GF Machining Solutions has introduced its latest AgieCharmilles Cut P series of wire EDM machines. The Cut P 350/550/800/1250 models are equipped with efficient power generators and feature a robust design and build, intuitive HMIs, and several automation options for lights-out/unattended operations.
With Intelligent Power Generator (IPG) digital technology, the EDM machines deliver ultra-fine surface finishes (Ra 0.1) and can improve cutting speeds by up to 20%, says the company.
Several ‘Expert’ systems further optimise the IPG’s cutting performance, especially when undertaking demanding and challenging applications. For instance, POWER-Expert monitors and changes the power levels required to machine parts with variable heights. This system protects parts from unstable conditions at high cutting speeds. Simultaneously, the system controls spark parameters during finishing operations to provide high-quality surface finishes on variable height parts. This capability maximises part finishes and reduces the need for secondary bench work.
Regardless of workpiece height, another Expert system – WIRE-Expert – is used to control wire wear and achieve continuous geometrical accuracy from all directions.
For part profile accuracy, PROFIL-Expert automatically adapts the machining parameters and cutting path for rough and skim passes to control fine details and ensure positioning and contour accuracies of ±2 µm, while TAPER-Expert technology cuts angles from 0 to 30° (45° as an option) to maximum Z heights.
TAPER-Expert corrects shifts of the Z reference position in real time, even when the taper angle is changing. The taper angle is also held to within 10 seconds on average, providing taper accuracy and geometry reference accuracy throughout the taper cut.
Cut P machines also feature GF Machining Solutions’ collision protection technology in the X, Y, U, V and Z axes.
For further information www.gfms.com
Makino, which is represented in the UK by NCMT, has released its UP6 HEAT wire EDM for ultra-precision machining. The machine is capable of achieving workpiece positional accuracies of 1 µm, while providing XYZ travels of 650 x 470 x 320 mm.
Designed for precision stamping and fine-blanking applications, the machine is suitable for electric motor stator die tooling. The Makino UP6 HEAT features a stationary work table design that helps improve positional accuracy, as the machine is moving the same mass regardless of workpiece weight. A programmable rise and fall three-sided work tank is deployed that provides ergonomic access to the work zone; a configuration that also simplifies requirements for automation.
The machine contains several features that are designed to provide high levels of long-term thermal stability, such as integrating the water di-electric reservoir into the base casting of the machine, which also minimises floor-space requirements. Makino’s UP6 HEAT employs active thermal cooling of the entire structure, whereby chilled di-electric fluid is circulated through the casting to maintain a constant machine temperature.
Hyper-i control, with its 24” HD touch screen, operates like a common smartphone or tablet. The Hyper-i control delivers a common interface that is used on both Makino wire and die-sink EDM machines, and contains many helpful advanced functions that support the needs of the operator to boost productivity. UP6 HEAT also comes as standard with the HyperConnect IIoT network connectivity function for remote machine monitoring and interconnectivity of all manufacturing information.
For further information www.ncmt.co.uk
Machining specialist Hydratight says it has become the first company to use EDM for maintenance work on a live nuclear reactor pipeline system.
The company completed the technically challenging campaign for a major energy company at a US power station as part of post-Fukushima upgrades.
Using EDM avoided an expensive unplanned shutdown of the reactor, and took 48 hours off the reactor outage schedule.
The process used a heated solid electrode to cut a hole (featuring 0.05 mm tolerance) within the reactor feed water line. Microscopic cuttings were then removed using back-flushing and vacuums. Hydratight’s process prevented 99.5% of foreign material exclusion particles, such as drill cuttings and debris, from entering the reactor.
Mike Riordan, Hydratight’s nuclear speciality services manager, says: “This was a milestone achievement on a live nuclear reactor pipeline system, and resulted in safety enhancements in line with the industry’s post-Fukushima requirements. The work has created another way to feed water into the main line if there is ever a power loss to the reactor.”
The line had water pressure of 8.3 bar and electrical conductance exceeding 3,500 micro-siemens. Hydratight’s speciality services deployed customised tooling to negotiate a 380 mm long, 25 mm wide pipe as an entry point to reach the spot where the 19 mm EDM penetration was to take place.
“Material contaminations are a major concern for most facilities, and EDM is a highly accurate and safe way of machining,” says Riordan. “Tool pressure was also a concern on this particular project, so we were able to use a method which was completely contactless.”
Hydratight has offered its services to the nuclear and power-generation industries for more than 30 years.
For further information www.hydratight.com
Metrology specialist Marposs has acquired control over Blulink, an Italian software house that specialises in software for quality control and process management.
Based in Reggio Emilia and active since 1990, Blulink focused its work on the development of software solutions for the integrated management of quality and safety in the working environment. The most advanced results of its research have been gathered in the Quarta3 platform, released in 2012 and adopted by over 1000 companies in Italy, as well as many other countries around the world. Blulink employs 40 people.
For further information www.marposs.com
Thanks to the technologies of Holroyd Precision, a major industrial group in northern China will soon embark on the production of its own range of air ends, helical rotors and screw compressors.
A £1.4m order was secured recently that requires Holroyd Precision to supply one of its helical rotor and thread grinding machines to the customer. The machine, a Holroyd TG 350E, is set for delivery in early 2019, when it will be used to precision-grind helical components of up to 350 mm in diameter and 1795 mm in length.
“We are delighted to have secured this significant order,” comments Holroyd regional sales director, Steven Benn. “Although for commercially sensitive reasons we cannot name the customer, it is particularly rewarding to know that in their quest to achieve the highest levels of precision in rotor manufacture, they recognised the uncompromising levels of accuracy that our technologies offer.
“As we are members of the Manchester-China Forum,” he continues, “securing this significant order also underpins our ongoing drive to strengthen ties between the city and China.”
Equally suited to prototyping, batch and volume production, TG series machines are designed primarily for the finish-grinding of helical screw components such as worm screws and rotors after they have been milled to a rough or semi-finished state. Fully automated on-machine probing provides closed-loop feedback of corrections to the dresser wheel and does not require a high level of operator skill.
For further information www.holroyd.com