Automatic Wire Changing for More Efficient EDM

Nov. 23, 2011
3G technology from AgieCharmilles increases process versatility

An optional automatic wire-changing systems is an easy way for operators of GF AgieCharmilles’ CUT 2000 or CUT 3000 wire-cutting EDM machines to switch between different wire-diameter sizes and types, and in that way to optimize roughing or finishing operations. Reducing production costs is an additional benefit.

GF AgieCharmilles’ CUT 2000 and 3000 (shown here) wire-cutting EDM machines may be outfitted with an optional automatic wire-changing system that allows operators to select the optimal wire size and type for specific machining functions.

GF AgieCharmilles supplies high-precision machine tools and automation services, and is recognized among the world’s most advanced developers and builders of electronic-discharge machining systems, including wire-cutting EDM, die-sinking systems, and other designs.

Using the automatic wire-changing (AWC) option, a machine shop could select a larger-diameter, more affordable brass wire for rough passes, where the emphasis is on high stock removal. For finishing passes or executing fine details, a frequently more-expensive, smaller-diameter wire can be selected. The best results are found when working with parts that call for wire diameters 0.004 in. (0.1016 mm) or smaller, according to GF AgieCharmilles.

The CUT 2000 and 3000 machines use universal wire guide systems that allow them to accommodate wires from 0.01 inches (0.30 mm) down to 0.002 inches (0.05 mm) for micro-machining and super-precision applications. Automatic wire thread and re-thread capabilities on these machines use unmanned, lights-out production, and their Vision 5 numerical control streamlines planning and oversight of multiple unattended jobs.

Also, the machines are outfitted with a digital Intelligent Power Generator, or IPG, and Variocut that provide reliable machining of complex parts, achieving surface finishes as fine as Ra 0.05 µm.

Both the CUT 2000 and 3000 models have compact footprints and rigid machine bases, and their integrated measuring systems are reliable for repeatable accuracy over the life of the machines. Both machines manage and minimize thermal distortion generating from various machine sources, including generators and pumps, which have their own individual cooling systems.

The CUT 2000 machine has X-, Y- and Z-axis travels of 13.8×9.8×10.1 in. (350×250×256 mm.) The machine’s fluid bath will accommodate submerged workpieces weighing up to 440 lbs. (200 kg), and unsubmerged workpieces up to 992 lbs. (451 kg.) The machine achieves taper cuts of ±30° over 3.93 in. (100 mm) in height.

The larger CUT 3000 machine has X-, Y- and Z-axis of 19.7×13.8×10.1 in. (500×350×256 mm.) Its fluid bath accommodates submerged workpieces weighing up to 880 lbs. (400 kg) and unsubmerged workpieces up to 1,763 lbs. (801 kg). It achieves taper cuts of ±30° over 3.93 in. (100 mm) in height, comparable to the smaller-dimensioned model.

Latest from Machining / Cutting