Discover the Latest in EDM Technology
Much has been written about the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing, but some experts see a re-shoring trend due to the increasing demand for micro components produced by high-precision Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) technology.
“The American machinist has higher expectations for quality, accuracy and productivity, and that attracts customers to the U.S. market,” says Gisbert Ledvon, Director of Business Development, GF Machining Solutions LLC, Lincolnshire, Illinois. ”To find EDM technology that enables a machine shop to differentiate itself, I can think of no better place than IMTS — The International Manufacturing Technology Show.”
“IMTS provides the perfect overview because a machine shop owner can evaluate the entire spectrum of EDM technology in one location,” says Ledvon. “That said, I don’t think shop owners want to be mainstream anymore. They want high-end EDM technology and seek customers that challenge them to deliver innovative solutions, such as 1-micron accuracy.”
“If you think of EDM as a mature technology, think again. IMTS 2016 will expose you to new machines capable of greater accuracy and enhanced surface finishes,” says Peter R. Eelman, Vice President — Exhibitions & Business Development at AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology.
EDM Advances on Display
More EDM machines offer automatic wire threading technology. These machines make a first, faster cut with a larger diameter wire (e.g., 0.01 inch) and then automatically switch to a smaller wire diameter (e.g., 0.004 inch or finer) for complex parts.
“Users can now purchase a single machine that runs unattended instead of one machine for a coarser cut and a second machine for a finer cut,” says Ledvon. “Operators are free to attend to other tasks, don’t have to transfer parts between machines and don’t have to worry about accuracy errors related to cutting on two different machines.”
Advances in vision systems, now incorporated into the EDM machine, also increase quality. These systems compare the shape of the contour just cut with a 3D model of the part. If the system senses any deviation from the desired dimensions, it will automatically make adjustments to the next part.
“The current generation of wire EDM machines basically incorporates smart machine capabilities,” says Ledvon. “In-process inspection eliminates one step of the quality assurance process while minimizing scrap or rework.”
When it comes to die sinking EDM, “End users are now asking for enhanced surface finishes that enable them to make millions of plastic parts without maintenance on the mold,” says Ledvon. “We can accomplish this not by changing the RA value [roughness value], but by changing the shape of the surface texture.”
To find EDM technology that can differentiate your company, visit the IMTS 2016 EDM Pavilion, located in the center of the East Building of McCormick Place. In addition, companies demonstrating EDM along with other technologies are located throughout the show, including GF Machining Solutions in the South Building.
For more information, read the press release.
Find out more about the IMTS Pavilions.