ONA’s most advanced EDM

Three key aspects make ONA’s new IRIS its most advanced EDM machine to date: an unprecedented integration of digital tools, a powerful graphics engine together with easy-to-use touchscreen, and a 100% digital, configurable and programmable generator.

The ONA IRIS offers digital tools that include improvements in terms of data download and transfer, external connections, security, integration with other software, and remote process management. In addition, the IRIS can integrate ONA’s Security Pack, a system that allows for the creation of an administrator, the configuration of different profiles, the limiting of file modification or deletion, as well as the blocking of external access.

Thanks to its graphics engine, users will be able to simulate processes before executing them, verify results, and change the configuration as necessary, all while the machine is in full production of another job. Its large touchscreen also allows for use in tablet mode and, together with a user-friendly interface and digital JOBS manager, ONA says that customers can expect a significantly improved project management experience.

ONA reveals that IRIS has the market’s first CNC that visualises the real execution of a die-sinking job in 3D. The ONA IRIS CNC also displays 3D models of parts and electrodes in a wide variety of file formats, including STEP, IGES, VRML and BREP.

Thanks to the digital JOBS manager with user-friendly interface, operators will be able to manage everything from simple programs to complete manufacturing orders. All the information necessary to process an EDM job can be contained in the JOB, including its priority in the JOBS queue. On the other hand, the large touchscreen and the ability to use it in tablet mode will facilitate the management work of any task.

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Combining innovation and productivity

GF Machining Solutions, the EDM, milling, additive manufacturing, laser ablation and automation specialist, has introduced a new laser texturing machine. The AgieCharmilles LASER P 400U Femto Flexipulse, designed specifically for aesthetic and functional laser texturing, integrates a laser source that allows operators to select between two different wavelengths. Target customers include those operating in the watch, jewellery, mould making and cutting tool industries, as well as other sectors where micro-machined components are required.

The LASER P 400U Femto Flexipulse is the first machine combining the use of a femtosecond laser with five-axis texturing capability. As a point of note, the texturing operation delivers completely burr-free results and eliminates the need for post-treatment and secondary operations. The green wavelength, with its reduced spot size, is suitable for use with/on reflective materials such as copper, gold and nickel.

Modular in design, the machine includes an integrated bi-laser solution that combines two laser beams for texturing and engraving the same surface. The laser head’s versatility enables manufacturers to switch, quickly and seamlessly, from one beam to the other, helping to reduce processing times. It is possible to machine a multitude of materials, from aluminium and steel, through to graphite, glass, sapphire and polymers.

The latest version of GF Machining Solutions’ GF Laser machine software brings additional intelligence and reliability to the laser texturing process. The company’s ‘Smartpatch’ technology is said to improve texturing quality and process productivity, while 3D Map software allows the import and use of any 3D CAD file.

GFMS says the machine is also the centrepiece of an automated manufacturing cell developed in partnership with Crevoisier SA, a Swiss-based automation, polishing and grinding machine manufacturer.

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EDM drilling offers higher productivity

Recently announced as the new UK technical partner for Winbro Group Technologies, the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) is introducing the new Winbro HSD-351 high-speed EDM drilling system.

The Winbro HSD-351 is a compact, high-speed, single-point EDM drilling solution with a solid-state, air-cooled EDM generator that has already proven its pedigree in the aerospace and IGT sectors. Now, the machine is set to make its mark in wider industry.

Winbro’s HSD-351 offers a work axis envelope of 300 x 350 x 550 mm in the X, Y and Z axes, with a rotary C axis of ±360° and an A axis of +10°/-135° that allows end users to process five faces of the workpiece in a single set-up. Linear accuracy and repeatability is 0.008 and 0.006 mm respectively, with a rotary axes accuracy and repeatability of 20 and 15 arc/sec.

Regarding technology, the Winbro HSD-351 provides fast automatic electrode changes, where the machine spits, loads and qualifies the electrode from the cartridge system in less than 15 seconds. The automated tool changer utilises twin 14-station carousels and an automatic barrel changer (ABC) with barrels that each hold 15, 25 or 49 electrodes up to 700 mm long. Notably, the tool change also incorporates an automatic nose guide changer (AGC), and it typically accommodates up to 13 nose guides plus a probe.

The six-point probing system ensures accurate, automated machine calibration via an MP250 Renishaw probe carried on the AGC carousel. In the work envelope, an Erowa pneumatic flat chuck (supplied as standard) facilitates the clamping of components up to 10 kg in weight.

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Patented wire coating technology

Even though Bedra (a Berkenhoff brand) launched its new-generation TRIMPAC EDM wire in 2019, relatively few are aware that this novel coating technology carries a patent.

From the strengths of its classic wire generations, which include Cobracut, Broncocut and Topas, Bedra developed the new coating technology TRIMPAC, which stands for ‘triple impact sheath. Ultimately, the coating combines three effects. Firstly, the wire has a thin oxide layer that acts like a semiconductor and prevents faulty discharges, which improves cutting quality. Secondly, the increased zinc content of the sheath increases abrasion, while at the same time improving wear resistance. And last but not least, the surface features a special structure that has a positive effect on cutting performance and quality.

As a combined result of these three effects, wires with TRIMPAC coating technology achieve significantly higher cutting performance levels than the wires of its predecessors. TRIMPAC coating technology is available in Bedra’s new EDM high-performance wire generation, Gapstar ONE.

Through field tests and laboratory results, Bedra has shown that the use of Gapstar ONE in comparison with bare brass wire will result in cost savings of more than 37% for the same application. When using Gapstar ONE, considerably higher productivity is possible than with conventional EDM wire, thereby improving the capacity utilisation of EDM machines, says the company.

Factoring in wire costs, machine costs, wire consumption and cutting performance, the adoption of Gapstar ONE will prove that considerably higher productivity is possible compared with conventional EDM wire.

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FANUC unveils latest-generation ROBOCUT

Thanks to a number of breakthroughs, FANUC says that its new ROBOCUT α-CiC series of wire EDM machines offers even higher levels of reliability, cutting speed, surface finish and dimensional precision. The many customer-centric enhancements include an entirely new mechanical structure, pitch error compensation across the complete work surface, a simplification in taper cutting adjustment and a hardened table as standard.

FANUC’s new ROBOCUT α-CiC provides users with a major accuracy boost thanks to the introduction of a high-precision pitch error compensation function. A special factory-calibrated compensation grid ensures pitch error correction over the entire X-Y table area – rather than a single central point – delivering a significant advantage in workpiece accuracy. It no longer matters where the workpiece is located on the work surface, the same level of optimum precision will result.

Improvements in taper cutting performance and ease of adjustment represent another notable advance. The traditionally complex operation of setting and adjusting the wire taper is now straightforward thanks to the use of a basic jig guided by on-screen instructions.

FANUC appreciates that process control is paramount to success in wire EDM operations. ROBOCUT control enhancements via the latest feature-rich FANUC iH Pro user interface focus on leveraging the advantages of the new mechanical structure to cut more efficiently. The new and improved user interface with its 15’’ widescreen, multi-touch LCD means that more intuitive operation is a further advancement, even for those relatively new to wire EDM.

Two model sizes are available: the ROBOCUT α-C400iC and ROBOCUT α-C600iC. Users can load workpieces with dimensions up to 1050 x 775 x 400 mm in the X, Y and Z axis respectively, with a maximum weight of 1000 kg.

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