Machining turbine disc fir-tree roots

The AV35 is one of ONA’s most ambitious projects in recent years: it represents the company’s technological development of WEDM technology applied to the manufacture of highly demanding parts.

One of the machine’s virtues is that it is a standard model, offering a basic structure to which modules/accessories can be added depending on the type of component to be manufactured. This configuration allows for fully automated machining.
One of ONA’s greatest challenges has been to develop EDM technology adapted to the process in order to convert electrical discharge machining into a competitive and high-quality machining process, even when compared with some of the most common processes in industry, such as milling or broaching. An example of the latter is the cutting of fir-tree roots for turbine discs, which are mainly manufactured by broaching.
A successful project to highlight is the work carried out in collaboration with a company in the aerospace industry, a project in which ONA manufactured fir-tree roots for aviation turbines on its AV35 wire-cutting EDM machine (WEDM). This work is, without a doubt, one of the most important and ambitious projects ONA has partaken in recent years. On the one hand, the company had to undergo a cultural change, since different departments had to work closely on the development of the machine. On the other hand, thanks to the hard work of staff and the technology developed, the application was successful and the manufacturing process of highly demanding parts was validated.
“The most complicated part was co-ordinating with different departments, as well as with the client,” says an ONA technician. “We had to use state-of-the-art software tools to comply with the traceability requirements.”
For further information www.onaedm.com

Cost-effective tool grinding and erosion

Walter has announced two new entry-level machines for re-sharpening and manufacturing a wide range of carbide, PCD and HSS tooling in the most cost-effective way.

These include the ‘two-in-one’ eroding/grinding Helitronic Raptor Diamond, which is designed for PCD tools up to 400 mm diameter and 270 mm long (also end face operations).
The machine can be configured with, for instance, a Walter Top Loader (which accommodates up to 500 tools), glass scales, torque drive on the A axis, wheel probe and manual support steady rest.
Walter’s ‘two-in-one’ Helitronic Raptor Diamond, which uses an HSK interface for electrode/grinding wheel mounting, also features an 11.5 kW spindle, while its Helitronic Tool Studio software embraces integrated erosion functionality for the fast and easy programming of ‘what you see you can grind and erode’.
In addition, the machine boasts Fine Pulse Technology, a Walter innovation that is said to set new standards in terms of PCD tool surface and edge quality, as well as process reliability and speed of erosion. Fine Pulse Technology is the result of progressive improvements to the machine’s generator, as well as the erosion software.
With Fine Pulse Technology, there are marked differences to PCD tools of standard grain type that have been eroded by other machines. Indeed, the differences can be seen with the naked eye – the surface finish is like that of a polished (ground) tool and even coarse-grained PCD
types can be fine-finished with perfect surface qualities, reports the company.
Fine Pulse Technology is the result of progressive improvements to the machine’s generator, as well as the erosion software.
For further information www.walter-machines.com

Wire EDM with Spark Track

The AgieCharmilles CUT 2000 X wire EDM has been upgraded by GF Machining Solutions to feature the latest Spark Track technology and an IVU (integrated vision unit).

Spark Track technology, with its intelligent spark protection system (ISPS) that provides information about spark distribution on the wire, allows users to avoid wire breakage regardless of the machining conditions, as well as reduce part defects and simplify machine operation. Wire oscillation, varied heights and tapered surfaces are among the common problems resolved by Spark Track technology. To achieve optimum results, the discharge distribution along the wire must be as uniform as possible.
Using IVU Advance, operators can reduce set-up times, check reference points without a measuring machine and correct machining errors. A CCD camera reduces the need for an operator’s presence.
Having this on-board measurement system to analyse light intensity variation allows the detection of edges, which saves costs and facilitates closed-loop manufacturing. At the same time, multiple measurement systems are available for part control and set-up, along with automatic shutter and part-cleaning solutions.
The CUT 2000 X’s Vision 5 software interface allows manufacturers to optimise production, achieve flexible job management and improve quality and productivity, says the company. Furthermore, Vision 5 simplifies last-minute machining sequence modifications and allows for special actions to be introduced directly inside the job.
Another innovation is open guides on the automatic wire changer (AWC) that permit manufacturers to use a combination of different wire diameters between roughing and finishing, thereby reducing machining time for small and complex geometries, resulting in up to 32% more productivity. Additionally, two 25 kg wire spools are available that eliminate the need to modify the wire circuit when switching wires.
For further information www.gfms.com

Four directors named at A&M EDM

A&M EDM, a Smethwick-based precision engineering company, has promoted four of its managers to director positions as it seeks out future development. The promotions are: Lee Finch, production director EDM; Stuart Talbot, production director CNC; Gary Surman, technical director CNC; and Arthur Watts, technical director EDM.

Manufacturing precision components and tooling for aerospace, automotive, manufacturing assembly and motorsport customers, the workforce at A&M EDM has doubled since 2013, to 70 staff, with annual sales of over £6m.
The company’s newly appointed directors will work with managing director Mark Wingfield on future strategy, and assume responsibility for day-to-day operations across the company’s two factories.
Watts and Finch are responsible for A&M’s spark and wire-erosion EDM output. A&M started business in 2002 as an EDM contact shop and now offers one of the largest commercial EDM services in the UK.
Surman and Talbot will lead A&M’s growing precision machining capabilities. The company currently has 29 CNC milling and turning machines that manufacture prototypes and production runs of components and tools.
“All four have made an invaluable contribution to A&M’s success as managers; they are all talented engineers who will ensure we continue to prosper and deliver quality components as fast as possible for our customers,” says Wingfield.
For further information www.amedm.co.uk

Medical firm opts for Mitsubishi

Although Friedrich Daniels Medical GmbH only opened for business in Aldingen, Germany in spring 2019, more than 20 machines are already in operation, including those for turning, milling, drilling, grinding and EDM. The company’s founders, Robert Keller and Andreas Wenzler, see themselves well equipped to act as full-range suppliers of medical instruments.

The company focuses mainly on instruments for surgical procedures and orthopaedic treatment of the spine. As a specialist in machining and, specifically, in EDM processes, Keller uses his knowledge to ensure that the company can also cost-effectively manufacture difficult components for medical instruments, at high rates of productivity.
Keller regards the wire EDM production process as one of the business’s essential core competences: “EDM is the only way to produce the intricate and sometimes complex contours required, especially for components used in medical instruments and accessories. This also applies particularly to the corrosion-resistant and high-tensile steel alloys used in medical technology.”
At Friedrich Daniels Medical GmbH, Keller was the driving force behind the acquisition of a Mitsubishi Electric MV1200S NewGen wire EDM with D-Cubes CNC control. The programmers and machine operators took only a short time to familiarise themselves with the technology, reports Keller. Notably, the app-like operating and programming interface on the touchscreen is much appreciated, particularly by younger professionals who are already familiar with this operating philosophy from their smartphones and tablet PCs.
“However, it is also possible to select the user interface of the previous Advance Plus control system, which allows the MV1200S NewGen to operate very flexibly,” says Keller. “The fourth, rotary axis also contributes to flexible use, enabling the machine to fully produce all conceivable geometrical details on a workpiece in several planes.”
For further information www.mitsubishi-edm.de