Plasma welding was born out of necessity during World War II and it has evolved dramatically since. Many people have played around with the electric arc used in plasma welding to see if the process can be made more efficient. Two important things were discovered and they led to the invention of plasma cutting. First, it was found that if the gas is passed through a smaller opening it could be made even hotter (plasma cutters heat the gas to about 15,000 degrees Celsius).
Second, they made the diameter of the hole in the nozzle smaller so that the gas would be forced through more quickly. Now, the super heated gas (plasma) is so hot and moving so quickly that it can be used to cut through metal. This process was refined in the early 1960’s and remains relatively unchanged until today. Back then, when the technology was new, it was very expensive in comparison to today.
Today, there even portable plasma cutters than you can load on the back of your truck for work in the backwoods. You can use your trucks running motor or a generator to power them.
In the spirit of the industrial age and the drive towards automation, CNC plasma cutting machines were created (CNC stands for computer
numeric control). These machines can be almost entirely automated. All the operator has to do is enter into a computer terminal what they want the machine to do and the machine hops to it. You can find many different sizes of CNC plasma cutting machines and they all work on the same principles, so there is bound to be one that fits your needs.