameter setting, automatic/manual control,
taper angle transition control and data exchange.
2.2 Main Technical Parameters
Power Requirements: DC 24V 2 V 3 A
Applicable motor: 17/23 HS series of stepper motors
Manual adjustment range: 0-100 mm
Automatic height control range: 3 -30 mm
Adjusting speed of automatic height control: 3000 mm/min (30 slope)
Control precision: 0.5 mm
Dimensions of box body: (155 87 71) mm
Operating temperature: -10 to 50
Weight:
Total weight of capacitance height control: 1.990kg
Total weight of arc voltage height control: 1.645kg
Detection system: capacitance height detector and arc voltage height
detector

3. Installation
3.1 Mechanical Installation
The component names and positions of height controller are shown in Fig. 3-1.
Among them, the connecting components for capacitance detector are only
added in flame cutting operation

Lift stepper motor

Standard high frequency cable

Detector ring anti-collision device

Operating display panel

Cutting torch holder

Detector ring holder

Flame cutting torch

Detector ring

Fig. 3-1 The positions, names and functions of controller components

6 M6 screw holes in the back of the height controller are used to fix the
box body to the support. Their position and size are shown in Fig. 3-2.

Note:
1. Make sure the depth of bolts in
six mounting holes during
installation will not affect the
travel.
2. The length of each mounting
bolt beyond the shell of the height
controller internallymust be less
than 8mm, i.e., the bolt length
inserting into the interior of the
height controller shell must not
exceed 8mm.

Fig. 3-2 Mounting position of screw holes in the back of the controller
The right view of the height controller and related installation dimensions are
shown in Fig. 3-3.
The back view of the height controller and related installation dimensions are
shown in Fig. 3-4.

Fig. 3-3 Right view of the controller

3-4

Fig. 3-4 Back view of height controller

The installation diagram of the height controller is shown in Fig. 3-5

Fig. 3-5 Assembly diagram of height controller

3.2 Electrical Connection


3.2.1 External Switch Control Mode
The external switch control mode is applicable to both
capacitance height control and arc voltage height control.
K1
Manual/automatic switching

K2
Manual ascending

K3

Manual descending

Ground

Electrical wiring diagram of external switch control


When K1 is off, the height controller is in manual mode;
When K1 is on, the height controller is in automatic mode.
When K1 is off, K2 and K3 are enabled.
When K1 is on, K2 and K3 are disabled.

3.2.2 CNC System Input/Output Control Mode (I/O control)


Electrical connection of capacitance-detection height controller
The electrical connection of capacitance-detection height controller is shown in Fig.
3-6.
The high-frequency cables and plugs are special parts. The high-frequency cables
can be provided up to1000mm according to different requirements.
The cable connection between height controller (15-pin connector) and CNC system
(25-pin connector) should be made by the user. The connection is shown in Fig. 3-7.
For the detailed pin definition of 15-pin and 25-pin, see Table 3-1 and Table 3-2.

15-pin plug
BNC high-frequency cable

Back view of CNC system


Height
controller

25-pin connector

Fig.3-6 Electrical wiring diagram of capacitance height controller


Note: The diameters of 24 V power cord and ground wire should be larger than 0.75 mm2.

Manual/automatic switching

Manual ascending
Manual descending

Ground
15

Table 3-1 Pin definitions of 25-pin connector of CNC system for the height control system

S/N

Description

Attribute

Output

Power
Supply

Output

12, 13

Power
Supply

19

Output

24, 25

Power
Supply

Manual/automatic selective signal


24V ground for power supply of height
controller
Manual lifting signal to drive cutting
torch up
24 V positive for power supply of height
controller
Manual descending signal to drive
cutting torch down
24 V positive for power supply of height
controller

Note: The pins whose serial numbers are not listed of the 25-pin plugs of CNC
system will not be used.

Table 3-2 Pin definition of 15-pin connector of height Controller

No.
1

Attribute

Description
Remarks

Serial port for common use

232-COM

Serial port for Receiving

232-RXD

Serial port for transmiting

232-TXD

Input
Signal

Arc voltage (height of cutting


torch) signal

Signal ground

Arc vol

714

Power supply

815

Power supply

10

Input

12

Input

13

Input

24 V positive for power supply


of height controller
24 V ground for power supply
of height controller
manual/automatic selective
signal
Manual ascending signal for
driving the cutting torch up
Manual descending signal for
driving the cutting torch down

Note: The pins whose serial numbers are not listed of the 15-pin plugs of the
CNC system will not be used.

Electrical connection of arc voltage detection-type height controller


The electrical connection of arc voltage detection-type height controller is shown in Fig.
3-8.
The cable connections among height controller (15-pin connector), CNC system (25-pin
connector) and voltage divider board (9-pin connector) should be made by the user.
For the pin definitions of 15-pin, 25-pin connector and 9-pin connector, see Table 3-1,
Table 3-2 and Table 3-3
Height

Plasma Power Supply

Voltage
board

divider

The back panel of CNC system

Fig. 3-8 Electrical wiring diagram of arc voltage height controller

Table 3-3 Pin definitions of 9-pin connector for volta

S/N

Attribute

Description

Power
supply

24V ground for power supply of height controller

Power
supply

24V ground for power supply of height controller

Output

Arc voltage signal serving as height signal of the plasma


cutting nozzle

Output

24V positive for power supply of height controller

Note: The pins whose serial numbers are not listed will not be used.

Connecting to voltage divider board

Connecting to CNC system

Connecting to torch height controller

9-pin connector of voltage divider board

Arc voltage signal after voltage dividing

Automatic start
Arc voltage signal after voltage dividing
Manual ascending
Manual descending

24V Ground

15-pin connector of height controller

25-pin connector of CNC system

Fig. 3-9 Wiring diagram of arc voltage height controller, voltage divider board and CNC system

Note: The wire diameters of 24V power cord and of ground wire should be larger than 0.5 square
millimeter.

The electrical connection of height controller when both arc voltage detection
mode and capacitance detection mode are required to use.

Arc voltage

Arc

voltage

15-pin plug

High-frequency cable

Heigh
9
Back view of CNC

21

Capacitance detecting ring


25-pin plug

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24V Ground

Automatic start
Arc voltage signal

Manual ascending

Manual descending

24V Ground

This figure should be kept on standby it illustrates the automatic connection method
when both arc voltage mode and capacitance mode are required to use.

3.2.3 Communication interface control mode of CNC system (RS232 control)


The software debugging for the communication interface control mode of

CNC system is in process.


3.3 Functional description of voltage divider board
The voltage divider board is a functional module designed to reduce the voltage of
plasma cutting torch after arc starting in a certain proportion and separate and
convert it to the low-voltage signal reflecting the
piece. It is the indispensable accessory in the mo

plasma cutting operation. The voltage dividing ratio of the voltage divider board in
standard configuration is 50: 1.
The various interfaces of the voltage divider board are illustrated in Fig. 3-10.
J3 AC power, connecting device

J2 arc voltage input, connecting to the

AC220V power supply

arc voltage terminal of plasma power

J1 arc voltage output of voltage divider


board,
connecting to height controller and CNC system

Fig. 3-10 Interface description of voltage divider board


The pin definitions of interfaces are shown in Table 3-4, Table 3-5 and Table 3-6.
Table 3-4 Pin definitions of J1 connector
S/N

Attribute

Description

Power
supply

24V ground for power supply of height controller

Power
supply

24V earth for power supply of height controller

Output

Arc voltage signal serving as the height signal of


plasma cutting nozzle

Power
supply

24V positive for po

Note: The pins without pin numbers will not be used.


Table 3-5 Pin definitions of J2 connector
No.

Attribute

Description

Power
supply

Ground

Input

Plasma arc voltage positive terminal


(connecting to the clip of steel plate)

Input

Plasma arc voltage negative terminal (arc


voltage output)

Note: Push the orange button inwards and insert the stripped cable into the wiring hole
and then release.
Table 3-6 Pin definitions of J3 connector
No.

Attribute

Description

Power
supply

AC220V10%

Power
supply

AC220V10%

The voltage divider board may choose installation position as required,


but note should be taken J1 interface is for low-voltage signal and J2
is for high-voltage signal. In order to prevent low-voltage signal from
any interference of high-voltage and high-frequency signals and
improve the system stability, the wirings of J1 and J2 should be
carried out separately.

3.4 Dimensional drawing of voltage divider board

4. Quick Operation Guide of Height Controller in


Capacitance and Arc Voltage Modes
4.1 Control operation of electrical operation panel: (external switch mode)
For the wiring of height controller in capacitance mode, see Section 3.2 -- "Electrical
Connection"
For the wiring of height controller in arc voltage mode, see Section 3.3-- "Electrical
Connection"
The operation procedure is as follows:
Set the automatic/manual control switch to manual mode

Cutting torch control


Automatic

Set

the

Descend

automatic/manual
control switch to
manual mode

Manual

2.Adjust the ascend/descend switch of the cutting torch as needed.

Cutting torch control

Automatic

Adjusts

Ascend

the

ascend/descend switch to

lift the cutting torch

Manual

Cutting torch control


Adjusts

the

Automatic

Ascend

ascend/descend switch to

Descen d

lower the cutting torch.

Manual

3. Set the automatic/manual control switch to


automatic mode
Set the automatic/manual
control

switch

Cutting torch control

Automatic

Ascend

to

automatic mode

26

Manual

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Now, the mechanical lift device of the height controller enables automatic height control. If the
height of the cutting torch is unsatisfactory, repeat the above steps 1-3. In automatic mode, the
up/down switch of the cutting torch is disabled.

4.2 Operation control via I/O interface of Model SH-2002AH/SH-2200H CNC


system (I/O control mode)
For the wiring of height controller in capacitance mode,

see Section 3.2-- "Electrical

Connection"
For the wiring of height controller in arc voltage mode, see Section 3.3--"Electrical
Connection".
The operation procedure is as follows:
1. Directly press the ascend or descend keys on CNC panel to adjust the cutting torch to a suitable
height-.
Press S to ascend the cutting
torch

Press S to descend the cutting


torch

The height of the cutting torch is adjustable after


pressing the key pause in operation

Press 5 to rise
the arc voltage

Press 6 to lower
the arc voltage

The height of the


cutting torch is
adjustable
after
pressing the key
pause in operation

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27

Usually, the I/O of the CNC system is in manual control mode of the height controller.
When processing starts, the I/O of the CNC system will turn to automatic control mode of
the height controller. In such mode, the mechanical lifting device of the height controller is
under automatic height control.

4.3 Operation via communication interface of CNC system (RS232


communication mode)
This feature is under development and will be amended after the functions are completed.

4.4 Operation Flow


Flow starts

Arc voltage

detection mode

capacitance

For mechanical installation,


see 3.1 and connection of
capacitance sensor is
required.

For mechanical installation,


see 3.1 and connection of
capacitance sensor is
required.

For electrical connection in

For electrical connection in


capacitance mode, see 3.2

arc voltage mode, see 3.3

Power on and set the


detection mode to arc
voltage mode, see 5.1
and 7.1

Power on and set the


detection mode to
capacitance mode, see
5.1 and 7.1

The flow ends.

Fig. 4-1 Operation flow of initial use or when detection mode is intended to switch

4.5 Routine Operation Flow


Flow starts

Power on CNC system


and height controller

auto-detection of "manual
/auto" mode

Yes

Manual?

No

When
the
manual
ascending signal is at
low level, the cutting
torch moves up.

The cutting torch adjusts its


height automatically as per
the set value of height.

When
the
manual
descending signal is at low
level, the cutting
torch
moves down

Press the key Up on the


operation panel once to have the
set value of height increased by 1

Press the key Up on the


operation panel once to have
the set value of height increased
by 1

Press the key Down on the


operation panel once to have
the
set
value of height
decreased by 1

Press the key Down on the


operation panel once to have
the set value of height
decreased by 1

LCD indicates the actual

LCD indicates the set


value of height

Fig. 4-2 Routine Operation Flow

height

5 Operating Guide
The height controller provides three modes after powered on: manual,
automatic and parameter editing modes.

5.1 Parameter Setting


In manual or automatic mode, press the key Enter and hold it for some time, the
height controller will enter parameter editing mode. Click the key Enter in the
editing mode, the height controller will return to manual or automatic mode, which
depends on the mode before entering parameter editing mode.
In editing mode, press the Function key to switch the parameters to be edited
circularly. The switching sequence is: H (upper limit value) L (lower limit value)
A (set value of height) E (dead-zone value) d (speed regulating zone value) C
(detector mode selection) b (non-board reduction parameters) H (upper limit
value). (See 7.3)
If the up arrow is pressed once, the selected parameter value will increase by 1 (for the
selective range of parameter values, see 7.1).
If the down arrow is pressed once, the selected parameter value will decrease by 1 (for
the selective range of parameter values, see 7.1).

5.2 Manual Operation


Manual/automatic signals: at high level, the controller is in manual mode.
Manual ascending signal: at high level, invalid; at low level, the cutting torch moves up.
Manual descending signal: at high level, invalid; at low level, the cutting torch moves
down.
If the key "" on the operation panel is pressed, the cutting head will move up.
If the key "" on the operation panel is pressed, the cutting torch will move down.
Modify the corresponding set value of height when the height controller is ascending or
descending in manual mode.

5.3 Automatic Operation


Manual/automatic signal: at low level, the controller is in automatic mode.
In automatic mode, the height of the cutting torch is controlled automatically
according to the set height by the user.
If press the key "" on the operation panel once, the set value of height will increase by
1; if press and hold it down, the set value of height will increase continuously in step of
1.
If press the key on the operation panel once, the set value of height will decrease by
1; If press and hold it down, the set value of height will decrease continuously in step of
1.

6. Commissioning
6.1 Initial commissioning of height controller in capacitance detection mode
The height measurement in capacitance mode is to measure the distance between the
capacitance detection ring and work piece or the height through detecting the capacitance
between them thereby to achieve height control.
When the capacitance-mode height measurement is adopted, the specific inductive capacity
(SIC) between the capacitance detection ring and the work piece may affect the height
measurement accuracy due to such ambient factors as temperature, pressure, humidity,
gas composition and son on. In addition, there is serious non-linear relationship between
the capacitance value and the height value. Microstep has developed the intelligent
program of "one-keystroke height calibration ". Only one key needs to be pressed locally
to calibrate the height controller based on various ambient factors automatically; in the
meantime, the display and control in high accuracy, high precision and high linearity will
be achieved within 3-30mm.

In the following cases, height calibration is required.


1. The height controller is used for the first time;
2. The ambient environment of height controller cha

3. The actual height of capacitance detection ring is not consistent with its display height
value.
Since "one-keystroke height calibration" is so simple and it only needs to press one key,
user may calibrate the height controller at any time.

6.2 Commissioning procedure of one-keystroke height calibration


Check and make sure the bottom of capacitance detection ring is parallel to the work
piece.
Power on the height controller of cutting torch.
Set the detector mode to capacitance detector mode (for the method, see 7.3).
In manual mode, adjust the cutting nozzle to approach work piece to an appropriate
position.
Press and hold the "down arrow" key on the height control panel for about two
seconds, the "one-keystroke height calibration process will start automatically as
follows:
1. Move up to somewhere about 30mm high in five steps;
2. And then move down to about 10mm away from the work piece and stop;
3. All the calibration is completed.
By this step, the initial commissioning is finished.
For details about how to perform height control operation, see 5.2 and 5.3.

7 Controller Panel

There are LCD display and keypads on the height controller panel.
Through the panel operations, user

monitor operation status.

7.1 Control Parameters


Set value (A: Accuracy Height): the expected value of the distance (height) between the
cutting nozzle and the work piece, which is set by user. For the set range and factory
default value, see Table 7-1.
Dead zone value (E: Error Area): When the actual height is A E, the height of cutting
torch will not be adjustable any more (see 1.4). For the set range and factory default
value, see Table 7-1
Speed regulating zone (d: Down Speed Area): the two speed regulating zones are
between A-E-d and A-E as well as between A + E and A + E + d (see 1.4). For the set
range and factory default value, see Table 7-1.
High limit point (H: High Limit): When the cutting torch position is higher than this
set value, an alarm will pop up and the cutting torch can not move up further. For the
set range and default value, see Table 7-1.
Low limit point (L: Low Limit): When the cutting torch is lower than this set value, an
alarm will pop up and the cutting torch can not move down further. For the set range
and factory default value, see Table 7-1.
Selection of detector (C: capacitance): 0 is for arc voltage detection and 1 is for
capacitive detection. For the set range and factory default value, see Table 7-1.
No board drop parameter (b):
In capacitive detection mode, when the detected height is higher than value b, the
cutting torch will descending stop descending; when the height becomes lower than
value b, automatic height control will be enabled again;
In arc voltage detection mode, when cutting torch is moving down manually and
encounters the zero-point signal, the cutting torch will move up to b mm. For the set
range and factory default value, see Table 7-1.

Table 7-1 Setting range

100300

1040

20200V

020

0100

01

050

280

10

80

20.030.0

3.010.0

6.025.0

0.04.0

0.04.0

01

Set range
V
Arc voltage
Factory
default
valueV
Set range

2.0

mm
Capacitance

30.0

Factory
default

25.0

4.0

value

7.2

Operation Panel

The operation panel is illustrated in Fig. 7-1.

10.0

0. 3

2. 0

25.0

LCD
Up Arrow

Enter Key

Function
Key
Down Arrow

7-1 Operate Panel

Enter key: To enter or exit the editing mode.


Function key: in manual mode, to perform the function of one-keystroke
height calibration; in editing mode, switch the active parameters to be
edited.
Up arrow: in manual/automatic mode, to have the set height value increased
by 1; in the editing mode, to have the active parameter decreased by 1.
Down arrow: in manual/automatic mode, to have the set height value decreased
by 1; in the editing mode, to have the active parameter decreased by 1.
LCD: the display functions are as follows:
1. Manual operation mode: to display detector mode, operation mode
and height set value.
2. Automatic operation m

and the current height value.


3. Parameter editing mode: to display the parameter names being
edited and the corresponding parameter values.

7.3

Description of Display
Manual operation mode: The first digit indicates the detection mode;
the second one indicates the operation state and the last 3 digits
indicate the set value of height.
The first digit: C: capacitance detection mode, U: arc voltage detection
mode.
The second digit: no operation, flashing between
and
; the former
stands for manual ascending and the latter stands for manual descending:
The last 3 digits: in capacitance mode, it is a decimal in mm; in arc voltage
mode, it is an integer in V.
Automatic operation mode: The first digit indicates the detection mode
(the same as shown above); the second one indicates the operation
state and the last 3 digits indicate the set value of height (the same as
shown above). The second digit is particularly described as follows:
When

is fixed, it indicates the cutting torch is moving up

at high speed.
When

is flashing, it indicates the cutting torch is moving

up at the a regulated speed.


When

is fixed, it indicates the cutting torch is moving down

at high speed.
When

is flashing, it indicates the cutting torch is moving

down at a regulated speed.


When

is flashing, it indicates the cutting torch arrives the

expected place.

When the last 3 digits are

and the height value flashes,

it indicates anupper-limit alarm.


When the last 3 digits are

and the height value flashes, it

indicates a lower-limit alarm.


When the last 4 digits are

, it indicates the upper limit

position is reached.
When the last 4 digits are

, it indicates the lower limit

position is reached.
Parameter editing mode: The first digit indicates the parameter name;
the second one indicates the equal sign

; the last 3 flashing digits

indicate the parameter value(In capacitance mode, it is a decimal


accurate to 0.1 mm; in arc voltage mode, it is a integer in V. The first
digit is particularly described as follows:
H: the upper limit value. When the height of cutting torch is
larger than this value, an upper-limit alarm will be triggered.
In this case, the cutting torch can only move down.
L: lower limit value. When the height is lower than this value,
it is a lower-limit alarm will be activated. In this case, the
cutting torch can only move up.
A: the set value of height; in automatic mode, this value is
used as the given value for automatic height adjustment.
E: Dead zone value (see 7.1).
D: Speed regulating zone value (see 7.1).
C: selection of detector mode (see 7.1).
b: No board descending parameter value (see 7.1)

8 Troubleshooting

For the common faults, inspection methods and corrective measures see
Table 8-1.
Table 8-1

Fault

Inspection items

Corrective measures

Powered on or not?

Power it on

the voltage of power supply


is normal or not

Check the power


supply

motor is overloaded or not

Reduce load

No display

Check the power supply

Power on

Upper limit
alarm

The upper limit value is


exceeded

Check the upper limit


switch

Lower limit
alarm

The lower limit value is


exceeded

Check the lower limit


switch

Instable signal

the work piece is grounded


properly or not

Ground it firmly

Inaccurate
height

Operating environment
changed

Run one-keystoke
height calibration

Vibrate wildly

Speed reduction zone value is


too small

Increase the speed


reduction zone value d

Too slow in
tracking

Speed reduction zone value is


too big

Reduce the speed


reduction zone value d

Slight
vibration

Dead zone value is too small

Increase the dead zone


value E

Too low
accuracy

Dead zone value is too big

Reduce the dead zone


value E

Motor does
not work

9 Description of initial positioning function


9.1

Positioning mode

An impact position switch is designed in the height controller. When the cutting torch
moves down and knocks workpiece, the internal switch will be turned on with no need of
special cutting torch or "protective cap" which requires no electrical loop is formed
between the "protection cap" and the workpiece. This approach applies to any plasma
cutting torch.
How to use the positioning function: in plasma mode, the signal of "manual descending"
from external control interface is valid. When the cutting torch moves down and knocks
work piece, the internal switch will be turned on, which will automatically control the
cutting torch back up to a certain height to complete positioning.

9.2 Setting of positioning height


Parameter value B is used to control the positioning height in mm. Considering the
possibility of overtravel and deformation of workpieces or cantilever when impact occurs, ,
value B is generally set within 5-12mm.

9.3 Process
This function does not require additional relevant processes and instructions by the CNC
system. It only needs to extend the descending time of the cutting torch in the CNC system.
Generally, the descending time of the cutting torch is set 2-6 seconds longer than the
ascending time.
Before CNC implements perforating process, the cutting torch will move up and down.
Because the descending time is longer than ascending time, the cutting nozzle may knock
the workpiece; at this time, the height controller can detect the impact and will return up
to a certain height immediately to acquire the initial position. Note should be taken that
even if the descending signal for the cutting torch has not been cancelled by CNC system,
the cutting torch will not descend any more but wait for the descending delay of the cutting
torch to end.

9.4 Collection of initial arc voltage (for setting of value A)

The reason why arc voltage sho

initial use is because the arc column voltage may not the same for the
plasma power supply of different manufacturers even the cutting
operation is going on in the same environment. Collect the test results
for parameter A (see control parameters in 7.1). If the value of
parameter A has never been tested and the set value is smaller than
the actual voltage used in plasma cutting operation, then in automatic
cutting mode the plasma cutting torch will move down quickly until it
knocks the workpiece; otherwise, it will move up all the way until the
arc breaks.
For an unfamiliar new plasma power supply to be used with the height
controller for the first time, arc voltage test must be made for this
plasma power supply. As for standard plasma power supply, the
"cutting speed chart" in the instruction manual attached to the
plasma power supply should be referred to.
Simple test method:
Manually adjust the distance between the cutting torch and work
piece to an appropriate value according to the power specifications. In
the manual mode of plasma, manually control the height controller to
start arcing perforation. After perforation is completed, move the
cutting torch through the CNC system to perform actual cutting
operation; at this moment, the value indicated on the digital display of
the height controller is the actual arc voltage of the plasma power
supply in the current environment.

10 M Commands between CNC System and


Height Controller
10.1 M Commands from CNC System for Direct Control of Output Port
M14/M15
M16/M17
M38/M39

On/off switch for ascending of cutting torch, M14 (on), M15 (off)
On/off switch for descending of cutting torch, M16 (on), M17 (off)
automatic/manual switch of height controller M38 (auto) M39 (manual)

10.2 M Commands for Routine Cycles


M07 fixed perforation cycle
The sequence of flame cutting operation is as follows:
M07
1. If the gas (acetylene) valve is not opened yet, then open it and start ignition;
2. The cutting torch descends (the descending time delay of cutting torch starts, see
M71);
3. Open the preheating oxygen valve to start the preheating delay. If the preheating
time is not enough, press the keypause, the preheating time will extend to 150
seconds automatically. If the preheating is completed before the time delay is up, press
the keystartto end the preheating delay; in the mean time, the new preheating time
will be saved automatically in the preheating delay parameter;
4. The cutting torch ascends(the ascending time delay of cutting torch for perforation
starts, see M72);
5. Open the cutting oxygen valve (M12), perforation delay time starts. At the end of
the delay time, the cutting torch will descend (the descending time delay of cutting
torch for perforation starts, see M73);
6. Turn on the height controller (M38) and start the subsequent procedures..

The sequence of plasma cutting operation

M07

1. The cutting torch descends (the descending time delay of the descend cutting torch
starts, see M71);
2. If the selected perforation position is valid, then the cutting torch will descend until it
hits the lower limit switch. Then the cutting torch will ascend until the perforation
positioning delay ends;
3.Turn on the starting arc switch;
4. Detect the signal of "arc voltage", if the arc voltage detection is set as 0 in parameter
settings (no detection), the arc voltage will not be detected. If arc starting succeeds, the
perforation delay will start (seconds)
5. Turn on the height controller (M38) to start the subsequent procedures.

M08

Fixed shut-off cycle of cutting operation

The shut-off sequence of flame cutting operation is as follows:


M08
1. Close the cutting oxygen valve (M13);
2. Turn off the height controller (M39);
3. The cutting torch ascends (M70);
The shut-off sequence of plasma cutting operation is as follows:
M08
1. Turn off the arc voltage switch;
2. Turn off the height controller (M39);
3. The cutting torch ascends (M70).

M50 perforation action:


1. The cutting torch ascends (M72)(no this action in plasma mode);
2. Open the cutting oxygen valve in flame mode (M12); or initiate starting arc in plasma
mode and detect the signal of "successful arc voltage
3. The cutting torch descends (M73)(no this action in

4. Turn on the height controller (M38)

M70 Fixed ascending cycle of cutting torch:


It is used to lift the cutting torch when a cycle starts and after one cutting cycle is completed,
the so that the cutting torch can move to next cutting position quickly.
Operation sequence: turn on the ascending switch of the cutting torch (M14); start the
ascending delay of cutting torch; turn off the ascending switch of cutting torch (M15).

M71 Fixed descending cycle of cutting torch:


It is used before a perforation operation. Its role is contrary to M70, but the value is smaller
because descending is faster than ascending due to the action of gravity descend.
Operation sequence: turn on the descending switch of cutting torch (M16); start the
descending delay of cutting torch; turn off the descending switch of cutting torch (M17).
M72 Ascending cycle of cutting torch for perforation:
It is used at the end of preheating to lift the cutting torch a little bit so as to avoid any
sprayed steel slag from blocking the nuzzle of the cutting torch when the cutting oxygen
valve is opened.
Operation sequence: turn on the ascending switch of cutting torch (M14); start the
ascending delay of cutting torch for perforation; turn off the ascending switch of cutting
torch(M15).

M73 Descending cycle of cutting torch for perforation:


It is used at the end of preheating. After M72 is executed and the cutting oxygen valve is
opened, the cutting torch is located in cutting position. It is the reverse action of M72, but
the value is smaller because descending is faster than ascending due to the action of gravity.
Operation sequence: turn on the switch of cutting torch (M16); start the descending delay
of cutting torch for perforation; turn off the descending switch of cutting torch (M17).
M75 Positioning time delay of cutting torch:
To position the cutting torch in plasma mode, first le

it hits the lower limit switch (see the input port XXW 8), the

cutting torch will stop

descending(M17). Then, the cutting torch will ascend (M14) until the positioning delay of
cutting torch is up (M15);

11 Remote Height Controller


In order to let user stay away from hazardous cutting site when controlling the cutting
operation, and make the use in an easier and, simpler way, a dedicated remote controller is
provided for user, as shown in Fig. X-1.

Fig. X-1 Exterior view of remote height controller

The remote height controller uses computer-based design and support communication the
master height controller via RS232 port. The adjustment of the height and the sensitivity
adopts simple knob design, which endues it the operation conveniences of analog circuit
and the accuracy and reliability of digital circuit.

11.1 Function Introduction

3 indicator lights.
Power: when the light is on, it is in power-on state.
Manual: when the light is on, it is in manual operation mode; at the
same time, the automatic indicator light is off.
Automatic: when the light is on, it is in automatic operation mode, at
the same time, the manual indicator light is off.
3 buttons.
Manual/ automatic: switching between manual and automatic modes.
Ascend: the cutting torch ascends manually.
Descend: the cutting torch descends manually.

2 knobs, as shown in Fig. X-2.


Height: in automatic mode, the height of cutting torch is adjusted.
Sensitivity: in automatic mode, the control sensitivity of the cutting torch is
adjusted.

11.2

Operation Guide
When it is powered on, the controller will enter manual operation
mode and the indicator light "

indicator light "Automatic stays off. At this time, if the height of the
cutting torch needs to be adjusted, the buttons of "Ascend" or
"Descend" may be pressed as needed. When the button Ascend is
pressed and held, the cutting torch will keep ascending until the
button is released. In the similar way, when the button of "Descend" is
pressed and held, the cutting torch will keep descending until the
button is released.
When automatic height control is needed, press the button of "Manual
/Auto", the light of "Manual" will turn off when the light of "Auto" is
on, which indicates the height controller enters automatic control
mode. In this mode, the height of the cutting torch is adjusted
according to the set height value automatically.
Note: Two external control methods are adopted for the height
controller, namely, local switch control method and remote control
method. For this system, if two external control methods are used
simultaneously, only when both methods are in automatic control
mode, the height controller will enter automatic control mode;
otherwise, both are in manual control mode.
If the height does not meet the requirements, turn the knob of
"Height" to set. 0% is the lowest and100% is the highest.
If the adjustment accuracy is unsatisfactory, user can turn the knob of
"Sensitivity" to a lower position (towards 0%) to improve the
sensitivity, but it should not be set too low; otherwise, vibration may
occur to the cutting torch. When vibration occurs, turn the knob of
"sensitivity" to a higher position (towards 100%) until the vibration is
gone.

11.3 Wiring Instructions


Wiring diagram is shown in Fig. X-3.
Back terminal of the remote controller

Wiring unit 1

Wiring unit 2

DB15 plug of height controller

Fig. X-3 Wiring diagram of remote height controller


The back terminal functions of the remote height controller are shown in Table X-1.
Table X-1 Function definition of the back terminals of the controller
No.

Attribute

Description

Power
supply

24V ground for power supply


of height controller

10

Input

RS232 communication
receiving terminal

11

Input

RS232 communication
transmitting terminal

15

Power
supply

24V positive for power


supply of height controller

16

Power
supply

18,12,13,14

24V ground for power supply


of height controller

11.4 Installation Dimensions


96X48mm

45

48

48mm

12
68
96mm