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Thread: What is the most accurate new wire edm on the market today?

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    scadvice's Avatar
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    Default What is the most accurate new wire edm on the market today?

    5 axis, max work envelope a 8 inch cube,but able go real small parts and maintain the accuracy in measurement and true position.

    Steve

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    Jay Cee's Avatar
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    If money isn't an issue...and by "Small" you mean "Friggin' super tiny"...Go with and Agie/Charmilles Twin-wire set-up.

    Referring to your "Most accurate" comment...The most accurate cut you can make would be with a very small wire.
    Just based on the math only...ie A 10% error on a .010" diameter wire would be .001" / 10% error on a .0007" wire would be .00007".
    Unfortunately a .0007" wire isn't going to help you with an eight inch thick work-piece....
    For that you will need to go at least .010" diameter wire...in my opinion...

    Twin wire will give you the ability to cut your "real small" work-pieces and still cut the 8" stuff.
    There is a rather big price for the technology however...

    While spending big $$, your "Cube" comment might make another axis an option.
    Especially if true position is a consideration...

    As far as buying a machine with a reasonable price-tag goes, stick with any of the major players...Makino, Mittsubishi, Agie/Charmilles, and even Fanuc.
    There are obvious benefits to the Fanuc machine if you are already used to a Fanuc Style control.
    You still have to learn EDM...but at least the control will seem a bit more comfortable.
    I would say that of the machines I listed, Fanuc might perhaps be the least accurate.
    That's not based on fact...but more a feel of my 25 years experience...
    Also not based on fact is my opinion that you should not go Sodick.
    I just can't like them...
    In there defense however, it's been a few years since I touched a new controller from them.
    Last machines I touched had that Esprit on-board...when ever that was...worst new machine I ever touched...except of course for those super cheap off-brand machines...

    Jay Crumb

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    The Cut2000 I have at my disposal is phenomenally accurate, plus I can go down to 30 micron wire on it with the small wire package it has.

    It is 350mm x 250mm x 250mm capacity.

    Holding 1 micron on it is easy. It's the most accurate machine I've ever used, that's for sure.

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    agieman is offline Aluminum
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    Hi Y'all, Z height is a little on the low side but check this baby out. it is the AgieCharmilles Cut1000+f oiltech machine. It is smaller than the Cut2000 and 3000, it has twin wire capabilities down to 20 micron wire but uses oil instead of water to eliminate corrosion.
    http://http://us.gfac.com/products/d...cfm?ProdID=383

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    precisionmetal's Avatar
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    My understanding is that the oiltech machine is primarily for cutting carbide, and generally cuts slower than a "normal" (water) machine.

    The little 1000 series definitely has a tiny work envelope. Absolutely beautiful machine though, without question.

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    Zahnrad Kopf's Avatar
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    I've got the fine machining option on my Mitsi but to be honest, at a certain point it has just as much to do with technique as it does the machine. I don't even recall solidly, but I believe the option allows 120 Rmax finishing, with .0001" accuracy, but I can't recall the smallest wire size. I think it was .001". Of course, just having the ability doesn't guarantee the result. One needs to know how to make the cuts to ensure proper results.

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    reto is offline Plastic
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    Default Cut1000 oil

    Quote Originally Posted by precisionmetal View Post
    My understanding is that the oiltech machine is primarily for cutting carbide, and generally cuts slower than a "normal" (water) machine..
    Precisionmetal,
    It may be true that the main cut is slower on the oil machine, but often for low Ra finish you need less passes on the oil and then in some application oil is overall faster!
    So it depends (as always) on the application...
    With the oil machine, in carbide you definitly have the advantage of no cobalt leeching.
    But the machine has also advantages with steel, when low Ra and high precision is needed.

    Have nice week-end!
    Reto

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    agieman is offline Aluminum
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    Hi guys, i just came back from AgieCharmilles and thought I'd share some info and pics. this is the Cut 1000 oiltec and it is true slightly slower main but faster trims to make up the time. Of course if you are buying it to be a band saw and only do 1 cut stuff you have way to much money! lol The latest is IVU. it has an optical measuring system built in and can inspect your part before coming off the machine. if it is out of tolerance, it will recut automatically. Don't know what it does if cavity is to big but knowing the guys in Europe they will come up with something.img_0382.jpgimg_0384.jpg

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    Matt_W is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by agieman View Post
    Hi guys, i just came back from AgieCharmilles and thought I'd share some info and pics. this is the Cut 1000 oiltec and it is true slightly slower main but faster trims to make up the time. Of course if you are buying it to be a band saw and only do 1 cut stuff you have way to much money! lol The latest is IVU. it has an optical measuring system built in and can inspect your part before coming off the machine. if it is out of tolerance, it will recut automatically. Don't know what it does if cavity is to big but knowing the guys in Europe they will come up with something.Click image for larger version. 

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    I saw that at AC presentation last year at the Lotus F1 headquarters, it's a really impressive bit of kit the optical measuring, it can also be used to datum find the part and is a lot quicker and more accurate than the standard method of datum finding using the wire.

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    agieman is offline Aluminum
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    Right i forgot you can run pick-up cycles including 3D pick-up with the camera instead of the wire.

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    Makino UPJ-2 Horizontal gets my vote all day if $$$ is not the factor. Ive had work cut on it and the Agie dual wire and the makino was much more accurate. It really did seem like an awesome machine. I want one but too much $$$.
    Androf

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    B.Witte is offline Plastic
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    Androf, When you say the Makino is much more accurate than the Agie, what kind of tolerance are you talking about? Less than a .0001 or .00005?

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    It felt that now was a good time to step in and discuss the capabilities of Makino's UPJ-2 and the newer UPN-01 WEDM machines. Both models represent a paradigm shift and technological leap forward for small wire EDM operation by utilizing a horizontal Wire EDM design that is well suited for production micro-machining applications. The key concept with the horizontal configuration is to have gravity help you rather than hurt you when processing small parts and/or small slugs. All geometry lead-ins should be at the 12 o'clock position, so that when the slug is finally cut away, it falls away from the wire, preventing the wire from being pinched or breaking. This becomes increasingly more important as the wire diameter size gets smaller. Another big advantage to the horizontal configuration it that it also allows you to extract and remove slugs automatically and unattended.

    The machines use flushing pressure and also a small probe for ejecting the slug. Since there is no conventional work table (parts are held in System 3R or EROWA fixtures), slugs can be ejected and allowed to fall to the bottom of the work tank. The horizontal design actually retains the slug in-place in the work piece material until the slug ejection function is performed. This eliminates the high potential of machine crashes or dropping of the small parts or slugs into the lower head or nozzle that occurs on traditional vertical WEDM platforms.

    The machines horizontal configuration does away with the conventional water jet threading system and replaces it with an ultra-reliable air injection and suction system for threading. Using 20um (0.00078") diameter wire, the machine can thread a 30um (0.0012") diameter hole with 100% reliability! The UPN-01 is also capable of operating with 15um (0.00059") diameter wire. Both machines use oil di-electric to provide higher accuracy and finer surface finish capabilities. Reasons for the switch to oil are that Oil is a true insulator, whereas Water will always be slightly conductive. This gives Oil an accuracy advantage due to the ability of the di-electric medium allowing for more precise control of the machining spark gap, and this is a key critical item for the ultra-low discharge power levels used during the final finishing passes.

    To further improve machining accuracy, the UPN-01 uses a special linear motor and air slide bearing system (like a CMM). This VERY unique motion control system was designed to overcome movement friction and inertia, and provides the smallest possible movement increment. This configuration produces machining accuracy and repeatability is in the sub-micron range. As part of maintaining this level of accuracy, the machines also have their own Thermal Chamber, wherein the machine creates and controls the temperature environment inside the machine (the work tank environment has its own temperature control air conditioning system).

    I have added a couple of pictures too to help illustrate the machine and the slug ejection system. Thanks for reading!!!

    -Brian
    3359-h-6227-slug-removal.jpgindex-slug-drop.jpg

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    JG400 is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Pfluger View Post
    It felt that now was a good time to step in and discuss the capabilities of Makino's UPJ-2 and the newer UPN-01 WEDM machines. Both models represent a paradigm shift and technological leap forward for small wire EDM operation by utilizing a horizontal Wire EDM design that is well suited for production micro-machining applications. The key concept with the horizontal configuration is to have gravity help you rather than hurt you when processing small parts and/or small slugs. All geometry lead-ins should be at the 12 o'clock position, so that when the slug is finally cut away, it falls away from the wire, preventing the wire from being pinched or breaking. This becomes increasingly more important as the wire diameter size gets smaller. Another big advantage to the horizontal configuration it that it also allows you to extract and remove slugs automatically and unattended.

    The machines use flushing pressure and also a small probe for ejecting the slug. Since there is no conventional work table (parts are held in System 3R or EROWA fixtures), slugs can be ejected and allowed to fall to the bottom of the work tank. The horizontal design actually retains the slug in-place in the work piece material until the slug ejection function is performed. This eliminates the high potential of machine crashes or dropping of the small parts or slugs into the lower head or nozzle that occurs on traditional vertical WEDM platforms.

    The machines horizontal configuration does away with the conventional water jet threading system and replaces it with an ultra-reliable air injection and suction system for threading. Using 20um (0.00078") diameter wire, the machine can thread a 30um (0.0012") diameter hole with 100% reliability! The UPN-01 is also capable of operating with 15um (0.00059") diameter wire. Both machines use oil di-electric to provide higher accuracy and finer surface finish capabilities. Reasons for the switch to oil are that Oil is a true insulator, whereas Water will always be slightly conductive. This gives Oil an accuracy advantage due to the ability of the di-electric medium allowing for more precise control of the machining spark gap, and this is a key critical item for the ultra-low discharge power levels used during the final finishing passes.

    To further improve machining accuracy, the UPN-01 uses a special linear motor and air slide bearing system (like a CMM). This VERY unique motion control system was designed to overcome movement friction and inertia, and provides the smallest possible movement increment. This configuration produces machining accuracy and repeatability is in the sub-micron range. As part of maintaining this level of accuracy, the machines also have their own Thermal Chamber, wherein the machine creates and controls the temperature environment inside the machine (the work tank environment has its own temperature control air conditioning system).

    I have added a couple of pictures too to help illustrate the machine and the slug ejection system. Thanks for reading!!!

    -Brian
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm taking a look at the Agie oil cut 2000 with the twin wire set up right now and was not aware of this machine. I exclusively cut carbide cutting tools and would like to know how this machine stacks up against the Agie. We are very interested is using .002 dia wire to get small internal radii. Do you sell this in the US and do you have any demo machine?

    Jake

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    Brian Pfluger's Avatar
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    Jake,

    I will send you a PM with contact information to discuss what Makino can do for you. We have both a UPN-01 (Horizontal WEDM) and UPV-3 (Vertical WEDM) oil-based machine in our Auburn Hills, MI showroom.

    -Brian

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    implmex is offline Stainless
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    Hi Brian:
    Just to add fuel to my fantasies, what is the base price of these machines?
    Something for me to aspire to; I've always been fascinated with miniature and micro miniature machining; I'm doing more and more of it, and my machine struggles with 0.004" wire.
    General ballpark is all I need, so I can start dreaming (and a savings plan).
    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix – Design & Innovation - home
    www.vancouverwireedm.com

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    scadvice's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the informative information everyone. I'm considering a proposal to one of the defense contractor on an idea I have. This is the second one I've come up with using wire EDM. The first is now being reviewed for budgeting and it it goes through it will open the door for this second one.

    The more I understand about the real world limitations of the current technologies, the better I can bring forward these ideas.

    One more question, If we make the assumption that given the current best positional machine, wire size is directly related to that accuracy, where are we with the smallest reliable wire size ?

    Steve

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    precisionmetal's Avatar
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    Wire size is not necessarily related to accuracy... at least not in a linear relationship or anything like that. Small(er) wire *will* typically yield better accuracy with fewer cuts. Wire size used is typically dictated by 2 things: height of the part, and smallest inside radius. You're not going to cut a 1" thick part using 20 micron wire (well: it may be possible, but you'll be cutting for a week)... and obviously it's not possible to cut a .001" inside radius with large wire.

    Many, if not most modern machines will handle .004" wire very well. Things begin to get a bit fussy below there. A machine might be perfectly capable of cutting reliably with very small wire, but you'll be amazed at the little nuisances that crop up. Wire tension needs to be so light in the very small wire that the slightest thing can cause issues. And little tiny pieces of 20 micron wire are nearly invisible, but can still cause a lot of grief.

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    Brian Pfluger's Avatar
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    Well said PM!

    Wire size does not necessarily increase or decrease machining accuracy, as this will be dictated by the machine's mechanical structure. As the wire size becomes smaller, the effective/efficient maximum machine-able work piece thickness will also decrease. Once you go below 0.004" diameter, a lot of the machining success and reliability has to do with what type of wire is used, and how finely the machine can control wire tension. Common WEDM challenges encountered while running small wires are threading reliability and wire break issues. To improve these conditions, a wire with a higher tensile strength will almost always perform better, but these wires are a bit more expensive.

    In the 50um ~ 100um (um = micron) range (0.002" ~ 0.004"), using a steel core wire with an enriched brass coating (technically a coated wire) will provide enhanced operation. Manufacturers of this type of wire include bedra (micro-cut wire) and Technos (SP or SP-Z). This type of wire traditionally looks like plain brass wire, but a zinc coated variation (looks like MegaCut-A wire - dull silver color) has recently become available that provides a significant speed advantage (20% ~ 30% improvement range).

    A pure Tungsten wire is also available, and is highly recommended when machining with 50um or below wire diameters. The wire is available up to 70um (0.003") diameter, and Sumitomo is the most widely available brand/type. When using 15um or 20um (0.0006" ~ 0.0008") diameter wire, pure tungsten wire is almost always used for its higher tensile strength properties.

    To give you some ideas on the wire tensile strength, below is data comparing different wire types:


    Hard Brass Wire:
    - 0.250mm (0.010"): 900 N/mm^2
    - 0.100mm (0.004"): 900 N/mm^2

    Steel Core Coated Wire:
    - 0.100mm (0.004"): 2200 N/mm^2
    - 0.050mm (0.002"): 2200 N/mm^2

    Pure Tungsten Wire:
    - 0.050mm (0.002"): 3500 N/mm^2
    - 0.020mm (0.0008"): 3500 N/mm^2

    -Brian

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    Androf is offline Plastic
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    15um wire...no big deal right? lol haha

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