A Seattle-area specialty machine shop, EDM Wire-Cut Northwest, has been purchased and will reopen in the coming weeks as part of an expanding operation being developed to supply specialized components to advanced manufacturing companies. The 30-year-old shop in Kent, Wash., will become a part of the Tolt Machine Works in Carnation, Wash., which has established a 30,000-ft2 plant where it is installing a full-service operation that specializes in large machining and micromachining jobs.
EDM Wire-Cut Northwest is said to be the first of several new machining operations that Tolt Machine Works plans to install at its complex over the next two years. It will be fully operational later this year. Once complete, Tolt Machine Works will have facilities for large 5-axis machining, large metrology, large micromachining, and E-beam welding, as well as EDM.
The cost of the EDM Wire-Cut Northwest purchase and the estimated value of the Tolt Machine Works development are not known.
EDM or electrical discharge machining is a process for cutting small odd-shaped angles, detailed contours, and cavities in hard metals (like hardened steel) or exotic metals (like titanium, Hastelloy, Kovar, Inconel, or carbide.) EDM is especially effective for machining molds and dies, as well as in manufacturing prototype and production parts for high-tech applications in aerospace, medical, and electronics markets.
EDM Wire-Cut Northwest was founded in 1980 by Horst Binde, an EDM machining expert who will continue his affiliation with the organization.
"We are very excited to have EDM Wire-Cut Northwest and Horst Binde on board,” stated Toll Machine Works owner Dr. James Kajiya. “His wide ranging background and deep experience is key, not only to better serve our job-shop customers, but also for the new kind of machines we will be building in the future."
Kajiya is an entrepreneur and engineer, now affiliated with a major software developer but with past experience in electronics, too. He also has an award-winning academic background, and has published papers on mathematical models for computer vision, high-level programming languages, and mathematical logic. He’s best known for his work on high-quality rendering and modeling in computer graphics.
Reportedly, his plan is to pioneer new technologies in the advanced manufacturing sector. Kajiya has consulted for numerous computer and defense companies, and sits on the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies.