Wire EDM + Small Hole EDM Attachment
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  1. #1
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    Default Wire EDM + Small Hole EDM Attachment

    Came across this system from Seibu, you can temporarily attach a small hole EDM to their Wire EDM Machines.

    Anyone used it? Seems great when you need the occasional start hole on your wire edm.


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    Hi,

    I built a small hole attachment for my sinker.

    I used a pressure washer pump to get the high pressure.

    Paul

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    Compare price for upgrade verses buying a simple drill. Those upgrades normally cost more.

    Advantage - if multiple holes can drill then cut in one setup.

    Larry

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    I agree with Larry's comments.

    Several manufacturers, including Makino, offered bolt-on EDM Drilling units like this in the 80's, and most have since discontinued offering them…with good reason.

    While the concept of having an integrated EDM Drilling head on a Wire EDM is sound, the real-world practicality falls short in a few areas:

    1) Price - the hard reality is that a bolt-on EDM Drilling Unit for a Wire EDM machine will be more expensive in today's world than a stand-alone EDM Drilling machine. Purchasing a dedicated EDM Drilling machine will also provide greater EDM Drilling capability (longer electrode length, tool change capability, etc.)...all at a lower cost!

    2) Space / Unattended Machining Capability - The largest advantage of having a bolt-on EDM Drilling unit on a Wire EDM machine (even though they cost more than a stand-alone EDM Drilling machine) is for space-savings. There could also be a potential time savings with the ability to process the two different operations on one machine with a single setup (EDM Drill the start holes and Wire EDM in one setup), but most of the on-machine Wire EDM Drilling Units only support machining with a single reduced length electrode. Depending on how many holes that need to be drilled, the operator may have to "baby sit" the machine and manually exchange the EDM Drilling electrode before walking away and letting the Wire EDM portion of the operation run unattended.

    3) Productivity - from a process and hourly machine run rate standpoint, it makes more sense to utilize separate machines for EDM Drilling and Wire EDM. This allows the Wire EDM machine to focus and maximize its operation on the more complex and higher value-added machining process that is Wire EDM. Does it make sense to use your Wire EDM time to EDM Drill the start holes?

    - Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Pfluger View Post
    I agree with Larry's comments.

    Several manufacturers, including Makino, offered bolt-on EDM Drilling units like this in the 80's, and most have since discontinued offering them…with good reason.

    While the concept of having an integrated EDM Drilling head on a Wire EDM is sound, the real-world practicality falls short in a few areas:

    1) Price - the hard reality is that a bolt-on EDM Drilling Unit for a Wire EDM machine will be more expensive in today's world than a stand-alone EDM Drilling machine. Purchasing a dedicated EDM Drilling machine will also provide greater EDM Drilling capability (longer electrode length, tool change capability, etc.)...all at a lower cost!

    2) Space / Unattended Machining Capability - The largest advantage of having a bolt-on EDM Drilling unit on a Wire EDM machine (even though they cost more than a stand-alone EDM Drilling machine) is for space-savings. There could also be a potential time savings with the ability to process the two different operations on one machine with a single setup (EDM Drill the start holes and Wire EDM in one setup), but most of the on-machine Wire EDM Drilling Units only support machining with a single reduced length electrode. Depending on how many holes that need to be drilled, the operator may have to "baby sit" the machine and manually exchange the EDM Drilling electrode before walking away and letting the Wire EDM portion of the operation run unattended.

    3) Productivity - from a process and hourly machine run rate standpoint, it makes more sense to utilize separate machines for EDM Drilling and Wire EDM. This allows the Wire EDM machine to focus and maximize its operation on the more complex and higher value-added machining process that is Wire EDM. Does it make sense to use your Wire EDM time to EDM Drill the start holes?

    - Brian
    I am with Brian on this one. Sodick also experimented with a hole-drilling attachment but discontinued it for similar reasons described above. It seems like a good idea from a floorspace/investment standpoint when you first hear about it, but it isn't really as practical or as useful as you imagine it would be. I have similar feelings about the "core stitch" function that everyone is advertising again nowadays, but maybe that is just me.

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    So the reason it seems like a good idea to me. The shop i work in, our EDMs primarily run finish ops on pre processed items. So 99.999% the start holes are all drilled already. But sometimes we have that special one off job where we don't have starter holes, and don't want to wait for time on a mill or lathe to make the starter holes. We currently do not have an EDM drill, though several of us have suggested for sometime it would be a good investment. That is where I think something like this would be interesting to have as an option.

    Brian stated it costs as much as a stand alone EDM drill, but why should that be, it uses the existing electronics and only contains the spindle for the EDM drill rod. Not doubting that in the past they cost nearly as much as a stand alone EMD drill, but they certianly shouldn't have.


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