No compromise EDM

The Cut X 350 has a maximum workpiece size of 800mm x 550mm x 250mm
The Cut X 350 has a maximum workpiece size of 800mm x 550mm x 250mm

There are many wire EDM machines on the market. Some deliver faster processing speeds, while others lean towards accuracy. So, for customers wanting optimal wire EDM machine performance, there has always been a trade-off between the two.

However, GF Machining Solutions says that its Cut X series of EDM machines solves this conundrum.

Developed and manufactured at the company’s Losone factory in Switzerland, these EDM machines are available in two sizes: the Cut X 350, with a maximum workpiece size of 800mm x 550mm x 250mm, and the Cut X 500, with a maximum workpiece size of 1,050mm x 700mm x 250mm.

The machines are extremely accurate because of a new thermal management system and optimised mechanics, which also help improve surface finish quality.

Consistent thermal conditions are maintained by the machines’ sealed cabinets and doors that ensure that cold air containment within the workspace as well as controlled air flow is achieved. By keeping heat sources away from the machine mechanics, Cut X models perform consistently without the ill-effects of temperature fluctuation outside the machine.

2.	Cut X 500 has a maximum workpiece size of 1,050mm x 700mm x 250mm
Cut X 500 has a maximum workpiece size of 1,050mm x 700mm x 250mm

The CNC also collects data from an array of temperature and humidity sensors located inside and outside of the work area to further maintain ambient workspace conditions. The data drives an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that predicts possible thermal deformations and compensates the positioning of the X-, Y-, U-, and V-axes. This AI-driven compensation enables high accuracy results even with the environmental temperature fluctuations that are common during long cutting cycles.

The machines also have the ability to switch between open and closed wire guides, sometimes known as V and round guides, respectively, on the same machine. The wire guides have interchangeable cartridges that can be switched by the operator in less than 15 minutes (five minutes to change the cartridge and 10 minutes to align the wire circuit).

Open guides are suitable for straight or less than 3⁰ taper angle cuts and provide flexibility for varying wire diameters without changing the guide. Closed guides offer high accuracy, speed, and surface finish for taper cuts up to 30⁰.

New additively manufactured upper and lower heads increase the cutting speeds of the Cut X series. The heads reduce the distance between the guides and the part, creating improved accuracies during the cut, while also increasing the amount of fluid that is pushed through to optimise flushing and cutting speeds.

Additionally, Advanced software accessed by the operator through the Uniqua human-machine interface (HMI) is used to set the necessary power settings to achieve the desired results.

3.	The Cut X series has optimised mechanics and thermal compensation to achieve enhanced performance
The Cut X series has optimised mechanics and thermal compensation to achieve enhanced performance

The machines’ intelligent power generators with direct power supplies (IPG-DPS) dial in the correct power settings with algorithms based on decades of work by GF Machining Solutions to deliver specified surface finishes and accuracies at specific speeds.

When it comes to the control, the machines have a 19-inch vertical touchscreen and a full keyboard and mouse. The control supports legacy file types from various older Charmilles (ISO-based) and Agie (dynamic-based) EDM programs. The interface also has a graphics tool for programming both offline and at the machine, that’s compatible with major CAD/CAM programs.

In addition to the series’ cartridge-based wire guides, flexibility and continuous production is obtained through the incorporation of automatic wire changer (AWC) technology that includes two identical, symmetrical wire circuits.

With this, operators can use a thicker wire for a fast, aggressive main cut followed by a thinner variant to trim-cut small corner contours. The technology also enables the use of two wires of identical diameter – with and without coating – to optimise speed during the main cut and the surface finish during the trim cut.

To prevent wire breakage, the system uses Spark Track technology and an Intelligent Spark Protection System (ISPS) to constantly monitor and evaluate the position of each discharge between the wire and workpiece in real-time against set parameters. If the discharge concentration exceeds the threshold, ISPS automatically adjusts the spark energy for optimal wire condition and cutting speeds.

4.	Additively manufactured upper and lower heads increase the cutting speeds of the Cut X series
Additively manufactured upper and lower heads increase the cutting speeds of the Cut X series

The machines also have 90⁰ corner doors that automatically open so the operator can enter the entire work area. The doors also enable robotic loading and unloading.

Further lights-out productivity is possible thanks to the integrated Z-axis touch probe that automatically measures the top surface of the workpiece and aligns the wire perpendicular to this new plane and an automatic slug management system that removes slugs and deposits them in a dedicated bin.

Wire management is also automated for autonomous operation with automatic wire threading, an integrated wire chopper that reduces downtime, and a double-wire spool with AWC technology.

GF Machining Solutions says manufacturers looking for a wire EDM machine without compromise, should take a look at its new Cut X series of machines.

GF Machining Solutions
www.gfms.com/uk

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