In the precision machining business, there is always risk associated with purchasing new machinery. Will there be sufficient work to justify the cost?
John Prosock Machine decided to add an EDM machine because they had a special operation that couldn’t be machined without leaving a nasty burn. EDM was the way to go.
JPM is using the EDM machine for other jobs now. Instead of sending jobs out to be broached as they used to in the past, they now can broach them on their own.
John Prosock feels it’s been a great investment. He states, “The EDM has enabled us to do unique shaped parts that conventional machining can’t do.”
Electric discharge machining (EDM) is a manufacturing process whereby a desired shape is obtained using electrical discharges, or sparks. The cutting typically occurs while the object is submerged in deionized water. The water helps cool the process and flushes the cut debris away from the cutting zone.
The EDM process is generally computer-controlled (CNC), highly accurate and repeatable. A typical wire EDM process will consist of several passes, moving at various speeds. Typically, during the first pass, large quantities of material are removed. Subsequent passes will retrace the cuts at lower speed, removing less material and improving the surface quality and accuracy.
Electrical discharge machining is used primarily for hard metals or those that would be very difficult to machine with traditional techniques. EDM can cut intricate contours or cavities in pre-hardened steel. Materials that can be cut include graphite, most metals and metal alloys, carbide and diamond. EDM leaves a smooth surface that often requires no further finishing or polishing.
Wire-cutting EDM is commonly used when low residual stresses are desired, and is most suitable for low production volumes of items which require tight manufacturing tolerances.