GB Precision, specialitsts in precision engineering
GB Precision
Wednesday 15th May 2013
New EDM Methodology for Machining Heat Treated Castings

Getting the best from the company’s EDM investment means that GB Precision is always looking for new ways of using the technology to solve customers’ requirements.

As part of an on-going programme of investment, EDM capacity was increased in 2012 with the purchase of a new AGIE Cut 2000 wire machine - bringing the total number of EDMs to five, being fed by three System 3R robots.

Although EDM is a core technology for the firm, it also has a range of other CNC equipment, including a state of the art Roders high-speed 5 axis milling machine and a Mori Seiki NL1500 Multi axis Lathe. This means that when challenged with a new part to manufacture, many possible methodologies can be considered - and sometimes the most obvious or conventional route is not necessarily the best.

One of the areas recently being examined is the possibility of using EDM as the principal technology for machining complex geometry into castings which have already been heat treated.

The traditional process of drilling and milling castings before heat treatment can lead to accuracy issues due to material movement during heat treatment. This can result in remedial work, or even the scrapping of components, which by that time have already been subjected to many machine-hours of work.

Paul believes that, in certain circumstances, and for particular components, the most efficient solution could be to undertake almost all the machining on the post heat-treated item. Using the sophisticated programming systems available, the 5-axis capabilities for machining of electrodes and the EDM machines’ full potential would generate considerable manufacturing advantages, including significant time savings.
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