|The eds 300 cuts tough materials using spark erosion. |
Fifteen years of research went into the eds 300 electrical discharge sawing (EDS) machine developed by Electronica Machine Tools Ltd. (www.electronicgroup.com), available through the Ross Group Equipment Technologies. And, for the first time, the machines are available to the general public. Previously, they were used exclusively in government installations.
Electrical discharge sawing works on the same spark-erosion principle as electrical discharge machining (EDM). But rather than brass wire or graphite electrodes, electrical discharge sawing uses an endless loop of electrically charged, mild steel belt that rotates continuously over two pulleys that are held in place by an automatic tensioning system. The blade and pulley unit rises and lowers vertically to cut through workpieces.
The saw excels in precision straight-line cutting of hard, exotic and composite metals, and can handle sizes to 12 in. by 12 in. and spherical or slanting surfaces. While the saw operates with the electrical discharge principle, it cuts 70 percent faster than normal EDM.
“This isn’t a new mousetrap, this is truly outside the box thinking. What had taken 4 hr to cut by wire EDM, this technology cut in only 26.5 minutes,” Stephen Ross, of the Ross Group (www.rossgroupglobal.com), said.
In addition to its speed, the eds 300 generates a heat-affected zone that is less than 0.019 in., cuts at a kerf under 0.062 in., and is inexpensive to operate. Its costs include an expense of $2 per blade and typical electrical cost is $4 per hour.
Machine features include a touch screen for easy operation, a strip butt welder for replacing steel belts, a programmable motorized indexer with pneumatic clamping system for long and heavy jobs, programmable material advancement, and built in memory for program storage.