Issues with .004 brass wire on a mid 90's Mitsubishi FX10 WEDM
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  1. #1
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    Default Issues with .004 brass wire on a mid 90's Mitsubishi FX10 WEDM

    I will preface this with the fact that I don't have a ton of experience on WEDM machines. This machine is used in a prototype shop so it doesn't get run a lot. We generally use .010 wire but we have some parts with .007 features so I need to use thinner wire and the only other set of guides we have are .004.

    My issues start with the wire wadding up between the first set of drive rollers and the guide tube leading down to the wire cutter. It usually starts wadding up as the wire is trying to thread it seems to bind up either when it first starts moving, when the water comes on to guide it to the lower guide, or when it gets about to the lower guide.

    If it does manage to thread all the way through (maybe 25% of the time)it seems to almost always miss the funnel to direct the wire to the chopper. I found if you grab the wire and yank and manage to break it near the rollers it gets another chance to funnel into the chopper.

    I have only gotten to this point a few times and everytime I have managed to the wire breaks about 5 to 10 seconds after I turn the wire on to edge find in a +Y direction, moving in X seemed to have no issue.

    I was wondering if anyone had any advice or experience that they could share. I haven't been able to find an setting to change tension for the thinner wire but I could have easily missed something.

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    I used to run an FX10 about 15 years ago but only with .010" wire so I don't have too much advice specific to your machine for the smaller wire. But I have some thoughts.

    We have an Agie at the shop I work at now, and it has the ability switch wire sizes it can run .004 wire but even at the best of times it can be extremely finicky.

    Our machine also runs a chopper in the back, but when setup for .004 wire it actually disables the chopper and lets the wire run straight thru into the wire bucket. Maybe you can pull the blades off and let the wire run straight out the back?

    Do you have tech files for the .004 wire? These should adjust the power and tension settings for the smaller wire. From what I remember, they were seperate files that contained all the settings for a given wire/material and they would get called at the top of the program to activate these settings. Memory is a bit fuzzy here.

    One situation I have seen - if you have run a program with .010 wire and all the tension and power settings are set accordingly, and then you switch to .004 wire. The settings for the .010 wire may still be active which will definitely cause problems trying to pick up a block.

    If you can't activate the tech for the .004 wire directly, you may just need to run through the start of a program to get the settings activated and then cancel out of it and carry on with your pickup etc.

    Either way, you will definitely want to find a way to turn down the wire tension, the tech will take care of the brake tension but you may need to find a way to reduce tension at the back of the machine too.

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    You definitely need different tension parameters suited for the 0.004" wire. That will be on a floppy disk and need to be installed and used, if not already done. After that, check your lower wheel bearings and take up roller bearings. They go bad frequently and are a consumable. If you have actually done that, then check your ACTUAL tension measurements with a tensionometer. Auto threading on the older machines was finicky at times if everything is not tip top condition. You may need to do a thorough head alignment to get it to thread properly, and even then it will still be finicky with 0.004" wire. You also need to turn down the jet pressure for the smaller wire. Lots of things to do when switching wires.

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    I did finally find where the wire tension settings, they are tied into the EPAK / cut control setting on the machine. After I changed that to a setting appropriate for the wire diameter I did manage to actually get it to thread and was able to do a wire aliment on it. But at that point it was quitting time so I will be back to it Monday.

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    I did finally finish this job. I ended up figuring out how to manually thread the machine and had a higher rate of success with that. I also learned when manually threading the wire that the drive rollers actually causing the wire to deform when I closed them. This caused the wire to jam in the upper guide and wad up the wire at the rollers. This also happened to be about the time the wire reached the bend to guide the wire out the back of the machine explaining a lot of the problems I was blaming on the lower half of the machine. I removed 1 of the 2 springs that tensioned the rollers and made a very concerted effort to close the wheels as gently as possible which mostly eliminated the wire wadding up at the rollers.

    I also did end up removing the wire chipper and guiding the wire into a bucket. Initially the chopper was cutting the wire but quit about halfway through the job causing the wire to jam and wad up just after the rear rollers.

    I did have files for .004 wire but they were for cutting steel or carbide, unfortunately I was cutting aluminum and copper. But I compared the settings for .008 wire for steel vs aluminum and made an educated guess for modifications to the .004 steel setting that seemed to work pretty well.

    All in all, Yeah .004 wire is really finicky.

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    Yes .004 wire can be more fragile. Any time you put the break roller unit down in place YOU MUST DO IT SLOW. LOL. Also, if you notice the pin doesn't go into place right, lift it and slightly turn the roller on it and try again. This will cause a pinch in your wire also if it doesn't go in smoothly. It is important to clean those two rollers with q-tip and rubbing alcohol often. There is a lever in the back of your machine by the cutter you must also adjust per size of wire just before the cutter. If you do use the cutter, make sure the aspirator just before it that guides the wire, is clean and free from broken 2-3" wire not stuck there. Check to make sure it lines up right with the cutter opening as well. If you have the newer style chopper it will probably be red with little blades. If you have something like this, there is a little blade on inside right at the opening you can flip around to a sharper edge that makes a world of difference. I will add a picture for reference. Weekly, I just clean the whole cutter with rubbing alcohol and a q-tip and that seems to help keep running problem free for a bit.
    Also make sure those wheels in back don't have deep wire ware tracks in them. If so change them.

    Hope this helps as well,
    Tvalen1432


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