Why use plasma cutting in preference to other long standing methods?
Traditional flame cutting has some unwanted drawbacks, the most negative of these is that the cut region is susceptible to higher levels of surface oxidation, the heat changes the physical properties of the metal matrix at the cut region. Flame cutters also need very precise mixing of the oxygen gas, as even the smallest flow inconsistency can affect the cutting rate drastically. Whilst plasma and flame cutting require good standards of health and safety, plasma cutting does not require a volatile, dangerous gas unlike the flame method.
The rate at which plasma cutters can carry out their operations is considerably faster than flame cutting and certainly less expensive than high powered water jet or laser methods. Certainly there is minimal dross (molten slag) with plasma over flame.