MACH 2024: EDM on steroids

The Makino U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme wire-cut EDM machine
The Makino U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme wire-cut EDM machine

Makino's U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme wire-cut electric discharge machining (EDM) centre will be on show. In addition to using standard wire from 0.1 to 0.3mm, it is optionally possible to run the largest diameter wire – 0.4mm – of any machine on the market. The wire is coated and distinct from the uncoated brass wire that is commonly used in industry.

The extra wire thickness, together with the use of a second, booster generator in the machine, allows two to three times higher productivity and heavier duty machining compared with using a standard 0.25mm consumable. Thicker wire also allows a slower unspool speed, so there is no increase in wire consumption rate.

Part of Makino’s popular U-Series wire EDM machine platform, the U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme uses Bedra copper core wire with a double layer coating having controlled zinc donation. It has been optimised for use with Makino's generator and is exclusive to the new machine, promoting fast cutting at a reduced wire speed, leading to lower manufacturing cost.

Areas of application include aerospace and medical component machining, separating additively manufactured parts, machining tall moulds and dies and tackling tough nickel alloys.

The U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme also features Makino’s HyperDrive Extreme wire control to raise speed and performance. The system employs servo motor tensioning that provides both jet and jet-less auto threading modes and expands the range and stability of wire tension to overcome the difficult job of reliably threading high tensile strength and therefore stiff wire.

The machine has a cutting conditions library developed to provide an optimum combination of speed, accuracy, surface finish and wire consumption for both sealed and poor flush applications. Settings for two-pass machining have been developed to provide optimal productivity. To improve ease of use and productivity, the U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme has the intuitive Hyper-i twin-screen control that includes advanced functions to support the needs of operators at all skill levels.

Also making an appearance, the Makino EDAF3 die-sinking EDM machine on the stand features a rigid, precise structure and integral thermal cooling of the Y- and Z-axis cast components to ensure long-term accuracy. Table size is 700mm by 500mm and the dielectric reservoir is built into the base casting of the machine to improve thermal stability further and minimise the machine’s footprint. Working volume is 450 x 350 x 350mm and maximum workpiece weight is 800kg.

Free access to the working area is due to a programmable drop-tank. Unattended machining is extended by automatic electrode exchange and automated workpiece delivery and removal options. A cooling system maintains the dielectric at a constant temperature for stable burning conditions. A high precision C-axis head is an additional feature and electrodes weighing up to 75kg may be used.

The machine uses Makino's latest Hyper-i control, which can be factory ordered mounted on either the left or right, facilitating easy integration of one or more machines with a variety of commercially available electrode and work pallet handling robots.

An on-board programming system, Makino Program Generator, has been designed for simplicity of use, while generating aggressive machining programs to meet the demand for shortened lead-times on today’s shopfloor.

Makino’s High Quality Surface Finish and ArcFree technology are standard on EDAF-series machines. Optional performance enhancing features include stabiliser technology involving liquid cooling of the Z-axis ballscrew and nut, allowing cavity floor surface blending to within 1µm. A further option is a fine-hole configuration for precision hole drilling with electrodes down to 0.1mm diameter.

Hall 19, Stand 130

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