Neher has its finger on the VPulse

Ostrach-based family business Neher, which develops special tools for the international manufacturing industry, recently opted to invest in a VPulse 500 wire-erosion machine from Vollmer. Developed by the Biberach-based sharpening specialist, the Vollmer machine allows Neher to manufacture its PCD-tipped tools with a high surface finish.

“We manufacture customised diamond tools for our customers, which generally have complex geometries, particularly when it comes to combination tools such as milling cutters and reamers”, states Gerd Neher, managing director of the Neher Group. “For this we rely on erosion technology from Vollmer and recently decided to purchase the fully automated VPulse 500.”
Neher uses wire erosion for processing its PCD cutting edges. The process is suitable for tools such as contour cutters or stepped reamers that have complex geometries. With the Vollmer VPulse 500 wire-erosion machine, even the tiniest inner radii can be machined precisely. Typically, special tools require machining times that range from 30 minutes for simple reamers up to 20 hours for complex combination tools.
“Thanks to the fully automated VPulse 500 we can work in single-shift operation and still manufacture around the clock, and over the weekend”, states Anton Juric, application engineer at Neher. “For this, we use the external tool memory of the wire-erosion machine where we can store a total of 16 different tools.”
Neher is currently planning on purchasing another VPulse 500 to boost its targeted level of growth. In 2017, Neher concluded a joint venture with the American company Star SU from Michigan. With locations in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, the plan is to now use the new VPulse 500 on site in the USA.
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Top safety accreditation for Erodex

Erodex (UK) Ltd, which provides a range of EDM supplies such as EDM wire and wear parts, as well as graphites, graphite machining and more, has been awarded accreditation from Alcumus SafeContractor for achieving excellence in health and safety in the workplace.

Alcumus SafeContractor is a third-party accreditation scheme which recognises rigorous standards in health and safety management among contractors, and is used by thousands of organisations in the UK, including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies.
The company’s application for SafeContractor accreditation was driven by the need for a uniform standard across the business. SafeContractor accreditation will enhance the ability of Erodex to win new contracts, and its commitment to safety will be viewed positively by its insurers when the company liability policy is up for renewal.
Gemma Archibald, director of Alcumus SafeContractor says: “Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place. More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Erodex has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector. SafeContractor plays a vital role in supporting our clients in meeting their compliance needs, while working with their contractors as they progress through the accreditation process.”
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Faster, smarter machining

After the official launch at GF Machining Solutions’ International Solution Days in 2017, the AgieCharmilles CUT P 350 wire-cutting EDM solution was again in the spotlight at the EMO exhibition in Hanover at the end of last year.

Industries such as automotive and electronic components, faced with ever-shorter lead times, strive to increase their flexibility and production efficiency while executing their applications perfectly at the first attempt. The recently launched AgieCharmilles CUT P series represents a leap in terms of productivity with smarter machining, however difficult the machining conditions, says the company.
A significant step toward the increased connectivity of Industry 4.0, this range of solutions guarantees longer tooling life and reduces the need for manual operator interventions; reports GFMS. Users now experience 20% greater machining speed, accuracy down to 2 µm and benefit from having access to more than 600 dedicated technologies.
Visitors also experienced how the Mikron MILL S 400U five-axis electrode milling solution delivers stable precision over long machining periods and reduces, when not eliminating, manual finishing operations.
EMO visitors exploring the flow dedicated to the segment of electronic components also discovered complete solutions for achieving uncompromised accuracy over time. Coming together to address these challenges was the AgieCharmilles CUT 2000 X wire-cutting EDM machine with innovations that include automatic on-board quality control and increased cutting speed.
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Fanuc puts spring in the stride of toolmaker

Redditch-based Vulco Spring & Presswork, which manufactures electrical installations, brackets, clips, clamps, flanges and wire-formed parts, has invested in a Fanuc Robocut C400iB EDM machine to help produce press tooling for its multi-forming machines and 20-70 tonne power presses “We have older EDM machines on-site but we’ve been struggling to locate the spare parts for these machines,” says production engineer Joseph Draper.

“Reviewing the market for a new EDM, the high-speed automatic wire feed on the Fanuc Robocut C400iB was one of the main reasons we bought the machine. This system will automatically feed the wire through a start hole and then the CNC program will begin to cut the job. Afterwards, this automatic feature will cut the wire, move to the next datum point and then process the next feature or hole. The machine will automatically continue to
process hole after hole, or
shape after shape.
“Previously, we had to manually feed the wire at the start point, start the machine and upon completion we’d cut the wire and move the workpiece or wire to the next point,” he adds. “What this gives us is the ability to leave the EDM work for significantly longer periods without intervention. Furthermore, we can leave the machine to run through the night unmanned and arrive in the morning to finished parts.”
For a manufacturer less familiar with the opportunity for unmanned operation or lights-out production, the Fanuc Robocut C400iB assures the end user with its automatic repair system, which will automatically repair the wire and continue production
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Walter joins

Tooling expert Walter GB has joined ‘Made in the Midlands’, a peer group for manufacturing and engineering firms in the Midlands.

The company – which offers precision tooling solutions for milling, turning, drilling and threading applications under the product brands of Walter, Titex, Prototyp and Multiply – says joining Made in the Midlands is the latest strategic step in its continuing UK progress. Says managing director, Ashley Battison: “We work with customers to develop solutions for the cost-effective machining of parts used in the aerospace, automotive, energy and general engineering sectors.”
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