MoldMaking Technology

JUL 2018

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Page 103 of 123

EDM 102 MoldMaking Technology —— JULY 2018 FOR MORE INFORMATION Extreme Wire EDM Services / 616-249-3901 / GF Machining Solutions / 847-913-5300 / EDM Machine Size is Paramount By Cynthia Kustush One issue that many machinists face is having a part that is bigger than the cutting envelope, which Extreme Wire EDM Services Inc. experienced with increasing fre- quency before its CUT P 1250 purchase. "It's an ongoing problem because no matter how big a machine we buy, there's always a larger job coming in. In some cases, we could only fit half of the block or part into the envelope. We would cut that end of it and then take it out and re-set it up for the other half to be cut, which eats up time and leaves a lot of room for mistakes and other hic- cups," Bernt says. Setups can take half an hour or a full hour each, depending on the difficulty of the project. If a job needs to run overnight, only part of the workpiece can be cut, which leaves the balance sitting there until morning. The constant need for larger, more efficient machining capability pushed Extreme to approach GF Machining for a larger wire EDM solution. "We began talking with our GF Machining repre- sentative about designing a machine that would give us the ability to take on much larger work. It took a few years of research and development before a large AgieCharmilles wire EDM machine was available that had the features we wanted and needed, like the ability to cut tapers to the full height of the machine, a hard- ened table and collision protection as standard," he says. "Before we took delivery of the CUT P 1250, we had to turn away anything taller than 20 inches and anything longer than 43 inches. This is because the upper head on our next-largest wire EDM machine, an AgieCharmilles FI 640 CC, wouldn't go any higher than 20 inches, and its doors are only 43 inches wide," Bernt says. Sometimes, big workpieces were loaded into a machine with a forklift, which required setting the workpiece on rails above the table. "It wasn't much of a solution, though, because we were losing Z height from having to raise the part up onto the rails," he says. For example, if the rails are 5 inches high, the machinist could only fit a part that is 15 inches tall into the machine. Pages 95 to 102

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