Micro EDM production-drilling systems from Ann Arbor Machine Co. (www.annarbormachine.com) tackle hole sizes from 0.004 to 0.035 in. in diameter, maintain size variation to ±0.0001 in., produce surface finishes down to 16 Rms and hold tapers to 0.0001 in. Magazines on these dedicated systems provide part loading and unloading, while vision systems assist in part orientation. Twin EDM heads and multiple precision fixtures make for high throughput and automated unattended operation.
According to its manufacturer, Micro EDMs can process three parts of different sizes with minimal changeover between them. Once each shift, fresh magazines of blank parts move into machines as magazines of completed parts are unloaded. Current users say this feature gives the machines uptimes of 95 percent for applications such as automotive, textile spinnerettes, medical, aerospace and micro-molds.
Workpieces come off Micro EDMs with no burrs, good metallurgical qualities and less than 0.0002-in. of recast (white) layer. The machines
monitor EDM depths, times and electrode wear for accept/reject functions. Their controls feature Industrial Axiom computers with Allen Bradley PLCs, and drive systems run on Yaskawa brushless DC servo systems.
Precise on and off times from Micro EDM generators deliver consistent machining quality. The generators also include gap sensing, high-speed DSP servo processors and fiber optics for local-area networks.
Machine travels measure 2 in. in X, 4 in. in Y and 6 in. in Z within overall unit footprints of 98-in. wide, 93-in. deep and 112-in. high.