Superiority of EDM control convinces mould maker

Established over 30 years ago, mould maker BM Injection operates from a 10,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Whitchurch, Hampshire. Out of every 10 moulds produced, eight are used for on-site production of injection moulded plastic products for numerous sectors.

Before it is complete and ready for use, every mould has to visit both a die-sink and a wire-cut EDM machine, as well as a machining centre for hard milling. In the production of BM Injection’s mould tools, unless any are hard-milled on an Okuma three-axis machining centre on-site, all three production platforms used for manufacturing the moulds were built by Makino in Japan and supplied through sole UK agent NCMT.

The latest to be installed in May 2022 was a U32j wire EDM machine fitted with the same Hyper-i control system as a Makino EDAF3 H.E.A.T. EDM die-sink model that arrived in 2019.

Okuma’s Hyper-i Windows-based, twin-touchscreen CNC, with an intuitive interface similar to that found on tablets and smartphones, includes advanced functions to support operators of all skill levels at every step of the machining process. The control contains an extensive library of cutting conditions that automatically optimises the erosion process, even for sealed and poor flush applications. It also enables easy access to and selection of power settings to produce accurate results in the fastest possible cycle times.

The control employs HyperCut technology, a process developed by Makino to produce surface finishes as fine as 3 µm Rz in standard tool steels in a three- or four-pass process. Notably, the machine ordered by Mark Combes, director of BM Injection, was a high-accuracy package with 0.05 µm scale feedback capable of producing extremely smooth surfaces down to 0.7 µm Ra if using a seven-pass process.
For further information