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Wire EDM machine recommendations

rb07565

Aluminum
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
Western Nebraska USA
Greetings all,

I know this subject has been talked about to death in this particular forum and I've searched and read many of the threads, However, I haven't really gotten the answers I'm looking for so here it goes.

For starters, please be gentle, I'm pretty much an idiot when it comes to wire EDM machining. I've only used one a handful of times and that was long ago. I used one in trade school back in the mid nineties and after that I think I maybe used one less than 5 times when I was doing tooling work. I left tooling work in about 1998 and took a job doing industrial repair machining. I'm a shop owner now. I have a couple machining centers, CNC lathe and and a bunch of manual machines.

Now that I've briefly explained my history, I have a new customer that is looking for us to do some prototype work that would really best fit a wire EDM. If I do end up looking for a used wire EDM, what brand, model, and vintage should I be looking into? I understand that used wire machines can be extremely problematic but a new machine would just NOT be in the budget at this time. If the relationship with this customer grows to that point then I would consider it but, as of now, it would not make financial sense. The prototype parts I've seen that they'd like me to possibly do are pretty simple 2 axis, really basic stuff. They are also pretty small in size, nothing very large at all. Also, being prototype stuff, I'm not concerned about cut time and that sort of thing at the moment. My main concerns right now, would be price, ease of use and simple robust design. I understand that a used machine will by nature lack reliability but I'm sure some brands and models are better than others?

All that being said, what type of recommendations or general advice can you guys offer?

Thanks for your time
 

Ishira

Plastic
Joined
Oct 6, 2021
Personally my shop swears by Fanuc. I'm one of the EDM operators at my place, and we have 3 Fanuc machines and are getting 2 more. I'm not in charge of the purchasing - my team lead is - but I believe they are 90s era machines like two we already have. (Fanuc robocut a-1c and a-0c) I don't know anything about the other machine brands so I can't speak for how Fanuc compares, but I know that on top of good machine performance and a pretty easy to learn interface, the customer service is really good too, even for "vintage" machines. (If you can get past them trying to sell you a new model. Everyone has a job to do, lol.)
 

ernieflash

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Location
Space Coast
I bought a early 2000 Agie a while back for that exact reason.
However I discovered that if you are not using the machine everyday it can become problematic.
I determinined in my unlearned state that Wire machines donot like to sit, the deionized water gets the wrong ph,
the threading jet will get plugged.all sorts of minor problems seem to creep up
just my thoughs hope it helps
 

Girl23

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Best is Agie Progress VP2 or the Agie Charmilles Cut P350......easy to use, programmable at the machine, highy accurate, and highly precise. Only real Con to them is you HAVE to keep them maintained and cleaned. We have 2 VP2s and 2 CutP350s. There is no comparison to our Mitsubishi FA 10s.
 

wdevine

Aluminum
Joined
May 17, 2010
Location
Massachusetts
^^^^ You're right, don't buy Mits, Ugggh.


I'll also advocate for Fanuc. Last place I worked at for 20 years had 16 of them. A few of them were 90s-00s vintage and they are good machines.

What kind of work would you be doing, and what's your budget?
 








 
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