used edm purchase
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default used edm purchase

    Used Sinker advice needed. We are considering Sinker EDM as a
    first EDM machine. Looking at Used Charmilles Roboforms, and Eltee Pulsitron TR21.
    Vectoring (Orbital) is a requirement. We have a repeat job that needs it. We also do
    a lot of difficult materials (Tungsten, Molybdenum, Inco 718,
    conductive ceramics/Carbon fiber) And difficult features (Ø.07" to Ø.020" deep holes)
    We are getting too many no-bids, or grief from our usual edm shops, so it is time to
    bring it in-house.

    As far as I know, Agie/Charmilles no longer supports this machine (Roboform).
    So do you guys have an alternative support source you can recommend? Parts,
    power supplies, etc. We do our own maintenance on the cnc mills & lathes. But
    edm is a different animal. Just not sure this right first edm. I know Charmilles
    is top notch, just not sure about Agie. If we already had a Charmilles in the shop,
    I would not hesitate at all.

    The orbital is in the control. How well does this work, or is it flaky?
    Is it software driven? Does it require upgrades/support from Agie/Charmilles
    to keep working? Is the orbital an option from charmilles, that they can drop
    with an upgrade? Is the orbital option parameter enabled? In other words,
    if the control batteries are dead, will Agie require $$$$ to enable the option again?

    I am familar with this machine as my favorite EDM shop has shut down,
    and are selling everything. Eltee support is from the one guy in New Jersey.
    How reliable it that? Same question as above. It has the vectoring head
    (Orbital) I believe this is a System3R upgrade. But could be wrong on that.
    I believe the vector head is controlled from the Fanuc/Sytem 3R separate control.
    Anyone here with experience with the Eltee. Guy who owns it is the best edm guy
    I have EVER met, and says the Eltee ran circles around all the other machines in
    its heydey.

    Comments? Is the Charmilles what you would buy as a first & only EDM?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    NC USA
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    Which Roboform are you looking at? Personally,I don`t believe an Eltee is any match in productivity or accuracy to a Charmilles. Of course, both being used machines history is the biggest factor. The old (90`s) Roboform 20`s are hard to beat from a price point perspective. Orbiting is done with the "C" axis and should be functional , unless you`re talking the older generation Form 20, that was manual. Again, please post whci specific machine (year) you are considering.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    On the Charmilles, I have a roboform 200, which is CNC, so yes the orbiting
    is run by software. I bought mine used and had to replace the computer power
    supply. What I did was buy new individual switching power supplies from off
    Ebay, to replace the very expensive supply that came with the machine. That
    works very well.

    I also had to replace the automatic oiler, which I did, again
    with a different new oiler off Ebay. It has stopped working since, but I'm using
    a cheap fix.

    The display went out, and I replaced it with a LCD and a different cable.
    I used a multi-sync LCD display so I would have no problems with sync.

    The machine is a 1996, so it's old, and the door seals failed but it
    was easy to find seals that worked well.

    I think it would be a good idea to find out what kind of support, for any
    machine that you buy, is in your area. It's true that Charmilles no
    longer supports my machine, but many newer machines are supported.
    The support guy in my area will still help me.

    My machine has had very little use, I'm retired, and I may want to sell
    it. I have lots of tooling, and I built a hole popper for use with it.
    If you are interested [email protected].

    The machine works very well, and I have no complaints.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    British Columbia
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    Hi Clay:
    I think toolnuts (Paul) has had an experience well worth looking closely at, and my experience with used EDM has been similar.
    Here's why I think it's important:

    When I was young and poor and needed or wanted to get in the game, I would accept a "project" machine far more readily than I will now.
    Old machines are like that almost by may get lucky (and I certainly have). but you may pour time and money into it too, and you never can tell which it's going to be.
    Your tolerance for this depends entirely on your business model.

    If you need to get shit done, and if you need to make money on it and if a pissed-off customer is a BAD THING, your excuse that the machine is down (yet again) is not going to wash too well over the long term and you may lose more good customers than the whole effort was ever worth.
    I experienced that with my old Sodick wire EDM.

    However, it's really hard to drop a hundred or two hundred grand for a new toy if you cannot put it to work every day to make money for you.
    So you really need to judge first whether this risk is going to meet your needs well enough to justify taking it.
    That of course is true whether you buy used or new...just the particular risk for each choice is a bit don't get to escape experiencing some kind of risk!

    So look at it from this perspective: if the machine goes down for a I truly fucked, or is it inconvenient but OK.
    That will inform your choice better than any other consideration, including the purchase price.

    If you do go new; I personally have a particular weakness for either a linear motor Sodick, or a Makino.
    If you pick used, Mits is good, Charmilles is good, Agie is good, most of the others are getting too hard to find parts for from what I've been given to understand.
    I'm surprised you can still get parts for the Eltees; they were good machines for their day but I thought they were orphans by now.

    On a last note; unless you are just playing around, don't buy anything like what I have; my Hansvedt MS4 Foreman is a good little machine for what I do, but it's far too primitive to be competitive time-wise compared to any machine with an adaptive control that can adjust itself on the fly.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Charmilles 440 wire for sale

    50k installed
    Justin 269 223 1620

    Sent from my LM-X410PM using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Just dont buy any Taiwan made or similar machine. I have 2003 Corisma Omega pulse and i cant get replacement parts. Also, some 1996 machine has big hours on the clock. Think very good regarding buying used machine. If you cant buy a new one, perhaps you dont realy need one.

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