Worked on yet another Torchmate CNC plasma, I cannot recommend them
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  1. #1
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    Default Worked on yet another Torchmate CNC plasma, I cannot recommend them

    I fixed a 5 x 10 a couple of years ago, many little problems, mostly by bad
    choice of wiring connectors, pinions gears with no keys, etc.

    I got the machine up & running for the customer, but it was not a good, robust machine,
    both mechanically, nor electrically.

    The other day, I get asked to help start up a brand new torchmate "growth series" 4 x 4.
    Supposedly "New & Improved", software and controls.

    Same bad software (just different screens), same bad wiring practices (a real cobble job) and the table itself is quite flimsy. (the 5 x 10, the best thing on it was the table, quite robust)

    I cannot understand why they are still in business, and how blindsided Lincoln electric was
    to invest in them.

  2. #2
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    Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance' applies to flimsy machines and the gravity waves flop the money out of your wallet.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    I fixed a 5 x 10 a couple of years ago, many little problems, mostly by bad
    choice of wiring connectors, pinions gears with no keys, etc.

    I got the machine up & running for the customer, but it was not a good, robust machine,
    both mechanically, nor electrically.

    The other day, I get asked to help start up a brand new torchmate "growth series" 4 x 4.
    Supposedly "New & Improved", software and controls.

    Same bad software (just different screens), same bad wiring practices (a real cobble job) and the table itself is quite flimsy. (the 5 x 10, the best thing on it was the table, quite robust)

    I cannot understand why they are still in business, and how blindsided Lincoln electric was
    to invest in them.
    I have to agree... not recommended... but I think they serve a price-point.

    Among my experiences:
    Service that cannot even troubleshoot brand new equipment effectively.
    Service that is hard to reach, IE, you call and leave a message, and they inevitably call back at 11 o'clock that night and tell you to call back again tomorrow.
    Problems with brand new equipment not functioning out of the box
    Wonky/buggy software; glitches frequently require a full restart of all equipment to fix.
    Very un-friendly GUI for their programs
    Hard to understand menus and options
    Unnecessary "steps" built into their programs/controls
    Poor parts support
    Poor planning of connections: The one that bugs me most is for voltage based automatic height control, even with their recommend plasma cutter (Hypertherm) you have to take the cover off, drill a hole in the case, and route wires to the board. You would think that if they work with Hypertherm for them to become the recommended plasma cutter, Hypertherm could put 2 wires into the pigtail plug on the back of the machine or Torchmate could include the necessary hardware so the wires can be added to that plug so you don't have to drill holes and route your own wires or track down the necessary pins and mating plug to utilize that plug. It's sad really.

    However, we have several of them and once you get the problems ironed out they seem to be a good value for low usage environments. High use? I would look high-end.

    We still have not got the newest one fully operational. The last I dealt with their service they couldn't figure out why the automatic voltage height control wasn't working and they offered no solutions. So we are still manually setting a fixed height (which is a major PITA in their new software) and running it fixed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CountryBoy19 View Post

    Poor planning of connections: The one that bugs me most is for voltage based automatic height control, even with their recommend plasma cutter (Hypertherm) you have to take the cover off, drill a hole in the case, and route wires to the board. You would think that if they work with Hypertherm for them to become the recommended plasma cutter, Hypertherm could put 2 wires into the pigtail plug on the back of the machine or Torchmate could include the necessary hardware so the wires can be added to that plug so you don't have to drill holes and route your own wires or track down the necessary pins and mating plug to utilize that plug. It's sad really.
    Man-O-Man that does it right there....there is a large multi-pin connector on the back of the Hypertherm
    unit, with clearly over half of the pins not installed/used.

    Even I can source the pins/sockets and crimp them on.....duh

    Nope, they just:
    Drilled hole in the cabinet back, and then (2) loose wires (can't afford
    multi conductor wire eh ?) to the "special height sensing box"
    with 1/4" blade connectors inline floating in space, for disconnect
    (one of those had a bad crimp, pulled right off in my hand)

    That "special height sensing box", couldn't be built into the cabinet
    with the drives ?

    Price point ?

    Might as well get a plasmacam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    I fixed a 5 x 10 a couple of years ago, many little problems, mostly by bad
    choice of wiring connectors, pinions gears with no keys, etc.

    I got the machine up & running for the customer, but it was not a good, robust machine,
    both mechanically, nor electrically.

    The other day, I get asked to help start up a brand new torchmate "growth series" 4 x 4.
    Supposedly "New & Improved", software and controls.

    Same bad software (just different screens), same bad wiring practices (a real cobble job) and the table itself is quite flimsy. (the 5 x 10, the best thing on it was the table, quite robust)

    I cannot understand why they are still in business, and how blindsided Lincoln electric was
    to invest in them.

    Thanks for the info. Doug, do you have a plasma table? If so which one? Recommend it?

    I'm looking at plasma tables currently. Right now I'm leaning toward JD Squared's 5x10 with a Powermax 85. They look solidly built, fast(1250ipm rapids), and they seem to think of a lot of problems and create solutions for them. They're also only 2.5hrs from me so I can pick it up to save on freight which will help since they're not the cheapest out there. They just started selling tables last year I believe so unfortunately there's not a lot of info out there right now. The owner even crashes the thing on video just to prove what it can handle.

  6. #6
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    My personal burn table is a home made affair I bought from an estate sale (poor kid got murdered)
    runs Mach 3 with steppers.

    I have not kept up with all the burn tables out there, the "word on the street"
    is buy the drives and software from: CandCNC – Digital Torch Height Control Electronics

    I will take a look at the one you posted about.

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    I've had the COMPLETE opposite experience. I have a 5x10 X-model with the water table. It's 4 years old now, and have not had a single problem with it. I burn with it every day as part of of my fabrication work. The attachment to the back of my hypertherm is through the pin connector, not loose wires. And the single time I called tech support with a question when the machine was new, I got an immediate helpful response. I just spent three days putting in new slats, cleaning the bed down to bare metal and putting two new coats of immersion grade epoxy on it. I'm surprised at the negative anecdotes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by E.F. Thumann View Post
    I've had the COMPLETE opposite experience. I have a 5x10 X-model with the water table. It's 4 years old now, and have not had a single problem with it. I burn with it every day as part of of my fabrication work. The attachment to the back of my hypertherm is through the pin connector, not loose wires. And the single time I called tech support with a question when the machine was new, I got an immediate helpful response. I just spent three days putting in new slats, cleaning the bed down to bare metal and putting two new coats of immersion grade epoxy on it. I'm surprised at the negative anecdotes.
    It's not "anecdotes" it's real experiences that I took the time to put down in words.

    How many have you had to fix ? Qty (1) apparently.

    Yours with the "wiring in the connector" to the plasma unit must have been a fluke,

    As I have run into (2) of them,(the 5x10 was about 12 years old, the 4x4 is new) and CountryBoy19 has run into several more.

    I stand by what wrote.


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