Don’t Discount the Small Stuff

At least in the short term, the most significant machine design changes aren’t always the most significant difference-makers on the shop floor.


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Charlie Mauer (left), co-owner of Wire Specialists, looks on as fellow co-owner John Mueller adjusts a fixture in the shop’s new MV2400R EDM. 

When I first set out to write about Wire Specialists, a contract manufacturer in Brookfield, Wisconsin that specializes in wire EDM operations, I figured the shop’s newest piece of equipment would be a major focus of the article. I was right about that, but the piece still took a somewhat unexpected turn.

Delivered just a few months before my visit, the new addition is a representative of Mitsubishi EDM’s MV series, a line of wire machines with a type of motion system that, to date hasn’t been used on any other machine tool. Having attended the unveiling of the new line earlier that year, I naturally assumed this much-touted innovation was a key factor in the shop’s decision to order a second MV2400R within months of installing the first.

To my surprise, however, the shop’s co-owners had a lot more to say about other design improvements that, from a purely engineering standpoint, might be considered more incremental: a redesigned wire threader; power supply enhancements that reduce wire consumption; new canned cycles in the CNC; and a power feed contact designed for easy indexing. Go here to learn more.


  • Exploring Niches With New EDM Technologies

    A shop specializing in wire EDM for large mold components now offers EDM “turning” of small, intricate parts. Despite the potential risks involved in early adoption of new technologies, the shop believes this practice gives it a leg-up on the competition and lets it gain experience with alternative machining techniques before offering them to customers.

  • Wire EDM In The Extreme

    Cutting metal with an energized strand of wire is still one of the most dynamic frontiers in metalworking, and this shop goes to extremes to keep up with the latest advances. It has even developed some of its own.

  • Trends In EDM

    Electrical discharge machines, both wire and ram type, have undergone rapid improvements in capability, economical operation, speed and flexibility. New applications are continually emerging as shops discover the advantages of this process.