The roller ball plate rider assembly moves up and down with an air cylinder and rides on the surface of the metal, setting the appropriate torch-to-plate distance.
Plasma Marking Applications
Plate marking with systems like the Hypertherm Arc Writer™ require a means to set an maintain the height above the plate. The roller ball plate rider is often an appropriate and economical choice.
HVAC cutting machines typically use a roller ball plate rider to maintain proper torch to plate distance. The plasma torch is held in the assembly with a clamp, which is used to set the torch at the correct distance above the plate.
Because the torch to plate height is fixed throughout the cutting sequence, there is no provision for setting a “pierce height” that is different from the actual cutting height. Plate rider assemblies are limited to use on thin sheet metal where the amount of molten metal blowing back during piercing is minimal.