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Customized Wire EDM Controls for Moldmaking Accuracy, Efficiency

Jan. 22, 2015
Bundled technology for machining complex parts with variable surface heights, taper cuts. Taper-Expert module for cutting large angles HMI for programming, faster set-up “Smart” threading, thickness calculating
GF Machining Solutions’ MoldTech package is available on four high-speed wire EDM models: the CUT 200 mS, CUT 200 Sp, CUT 300 mS, and the CUT 300 Sp.

Producing complex molds is a task that consistently draws manufacturers to electric-discharge machining, and one of the top developers of EDM technology recently introduced a new wire EDM technology package it said will meet the specific needs of moldmakers. GF Machining Solutions’ AgieCharmilles CUT 200/300 MoldTech technology package is a “bundle” of technical features and capabilities for high-speed wire EDM machines, establishing standards of accuracy and efficiency for machining of highly complex parts with variable surface heights or taper cuts. That, of course, includes difficult-to-cut components like plastic injection molds, aluminum extrusion dies, as well as critical parts for aerospace system and medical devices.

The MoldTech package is available on four of GF Machining Solutions’ high-speed wire EDM models built for machining larger, complex workpieces. The series includes the CUT 200 mS, CUT 200 Sp, CUT 300 mS, and the CUT 300 Sp.

The core of the MoldTech technology is the Taper-Expert smart module for cutting “highly precise large taper angles with perfect surface finishes.” Taper-Expert makes it possible to engage large radius wire guides and soft brass wire, and it compensates in real time for the pivoting point drift in the Z direction when the angle changes. The results are surface finishes of (Ra) 0.2 μm and better angle cuts up to 30 degrees.

An integrated programming interface, AgieCharmilles AC CUT HMI, allows MoldTech operators to reduce set-up time, promoting better productivity. The interface reportedly is easy to use, and includes a new taper adjustment function (Taper-Expert Advance) that lets operators fine-tune the CNC parameters and control taper accuracy.

Also through the AC CUT HMI, an onboard CAM system called AC OptiCAM 3D is available to import 3D CAD files, including Parasolid and IGES. Then, the operator can bring solid model files into the control, extract all ruled shapes quickly, and generate the ISO code for each profile automatically.

Other MoldTech design features include a smart threading system called the MultiJet; a wire-breakage prevention module called Power-Expert; and a smart system called Surface-Expert. The MultiJet system uses nozzles that can thread start holes as small as 1.5 mm in diameter, automatically, even while the machine is in a position to cut tapers of up to 30 degrees.

The Power-Expert module calculates part thickness continuously, checking injection pressure and adjusting machine power accordingly, to prevent wire breakage and improve accuracy and cutting speed.

Surface-Expert constantly monitors and adjusts sparking parameters when cutting parts with abrupt variations in height, which GF Machining said will help to prevent wire breakage.

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