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Technology in Action

Jay Leno

and plasma cutting

Posted on September 1, 2008 - ( views)

by Web Editor

The team at Jay Leno's Garage knows that when it comes to fixing up cars-namely Jay's impressive collection of vintage automobiles-there is one plasma cutting brand that rises above the rest: Hypertherm. That is why Jay and the Big Dog Race Team turn to the Hypertherm Powermax30 when cutting metal during an auto restoration.
''The Powermax30 is definitely impressive. I have to admit I was a little sceptical when I first saw it because the unit is so small. I thought there is no way that thing is going to cut through the metal on our cars. But it did with no problem,'' said Bernard Juchli, head mechanic and race car driver for the Big Dog team. ''It didn't even hesitate for a second. It was fast, easy to use, and really produced a nice clean cut.''
You can see what Jay and Bernard have to say about the Powermax30 in the garage's latest Under the Hood segment available by clicking here. ''The Powermax30 is a great tool,'' said Juchli. ''I would even go as far as saying it is the first tool any auto restoration professional or hobbyist needs for their shop or garage.''
Weighing just 9 kg, the Powermax30 is one of the smallest plasma cutters on the market, making it super portable. But don't let the small size fool you. As the old saying goes, ''good things come in small packages''. The Powermax30 is no exception. Even though it's small, it can easily cut through metal up to 10 mm thick and sever metal up to 12 mm thick. All of that with only 110 or 220 volt power and compressed air.
Whether you need to fix an exhaust system on your car, remove a bent or crushed bracket, replace corroded and rusted body panels, or fix up a floor or frame, a plasma cutter like the Hypertherm Powermax30 is indispensable. First, it is more versatile than any other metal cutting method out there, especially since you can cut both mild steel and aluminum; even if it's rusted, painted or dirty. In addition, patented Hypertherm technology and simple controls make it easy to drag cut with your Powermax system. You can also cut with a standoff (great for odd-shaped pieces or when trying to access a tight location) or make high quality, very narrow cuts on thin material with virtually no warping and a very small heat affected zone.
In addition to cutting, plasma can be used in place of carbon arc gouging to remove metal for weld preparation or for gouging out wornor cracked parts for repair or replacement. Plasma is also great for piercing.
Not only is plasma fast-in fact, much faster than oxyfuel, saws, and shears-it makes nice clean cuts so very little time is wasted on cleaning up cut parts. The combination of speed, superior cut quality, and low cost of operation makes it very popular in auto shops: it saves time which ultimately makes the shops more productive and profitable.
Jay Leno's Big Dog Garage is home to one of the world's great car collections and one of the world's best equipped garages. The5,181.6 square meters facility was custom-built from the ground up and is run by a team of mechanical wizards adept at fixing, restoring, and customizing just about every type of vehicle imaginable. Since you can't exactly go down to the local auto shop for parts from pre-teen cars, the garage is geared up to fabricate parts and do just about all required work in house: a CNC Mill, a water jet cutter, sheet metal equipment, a lathe, a regular mill, welding equipment and a Hypertherm Powermax30 are among the shop highlights.Hypertherm designs and manufactures the world's most advanced plasma cutting systems for use in a variety of industries such as ship building, manufacturing, and automotive repair. Its product line includes handheld and mechanized plasma systems and consumables, as well as CNC motion and height controls. Hypertherm systems are trusted for performance and reliability that results in increased productivity and profitability for tens of thousands of businesses. The company's reputation for plasma innovation dates back 40 years, to 1968, with Hypertherm's invention of water injection plasma cutting. The company has more than 1,000 associates along with operations and partner representation worldwide.


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