The choice depends on the type of processing you perform at your workshop. Despite the fact that both machines are designed for sheet metal cutting, their specifics of work are notably different, and each machine performs better in various types of production.
The shearing machine is based on simple mechanical cutting motion. There is no influence of temperature factor that requires additional cost (electric current). The machine is not able to cut sophisticated shapes, however, it has some advantages over plasma. First and foremost, it cuts more precisely and much faster than plasma in a straight line. Therefore, it is the perfect solution for repeatable parts (that require cutting in a straight line).
For instance, given that we have a 3 x 1,5 m sheet, cutting out 100 pieces 3×1,5 cm is only 100 fast cut motions for a shearing machine, whereas not only does a plasma cutter need more time for likewise operation, but the effects may be unsatisfying. Furthermore, the edges will never be ideally smooth, and there may occur dimension errors. In addition to that, when processing using plasma, some of the material is irreversibly lost; hence we will not get those 100 pieces as a final result.
A plasma cutting machine is suitable for cutting, basically, any shape regardless of it is cutting in a straight line or a more sophisticated one. This solution is ideal when cutting out holes and parts with more complex edge lines. In these circumstances, the shearing machine is losing to the plasma cutter. When using plasma, we are free to design any shape we want, and the only barrier is our imagination.
On the other hand, the choice of plasma cutting machines is associated with higher financial expenses. The machine uses electricity, which is very costly. We have also mentioned the loss of material compared to the shearing machine. In addition, the previously mentioned lower cutting speed is also important. Eventually, cutting a straight piece of metal with plasma involves a much longer time and higher cost.
The decision on which machine to choose depends on the needs of the specific type of production. It is easy to notice that the plasma cutter has a significant advantage over the shearing machine because its range of possibilities is much broader. A shearing machine won’t be able to do most projects; it can’t even cut a simple hole or cut a workpiece with uneven shapes. Choosing a plasma is an investment that will allow you to perform a vast range of services, allowing you to produce parts of different shapes
On the other hand, a shearing machine has an upper hand when cutting simple parts in a straight line and with various dimensions.
If you maintain such production at your workshop, a shearing machine will be enough for you. When cutting parts in a straight line, having a shearing machine can save time and material.
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