Plasma Technology
By Gretchen Salois, senior editor
MultiCam’s new 5-axis bevel option is powered by ESAutomation.
Moving Forward

A middle-ground option sparks customer interest in agile cutting capabilities


t’s no longer either/or for many fabricators when cutting thick or thin alloys. Fabricators want to be able to take on any job that comes through the door. “Versatility—a customer doesn’t always want to stick to thick or thin cuts, so we’ve introduced a plasma model that will let them do any combination quickly and reliably,” says Rashad Galloway, fabrication product manager at MultiCam Inc.

MultiCam debuted Arcos, its 5-axis plasma cutter, in September, giving customers an option that will provide a double edge for structural welding and a barcode platform to build upon current performance and capabilities. “We spent the last year doing extensive testing of the machine,” Galloway says. “We reached out to customers and asked them what they wanted to see, what kind of performance they needed. The answer was less post-processing.

“Customers want parts coming off the plasma in near-perfect condition so they’re ready for the next step of processing,” he continues. “That means less work to be done and any cleanup is quick and minimal.”

Arcos uses a 5-axis bevel system powered by ESAutomation that can cut up to a +/-50 degree bevel angle. The 5-axis bi-rotary head provides high accuracy and repeatability because of high-precision bearings and full digital ESAutomation.

Arcos’ bridge and rail design allows users to cut thin and thick parts quickly, powered by Hypertherm and an automatic oxyfuel system from IHT. Made from 1/2-in. tubular steel, the modular base rails on the Arcos are rigid, reducing vibration using modular sections that can be added for longer machine lengths.

One-stop solution
The pandemic has caused supply chain disruptions, order delays and other hurdles for the manufacturing sector—but it has also caused many in the industry to step back and recalibrate. “Because of these troubled times, a lot of owners and customers have had a chance to reflect during periods of workflow interruptions,” Galloway says. “A lot of these companies have looked at their businesses and assessed risks.

“Customers have not only noted the risk as a result of COVID-19 but also what types of risks they are vulnerable to in the future,” he continues. “The question becomes, How do you get your business back to where it was and improve beyond that by planning for the future? And for a lot of our customers, that means investing in new, more versatile equipment.”

Perfect for cutting A, V, K, X, Y and inverted Y-style bevel cuts
Perfect for cutting A, V, K, X, Y and inverted Y-style bevel cuts. Below, a MultiCam Arcos machine creates sparks during Fabtech 2021.
Customer expectations fueled the design and purpose of the Arcos plasma. “Our challenge was to cover 90-plus percent of these requests with this model machine,” Galloway says. To field customer feedback and keep in touch with needs in real-time, MultiCam launched its solutions team and applications group in 2020. “Prior to 2020, we held in-person demonstrations through our applications group,” Galloway says. “We’d cut a simple part and let the customer see it run. As we went into 2020, we maintained that demonstration role but incorporated more questions from the customer about specific cuts and parameters.

The question becomes, how do you get your business back to where it was and improve beyond that by planning for the future?

“Customers would come to us saying, ‘This is exactly what I want to do. How do I use your machine to make it happen,’” he continues. A team of experts in different cutting technologies, including waterjet, oxy-fuel, plasma and fiber laser, averages 12 years of experience. “Our guys live and breathe these technologies, so they’re able to relate to customers when they come to us asking about specific scenarios,” he adds.
Customers often have a cutting method in mind when shopping for new machinery. “The first thing I do is go through a customer’s entire process,” Galloway says. “This gives me an idea of the scope of work they’re doing and what type of cutting package would best fit their needs.
“We might find that someone who wanted plasma might also be a candidate for fiber laser. Depending on the volume and types of cuts they need to produce, the ROI might end up being preferable—even if the initial package price is more expensive,” he continues. “You might not need a $1.2 million option, and a $300,000 package might be suitable. We make sure to weigh the pros and cons and compare data. Then we present the options to the customer so they can make the best decision for their business.”
Shown: 5-axis demo at Fabtech 2021.
MultiCam’s machines are made with the waning talent pool in mind. “It’s not likely these days that you’ll find someone with 40 years of experience running a plasma cutter,” Galloway says. “If a company has someone like that, they’re going to make sure they keep them. So we make sure software and features are easy to learn. Any level operator can run any of our machines.” MultiCam trains users through in-person sessions, as well as by providing documentation, videos and step-by-step scenarios to help operators learn what to do in whatever situation.”
MultiCam Inc.
Dallas, 972/929-4070,