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Diminishing WEDM filter performance

We have a Sodick slc600g WEDM, we cut a lot of steel and Aluminium, varying amounts but over time about 50/50 of each during a filters lifetime.

Our filters used to last between 150-250 hours, and on odd occasion, up to 400 hours, but in the last couple changes we’ve had only 35 hours between changes.

The filters start at 0 MPa and require changing at 0.22 MPa. In these last two changes I’ve personally seen the pressure go from 0.1 MPa up to 0.22 MPa in a 5 hour window during roughing of 150mm steel.

I’m convinced we have an issue or blockage somewhere but our Sodick tech doesn’t seem to think we have an issue.

This issue has also started at around the same time our PC mother board was updated to the latest version, weather that could have any effect on this issue? Since the new board has been in, the machine has been cutting like a dream, faster and with far less wire breaks, I’m even upping the settings to cut quicker then slowing them down to stop the wire breaking. I did think that by cutting harder, especially in Aluminium, that I’m creating bigger particles that are better at clogging the filters? Sounds plausible to me, but still a long shot given the around 80% reduction in filter performance.

Or could this issue also be something to do with the deioniser bottle or chiller unit?

Boss man isn’t happy as these are genuine Sodick filters and aren’t cheap.

Has anyone experienced this issue or is familiar with these models of Sodicks? Before we think about getting it apart or further investigation, I thought I’d ask the forum.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.
 

p-moon

New member
Have you checked the weirs? Mine had removable plates and if they were not all the way down, they would let swarf thru to the filters. Alsi, I once bought a wet grinder that had the weirs filled up to the point that everything just went over the top.
 

JZ.

Member
We have a Sodick slc600g WEDM, we cut a lot of steel and Aluminium, varying amounts but over time about 50/50 of each during a filters lifetime.

Our filters used to last between 150-250 hours, and on odd occasion, up to 400 hours, but in the last couple changes we’ve had only 35 hours between changes.

The filters start at 0 MPa and require changing at 0.22 MPa. In these last two changes I’ve personally seen the pressure go from 0.1 MPa up to 0.22 MPa in a 5 hour window during roughing of 150mm steel.

I’m convinced we have an issue or blockage somewhere but our Sodick tech doesn’t seem to think we have an issue.

This issue has also started at around the same time our PC mother board was updated to the latest version, weather that could have any effect on this issue? Since the new board has been in, the machine has been cutting like a dream, faster and with far less wire breaks, I’m even upping the settings to cut quicker then slowing them down to stop the wire breaking. I did think that by cutting harder, especially in Aluminium, that I’m creating bigger particles that are better at clogging the filters? Sounds plausible to me, but still a long shot given the around 80% reduction in filter performance.

Or could this issue also be something to do with the deioniser bottle or chiller unit?

Boss man isn’t happy as these are genuine Sodick filters and aren’t cheap.

Has anyone experienced this issue or is familiar with these models of Sodicks? Before we think about getting it apart or further investigation, I thought I’d ask the forum.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

I run a ANL600G and you are not alone. I have noticed a big difference in my filter life on this machine. My AQ537L gets far better filter life same filters and we have a very good water system in our shop. I've actually blown one out on the ALN not long after changing them out. Not sure whats going on, but I have a service tech coming this week or next so I hope to ask some questions. Do you have any other issues with yours?
 
We’ve had various minor issues, apart from a fried PC. but this one has us stumped. I did wonder if Sodick have changed who makes thier filters?
 

JZ.

Member
We’ve had various minor issues, apart from a fried PC. but this one has us stumped. I did wonder if Sodick have changed who makes thier filters?

Yeah that’s possible, something is different for sure. Keep me posted if ya here anything and I’ll do the same.
 
Luke,

What micron rated filter are you using in your machine, and how many machining passes do you typically perform? In most cases, using a 10 micron rated filter will yield greater life, especially when cutting aluminum!

- Brian
 
We are having the same issue. Sodick filters used to last 200-300 hours. Now we're lucky to get 100 hours out of them. We switched to Dynamic Filtration from SST and couldn't be more happy with them.
 

JZ.

Member
Luke,

What micron rated filter are you using in your machine, and how many machining passes do you typically perform? In most cases, using a 10 micron rated filter will yield greater life, especially when cutting aluminum!

- Brian

Ya I agree with you on the 10 micron. Pretty sure these are 5 micron filters. I only cut aluminum every once in a while on both of the machines, but it's just odd the difference I've noticed this past year on both machines running the same filters I have since 2008.
 
I’ve mentioned about Aluminium filters and I think they would work as we can cut a ton of the stuff at times.

But they aren’t convinced because they don’t seem to think they will be suitable for any steel at all?

I think they must be effective on steel to some level? I’m gonna push the idea some more as I don’t think they’ve really considered them enough.

I’ve also noticed a slight slime inside my tank, is this a bacteria issue?
 
Luke,

Using a larger micron rated filter will not impact general machining of Steel materials. The 10-micron filters are not just for Aluminum...they can be used for any material application where longer filter life is need, especially with large amounts of Rough Cutting.

Depending on your applications and part needs, using a larger micron rated filter might impact the best possible accuracy (ultra-precision stuff like trying to split an atom) and the best possible surface finish the machine can produce. The large micron filters might present some surface finish issues when machining finishes below 0.25umRa (10uinRa) due to the increased amount of small particles (contamination) that are suspended in and floating around in the di-electric fluid.

There is even larger micron rated filters available (15~25 micron), but there is a distinct trade-off that occurs with your overall consumables costs. Using filters that are rated larger than 10 micron will begin to impact the life of your DI-Resin, as the Resin begins to act like a filter and starts pulling out the larger particles that are in the water. There’s a balancing act here…longer filter life is great, but not at the expense of quickly depleting your DI-Resin. In my experience, using 10-micron rated filters provides the ideal balance point for extending filter life without impacting normal operations on the machine.

-Brian
 
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JZ.

Member
We’ve had various minor issues, apart from a fried PC. but this one has us stumped. I did wonder if Sodick have changed who makes thier filters?

Service tech was in yesterday. I brought up the issue with the filters. He said I wasn't the first to mention it to him, but he's doesn't know if they made any changes or not. I showed him where my MPa on the filter pressure was after 130hrs and he was a littler surprised. The only thing he thought was maybe they are dishing out "new" old stock
because of shipping delays and what not.....so who knows, think I'm going to try something different out.
 
Quick update,

We took the pressure gauge out and tested it, the gauge was fine, however the 2mm ID tube that goes to the pressure gauge we think was blocked or contaminated. As it had a moderate black residue in the tube.

We cleared the tube with an air line, reassembled and the pressure is more stable and filter hours are improving.

Just slightly concerning the tube was so far contaminated.
 

cameraman

Active member
Luke,

Using a larger micron rated filter will not impact general machining of Steel materials. The 10-micron filters are not just for Aluminum...they can be used for any material application where longer filter life is need, especially with large amounts of Rough Cutting.

Depending on your applications and part needs, using a larger micron rated filter might impact the best possible accuracy (ultra-precision stuff like trying to split an atom) and the best possible surface finish the machine can produce. The large micron filters might present some surface finish issues when machining finishes below 0.25umRa (10uinRa) due to the increased amount of small particles (contamination) that are suspended in and floating around in the di-electric fluid.

There is even larger micron rated filters available (15~25 micron), but there is a distinct trade-off that occurs with your overall consumables costs. Using filters that are rated larger than 10 micron will begin to impact the life of your DI-Resin, as the Resin begins to act like a filter and starts pulling out the larger particles that are in the water. There’s a balancing act here…longer filter life is great, but not at the expense of quickly depleting your DI-Resin. In my experience, using 10-micron rated filters provides the ideal balance point for extending filter life without impacting normal operations on the machine.

-Brian

Dumb question here ~

Is cutting a lot of aluminum using wire EDM a bad idea ?

I.e. if you do high precision-ish (one to three micron straightness on certain part features ) and fine surface finishes on various ferrous based alloys 15% of the time and then spend the rest of the time doing a LOT of aluminum lower precision faster / rougher cut parts do all these "Janky" aluminum particles of an unfavorable particle size then compromise the higher precision (ferrous) work-flow on the same machine ? + compromise the intended performance of the machine [Resin vs larger micron rated filters etc. ].

Just trying to get the gist of things here.

Ta.
 
Thought I should bump this post.

We had a couple sets of low life filters previously. But we have had a set in our machine that have done 400+ hours, then we changed them and the pressure problem has returned. After only 30 hours the filters are reading 75% full.

All these filters can from the same delivery and look exactly identical, so I’m thinking all from the same supplier.

However. I am wondering if they have two types of filter material inside that behaves differently?

One type that builds very steadily and gradually over a full life span, and one type that builds pressure quickly but stays 75% of pressure until it’s last few hours of life?

Has anyone else noticed any differences in their Sodick filters?


To add perspective, for the cost of a full filter change, we can have a Sodick tech come in and pull out our tank and clean it out and service the tank.
 

plastikdreams

Active member
Dumb question here ~

Is cutting a lot of aluminum using wire EDM a bad idea ?

I.e. if you do high precision-ish (one to three micron straightness on certain part features ) and fine surface finishes on various ferrous based alloys 15% of the time and then spend the rest of the time doing a LOT of aluminum lower precision faster / rougher cut parts do all these "Janky" aluminum particles of an unfavorable particle size then compromise the higher precision (ferrous) work-flow on the same machine ? + compromise the intended performance of the machine [Resin vs larger micron rated filters etc. ].

Just trying to get the gist of things here.

Ta.

Cutting aluminum isn't bad pre se, but it is a bit dirtier than more ferritic metals. If you cut all aluminum in one machine and all carbon steel in another you will see the filters go faster on the aluminum machine but not by a drastic amount.

Definitely not like the op is seeing.

I've never tracked it but we cut a lot of nickle based superalloy materials, and a good mix of aluminum and steel. It's not a 24/7 operation but I'd say we change our filters 2 maybe 3 times a year. Resin bottles last a month or 2 depending on how much we cut.
 

cameraman

Active member
Cutting aluminum isn't bad pre se, but it is a bit dirtier than more ferritic metals. If you cut all aluminum in one machine and all carbon steel in another you will see the filters go faster on the aluminum machine but not by a drastic amount.

Definitely not like the op is seeing.

I've never tracked it but we cut a lot of nickle based superalloy materials, and a good mix of aluminum and steel. It's not a 24/7 operation but I'd say we change our filters 2 maybe 3 times a year. Resin bottles last a month or 2 depending on how much we cut.

That's really helpful guidance - really appreciate that ! :)
 
We probably change our resin less then our filters.

I worked at one place that had a gal cock fill the machine constantly, and they hardly used the machine yet used to change the resin every few weeks.

We fill up by bucket and turn our pumps off every night, so I’m guessing it’s that, that makes the difference.
 








 
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