Although taken for granted today, plasma cutting, a process which cuts through electrically conductive materials using an accelerated jet of hot plasma, is a relatively recent development. It was only introduced around the time man was preparing to set foot on the Moon. As an off-shoot of plasma welding, it was only fully recognized as being a useful method of sheet metal and plate cutting the best part of 15-20 years later.
The advantages over metal cutting were soon recognized. The accuracy and clean edge delivery were one key; the lack of wasteful metal chips another. Technological improvements soon added terrific ‘on demand’ flexibility to the mass production capabilities.